Monthly Update
 
 
Lawful immigrants account for three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the United States. One million immigrants receive lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. each year, and most are sponsored by family members. Here are five key facts about the nation's lawful immigrant population.
Patient Profile
    
Vitamin D is best known as the vitamin that helps us absorb calcium, and by extension build and maintain healthy bones. Lack of vitamin D can cause a skeletal deformity called rickets and increase risk of fractures. But this is just the tip of the iceberg - this substance is also essential for nervous, muscular, and immune system health. 
 
While Vitamin D level screenings are not done routinely, they are indicated when patients are at increased risk of deficiency. And as the daylight hours shortened in November, Casa providers ordered more screenings - as many as in the three preceding months combined.
 
"Bertha" was one of the patients who was tested. A middle-aged woman originally from the tropics, Bertha presented with vague aches and pains along with fatigue and a depressed mood. The provider who saw the patient ordered a few basic laboratory tests to check for infection, metabolic dysfunction including thyroid disorders, and inflammatory arthritis -- and a Vitamin D level.
 
The level came back significantly low. Casa staff discussed the result with Bertha and ensured she understood the importance of supplementation. Shortly afterwards, Bertha reported some of her symptoms were already beginning to improve with the addition of the supplement. She was eager to learn more about other ways to restore normal Vitamin D levels, and scheduled a consultation with Casa's nutritionist.
 
By screening and promptly treating Bertha's vitamin deficiency, her Casa provider was able to significantly improve her quality of life in a non-invasive, cost-effective way with minimal side effects. Furthermore, by stabilizing these levels now, she is less likely to develop chronic problems in the future such as fractures, and can live a fuller for years to come.
 
            
Volunteer Spotlight

This month our Spotlight shines on Dr. Gordon Goldman. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Goldman moved to St. Louis to attend medical school at Saint Louis University, graduating in 1966.  After completing residencies in general surgery and obstetrics & gynecology and serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Goldman began practicing throughout the St. Louis medical system at multiple hospitals and also in private practice. He also worked as a clinical instructor at Washington University School of Medicine.
 
  
Dr. Gordon Goldman      

Dr. Goldman began volunteering as a gynecologist at Casa de Salud in September of 2013. He is very generous with this time, consistently scheduling two clinics per week, which makes him an instrumental part of Casa's ability to provide affordable gynecological services to our patients.
 
Throughout his forty-plus years as a practicing physician, Dr. Goldman has been an advocate for women's health, championing that cause as President of the Missouri State Medical Association and later as Chairman of the Missouri Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  "With that objective in mind," Dr. Goldman says, "I am so appreciative of the opportunity given to me at Casa to continue advancing women's health care, especially where the needs are so great."
 
In addition to volunteering at Casa de Salud, Dr. Goldman enjoys amateur radio electronics, theatre, playing piano and spoiling his granddaughter.
 
All of us at Casa thank Dr. Goldman for his commitment to volunteering and his lifetime of dedication to healing.
Supporting Casa
    
We express our deepest thanks to the following organizations for their very generous support of Casa.  
 
Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis (general operating support).  
 
Enterprise Holdings Foundation (Mental Health Collaborative operations).   
   
  The Mental Health Collaborative 
  
Watch Our Video!
 
Casa de Salud - Compassionate Path to Wellness 
 
Casa Welcomes Andrea Gonzalez

Casa has hired Andrea Gonzalez as a Receptionist. She is currently a senior at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Latin American Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. "No one really understands what those have to do with each other until I tell them I plan to go to graduate school for a Master's in Public Health," Andrea jokes.
 
         
Andrea Gonzalez   
 
She is interested in Hispanic health issues and hopes to contribute to a better healthcare system for immigrants. "I am so happy to have joined the Casa de Salud team and help add to the great care that Casa gives to its patients," Andrea said. 
Carolyn Cueto, CHW

GUIA Case Manager Carolyn Cueto has completed the nine-week Community Health Worker (CHW) training program at St. Louis Community College's William J. Harrison Education Center and earned the status of Certified CHW.
 
 
 Carolyn Cueto
 
The CHW Program combines 108 hours of classroom instruction with 60 hours of service learning in the community. The participant learns to conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain and improve individual and community health.
 
Carolyn joins Mary Shannon, GUIA Program Coordinator, as Certified CHWs on Casa's staff. For Carolyn, working at Casa gives her a unique perspective which allowed her to participate in insightful group discussions during her coursework. The experience has giving Carolyn a better understanding of motivational interviewing, especially with regards to Casa's home visit program and diabetes education.
 
Carolyn says, "I enjoyed sharing resources and learning from my classmates that work at partner clinics like Affnia, People's Health Centers, and Family Care Health Centers. The course confirmed my passion for social work and public health."
 
That passion shines every day at Casa. We congratulate Carolyn on her achievement and her continued dedication to our patients.
Welcome New Providers!

 
Casa welcomes the following providers who have joined our team of volunteers to help care for our patients:

Kenneth Smith, MD (Neurology)
Elke Hansen, LCSW
Provider Anniversaries


 
Casa thanks the following providers who celebrate their anniversaries with us this month:
 
Becky Pew, MD - 4 Years
Mark Stroble, MD - 3 Years
Natalie Small, NP  - 3 Years
Chezna Warner, PA - 5 Years
Letter from the President
       
Having recently celebrated Thanksgiving gave me a chance to think of all the things I'm grateful for. Topping that list is my family; they mean everything to me.
 
Many of my family members were with me in St. Louis for the holiday. We talked about my work at Casa and it reminded me of some other things for which I'm thankful.
 
As the son of immigrants, I'm very happy to see everything immigrants and refugees are achieving in our region. People like Nigerian-born Dr. Gabriele Mbalaviele who co-founded Confluence Life Sciences. Earlier this year, Confluence was purchased by Philadelphia-based Aclaris Therapeutics at a valuation of $100 million, making it one of the most notable early successes of that city's fast-growing startup scene. There's also Malaysian-born   Jason Jan who started FroYo , a frozen yogurt chain with a growing number of stores in Missouri and California. And there's Cuong Dang who arrived in St. Louis from Vietnam in 2002, completed his Bachelor's degree, and founded DNN Software .
 
I'm grateful I got to be part of a trade mission from St. Louis to Argentina . The mission, which made stops in both Buenos Aires and Rosario (the latter of which officially became a Sister City to St. Louis ), focused heavily on shared strengths in the agricultural technology and financial technology sectors and innovation, ways regional leaders from St. Louis, Buenos Aires and Rosario can capitalize on those strengths through trade and investment, as well as promote cultural and academic exchanges.
 
Beyond St. Louis, I am thankful for all that the foreign-born have done for the United States. This year, 19% of the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list are immigrants . There are 1,078,822 international students on non-immigrant visas enrolled in American universities, contributing $39 billion to the U.S. economy . And diversity increases through immigration have created meaningful wage benefits for all workers -- from the highest earners to the lowest.
 
These facts can get lost in the rhetoric that unfortunately surrounds so much of the conversation around immigration and refugee resettlement. And when the country has problems, the foreign born become easy scapegoats. Still, as chess champion Garry Kasparov recently said, it's easy to welcome the wealthy, the healthy and the educated. But America became great by welcoming the strivers, the critics, and those hoping for a better life.
 
For them, and for all who still believe in the lamp that lights the golden door, I am thankful.
 
Jorge Riopedre
President, Casa de Salud



Facebook www.casadesaludstl.org  WordPress