UVNR has worked on building and expanding institutional relationships and collaborations in order to make Albuquerque a welcoming home for newcomers. Our staff participates in various community meetings and events with other nonprofit organization and government agencies who also work with newcomers in New Mexico. Through these collaborations, UVNR and its partners work to provide better services to newcomers and increase their overall quality of life in New Mexico.
In addition, with the support of the Con Alma Health Foundation, we are working to improve language access for refugees in Central NM through a strategic systems-change effort focused on Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) District and University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH).
By collaborating with key networks, engaging refugees as leaders in the language access movement, and developing policy briefs, UVNR works to:
1) change APS policy from one that only provides interpretation for limited-English-proficient (LEP)parents to one that also provides interpretation for LEP youth for mental, behavioral, advising, and disciplinary reasons; and
2) change UNMH protocol to make in-person interpretation by UVNR certified interpreters available for refugees from the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq for certain key health areas .
These two urgent policy/practice changes were identified by refugee families and leaders as key priorities and critical components of the work needed to reduce existing health disparities.