The Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights grew out of the International Mental Health Program established in 1995 by Dr. Piwowarczyk. The program is an interdisciplinary collaboration that was founded in 1998 by Susan Akram, JD, Associate Professor of Law, Paul Geltman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Michael A. Grodin, MD, Professor of Health Law, Psychiatry, and Socio-Medical Sciences and Community Medicine, Terence Keane, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Alejandro Moreno, MD, Instructor of Medicine, Raul Garcia, DMD, CAGS, MMSc, Professor, Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and Linda Piwowarczyk, MD, MPH, Instructor of Psychiatry. The Center is a member of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP).
BCRHHR’s mission is to provide holistic health care coordinated with social services and legal aid for asylum seekers, refugees, survivors of torture, and their families. The Center also trains professionals to serve this population, conduct research to understand and implement best-practices, and promote health and human rights, locally and globally, to improve the quality of life for survivors of torture and their communities.
In 2017, BCRHHR saw 407 clients from around the globe, with the majority coming from Africa. Over fifty percent of the Center’s clients are highly educated with a college degree or higher. Many were doctors, lawyers, judges, pastors or other important members of their home communities but they were targeted due to their beliefs or because of who they are. BCRHHR helps these resilient refugees and asylum seekers who are all survivors of trauma by building back their confidence, providing mental health and case management services and enrolling them in career development programs. The Center has seen nearly 3,000 people to date and will continue to see many more with the support of donors like you.