Social Emergency Medicine & Health Equity

Our Mission

To integrate emergency department patients’ social needs and larger structural context into emergency care and related research, education, and advocacy, with the goal of increasing health equity.

What is Social Emergency Medicine? 

Social emergency medicine is an emerging branch of emergency medicine that explores the interplay of social forces and the emergency care system as they influence the health of individuals and their communities. Social emergency medicine recognizes that in many cases, typical fixes such as prescriptions and follow-up visits are not enough; the need for housing, a safe neighborhood in which to exercise or socialize, or access to healthy food must be identified and addressed before patients’ health can be restored. (Excerpted from H.J. Alter, P. Dalawari, K.M. Doran, M.C. Raven (editors), Social emergency medicine: Principles and practice. Springer; 2021).


The Social Emergency Medicine and Health Equity Section is a diverse group of healthcare professionals working at the intersection of emergency medicine and social conditions who are committed to advancing health equity within the emergency medicine setting. Our section comprises:

Dr Maria Raven Headshot
Dr. Maria Raven
, Director

Dr Hemal Kanzaria headshot
Dr. Hemal Kanzaria, Director

Mel Molina

Dr. Mel Molina, Associate Director


Theresa Cheng

Dr. Theresa Cheng, Associate Director



Other members of our section include:


Our section is open to interested faculty, trainees, and staff in the Department of Emergency Medicine across all UCSF sites. Benefits of membership include:

  • Collaborating with and receiving mentorship from other section members 
  • Getting involved in ongoing and new social emergency medicine and health equity projects  
  • Membership in a community of practice  
  • Introductions to external research opportunities and collaborations 
  • Support for funding applications and academic output