Refugee Women's Health Clinic
The Refugee Women’s Health Clinic center provides access to comprehensive, culturally sensitive care for refugee women in and around Phoenix.
MIHS’s Refugee Women’s Health Clinic is the only one of its kind nationwide dedicated to reaching out to the underserved. We support the mission of refugee resettlement – which is to promote self-sufficiency in newly-arrived populations.
Arizona hosts over 70,000 refugees with an average of 2,000 refugees arriving each year. Approximately half of the resettled refugees are women and girls.
Incoming refugees often lack the knowledge of how to navigate the U.S. healthcare system and bring with them misconceptions and myths regarding western medicine. These issues, combined with language barriers, low literacy, and cultural differences, often compound fear and distrust of the healthcare system. This can lead to low health-seeking behavior amongst refugee women, resulting in poor maternal and neonatal outcomes.
The caring staff at the RWHC is sensitive to the physical, psychological, and social health needs of refugees, providing integrated care to help them overcome their previous, sometimes traumatic, experiences. MIHS specifically employs members of the refugee community within the RWHC as Cultural Health Navigators who act as liaisons between the health care system and patients. Maximizing the level of care as well as the comfort of the clinic environment, these invaluable members of the clinic team are both multilingual and multicultural, offering in-person interpretation services to patients in out- and inpatient care settings.
The main purpose of the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic is to provide culturally grounded and language appropriate health services to the growing refugee and immigrant community in the Phoenix metropolitan area, while working to reduce/eliminate health inequalities and cultural barriers to care.
Since opening in 2008, the clinic has enhanced the access to culturally-skilled women’s health care by providing more than 9,000 obstetric and gynecological appointments, with high levels of patient satisfaction and return for repeat services. Patients have come from 53 different countries speaking more than 49 different languages.
In addition to health services, the clinic’s monthly educational classes help soon-to-be moms better plan for childbirth and the care of their newborn. Through grant funding opportunities, the clinic has also provided specialty educational programs such as physical activity and nutrition classes, breast cancer and mammography awareness-raising activities and sexual health education focus groups.