Caring for a Growing Community
At 2 pm on Friday, September 9th, VNA received a call from the DuPage County Health Department and DuPage Health Coalition asking for VNA’s help in providing care for the recent Venezuelan immigrants bussed to Chicago from Texas. And with that request, the VNA van and staff were off to Bur Ridge the following morning. Many VNA staff were humbled by the experience of meeting the Venezuelans and the stories that they told. They spoke of walking through jungles and encountering many insects, wading through neck-deep rivers with their children on their backs, and taking a year-long pause during their travels due to Covid. Amazingly the parents smiled as they told their stories, explaining that they had to remain strong for their children and the dream of having a better life in the U.S.
Surprising, VNA staff found most of the people were up to date on their preventative healthcare needs, and with the exception of treating wounds, bites, and respiratory issues, as a result of travels, most were in pretty good health. Additional appointments are being arranged for a few that are in need of preventive screenings or have more extensive medical needs. Overall, they are very similar to our current VNA patients, many of whom are also immigrants, in their appreciation of our resources and education. As the Venezuelans adapt to their new surroundings, our staff will continue to assist in providing them with medical care.
The Chicago Tribune recently published an article with further details.