Refugee Health Partners

Who is a Refugee?

The Geneva Convention of the United Nations defines a refugee as "any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside of his country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." Refugees from diverse backgrounds are found all around world, having given up their homes, belongings, and, many times, their families, to live out uncertain futures in foreign lands. They are initially placed in camps varying in quality located in regions neighboring the strife-stricken countries they flee from. There, they face cultural intermingling, family restructuring, overcrowding, sanitation issues, and poor nourishment, before either resettlement in a foreign country or repatriating to their home lands. More than half of all admitted refugees are resettled into ten states, one of which is Pennsylvania. Since 1991, refugees from over thirty countries have resettled in Pennsylvania, with over 400 new refugees resettling between 2019 and 2020. An estimated 14.0% of the population of Philadelphia County is comprised of foreign-born residents, including refugees.


Refugee Health Partners (RHP) aims to empower refugees to be active participants in their own community and healthcare, as well as foster culturally-conscious care within the Jefferson community.  We accomplish this by fulfilling needs in the refugee community through programs including screenings and education at community health fairs, tutoring, engaging senior citizens in the community, and more. We also host educational talks for the Jefferson community throughout the year. Any Jefferson student is eligible to be a member of RHP and can engage with the organization through a variety of yearly community outreach programs.

Interested Jefferson students are encouraged to sign-up on our list-serv to stay updated on future events. Please email to be added!

RHP Executive Leadership

Shreya Swaminathan

Jamie Nassur