Alameda Health System’s (AHS) refugee clinic at Eastmont Wellness has deep roots in the community we serve. Established in 1983 it has been providing inclusive and culturally sensitive health care to more than 500,000 refugees from around the world each year since its founding.

“Our refugee clinic supports those who have experienced traumatizing displacement from their homes and we welcome them to Alameda County by supporting their total health and wellness,” said Jessica Wang, MD, ambulatory medical director, Eastmont Wellness.

Refugee populations change with world events so our planning for the needs of new groups of refugees is a continuous process. It’s clear through increasing reports in the media of migrants being sent to California from other states without notification, planning or preparations in place, the need for health care services for those seeking refuge has never been greater.

Earlier this month a group of Latin American migrants aboard two chartered private planes landed in Sacramento from New Mexico without warning or preparations in place to care for them. Last week, 40 migrants including children arrived from Texas. Stories like these are becoming more and more common across the United States.

At the refugee clinic at Eastmont Wellness, the goal is to support refugees as they transition to self-sufficiency by helping them achieve and maintain good health through prevention, early detection and management of chronic disease conditions.

The medical staff provides health screenings for newly arrived refugees, people granted asylum, those with special immigrant Visas and victims of human trafficking. The services include comprehensive physical and psychological health evaluations, lab testing of infectious and parasitic diseases, immunizations, and connecting them to AHS primary care providers and external mental health partner clinics.

Refugees are referred to the clinic in various ways including from their voluntary resettlement agencies like the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Oakland, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the California Office of Refugee Health, Catholic Charities East and many more. In addition, some patients walk into the clinic requesting health screenings.

The clinic treats patients who have come from around the world including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nepal, Myanmar, Iraq, Sudan, Uganda, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ukraine and Syria. They represent the plight of millions of people who are forced to leave their homes because of violence, war and persecution.

We invite everyone to observe a moment of gratitude and reflect on the various ways that immigration has impacted you and your family, whether it is generations back or in your day-to-day lives.

During National Immigrant Heritage Month, AHS honors the rich contributions that immigrants have made and continue to make to the shared history and culture of the country and the communities we serve.