The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) Refugee Health Program of Colorado (RHPC) was established in 1980 to aid refugee populations fleeing physical and political persecution in their homeland. Funding is received from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP). Approximately 2,600 refugees arrive each year in Colorado. The majority re-settle in the Denver/Metro area. Refugees also re-settle in Boulder, Larimer, Weld, and El Paso County.
Serving a widely diverse population, the RHPC provides newly arriving refugees with an initial public and mental health screening, referrals to local health agencies for care of abnormal medical conditions, immunizations, and health education. Services are provided to assist refugees in attaining self-sufficiency and contribute to their effective resettlement in Colorado in addition to ensuring that CDPHE is maintaining the health integrity of the residents of Colorado.
Refugees arrive in Colorado from all corners of the globe and from widely diverse backgrounds. Many held prominent positions prior to their resettlement, while others have had limited to no formal education. Integrating into American society can be a difficult experience. Language and cultural difference are obstacles that must be overcome in order to assimilate into the American fabric. Yet refugees work hard to join their new society and become productive and contributing citizens of Colorado.
Local resettlement agencies and the CRSP assist refugees with other resettlement activities including: locating housing, short-term vocational training, school for school aged children, English classes, and employment.