La Ventanilla de Salud at MetroHealth
On Tuesday, April 14th, we were proud to represent Margaret W. Wong and Associates at the historic signing of an an agreement between the Consulate of Mexico in Detroit and the MetroHealth system in Cleveland to collaborate on the "Ventanilla de Salud" or "Window of Health" program in the Cleveland area. Short presentations were given by our friend Mr. David Delgado of the radio show "Going Global" who was acting as Emcee ; Mr. Daniel K. Lewis, Chief Operating Officer at MetroHealth; Ms. Josana Tonda, Ventanillas De Salud Coordinator, and Mr. Juan Manuel Solana Morales, Consul of Mexico which explained what this program is all about and the importance of the collaboration with MetroHealth.
For a concise, accurate description of the program we went to the Ventanilla de Salud website which says that it "is a program of the Government of Mexico developed by the Department of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is implemented through 50 Mexican consulates in the United States and local health organizations. The Ventanillas provide reliable information on health topics, counseling and referrals to available and accessible health services in local communities. This program was designed to improve the physical and mental health of Mexicans and their families living in the United States and to increase access to primary and preventive health insurance coverage and ensure culturally sensitive services in order to reduce the use of emergency services."
Locally, this program will now be operated in the MetroHealth facilities and will offer bilingual medical quality treatment, guidance, and referrals. This is the first time that Ventanilla de Salud will be run out of a health institution in the United States.
Most of the speakers gave credit to our very good friend Dr. Maria Pujana for her role in creating this historic opportunity along with Ms. Mari Galindo-DaSilva who leads the Language Access and Communication Center at MetroHealth.
What's more, in addition to Mr. Solana Morales, several other Consuls came to to this gathering like Mr. Michael Miller (Sweden), Mr. Hans Kessler (Switzerland), Ms. Ingrid Bublys (Lithuania), Mr. Peter C. Andre de la Porte (Kingdom of the Netherlands), and Mr. Manuel Lopez (Spain). Our friend Ms. Lucy Torres, Hispanic Liaison to Cleveland City Hall was there too as were our friends Mr. Joe Meissner, Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan, Ms. Laura Fruscella, Mr. Pierre Bejjani, Dr. Asim Datta, and Mr. Ken Kovach.
Another fine speaker at this occasion was Dr. Akram Boutros, CEO of MetroHealth, who recalled his own experiences as an immigrant to the United States and how important it was for him to find a safe place to live and to work. He said that he looked forward to the time when the "window" would be a "door" and health care would be more accessible to all. He went on to say that Ventanilla de Salud being at MetroHealth would "empower" people and that this gives him hope. He was very firm in his belief that the "more diverse that we become the more stronger we will be" and that it is the responsibility of MetroHealth to deliver the "best health care possible and we will rise to this challenge."
Dignitaries from all over the world at the opening of La Ventanilla de Salud at MetroHealth