Rochester General Hospital
Special Projects Fund
May 2009 – August 2011DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT
Since the enactment of the U.S. Refugee Act in 1980, 3 million refugees have come to the United States, with up to 5,000 refugees arriving in New York State annually.
With 90% of these refugees resettling in upstate New York, the volume of new patients has put unprecedented financial strains on local health care systems. In response, providers have been forced to cease primary care services to refugees to avoid bankruptcy. Two health centers in Rochester closed their doors to new refugees because of the financial burden of providing services, and one center went bankrupt after developing a patient caseload of approximately 3,000 refugees.
By 2008, Rochester faced a crisis when no primary care practices were able to accept new refugees into care, despite the arrival of 800 new refugees each year. In 2009, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded a grant to Rochester General Hospital (RGH) to ensure access to primary care for refugees.