ST. LOUIS — Casa de Salud, which means house of health, has been providing medical services to new arrivals, immigrants, and refugees since 2010.
"Casa's model allows them to access that great affordable health care without worrying about the costs," President and CEO Diego Abente said. "Our mission is to provide high access clinical and mental health care for our under and uninsured. We have represented folks who have come from 60 different countries."
Immediately walking in, you see signs and posters in different languages.
This is on purpose.
"We've heard from patients that they go in a healthcare facility overwhelmed with posters in English and everyone speaking a different language than they're used to," Clinical Services Manager Ophelia Velasquez said. "I think we go the extra mile to make patients feel comfortable here."
The two say the organization strategically works to provide the best services.
"We try to staff up with people who walked in the shoes of an immigrant and who can bring that life experience for the work we do each day," Abente said.
As for the doctors, all of them volunteer their time at Casa de Salud.
Right now, there are about 40 providers working in the clinic and about 50% speak Spanish or another language.
"We bring so many native Spanish and language speakers that have a shared background in culture with the patients we serve," Velasquez said.
Abente said this makes the clients feel supported when they're trying to describe what they need to be healthy.
He said the needs are higher than usual because of the pandemic and staffing shortages make the job harder.
Just recently, the organization began offering mental health services.
Play therapy is now available for children of all ages.
We're told the key to healthcare here is connection. Making sure everyone is seen and heard.
How to help
To help them grow, donations are helpful.
But they're working hard to try and recruit more doctors and volunteers.
This ranges from primary care doctors to therapists to counselors.
If you'd like to volunteer, click here.
- Call to make a health care appointment or GUIA guide appointment: 314-977-1250
- Call to make a mental health care appointment: 314-977-1240
- Email to make any type of appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org