Washington state ranks third in the United States in the number of refugees it accepts. As a leader in the resettlement of refugees, identifying and addressing severe oral health disease is vital to early treatment and preventing further deterioration. With the generous support of Arcora Foundation, the Refugee Oral Health Project seeks to understand the processes of the initial refugee medical healthcare screening.
As of early December 2021, the team from the Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health at University of Washington has conducted initial virtual interviews with all seven clinics that are authorized to conduct initial medical screenings for newly arrived refugees in Washington state. All sites have been welcoming and open to collaborate on ways that refugees can have stable dental homes early in their resettlement journey in Washington state.
As part of our next phase, the team is currently conducting site visits to learn more about the refugee medical screening process at each clinic that will help in the implementation of strategies to aid the refugee community. Of relevance is that all seven clinics address oral health at some level, which is essential to identify severe oral health disease. The goal is to facilitate oral health integration into the resettlement process across Washington state, and establish dental homes.