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    Carol T. Lewis, MD, explains the plight of refugees and what the Refugee Health Clinic does to take care of them.

     

    Refugees must receive a comprehensive physical exam, required by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within 30 to 60 days of their arrival. Hasbro Children's Hospital's Refugee Health Clinic provides this initial exam and follow-up care to refugee children.

    Refugee resettlement is a team effort. The Refugee Clinic works closely with International Institute of Rhode Island (IIRI), a volunteer resettlement agency that provides many services, including educational training, job placement and assistance finding housing.

    Staff at the Refugee Clinic work closely with others in various departments of Hasbro Children's Hospital, such as Psychiatry, The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center, and Interpreter Services. Clinic interpreters, many of them former refugees, provide interpretation of some of the world's most obscure languages. They also act as drivers, educators, health promoters, and navigators in a health care system that is foreign and often overwhelming to newcomers.

    The diversity of the refugee population provides an enriched environment for the hospital's residents who are interested in global health.