Immigrants and refugees

  • People who live, work or study in Alameda and Contra Costa counties
  • 72% percent of the region’s African Americans and 43.2% of Hispanics live in the East Bay.
  • Countries of origin of current participants:
    • Asia: China, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet, Vietnam
    • South Asia: India
    • Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea
    • South & Central America: Columbia, El Salvador, Mexico
  • 72% are foreign trained in healthcare professions

Healthcare Employers

DHTI creates partnerships with healthcare employers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties who share commitment not only to the successful employment of immigrants and refugees but also to having a diverse and culturally competent group of employees.

Current partners are:

  • Alameda Health System
  • Asian Health Services
  • Family Bridges
  • Kaiser Permanente. 

For information about becoming a Healthcare Employer Partner, please contact Executive Director Beatrice Lee at

Healthcare Educators

DHTI also creates partnerships with community colleges and other educators in the Alameda and Contra Costa counties who administer degree and certificate programs for allied healthcare professions. Our partners share our commitment to successful completion and employment by their immigrant and refugee students.

Current partners are:

  • Berkeley Adult School
  • The English Center
  • Merritt College

For information about becoming a Health Educator Partner, please contact Executive Director Beatrice Lee at


Student Testimonial

When you first meet M. you are struck by her determination and quiet strength. An immigrant from Eritrea, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area barely one year ago. Her husband stayed behind to hold together the family of four young children.

Eritrea is a small country of 6.3 million people (similar to the size of the Bay Area) stretched out on the shores of the Red Sea and sharing borders with unstable the countries of Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

According to BBC, Eritrea emerged from its long war of independence in 1993 only to plunge once again into military conflict, first with Yemen and then, more devastatingly, with its old adversary, Ethiopia. Facing instability and unrest, many Eritreans have chosen immigration to the U.S., a choice M. made as well.

M. was trained and employed in Eritrea as a medical lab technician and her goal in the U.S. is to continue in that profession, but she will need to improve her English language skills, meet the more stringent U.S. requirements for licensing and learn to drive first. Unselfish and always concerned about the well-being of others, M. works hourly work as a Certified Nursing Assistant while also attending classes.

M. plans to attend the Merritt College Nursing program, a 3-4 year program. To meet the requirements for limited financial aid, she will have to have her green card verifying her immigration status and provide documentation to get her Eritrean education credentials accepted.

M. misses her husband and family every day but remains optimistic. She says it is very had to find a job but, if you want to improve your education, you can.