Who We Are

The Refugee Health Unit is a part of the UC San Diego Center for Community Health and was started in 2017 as a response to the growing number of refugees in San Diego, which is home to the largest refugee population in the country to date. The unit was founded to help refugees preserve the amal they brought with them to San Diego.


We are focused on helping refugee communities overcome health inequalities 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.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to protect, promote and improve the physical, mental and financial well-being of the refugee population in San Diego County. 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

Vision Statement

We strive to reverse existing social and health disparities within San Diego’s refugee community.


San Diego has several Ethnic Community Based organizations 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.

We engage community residents, youth, and other community stakeholders in a collaborative process to address health disparities at multiple levels.

Get in Touch

Amina Sheik-Mohamed, MPH | Director

Email: asheikmohamed@ucsd.edu

Phone: (619) 681-0641


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