Monthly Update
Rural Americans are more likely than people in urban and suburban areas to say access to good doctors and hospitals is a major problem in their community, with one possible factor being that getting to a hospital is a longer trip - both in distance and time - for people in rural areas than for those in suburbs and cities.  Learn more here.   
MHC Offers Support Group
As of mid-February, our Mental Health Collaborative now offers a Grief Support Group for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. 

These meetings are facilitated by Licensed Professional Counselor, Brianne Overton, who is also the founder of BLU (Bereavement, Life & U).
Brianne Overton, FT, LPC, NCC
The group will meet on the first and third Saturdays of every month, with no appointments necessary. A Spanish interpreter will be present, and additional interpreters will be added as speakers of other languages join the group.
Brianne is a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri - St. Louis in the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy, where she educates master and doctoral level students on grief-specific issues. One of her many specialties  is working with underserved

We are incredibly grateful to Brianne for allowing us to offer this additional service to the MHC.
Partner Profile
In February, the GUIA Case Management team referred and scheduled our first patients with Dr. Gregory C. Frimel, a new dental referral partner. Dr. Frimel offered to see Casa patients for comprehensive exams, cleanings, and fillings, and even implants, crowns, dentures, root canals, and some limited surgical procedures.
The first referral ran smoothly and the patient was scheduled for a follow-up appointment within three business days. This patient has already had numerous cavities filled and has had a temporary crown placed. The patient will return for a permanent crown, which will be provided at a greatly reduced cost.
Casa is grateful for Dr. Frimel's generosity, flexibility, and eagerness to serve our patients, and we look forward to a continued partnership that serves those who would otherwise not have access to care.
Volunteer Spotlight
This month, we highlight our current practicum students. 
Lauren Kempton is working as a GUIA case manager and also helping at the MHC with patient intake screenings.
Lauren Kempton
" I've learned an incredible amount in the couple months that I've been an intern and I'm grateful to the rest of the GUIA team," Lauren said. "I've learned a lot from them about how to be a competent and compassionate advocate for patients. As I'm realizing more and more every day, healthcare access is an amazingly complicated issue. I'm excited to be a part of a team that does so much within a complicated system to make sure that people get the care they need."
Lorah Plante is working within the GUIA program to redesign our Financial Assistance process.
Lorah Plante
Lorah tells us that, "As a practicum student at Casa, I genuinely feel like I am surrounded by people whose priority is to advocate for their patients. I am excited to be involved with an organization that is not only teaching me more about the healthcare system but is giving me the opportunity to make a difference during my practicum."
Thank you Lauren and Lorah!
Supporting Casa
We are thankful  to the Emerson Charitable Trust for its generous contribution to Casa de Salud. We also express our appreciation to the St. Louis Metropolitan
Medical Society
for its donation and recognition of our work at its annual dinner. 
You can mail a check to our office at 3200 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, 63103. You can give on line through our website .
Your generosity makes Casa de Salud the premier resource for affordable and quality care for the foreign-born community in the St. Louis region!
Watch Our Video!
Casa de Salud - Compassionate Path to Wellness 
Welcome Aminah
Aminah Birungi joins Casa's team as a Medical Assistant. She comes from Uganda in East Africa and has been in St. Louis for two years. 
Aminah Birungi
She earned a degree in Guidance and Counseling in Uganda and is currently a student at St. Louis Community College majoring in Health Information Technology. 
Aminah is working as a Medical Assistant because she loves patient care and always wants to see people get better.  Aminah loves traveling, watching movies, and baking.  She is excited to be part of Casa de Salud's team.
┬íZocaloco! 2019 
We would like to thank our most recent sponsors of ¡Zocaloco! 2019.
Platinum Sponsors
Bob Fox & Maxine Clark
Washington University - School of Medicine
Silver Sponsors
Edward Jones
St. Louis University School of Medicine
World Wide Technology
Bronze Sponsors
Ascension Health
Brown School of Social Work  
Christine Jacobs & Hank Webber
Missouri Foundation for Health
Join us on May 4 at Saint Louis University's Wool Ballroom as we honor Mark Wrighton, Chancellor of Washington University, with our Visionary Award, and Risa Zwerling Wrighton who will receive our Community Champion Award.  
Come support Casa while enjoying food and music from around the world! Individual tickets and sponsorships are on sale now on our website.
For more information or to purchase ads in our event program, call 314-977-1274 or email Lori at
Friends of Casa
Members of Friends of Casa will be running in the annual Go! St. Louis Marathon on April 6th, to raise funds for Casa, and they are looking for more runners to join them!

Check out their fundraising page here to donate, to register for the race, and/or to set up your own team to run with them!
Welcome New Providers 

Casa thanks the following provider who has joined our team of medical professionals that care for our patients on a volunteer basis:
Sheela Solomon, APNP
Provider and Staff Anniversaries
Casa is grateful to the  following medical providers who celebrate their anniversaries with us this month:
Ratna Thakur, MD - 8 years  
Kelli Fuller, NP - 6 years
Casa is thankful for its staff and recognizes the following anniversaries:
Grant Owen, Receptionist - 1 year 
Jazmin Velez, Receptionist - 1 year
Soco Tolento, Custodian - 3 years
Letter from the President
I was speaking to a physician who told me about how he had participated in a program that, for a period of time, allowed him to do home visits. One visit that really stuck with him was a boy with asthma. Had he seen the child in the clinic, the doctor said, he likely would have written out a prescription and moved on to the next patient, but at the home he was hit in the face by how the social determinants of health affect a patient.
In this case, he learned the boy was constantly bullied in school, to the point that he had developed an anxiety disorder so severe that he couldn't be around people for any period of time. The family's life had been completely disrupted, and the entire situation was a disaster. It was only because the doctor made the home visit that he was able to understand the full scope of the situation.
This case served as a reminder that we must continue to take social determinants very seriously when we think of health and wellness. In fact, just two months ago, a report was released detailing how 106 million Americans - nearly a third of the nation - are living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Key findings included:
  • Racial disparities are persistent, especially around cities. People of color account for 38 percent of the total population, but more than half of the economically insecure.
  • Families are hit hardest. 71 percent of female-headed households with children are economically insecure, as are half of male-headed households with children. In total 32.5 million children in the U.S. are living in economically insecure households.
  • Connections to work are precarious. Discouragement, family responsibilities, and illness drive many job seekers out of the workforce.
  • Disproportionate costs prevent wealth-building. More than 70 percent of economically insecure renters pay too much for housing - triple the cost burden of the economically secure. The burdens are even higher in major cities. Many have little to no retirement savings and struggle to pay for healthcare.
  • Limited access to high-quality schools, jobs, and other resources. One in five economically insecure households do not have access to a car and are more likely to drop out of the workforce due to a transportation issue.
It is crucial that we not lose sight of the realities some of the people we serve are facing. We might also more seriously consider, at a practical and policy level, the training and use of community health workers to help fortify what can be done for a patient beyond a clinic's walls.
Of course, whether it's home visits, community health workers, or any other intervention, it costs money. But the human and economic costs we're experiencing right now demand that we move beyond the status quo. 
Jorge Riopedre 
President & CEO, Casa de Salud

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