Refugee Health Program

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 refugee screening 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 (VOLAGS), local health departments and private providers. In Milwaukee, private providers work wih VOLAGS to complete refugee health screenings. 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.


Screening resources

Refugee statistics

DCF Refugee Services statistics (Wisconsin, national and global data)

Cultural information 

Background material from the Cultural Resource Center



Last Revised: December 21, 2016