Assisting Refugees with Healthcare

Volunteers’ role:

Volunteers can help newcomers achieve health self-sufficiency teaching newcomers how to complete various health activities, such as identifying health needs, filling out medical forms, and in the following ways:

Teaching newcomers about healthcare in the US:

1. Explain different healthcare options: Explain to refugees the various healthcare options such as the emergency room, urgent care, primary physician, etc. Assist refugees with learning how to access Medicaid transportation as needed.

2. Explain basic medicine options: Teach newcomers how to procure, the purpose of, and how to use, various available medicines.

3. Explain functions of and access to any other healthcare services: ex. Pregnancy Support Services, etc.

Teaching newcomers how to establish healthy (cultural relevant) lifestyles:

1. Encourage physically active lifestyles (i.e. use of bicycles, etc.) and personal hygiene.

2. Increase awareness of home, community and occupational safety.

3. Identify and communicate food bank and grocery store options: Volunteers can research (on their own or by asking WRD staff) appropriate food bank and grocery stores near the newcomers' home. The following resource from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center contains a number of activities and resources for volunteers who are working with newcomers in the area of health. The Health toolkit contains activities on basics of health and hygiene, health resources, scenario activities, and role plays.