Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay: Contra Costa Refugee Health Project 

Refugees who are currently resettling in Contra Costa County include former translators for US troops in Afghanistan and members of the LGBTQ community, mostly from African and Middle Eastern countries. Many arrive traumatized, struggling to cope with complex medical and mental health issues that have gone untreated or undertreated, and having to confront a health care system in which there are both language and cultural barriers.

With this in mind, in July 2016 the John Muir/Mt. Diablo Community Health Fund (CHF), awarded Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS) East Bay a $114,000 grant to develop a health education curriculum for training and strengthening the ability of its social work staff and community partner organizations to provide high-quality health information and health access to newly arriving refugees. 

Specifically, the grant supports a one-year plan to develop the curriculum and forge sustainable partnerships with other community health services that can help 145 newly arriving refugees successfully access the health services they need in culturally appropriate ways. Expected outcomes include:

  • Development of a standard curriculum and protocols that JFCS will use to train its current staff and volunteers and then refine for use with future staff and for professional development programs with partner organizations
  • Creation of:
    • A partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a local community health clinic
    • A partnership MOU with a community mental health partner
    • A liaison relationship with Contra Costa Health Services
    • At least three collaborative relationships with local community-based organizations serving new refugees
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