Refugee Services Offers Covid-related Support
The Coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty and a new set of difficulties for living daily life for each and every person. We are so grateful that the Minnesota Department of Health and Refugee Programs Office have recognized how the pandemic has affected refugee and asylee communities. For recent arrivals, the sudden plunge into lock-downs and frequent shifts in how different businesses, clinics, and stores are operating, it’s been especially bewildering. Most individuals who have recently arrived as refugees have little or no experience with the health system in the US, and they were just learning how to navigate their community in ways that tend to be very centered on in-person meetings and resource access.
Following our outreach efforts making COVID information calls to over 600 refugees across Minnesota this summer and fall, we are now officially beginning our partnership with the state’s brand new COVID Care Navigator hotline. We are proud to represent 4 of the 18 professionals in this state-wide collaborative where we will be providing on-demand COVID information, resource connections, and health system navigation assistance. What might that include? We’re glad you asked!
We’ll be providing a wide range of COVID assistance including: information about where and how to get COVID testing, arranging for transportation and translation for COVID-related appointments, help with health billing issues, resources and assistance for managing COVID quarantine or isolation, and providing information on COVID prevention. COVID Care Navigators will also follow-up to make sure that connections have been successful and individuals are receiving the support they need.
The state-wide group of COVID Care Navigators is both geographically and linguistically diverse, serving many refugee, asylee, and immigrant populations across Minnesota. Because of the wide reach of this hotline, MCC Refugee Services is excited to have the opportunity to work with a wider group of individuals than our programs usually assist. We are also grateful to to be partnering with a network of other providers during this historic time.
The COVID Care Navigators at MCC are:
Muwafaq joined MCC this year to provide COVID-related outreach, education, and navigation to clients and community members. He has also worked as a professional freelance medical interpreter and personal care assistant for the past 10 years.
Ruth is a Community Navigator at MCC Mankato. Her work includes both general social service navigation and navigation of COVID-related supports, along with significant education to South Sudanese and Ethiopian community members. She assesses clients' needs, identifies and connects clients to health and basic needs resources, and helps clients fill out public assistance applications and access county supports.
Nimo is a Refugee Specialist at MCC Metro. Since April she has worked to provide COVID-19 outreach and education, assessing clients' needs related to COVID-19, and helping clients navigate health and other resources to meet these needs. At MCC, working also in resettlement, she has connected clients to medical care, COVID testing sites, and health resources.
Raahmo is a Community Navigator at MCC Mankato. She provides COVID-19 outreach and education, assesses clients' needs related to COVID-19, and helps clients navigate health and other resources to meet these needs. Previously she has worked as a health outreach worker for refugee elders, in which she attended medical appointments with clients, helped clients understand medication, filled out benefits and disability paperwork, set up client transportation, and conducted home visits. Read more about Raahmo here!