Who We Are
The Refugee Health Unit is a part of the UC San Diego Center for Community Health and was launched in 2017 in response to the growing number of refugees in San Diego, which is home to the largest refugee population in California to date.
We are focused on helping refugee communities overcome health inequities and improve their agency so individuals feel represented as a part of the larger community. We do this by working with representatives from Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBO) to help facilitate greater involvement and representation with the ultimate goal of ensuring equal access to all that San Diego has to offer its citizens. By deploying evidence-based health practices and translational research, our program aims to achieve health equity by focusing on all aspects of the social determinants of health.
Our mission is to provide research, evaluation, training, planning and program development services in support of community-based organizations and cross-sector partnerships that aim to improve health and wellness outcomes for San Diego’s refugee populations. Through collaboration with refugee-led organizations and agencies, we provide ongoing support by:
- Identifying and responding to emerging issues in refugee populations.
- Increasing engagement to enhance and extend reach
- Providing in depth analysis and resources to inform planning and practices
- Increasing capacity that supports effective interventions
San Diego has several Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBO’s) that are working to develop interventions that meet refugee needs. However, these organizations may not always have the resources necessary to sustain them.
We aim to work in collaboration with ECBOs to improve through evidence-based, culturally sensitive health education; partnerships that promote physical, emotional, and financial wellness; and participatory research to better understand and share with stakeholders the barriers to health and socioeconomic well being in the refugee community and how to overcome them.
We engage community residents, youth, and other community stakeholders in a collaborative process to address health disparities at multiple levels, and we welcome new initiatives and programs that show potential to improve access and equality for all our communities. If you would like to collaborate or reach out with a program idea, please contact us for further details.