Iowa is home to nearly 10,000 refugees from Burma, as well as growing Congolese, Eritrean and Syrian communities. Many refugees have lived in settlement camps for most of their lives and arrive with complex medical and/or mental health histories after years of little to no access to health care.
REACH aims to improve the quality of care for refugees while reducing the cost of care and health disparities in Iowa.
Because of language and cultural barriers, many do not have the capacity to complete everyday tasks, such as scheduling doctor visits, reading hospital bills, or following instructions for medication or other forms of follow-up care. In addition, 12 mutually unintelligible languages and dialects are spoken within the community of refugees from Burma alone, which can make finding appropriate translation services even more challenging.
Making health accessible for all refugees through support, education, interpretation and career opportunities.
Our newly resettled Iowans not only lack understanding and familiarity with the modernized and intricate health systems of the United States — they also lack access to linguistically appropriate and culturally relevant support to help them learn how to navigate these systems. EMBARC’s REACH program was created to close this gap.