DEMOCRACY SCHOOL 2019: BUILDING HEALTH CARE POWER IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES
Last Saturday, Health Care For All (HCFA), in partnership with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and Health Law Advocates (HLA), implemented a training under the title “Democracy School 2019: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities”. Even though it was a beautiful day in Boston, 35 people - including advocates, community leaders and members, immigration and medical providers - chose to spend their Saturday attending the session and learning more about the struggles our immigrant communities face to live productive and healthy lives in the current environment.
This session was part of a coordinated, ongoing effort to inform immigrants and the groups that serve them about their health care rights. It also aimed to dispel the growing fear and mistrust within immigrant communities that is preventing many individuals and families from seeking the health care services they need - when they need them.
The training went over important topics that combine immigration and health care such as: immigrants’ health care rights, the state of immigrants in Massachusetts and state efforts to protect them, immigrant eligibility for health insurance, how to apply for health insurance, understanding the proposed rule on “pubic charge” and other potentially damaging policies impacting immigrants’ use of benefits, and how to access and navigate the immigrant health toolkit. The evaluations were very positive, participants were very engaged and had interesting questions regarding the topics laid out.Thank you Liza Ryan (MIRA), Vicky Pulos (MLRI), Justin Lowe (HLA),
HCFA is committed to ensure that all participants have access to the resources they need to provide accurate information to our immigrant communities regarding their health care rights. Many of the attendees submitted written questions that we are currently working on getting appropriate answers for. We will upload all the documents - presentations, fact sheets and Q&As - on the immigrant health toolkit on https://www.hcfama.org/immigrant-health in the next weeks. Feel free to reach out to Rosana Gijsen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more inquiries that were not addressed during the session or if you want to get involved in the Immigrant Health Care Access Project (IHAP).