Nationally, the annual number of births declined 4% from 1990 to 2015 - the result of a 10% decline in total births attributable to U.S.-born women. This was partially offset by a 6% increase in total births attributable to immigrant women. In other words, without these births to foreign-born women, the total decline in annual U.S. births would have been more than twice as large. Learn more here.
All of Casa's services are informed by and strive to be in accordance with the
, particularly with regard to "language assistance."
Interpretation services exist not only to benefit and protect the patient, but also for the health care provider. Providers need to know the information they are gathering when they examine a patient is accurate and complete, and the education they provide is only as good as the patient's comprehension of it.
This all came into play with "Paolo," an established Casa patient who, though a Portuguese speaker, had declined an interpreter for previous appointments. When Paolo came in for a general check-up this past month, his exam and laboratory testing revealed significant abnormalities. The internal medicine provider who saw him was quick to seek specialty consultation to guide further work-up and treatment. And fortunately, one of Casa's dedicated volunteer providers with extensive experience in Paolo's condition was able to see him within in a matter of days.
When Paolo came in for his appointment, the specialist began a detailed explanation of the differential diagnosis at hand. During this specialty appointment the physician became concerned that Paolo wasn't grasping the information she was trying to convey, and he wasn't giving detailed answers to the clarifying questions she asked. This provider excused herself from the room and discussed her concerns with Casa staff, asking if it would be possible to get a Portuguese interpreter in time to complete the visit that day. Thanks to Casa's partnership with LAMP, within minutes a remote interpreter was connected and facilitated communication between patient and specialist. Paolo left with a clear understanding of the next steps for his care, and the provider reported that communicating through the interpreter made all the difference.
This month our Spotlight shines on Dr. Karen Heath.
Dr. Heath has been serving as a volunteer medical provider in Family Medicine at Casa de Salud since October of 2010. One of our longest serving medical providers, Dr. Heath comes on Sunday afternoons and has consistently provided clinic hours for patients who may only be available on weekends. She attended medical school in Charleston, SC, and then completed her residency in Fayetteville, Ark.
Karen Heath, M.D.
After serving in private practice for nearly fifteen years in South Carolina, she moved to Arizona to work for the Indian Health Service with the San Carlos Apache tribe. Because Dr. Heath joined Casa in its first year (2010), she remembers the early days.
"We had one room to work out of if two doctors were there at the same time [two rooms per physician is the standard]. The lab was in a corner closet and supplies were wherever we could find a place. When we moved into the new office space [in 2012] we danced!" Dr. Heath recalled. "But most of all to see the patients get good medical care in a safe and friendly atmosphere... this has been due to much hard work from the staff and I thank them. It has been my pleasure to serve the patients at Casa and see so many improvement over the years. Dr. Heath "enjoys life," is glad to be back in the clinic after a brief hiatus due to health reasons and is thankful for the opportunity to serve such fine patients with our staff. All of us at Casa thank her for her incomparable dedication to service and her deep compassion. Thank you Dr. Heath!
Casa has hired Dean Howdeshell to be part of our clinical team as a Medical Assistant.
Dean is a senior at Saint Louis University studying for his Bachelor's of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Inter-professional Practice and a minor in Spanish.
Hailing from rural Northern Indiana, Dean moved to St. Louis to study at SLU and pursue a career that pairs with his great passion to help others and to be an advocate for those who struggle to advocate for themselves.
One of the things Dean says he really likes about Casa is how the organization strives to break barriers in healthcare and provide medical services to those in need of them. "I truly cannot wait to be a part of the Casa team," Dean sad. The feeling is mutual!
We express our deepest thanks to the
Pershing Charitable Trust for their very generous support of Casa.
Please, consider a tax deductible donation to Casa today. You can mail a check to our office at 3200 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, 63103, give on line, or by texting "casa" to 314-270-1992.
Your generosity makes Casa de Salud the premier resource for affordable and quality care for the foreign-born community in the St. Louis region!
We would like to thank the most recent sponsors of ¡Zocaloco!
SSM Saint Louis University Hospital
U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
Washington University in St. Louis
Brown School of Social Work
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
World Trade Center/Mosaic Project
Thank you also to Anheuser-Busch for its in-kind donation of beverages for the evening.
