IRC New Jersey Launches Its Health Literacy Program
Navigating the health care system is a daunting task for anyone. Whether understanding insurance plan coverage or deciphering the complex and often misleading language used in correspondence, frustration is often inevitable.
For newly arrived refugees from countries such Cuba, Bhutan, Burma and Iraq, dealing with the U.S. health care system is beyond overwhelming. The crucial need to fill this gap resulted in the creation IRC-NJ's Health Literacy Program.
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, IRC-NJ began the first series of its Health Literacy Program in early March of this year. Classes run for a total of 10 weeks, during which students learn how to complete medical forms, make doctor's appointments, select health care providers and understand their overall rights as patients. Other components of the program focus on nutrition, communicable diseases and hygiene. Participants with extreme medical cases receive personalized attention to ensure their case is being treated adequately and with the necessary follow-up.
The program currently has close to 50 students enrolled.