[Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune]
Despite the lack of accurate numbers, health care providers at the CommunityHealth clinic in West Town, where 60% of the patients are Spanishspeaking, are brainstorming new ways to help patients get food and hygiene products. It’s an issue they dealt with before the coronavirus hit, but the pandemic has made things worse.
“Before COVID times, we could help them connect to food pantries or housing assistance or other classes they may need,” said CEO Stephanie Willding. “Now we don’t know if those places are even open.”
Another concern at the clinic, whose population is uninsured and low-income, said Willding, is a fear of seeking care that could be counted as a public charge on immigration applications, or encountering federal immigration agents at a health facility.
“Our immigrant communities are afraid to go to hospitals, they’re afraid to get tested, they’re afraid to get treatments,” she said.