Join us as we honor David Kemper, Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Bancshares, with our Visionary Award, and Commerce Bank as our Community Champion. You'll be treated to delicious food inspired by Mango Peruvian Restaurant. And of course, we will have music and dance from around the world in our zócalo.
Come support Casa and have a very entertaining night on May 5 at Saint Louis University's Wool Ballroom. Individual tickets and sponsorships are now on sale. You can purchase online or by calling 314-977-1200.
James Crane Elected to Casa de Salud Board of Directors
Casa De Salud is happy to announce that James Crane, M.D., has joined its Board of Directors. Dr. Crane recently retired as the associate vice chancellor for special projects and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine.
James Crane, M.D.
In addition, Dr. Crane was BJC HealthCare's Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs during the first four years following the system's formation in 1993. Four years later, he became the first chief executive officer of Washington University Physicians. In this role, he worked in close partnership with BJC and its teaching hospitals (Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital) to achieve joint strategic goals encompassing innovation, quality, patient safety, clinical program growth, facility expansion, IT infrastructure and financial stability.
In the greater community, Dr. Crane is actively involved in efforts to eliminate health disparities and improve access to care for the uninsured. He serves on the board of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission and chairs several RHC committees. Dr. Crane is also on the board and served as the inaugural chair of the St. Louis Integrated Health Care Network, a community-wide organization composed of the area's major safety-net institutions whose purpose is to coordinate and enhance care for vulnerable populations.
"It is a real honor to have Jim Crane join the Casa board," said Dr. Edward Macias, Chairman of the Board for Casa de Salud. "His wide experience in healthcare and in eliminating disparities will be a great help as Casa continues to serve the St. Louis community."
Dr. Crane will serve a three-year term through 2020.
Katherine Mathews Appointed to
Board of Healing Arts
Former Casa De Salud clinical director and current member of Casa's Programs Committee, Katherine Mathews, M.D., has been appointed by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.
Katherine Mathews, M.D.
The board was created in 1939 and is comprised of eight physicians and one voting public member, serving terms of four years. It is the duty of the board to administer and execute the statutes, rules and regulations of the Healing Arts Practice Act. Responsibilities of the board include: promoting ethical standards, examination, licensure, regulation, investigation of complaints and discipline of individuals practicing in the field.
Casa congratulates Dr. Mathews on her appointment!
Phone It In!
You can now donate to Casa de Salud straight from your phone via text. Just text "casa" to 314-270-1992 and you'll get a link to make a secure tax deductible donation.
We continue to deliver care for thousands of people each year without access to any government funding. Now, with the addition of our Mental Health Collaborative, we will be providing even more services to an expanding group of patients. Your support makes this work possible.
Casa thanks the following providers who celebrate their anniversaries with us this month:
Christine Edwards, PA - 2 Years
Laura Huff, MD - 2 Years
Our most special thanks to
Enrique Toro, MD
who is one of our founding physicians volunteering at Casa for 8 years!
Letter from the President
Even though it has been more than four years since
Dr. Jason Purnell
and colleagues published
"For the Sake of All,"
it still astounds me when I read the report's finding that there was an 18-year difference in life expectancy between the ZIP codes 63106 (North St. Louis City) and 63105 (Clayton), which are separated by less than ten miles. As one commentator at the time noted, clearly ZIP code trumps genetic code in determining the quality and length of those lives.
We are experiencing tremendous advances in treatments like gene therapy and are instituting system changes such as value-based payment models that no doubt will have positive impacts. But it is increasingly clear that without taking into account the social determinants of health, we will continue to fall woefully short of our desired goals.
These are challenges that affect healthcare but go beyond it.
Food security, adequate housing, early childhood education, these are just some of the issues that Bob Hughes, President & CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health, has called "
upstream factors" that must be addressed to increase "downstream chances for healthier and more meaningful lives."
How do we do this? Our answers are almost always programmatic. And while programs are certainly necessary and, if done well, impactful, of themselves they will never be solutions. We will at last come to the crossroads between knowledge and humanity. Our incredibly agile minds have given us the ability to perform wonders, to achieve scientific and technological heights that Shakespeare foresaw when he proclaimed that we were,
in apprehension, like a god. But where does our knowledge lead us without mercy, without kindness? What path are we on when we reach for the stars but fail to extend our hands to people
in our proximity, maybe just ten miles away?
Ultimately, science and sagacity cannot save us. Only compassion.
President, Casa de Salud