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Y-HEALAR was started in 2016 by a group of Pediatrics Residents at Yale with the mission of providing health literacy education to refugee families in New Haven. Residents had been seeing patients in their Pediatric Refugee Clinic, where they monitor development, get patients on a catch-up vaccine schedule, and provide anticipatory guidance, but they realized they had more to share than could be covered in a short clinic visit. So the group of residents worked with IRIS to establish Y-HEALAR.

IRIS is New Haven’s local refugee resettlement agency. The organization has welcomed more than 5000 refugees to CT since its founding in 1982, and, in recent years has resettled 200-500 refugees each year. Most recently, resettled refugees have been from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Congo.


We have been able to share our experience with others at national and international conferences, including the AAP, Eastern Society for Pediatric Research, and the North American Refugee Health conferences. We assess the effectiveness of each class as well as participant satisfaction with pre- and post-class content assessments, and have been able to incorporate this data into our research. Investigations are also ongoing into assessing the vaccination status of children in the New Haven refugee population and qualitatively assessing the effectiveness of our classes.