This page offers information and links to various resources on the topic of refugee health.
Currently, Catholic Charities and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) are the two federally approved resettlement agencies in Iowa.
Cultural Competency/Cultural Humility
- Iowa Medicaid
- Iowa Department of Human Services Bureau of Refugee Services
- Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services (BRYCS): Contains resources, webinars, parent interviews, and online trainings specific to refugee youth and mental health.
- Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE): Provides cultural orientation trainings, webinar series, case studies of best and promising practices, and other multimedia materials that assist cultural orientation instructors, service providers, and refugees.
- Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services: Extensive collection of information and webinars specific to refugee health and wellness.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN):The Refugee Services Toolkit helps service system providers understand the experience of refugee children and families, identify needs associated with mental health, and ensure connection with appropriate available interventions.
- Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR): ORR provides new populations with the opportunity to achieve their full potential in the U.S. The programs provide people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society. ORR provides benefits and services to eligible persons including refugees, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, and more.
- Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (RHTAC): Provides tools, resources, and support for health and mental health providers who work with refugees during resettlement.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Resource site for refugee information including statistics, publications, evaluations, teaching tools for student refugees, news, and basic information.
Adjustment of Status - Civil Surgeon Services
Immigrants and refugees who have been in the U.S. for one year may complete medical evaluations to adjust their status and obtain a Green Card. Requirements differ for refugees and immigrants, so it is important to first determine whether the individual is designated as a refugee or an immigrant. In most cases, they will know their designation, and refugees will have the word "refugee" printed on their I-94 card.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-693 is used to report results of a medical examination and record immunizations. It must be signed by the civil surgeon or by a physician affiliated with the local public health agency completing the review. To find an authorized doctor for green card (adjustment of status), visit Find a Doctor. For Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons, visit CDC Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons. Please note the Adjustment of Status screening results are not entered into IRHAS. The USCIS Multilingual Resource Page has its materials in languages other than English.
- Refugees must meet vaccination requirements according to age-appropriate recommendations by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP). Because completion of a vaccine series often requires several months, applicants are required to complete at least one dose of each vaccine by the time of assessment for the I-693, and are encouraged to follow up with a primary health care provider to complete the series. However, the applicant must complete the entire vaccine series for COVID-19 (one or two doses depending on the formulation).
- Refugees who arrived to the U.S. with a Class A condition require the entire medical exam, including any necessary vaccinations.
- Refugees who arrived to the U.S. without a Class A condition require only review and update for immunizations. These refugees should submit the entire Form I-693 and complete the following sections:
- Part 1: Information about you
- Part 2: Interpreter contact information, certification, and signature
- Part 4: Civil surgeon’s contact information, certification, and signature
- Part 7: Vaccination record