School-Linked Health Center Helps Immigrants Acclimate to US
Last week, Communications Director Kevin Lignell had the opportunity to sit down with Jehad Najda, Coordinator for the ACCESS Teen Health Center in Dearborn, MI. ACCESS is a school-linked health center that offers primary care, dental care, mental health care, and other services to Dearborn residents. Many are Arab immigrants experiencing the United States for the first time in the lives. Jehad recalled one story about a family he met who was transitioning to the US:
I remember one incident where there was a family – a single mother – she had three kids and she came here by herself. She had never been to the United States, never been outside her country, and she didn’t know how the services linked to the school health system. We helped her get physicals for her kids, immunizations for her kids that she has never had before. We (happened) to make friends (with her), and they still come back to us, many times just to say hi. We were their first contact here, their first associations here. They ask even sometimes if they can help us.
Jehad talked about how it feels to help families and what other organizations have to do to serve immigrant populations:
When it comes to serving populations different from the ones that are here already in the states, you have to go outside the box and do something above and beyond. Whether it’s bringing a prescription to their house, whether it’s giving them and helping them financially with their health services, whether it’s going above and beyond and talking to their nurse, talking to their social worker – it will stick with them. It just feels good that you’ve helped somebody succeed and be comfortable.
You can watch the entire interview here: