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Support for Burn Patients and Families

Call for More Info
  • Eli Strait at 619-543-2352
  • Kate Hamelin at 619-471-9458
​Burn injuries can be devastating. You may experience physical, emotional, social and financial challenges associated with your injury or the injury of a loved one.

For severe burns, seek treatment at UC San Diego Health Regional Burn Center.

UC San Diego Health offers several free programs to encourage, inform and bring together burn survivors.

School Re-Entry Program

The School Re-Entry Program helps children returning to school after sustaining a burn injury by preparing classmates and teachers for the child’s return.

The program is designed to help classmates and teachers:

  • Understand more about burns and burn prevention
  • Encourage accepting behavior toward the burn survivor
  • Provide an opportunity for classmates to express their feelings about the child's injury

For more information on school re-entry, see Child Life Program.

Youth Programs for Burn Survivors

UC San Diego Health's Child Life Program hosts activities, outings and events for kids in the rehabilitation phase of their burn recovery, and beyond. Throughout the year our youth programs provide a therapeutic recreational and safe setting for children to be together, find support and have fun.

Programs include but are not limited to:

  • Field trips to entertainment parks
  • Beach outings
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Movie nights

Please email Kate Hamelin if you and your child would like to receive information about upcoming activities.

Adult Programs for Burn Survivors

For more information about these free support programs for adults, email Linda Colarusso.


SOAR stands for "survivors offering assistance in recovery" and is a national survivor support program developed by health care professionals and burn survivors.

This program facilitates one-on-one support for burn survivors and loved ones affected by burn injury. Peer support volunteers offer an opportunity to speak with someone who has traveled a similar journey. SOAR is recommended by the American Burn Association.

All volunteers are trained by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors after meeting the following requirements:

  • At least one year after discharge from the hospital
  • Complete application
  • Interview with a Burn Center psychologist and staff

It is strongly recommended that potential SOAR supporters attend a World Burn Congress hosted by the Phoenix Society prior to applying for the program. All SOAR volunteers must meet the additional volunteer requirements. See how to become a volunteer at UC San Diego Health.

Long-Term Support Group

We collaborate with the Burn Institute, which organizes several free programs for burn survivors and their families, including adult and family retreats, outings and support groups.

Burn-Related Organizations and Resources

  • Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation
    California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing burns and fires and providing services to people of all ages who have been affected by burn injury.
  • American Burn Association
    Responsible for developing national standards for the care of patients with burns, and supporting burn-related research, education, care, rehabilitation and prevention.
  • Burn Institute
    Dedicated to burn injury prevention and survivor support programs in San Diego and Imperial counties.
  • Burn Survivor Resource Community
    Links to organizations dedicated to assisting burn survivors and their families.
  • NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences
    Brief Q&A fact sheet on burns and more online resources.
  • Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
    Resources for burn survivors, their friends and loved ones, firefighters and medical professionals.
  • U.S. Fire Administration
    Educational material on home fires, cooking fires, heating and fireplace safety. Information for media, kids and schools. Statistics and government publications.

Appointments & Referrals

Regional Burn Center Location


Burn Specialists

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