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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Communicable  Diseases Subjects A-Z _________



Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Refugee Health

Refugee Health Program

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In collaboration with refugee resettlement agencies, local health departments, and private health care providers, Wisconsin's Refugee Health Program:
  • Assures all new refugees receive a comprehensive health assessment upon U.S. arrival.  
  • Coordinates refugee health screening services with federal and state refugee resettlement partners.
  • Supplies public health providers with information on specific health concerns of various refugee populations.
  • Advocates for culturally competent care and the use of appropriately qualified medical interpreters for quality assurance.
  • Coordinates refugee health concerns with other programs within the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

An individual identified as a refugee, asylee, Cuban/Haitian entrant,
 victim of trafficking, or Amerasian is eligible for refugee health screening. 

Health screening

Refugee health screening is a thorough physical exam that includes comprehensive communicable disease screening.

The purpose of refugee medical screening is:

  • To ensure follow-up of medical issues identified in the refugee's overseas medical screening.
  • To identify persons with communicable diseases of potential public health importance.
  • To enable successful resettlement by identifying personal health conditions that could adversely affect the refugee's ability to resettle.
  • To refer refugees to a primary care provider for ongoing health care.

In Wisconsin, refugee screening is often a collaboration between the voluntary resettlement agencies, local health departments and private providers. Local health departments have contracts with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Refugee Programs Section. DCF Refugee Services reimburses local health departments for services provided with federal Refugee Medical Assistance funds.  Private providers bill Medicaid directly for the services they provide.

Refugees and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

A video is available on the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). It highlights health insurance options from the Affordable Care Act for refugees . The video is available in English, Sgaw Karen, Arabic, Somali, Nepali, and Kinyarwanda.

New! Women's Health Videos now available

ORR is pleased to present a four-part video series, Somali Refugee Women: Learn about your Health! The goal of the 4-part video series is to educate Somali women refugees about a variety of health issues that can affect and possibly save their lives, including reproductive health, diet and exercise, cancer screening, prenatal care and pregnancy, and other health topics. Check them out on ACF's YouTube channel.



Wisconsin Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies

Respiratory Diseases and International Health Unit

   Lorna Will - Program Director 
      Norma Denbrook - Dispensary and interjurisdictional transfers
      Jo Mercurio - Office operations
      Savitri Tsering - Refugee Health Coordinator 
      Pa Vang - TB nurse consultant 
      Philip Wegner - TB nurse consultant


Last Revised: April 07, 2014