Immigrant & Refugee Consult Service
The Boston Medical Center patient population has a high number of immigrant and refugee patients from a wide variety of countries. Many of these patients have complex medical, psychological and legal needs. The team at the Immigrant & Refugee Health Program are available on a consult basis to assist in the care of these vulnerable patients.
Consultation Expertise includes:
-Medical or psychological affidavits in support of asylum applications
-Infectious disease screening in immigrant and newly arrived patients
-Patients with complex refugee or war trauma
The program will see patients who are established at Boston Medical Center on a consultation basis or for ongoing primary care, based on patient’s request.
To schedule an appointment, please contact Glory Ruiz at Glory.Ruiz@bmc.org or at 1.617.414.5936. Patient must tell her whether they would like a consult or to schedule for ongoing primary care.
Refugee Health Assessment Program
Up to 75,000 refugees arrive each year in the United States, and about 5% of them have settled in Massachusetts in recent years. All refugees are entitled to a health assessment which needs to be initiated within three months of arrival in the U.S. Refugees are directed to the International Clinic by their sponsoring agencies. Trained medical interpreters and outreach workers affiliated with Boston Medical Center and the Refugee Health Program of the Department of Public Health provide interpretation of language as well as information about cultural traditions and practices that may impact upon health.
The goals of the refugee health assessment are:
- General health assessment, including vision, hearing and dental screening
- Identification and treatment of immediate health needs
- Diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases
- Orientation to the health system in the United States
- Transition to a primary care provider
- Unique Needs
Once this initial assessment has been done, the team is happy to continue to follow patients in the primary care practice or to refer them to centers closer to their homes.
Please note that the Refugee Health Assessment Program sees patients that are referred from specific resettlement agencies; thus the Program does not make appointments for patients outside this system. New immigrants to the U.S. should have their appointments made with primary care professionals with whom they plan to establish long-term care.
For more information on the Refugee Health Assessment Program in the state of Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/public-health-cdc-refugee-and-immigrant-health.html
To view the Istanbul Protocol: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/training8Rev1en.pdf
For more information on Massachusetts immigrant and refugee resettlement services:
Other local human rights organizations:
- Global Lawyers and Physicians (GLP): http://www.globallawyersandphysicians.org/
- Physicians for Human Rights (PHR): http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/
Forensic Medical Evaluation Group
The Boston University Forensic Medical Evaluation Group (FMEG) is a service for asylum seekers and others requiring documentation of prior ill-treatment. This innovative program is part of the Department of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and Global Lawyers and Physicians. It was cofounded in 2012 and is co-directed by Sondra Crosby and Elizabeth Rourke. FMEG offers evaluation and documentation of physical and psychological evidence of torture and abuse in a supportive and collaborative environment while working closely with attorneys. In addition to performing medical evaluations, FMEG is actively involved in academic work, including scholarly publications and advancing the field of torture documentation. FMEG teaches students (medical, law, and public health), nurses, medical residents, physicians, lawyers, and judges.
The Boston University Forensic Medical Evaluation Group's mission is to: provide independent forensic medical evaluations that are consistent with international best practices; increase accountability to perpetrators through documentation; and to further prevent future ill-treatment, therefore improving the public health. The FMEG places great value and emphasis on raising the level of quality, professionalism and standards in forensic medical evaluation in the United States.
If you are an asylum seeker:
- Referral from self or lawyer
- Once a referral has been initiated: Your lawyer will provide our clinical team with a statement that describes why you are seeking asylum, type of health insurance, and your BMC Medical Record Number.
- If you do not have a BMC medical record number, please call BMC registration at 617-414-5780.
- If you do not have health insurance, you can enroll by going to the Patient Financial Services Department in Shapiro in 3C.
- After the referral has been initiated: You will come to the Boston Medical Center Adult Primary Care Clinic and meet with the Forensics Medical & Evaluation team.
- Our clinical team will complete medical and psychological assessments & document any physical trauma such as scars by using diagrams and photographs.
- If you are a detainee in detention/custody or a lawyer assisting someone in detention/custody:
- BMC Forensics Medical & Evaluation Group assists individuals in custody/detention through the asylum process & varies with each specific case.
The FMEG program coordinator can be contacted at FMEG@bu.edu.