Monthly Update
Nearly 34 million lawful immigrants live in the United States. In addition, roughly one million unauthorized immigrants have temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. through the DACA and TPS programs. Find out more existing U.S. immigration programs, including the visa lottery and H-1B visas, by clicking here. 
Patient Profile
As part of her appointment at Casa, Jemima's physician ordered a few basic tests appropriate to her age group, including a simple screening test for a common cancer.
Jemima's screening test came back with a slight abnormality. Clinic staff called her and explained the need to perform additional testing, but Jemima was reassured to hear that the test result was not a cancer diagnosis. She was able to repeat back a correct understanding of the result and next steps to Casa staff. The availability of GUIA services to help her schedule the additional testing was a great comfort as well.

That evening, Jemima shared the news with a close family member who, despite what had been said to Jemima at the clinic, believed the result meant Jemima had an advanced disease that, the family member said, was "incurable." This prompted Jemima to turn to the Web where she came across frightening statistics on cancer-related mortality and YouTube videos recommending untested supplement regimens to "cure cancer."

Jemima returned to Casa the following day in tears, convinced that she had terminal cancer. Clinic team members sat down with her and reviewed the websites she had gone to and the "information" her family member had imparted. A Casa physician found a reputable Spanish-language, patient-friendly video with correct information, and Jemima visibly relaxed as she watched it. The physician also shared tips with the patient for evaluating the trustworthiness of an Internet source, and connected her to patient education materials for her further research. Jemima left expressing a sense of relief and empowerment.

Volunteer Spotlight

This month our Spotlight shines on Linda Fried, who has volunteered at Casa as an interpreter for over two years.

Linda was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador.  Her parents were ex-pats from New York, a circumstance that required her to speak the two languages concurrently: English at home, and Spanish everywhere else.

Linda eventually went to Vermont for college, then on to Honduras for the Peace Corps before finally settling in St. Louis.
Her professional track was as an elementary school teacher, initially in special education, and then science and Spanish.  Her second career has been as a volunteer doing a variety of short and long term jobs:  working for an erosion control project in Ecuador, facilitating in an immigrant women's detention center in Texas, gardening with UCity in Bloom, teaching English to a recent Somali immigrant, reading to preschoolers as part of Ready Readers, and, of course, interpreting for Casa de Salud, which she has found challenging.

"Never in my growing-up years did I have exposure to vesículas, bazos or vejigas!" Linda laughed, thinking of how hard it is to keep all those terms straight.

She has two adult sons but still has company at home with her dog Billy O'Sage, and cats Mishi, Chigchi and Yana. Linda says her cats are not friendly, but are photogenic and she's always happy to share their pictures.

Thank you, Linda, for your big heart and your dedication to our patients. 
  Behrns Named President of Southeastern
Surgical Conference

Kevin Behrns, M.D., a Casa board member and the Dean of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, will serve as President of the Southeastern Surgical Congress (SESC). 
Kevin Behrns, M.D.

The mission of the SESC is to serve as the premier regional surgical organization for general surgeons and sub-specialists. The SESC is dedicated to the presentation, evaluation, and dissemination of current knowledge and research in all phases of general surgery.

Dr. Behrns will focus on strengthening the core of general surgery by offering educational programs to academic and community surgeons, surgery trainees, and advanced practice providers.
Supporting Casa
We express our thanks to Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church for their very generous support of Casa.

We also thank the Deaconess Foundation and Facilitec for donating furniture for the Mental Health Collaborative.  
You can now donate to Casa de Salud straight from your phone.  Just text "casa" to 314-270-1992 and you'll get a link to make a secure tax deductible donation.  You can also give on line.
Your generosity makes Casa de Salud the premier resource for affordable and quality care for the foreign-born community in the St. Louis region! 
Letter from the President

I am ecstatic at that, after almost two years of planning and preparation, the Mental Health Collaborative (MHC) opened on February 26th.

There are more thank yous to be handed out than I have room for in this letter, but there are some people and organizations that I really want to recognize.

Let me start with Casa's Vice President, Kate Koch. She conceived the partner model that the MHC is using and put in countless hours to operationalize every aspect of the endeavor. Kate is an unsung hero not only of the MHC but of Casa in general.

Of course, it all would have come to naught if no one was willing to work with us, so I deeply appreciate the collaboration of our founding partners:  Bilingual International Assistant Services, Saint Francis Community Services, Saint Louis University Medical Family Therapy Program, and the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. I know that, together, we are going to make a difference for people who need help but have no access to care.

Saint Louis University continues to show its dedication to social justice outside the classroom walls. SLU's extension of our no-rent lease for the MHC makes it possible for all of our respective agencies to collaborate in this one space.

There is no mission without money, so I thank the organizations that got the MHC off the ground: Enterprise Holdings, Jefferson Foundation, Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the William T. Kemper Foundation, and an anonymous funder.

Finally, my thanks to the many people and organizations that over the last twenty months gave their input, advice, and constructive criticism so that the MHC could be as effective as possible. A special tip of the cap to Casa's board of directors, who did not shy away from the risk and uncertainty that comes with any large project. They again demonstrated their commitment to a region where care is accessible to all, and where all are welcomed.   
Jorge Riopedre
President, Casa de Salud
Welcome Ben Zeno!

Operations at the Mental Health Collaborative will be coordinated by our newest team member, Ben Zeno.

Ben Zeno 

Ben is originally from Seattle, Washington. He came to St. Louis to attend Washington University, where he studied Latin American Studies and Chemistry. He fell in love with St. Louis and now considers the city home, even though he does miss the mountains and rain of the Pacific Northwest.

A strong sense of social justice inspired by his Jewish upbringing guides his work supporting healthcare access in marginalized communities. He previously worked in the Hispanic community to expand access to health insurance and is eager to meet the challenges of his new work at Casa.
"Mental health services impacted me at a young age," Ben said. "I credit the stress management and self-reflection skills I learned in counseling for so much of my success and happiness. I'm thrilled to help expand access to such valuable services in St. Louis, particularly in Hispanic and immigrant communities."

Please join us in welcoming Ben and wishing him well as he takes on this new and important endeavor. 
¡Zocaloco! 2018

We would like to thank the most recent sponsors of ¡Zocaloco!
John and Crystal Beuerlein

Ed and Jill Dowd


Commerce Bank

Dr. William H. Danforth

Edward Jones

Ed and Nancy Kranzberg

Lodging Hospitality Management

Joe and Daria Conran

Mr. & Mrs. David C. Farrell

Missouri Foundation for Health

David and Jane Peacock 
Regional Business Council

Southeast Missouri State University

St. Louis Economic Partnership
Thompson Coburn  
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. 
Welcome New Providers!

Casa thanks the following providers who have joined our volunteer medical staff to serve our patients:
Sherifa Iqbal , MD - Psychiatry

Theresa Drallmeier, MD - Family Medicine 
Provider Anniversaries

Casa thanks the following providers who celebrate their anniversaries with us this month:
Kelli Fuller, NP - 5 Years
Our most special thanks to

Craig Holzem, MD
Marcos Rothstein, MD

who are two of our founding physicians volunteering at Casa for 8 years!
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