international institute afghan refugee grant

Federal agency awards $388,437 to Affinia Healthcare for health services for Afghan, other refugees

Continuing the mission upon which it was founded in 1906, Affinia Healthcare has been awarded a grant to serve Afghan refugees relocating to the St. Louis area.

The grant totaling $388,438 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).  Funds awarded will support Affinia Healthcare’s culturally and linguistically appropriate health education, navigation and care coordination towards the immediate and long-term physical and mental health needs for Afghan refugees included under the USCRI guidelines for this program,

To assist refugees and other groups who are eligible for Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Program and are entitled to health coverage benefits to the same extent as refugees, it is critical to ensure newcomers can understand and access the U.S. healthcare system. In addition, increasing non-clinical services for individuals and families is vital to enhancing the wellbeing of these populations.

“Immigrants arriving in our city are often fleeing traumatic situations and whatever health concerns they may have had, are exacerbated by the stress of long travel, separation from friends and family, and finding housing and employment,” said Dr. Kendra Holmes, Affinia Healthcare President & CEO. “We are extremely honored to continue the mission of our founders, and look forward to providing vital healthcare services and support to these communities.”

This latest grant builds upon previous partnerships to serve immigrant communities, including:

  • In March 2023, the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis awarded Affinia Healthcare at $63,000 to provide immigrants healthcare services.
  • In April 2023, Affinia Healthcare announced a partnership with the Al Taqwa Islamic Center to provide healthcare services to its members, which includes Muslim immigrants to the U.S.
  • USCRI grant awarded in 2018 and renewed in 2023, to provide initial health examinations, immunizations and primary care for newly arrived refugees.

Affinia Healthcare serves as the primary care home for many of the newly arrived refugees and other immigrants who often lack health insurance access, caring for over 4,000 immigrants on an annual basis. During 2022, Affinia Healthcare saw more than 700 new refugees and anticipates approximately 800 new arrivals in the current fiscal year (Oct. 22, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023), the majority being from Afghanistan, in addition to other immigrants. The number of new immigrant patients at Affinia Healthcare is expected to significantly increase this year, as the International Institute of St. Louis, the local refugee relocation agency, anticipates receiving another 800 Afghan refugees and other refugees.