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A collection of best and promising practices

We have compiled best and promising practices from local governments, community-based organizations, clinics and others across the country that have successfully reached refugee, immigrant and migrant communities in their public health efforts. Each toolkit has a selection of these practices as well as checklists, guides, event plans, and other practical tools to help you replicate these efforts in your communities. 

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Case Investigation + Contact Tracing

Case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) is an important tool for controlling the spread of COVID-19. CICT among RIM communities may be improved through strategies and approaches that are tailored to working with these groups. By embracing community engagement and partnerships, and taking into account cultural and linguistic considerations, you can ensure your CICT efforts are successful.

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Doctor administers vaccine to child who is sitting calmly in his mother's lap

Clinicians' Corner

Clinicians are key partners in addressing health needs of patients and communities. There are some unique clinical considerations when working with patients from refugee, immigrant and migrant communities. With this toolkit, you can learn techniques for offering care with cultural humility, access tools and reference guides for delivering clinical care, and engage with NRC-RIM fact sheets, conversation guides and toolkits for patient education. 

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A communications strategy that carefully considers the cultural and linguistic needs of refugees, immigrants and migrants (RIM) is essential to any public health effort. Learn how to define your audience, leverage traditional and social media, crowd source videos and refine your messages so they not only reach the communities you serve, but remain memorable and effective.

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Community Engagement

Refugees, immigrants and migrants have made important contributions to communities across the United States, and they have shown remarkable strength and resilience. Involving the communities you serve in your planning and decision-making practices will only enhance the services you offer. Members of any community know best how to communicate with their peers, which is why we advocate for community involvement as a central element to any COVID-19 response. 

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Community Health Worker

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the persistent inequities in healthcare throughout American society. Community Health Workers (CHWs), as trusted members of the community and experts in community health, are critical for advancing health equity. CHWs should be engaged as necessary partners throughout several key activities of the local COVID-19 response strategy, including but not limited to contact tracing, healthcare coordination, community-based testing, vaccine readiness education, and the navigation of social resources.

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Employer Engagement

One of the ways we can reduce these health disparities is by ensuring all workers, and in particular workers in essential jobs, have workplace safety protections. Both employers and their partners in community organizations can take steps to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 in the workplace. Businesses that employ RIM community members can be great partners in COVID-19 testing initiatives, distributing appropriate health education materials, creating a safe work environment, and supporting public health interventions such as vaccination and case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) efforts. 

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Healthy Spaces

One way to change health systems is to ensure spaces are set up to honor people in RIM communities and support the trusted relationships that are needed to have conversations about healthcare that ultimately lead to behavior change. Earning clients’ trust begins as soon as they enter a space; it must feel welcoming and relatable in order to create a sense of belonging and safety. As staying up to date on COVID-19 boosters and catching up on routine vaccinations becomes more important, having a thoughtfully designed space can ultimately support healthier communities.

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Mothers x Mothers and Refugee Women’s Network co-designed a health meetup called Mothers x Mothers with a group of refugee and immigrant women to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in their communities. With this toolkit, organizations can plan and implement their own Mothers x Mothers meetup groups. The elements of the toolkit are informed and tested by mothers’ experiences, and create the conditions to have a judgement-free conversation around the vaccine among mothers. It’s all about connection, belonging, and autonomy. 

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Strategic partnerships that involve community-based organizations, faith communities and public health professionals can make any initiative more efficient and effective. Learn how to identify community partners and establish relationships that can help you reach your mutual goals.

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Schools and School Partners

As schools across the country are going back in session this fall for in-person learning, consider partnering with your local school district to promote COVID-19 vaccines, testing and contact tracing among teachers, staff, families, and eligible students. NRC-RIM has resources, fact sheets, and best practices to support your efforts.

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Man in face mask holds negative COVID test


Widespread testing for COVID-19 can help stop the spread, because it allows people who are infected to isolate sooner and start treatment earlier. Effective communication and planning is essential to ensure your testing program reaches refugee, immigrant and migrant communities in your area. 

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