Background: The MGH Center for Immigrant Health (CIH) was established in 2020 by an interdisciplinary team of clinicians from Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry to foster excellence in clinical care, education, advocacy and research aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of immigrants across the institution and the broader community.
Methods: Resettlement stressors, including access to nutrition, housing, education, legal, insurance, and medical resources, are a key driver of physical and mental health outcomes for recently arrived immigrants. The CIH team has built a Resource Navigation Program with an Immigrant Health Resource Specialist (IHRS) who accepts consults and referrals from across MGH clinical sites and community agencies to minimize barriers to health posed by immigration status.
Results: In the IHRS’s first six months, 138 consults were completed. 54% (74) were for facilitating connection to medical care, with 15 specifically for mental health care; 17% (24) for legal service needs; and 23% (32) for concrete resource needs.
Conclusions: Immigrants face significant barriers to accessing medical and mental health care in our system, and legal services are another frequently unmet need. As a next step, the CIH is developing quality improvement initiatives and convening interdisciplinary working groups to address these barriers.