About the Toolkit:
The Immigrant Health Toolkit offers a range of health care-focused resources for organizations serving immigrant communities in Massachusetts. The idea for this Toolkit arose in early 2017 when medical providers and community organizations began reporting that immigrant patients were avoiding or delaying health care services due to fears of intensified immigration enforcement. Since that time, the federal government’s threatening rhetoric and actions toward immigrants – both perceived and actual – have further ratcheted up fear in our communities. The goal of the Immigrant Health Toolkit is to equip medical and social service providers with, 1) background information about immigrants’ legal rights, 2) resources for immigrants seeking legal and advocacy help, 3) up-to-date news about government actions affecting access to care or coverage, and 4) an entry point into campaigns that are fighting back.
The Immigrant Healthcare Access Coalition (IHAC) brings together more than 80 organizations from across Massachusetts to advocate collectively for improvements in health care and coverage for immigrants. IHAC members represent a diverse array of expertise, from health care and immigration policy wonks and legal aid lawyers, to medical providers and community organizations delivering direct services to immigrant populations. The Coalition was founded in December 2014 by Health Law Advocates (HLA). In 2017, Health Care For All (HCFA) and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) joined HLA as members of the IHAC Steering Committee. During the past couple of years, we have focused on issues including preserving immigrants’ eligibility for MassHealth and the Health Connector, language access barriers, and access to long-term care services. Recently, we have turned our energies to developing the Toolkit and responding to proposed changes in “public charge” admissibility rules.
This project is possible thanks to commitments and funding from Jane's Trust, the Miller Foundation and the MetroWest Health Foundation.