DDPHE Blog: Kudos to DDPHE Staff Supporting the Migrant Response

Published on January 23, 2024

Since Denver’s migrant response began in late 2022, our city has supported more than 37,000 families, children and individuals arriving from the southern border. Crucial to this response has been team members who have created, maintained and improved the systems that care for newcomers during a period of great transition and uncertainty in their lives.

An important piece of the migrant response is ensuring the health and safety of those who are arriving in Denver. As a result, Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) employees are heavily involved in providing services and resources to folks who are new to Denver.

DDPHE public health nurses and staff conduct public health screenings, assist those with physical and mental health concerns and provide care referrals to new arrivals at the welcome center. Since the middle of November 2023, DDPHE staff have conducted health screenings for over 4,300 migrants. In addition to providing routine immunizations, they respond to communicable disease cases to ensure immunizations and other interventions occur to stop outbreaks.

DDPHE public health investigators are on the scene to assess conditions where migrants are staying. In addition to providing resources such as warm weather gear, snacks, water, RTD passes, COVID-19 rapid tests, they act as city liaisons to make referrals for services. They travel to city-sponsored migrant shelters to conduct public health assessments and inspecting food vendors contracted by the city to provide food to city motel shelters for migrants.

From an administrative perspective, the DDPHE Emergency Preparedness and Response Department Operations Center (DOC) is activated and staffed daily to support migrant sheltering public health and medical needs. Our DOC works closely with partner organizations, including  the state health department, as well as other metro area local public health departments and hospitals. Additionally, to ensure strong communication and coordination for public health and medical needs in the migrant shelters, we have embedded an emergency response specialist with Denver Human Services, the city agency leading this effort.

The migrant response is truly a community effort, and we are so grateful to our DDPHE employees who are lending a hand to support. To see Denver’s migrant response by the numbers, visit the Migrant Shelter and Support dashboard. Learn more about the migrant response in the City and County of Denver at the Newcomer and Migrant Support webpage.