April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. and to celebrate those who seek to advance health equity.
One local organization that is doing just that is the University of Iowa mobile clinic. The student-run clinic provides free services monthly to area residents in Columbus Junction, including blood pressure checks, cholesterol and blood sugar tests, and physical exams.
Victoria Mendoza is a student volunteer and coordinator for the Columbus Junction clinic. She helps as a spanish interpreter for patients, “Our organization, one of our core beliefs is that healthcare is a basic human right that all people should have access to. And so through our work we target vulnerable populations to make quality healthcare more accessible to those people that need it, and through that we increase positive outcomes and we hope to achieve greater health equity.”
Mendoza says the clinic is working to address the Burmese refugee population, for which there are approximately 400 currently living in Louisa County, “Right now we’re working on a needs assessment for the Burmese community to see how we can better provide for whatever healthcare needs that community specifically needs. And so that’s an ongoing project that we just got started and so we’re hoping to get some results from that in the coming months.”
The clinic is asking for anyone from the Burmese community who’s interested to volunteer as an interpreter. The mobile clinic will be open this Saturday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the Columbus Community Senior Center.