The goal of the Virginia Newcomer Health Program (NHP) is to ensure that all refugees and other qualified individuals receive an initial health screening within 45 days of arrival to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
History of Program:
The Refugee and Immigrant Health Program (RIHP) was created by the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS), Office of Newcomer Services (ONS) following the passage of the United States Federal Refugee Act of 1980. This Act created a uniform system of services for refugees migrating to the United States. The Act entitles all newly arriving refugees and other qualified individuals to a variety of services including an initial health screening. In Virginia, these screenings are provided at local health departments (LHDs). In June 2004, the RIHP changed its name to the Newcomer Health Program (NHP) and is part of the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Clinical Epidemiology Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program.
What We Do:
In collaboration with LHDs and refugee resettlement agencies, the VDH NHP:
- Assures that all new refugees receive an initial health screening at a LHD within 45 days of their arrival in the United States
- Facilitates reimbursement to LHDs for provision of initial health screening services
- Provides education and training to public health providers and community partners on refugee-related issues
- Advocates for culturally competent care delivery and the use of qualified medical interpreters
- Collects data on refugee arrivals, including medical conditions identified during the initial health screening
- Receives notification from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) Electronic Disease Notification (EDN) System on individuals with classified TB conditions and assures follow up by LHDs
- Collects outcome data on immigrants with classified TB conditions and reports this data to CDC DGMQ
Refugee Health Screenings:
The health status of new arrivals is assessed through the initial health screening. This screening is often the first encounter new arrivals have with the US healthcare system. It provides the opportunity for early identification of communicable diseases and other health conditions that must be addressed to ensure successful resettlement.
For additional information, here for Services and Resources for Health Providers.
To access the Virginia Newcomer Health Program brochure, click here.