Image source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

UkraineSince the start of the war, over 4.6 million have fled their home in Ukraine. The recent announcement from the Biden Administration allowing 100,000 refugees from Ukraine to settle in the U.S. and the increasing number of Ukrainian asylum seekers presenting at the U.S. border have placed Family Health Centers of San Diego in a unique position to meet the health service needs of this population. The Asylum Seeker Health Surveillance (ASHS) program is underway at FHCSD providing health screenings, health assessments and support for enrollment in Medi-Cal for asylum seekers from Ukraine and elsewhere.

Comprehensive case management
In 2016, after growing up in Pakistan as a refugee, I moved to Kabul with my family with high hopes and big dreams for my country. Soon after, my parents left for the U.S., and I started studying at the American University of Afghanistan. When I graduated, I worked as a finance officer at an accounting firm before moving on to local fitness center. I’m passionate about health and fitness, and I eventually got promoted to studio manager, where I supported clients’ goals with workout routines and diet plans.

Because my siblings and parents were U.S. citizens and legal residents, I had an approved immigration petition to the United States. At the time of Kabul’s fall to the Taliban, my remaining family members and I were evacuated from Kabul to the U.S. As part of my settlement process, my two younger siblings and I were referred to Family Health Centers of San Diego for our medical examinations.
The quality of service and helpful staff left me impressed.

After discussing my circumstances with my case manager at FHCSD, he encouraged me to apply for any vacant positions. In March 2022, I joined FHCSD as a case manager. Today, I am proud to say I am part of an organization that is making a difference by helping newly arrived refugees in San Diego with their medical needs.

-Abuzar Samoon, Case Manager

There is a fundamental level of empathy, attentiveness and compassion required to serve a community recently displaced, in most cases, from uncontrolled political circumstances. Being a part of the Refugee Clinic has granted me the opportunity to provide clinical care that is rewarding and fulfilling on a consistent basis.Emem Brown, PA

Founded in 2020, Family Health Centers of San Diego’s Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP) sees refugees, asylum seekers and special immigrant visa holders at our Refugee Services Clinic. The RHAP partners with local refugee resettlement agencies, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, and the California Department of Public Health.

For more information, contact or call (619) 906-5363.