Top 5 Reasons I <3 MCN
Migrant Clinicians Network makes us swoon. That’s because, as an organization, it has taken huge strides in improving the health and well-being of migrants and immigrants in its 35-year history -- and 2019 was no exception. As we count down the days to 2020, we reflect on the exceptional year Migrant Clinicians Network has had with the top five reasons we love MCN!
1. Patients who were moving relied on Health Network to be able to continue their treatments.
Health Network, MCN’s bridge case management program, directly serves patients. When a patient arrives at a new destination, a Health Network Associate finds a health center, schedules appointments, and transfers medical records. Our Health Network Associates use phone, text, WhatsApp, Skype -- whatever form of communication that is easiest for the patient -- to talk directly with patients so they are empowered and motivated to complete their treatment. Our Associates -- Alma, Rob, Joshi, Saul, Norma, Luis, Nestor, and Pinky -- also work to remove barriers like cost, language, and transportation issues. This life-saving program is free of charge for enrolling clinicians and patients, and assures that no one needs to be lost to follow-up even when they’re moving. And Health Network is expanding its reach, including as a critical part of the Medical Review for Immigrants program, which serves migrants in detention with urgent health needs. Medical Review for Immigrants has served over two dozen patients this year, and Health Network is an important part of that to make sure that patients who are released from detention for urgent health issues can get the care they need.
2. Our partnership with the Ventanilla de Salud in Austin has assured access to vaccinations to prevent disease.
In 2019, Roxana, our Ventanilla de Salud Coordinator and Health Network Associate, worked with a whole MCN team to inform visitors to the Mexican Consulate about vaccinations available free of charge, and why they’re a big benefit. Her team’s work has led to hundreds of Austin-area residents receiving vaccinations, preventing disease, and keeping our communities informed, empowered, and healthy, via weekly health fairs where local community and health organizations come to provide services and resources.
3. Our team published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine to shift clinicians’ perspectives on health systems and the patients they serve.
Patients are not as geographically stable as our health systems assume, and this discord leaves clinicians without the proper tools or resources to serve patients who don’t fit into the model of a typical patient. In a 2019 New England Journal of Medicine article, MCN authors called on our health systems leaders and developers to rebuild our health systems, with tools like Health Network, to assure that mobility is never a barrier to care.
4. MCN’s new program in Puerto Rico connected communities and health centers together, to better withstand disasters and emergencies strengthened by the climate crisis.
Marysel and Veronica in our new Puerto Rico office are hard at work to help health centers and community members mobilize to prepare against the next big disaster. The work will continue in new communities in 2020 and serve as a model for communities and health centers across the country.
5. MCN helped clinicians and supervisors begin to address their own trauma.
MCN recognizes that when clinicians serve those who have experienced trauma, they may experience secondary trauma. This trauma can contribute to clinician burnout. MCN partnered with the American Family Therapy Academy to launch Witness to Witness, which serves frontline clinicians who are carrying this trauma. Clinicians may sign up to have conversations with volunteer therapists to work through their trauma. In 2019, we expanded the work by hosting three Witness to Witness webinars that gave resources and tools to over 650 clinician attendees. Watch them on our archived webinars page under “Trauma-Informed Workplaces.”
...and we’re just getting started. In 2020, we will be expanding our efforts and growing our impact in each of these avenues, assuring that migration is never a barrier to care. So, here’s to 2020 -- and to health justice for all!
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