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Family Health Center of Worcester

Refugee and Asylum Care

Refugee Clinic - domestic clinical work is based at Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW), a local FQHC with an affiliation with UMass. Within FHCW the fellow will mostly work at the Refugee Clinic – a clinic dedicated to comprehensive care of newly arrived refugees, asylees and asylum seekers. The fellow will perform initial health assessments as required by the Department of Public Health for newly arrived refugees and persons newly granted asylum. These patients will then become part of the fellow’s patient panel providing the opportunity to guarantee continuity of care – not only clinical management of chronic and acute conditions and routine preventative care services but health education and health literacy teaching to a population coming from backgrounds of very different health care structures. The fellow will also have an opportunity to interact and teach medical students and family medicine residents who rotate in Refugee Clinic. Monthly team meetings have dedicated time for teaching.   

Refugee Clinic is a committed team including care coordination, medical assistants, scheduler as well as integrated behavioral health. We work in close collaboration with the Department of Public Health, the resettlement agencies as well as various local organizations working with refugees. We send representatives to regular meetings attended by all the key players in local refugee resettlement. Our clinic model is fairly new and we are continuously evolving to improve our practices. Attendance to the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARCH) is highly recommended to keep up to date on best practices and new developments in the field. Our team has had presentations at NARCH multiple years on a variety of projects led by fellows in collaboration with the rest of the team. 

Asylum Medicine - the fellow will have an opportunity to get trained and mentored to do forensic medical evaluations for asylum seekers. This is a unique opportunity to explore medicolegal collaboration as well as human rights work. These documents can significantly improve an asylum seeker’s chances to have asylum granted. Previous fellow has been leading a project to establish a Worcester based asylum medicine clinic.