Boston Medical Center has long been a leader in recognizing that for our patients to be truly healthy, we cannot focus solely on their physical and mental wellbeing alone. We know that holistic health also requires us to address our patients’ access to social support, such as food and housing insecurity, legal needs or employment. The BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Center is able to connect our patients with a range of social support resources both at our hospital and in the greater Boston community in order to meet the unique social needs of immigrant and refugee patients. 

Immigration Legal Navigation

The Citizenship and Immigration Rights Navigator (CAIRN) is an immigration legal navigation resource available to all patients at Boston Medical Center. Our CAIRN personnel is able to connect patients to low cost legal services in the community that best address our patients’ various immigration legal concerns. This may include applying for work authorization, visa extensions, green cards, citizenship, asylum, TPS, DACA, or other special statuses. 

If you have questions for our Citizenship and Immigration Rights Navigator please contact them at [email protected] and 617.414.9366.

Forensic Medical Evaluation Group (FMEG)

The BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Center has trained forensic experts who can help our patients with the legal documentation associated with asylum application. Our Forensic Medical Evaluation Group (FMEG) aims to:

  1. Provide independent forensic medical evaluations that are consistent with international best practices.
  2. Increase accountability to perpetrators through documentation.
  3. Further prevent future ill-treatment, therefore improve the public health.

At this time, our FMEG program offers medical and psychological affidavits for established patients who receive their primary care at Boston Medical Center. Our process includes:

  • Consult: Our FMEG coordinator will coordinate with client’s attorney a consultation appointment with the Forensic Medical Evaluation team to assess their priority health needs and social circumstances. Prior to the consultation, we ask that the asylum-seeker's lawyer will provide our team with their declaration.
     
  • Evaluation: Our FMEG coordinator will coordinate with the client’s attorney for them to return to the clinic to complete medical and/or psychological evaluation and document any physical and/or psychological trauma. Evaluator will document any physical trauma such as scars by using diagrams and photographs. Please note psychological evaluation will require three to four visits with our evaluator.
     
  • Affidavit Drafting & Submission: Our evaluators will draft and finalize the client's affidavit. The affidavit will be submitted to the asylum-seeker's lawyer. 

Career Development

The Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights (BCRHHR) in the Dept. of Psychiatry has a long and robust history of offering career development services, which include career coaching, resume development, and advising on best practices for a US job search. In addition, they facilitate job readiness trainings, coordinate an online core job search program, and develop programs with internal stakeholders and employers to apply job readiness skills and generate opportunities for employment. For more information about the career development services offered through the BCRHHR, please visit their website.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

We partner with AES World Languages and Cultures Institute (AWLCI) to offer ESL training on-site and to refer patients off site. Our ESL tutoring program pairs BMC volunteers, who are trained by AWLCI, with individual patients to offer 1-1 tutoring. Our tutors can work with patients at any level of English proficiency to help them achieve their learning goals. 

Preventative Food Pantry

Many of our patients benefit from additional access to healthy foods. Created in 2001, the BMC Food Pantry works to address nutrition-related illness and under-nutrition for patients in need. Providers across the BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Center are able to provide referrals for our patients to access the BMC Food Pantry. For more information, please visit the Preventative Food Pantry website.