Chicago community organizations team up to provide medical care to immigrants – NBC Chicago

Two brothers from Venezuela, Ismael and Ismel, recently visited a doctor for the first time since arriving in Chicago two months ago.

His mother, Maria Magdelena Andara, said the journey to the United States was not easy.

“They’re not actually in a medical situation, thank God,” said Yolanda Peña, founder of the Life Impactors Foundation, who helped translate Andara’s conversation with NBC Chicago.

“Both of my children have asthma, so I wanted to get some type of treatment for their asthma,” said Pena, who said Andara took her sons to the nearby apartment complex at 1520 North Kostner Avenue. I explained why I took him to North Health Center.

“Besides a job and housing, the biggest need is health care,” said Harry Peña, Yolanda’s husband and co-founder of the Life Impactors Foundation.

The organization helped arrange for Andara’s family and 40 other migrants to receive treatment at the Near North Health Center on Thursday.

“I’m an immigrant myself. I came to this country with my family, and as you all know, different people come with different needs. Many of our staff are children of immigrants.” , said Dr. Dan Vicencio, chief interim medical officer for multi-site Near North Health. Chicago location.

Vicencio, who came from the Philippines at age 3, now treats families arriving in Chicago with a variety of conditions.

“From trench foot and musculoskeletal problems to colds, flu, depression, and all kinds of problems that can and arise from sexual violence, these are the problems we’re seeing right now. The current workload,” he said.

Near North Health, which sees an average of 60 immigrants a day across multiple locations, is a federally qualified health center.

“That is the sole purpose for which we are here and for the community. We have certain resources available, but there is a need for the medical community to take on more of the burden. We also have community partners who are very philanthropic,” Vicencio said.

The influx of patients is increasing the need for more bilingual healthcare workers.

“We welcome skilled staff to support us at all of our locations across the city,” Vicencio said.

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