Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

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Monday, January 30

Genesee Free Clinic

        Latinos United came into existence during the Flint water crisis because all the materials regarding the crisis were in English, so the six major Latino organizations in Flint came together to distribute information to the Latino population. Myself, residents, and other medical students have been working with Latinos United for Flint since last September. Our original plan was the start health talks and health fairs for this population to raise awareness about diseases that Latinos are more susceptible to. We began this way but soon found out that there was a large subset of undocumented immigrants within this Latino population, meaning they had no access to health care. Through a team of highly committed and motivated individuals the Genesee Free Clinic wrote for and received a grant for a number free visits specifically for undocumented immigrants living within Genesee County. We have been going to events hosted by Latinos United and explaining that these undocumented individuals can receive care without fear of being exposed.  We started scheduling visits, but to our disappointment every single one ended up no showing.
            Now that I have been working at the free clinic we have actually had some of these visits used! I hope that the individuals that have been seen at the clinic will tell others that it is a safe program, simply there for their health care not for any ulterior motive. However, it is understandable this fear of being found out given the current environment in our country. Decisions for this group are often made out of fear of being exposed, which means that healthcare is often sacrificed. The programs in place to aid this population need to continue to reach out more than ever and assure them that there are resources, safe havens, and remind this group that they are not lesser than anyone else.

            I’m very proud of the work that Latinos United is doing, and I am honored to be a part of this group. While these office visits won’t solve the larger issue this country is currently experiencing, I do believe if utilized they could make an impact on the Flint population of undocumented immigrants. I hope that with a continued presence in Latinos United and repeated reminders of the grant that we can get more visits, which will hopefully equate to improved health outcomes for this group.     

1 comment:

  1. It's very hard to get a toehold of trust with some of our most vulnerable populations. Having grassroots community involvement is so essential. Congratulations, and Push On! Dr. Carravallah