Tzu Chi Medical Brings Care to Immigrants and Undocumented Population of Southern California

TIMA  |  January 22, 2019

Tzu Chi medical volunteers serve many populations that are underprivileged and who lack the funds and medical insurance needed to receive care, including immigrant and undocumented populations.

The free mobile clinic was onsite at the university campus in Fullerton, California, to serve those low-income families. Because many of the people are Latino and do not speak English, volunteers asked local residents to volunteer as Spanish translators, to help alleviate many language barriers.

While many people believe that California’s Orange County is wealthy, neighboring Santa Ana is just the opposite with many low-income people who have no medical insurance. The schools have a backpack program and many residents go without healthcare so the population is in need of compassionate care.

Tzu Chi volunteers work with local schools, such as Lowell Elementary, to help not only the students but their families. Volunteers worked with Lisa Soloman, the principal, and her staff to get the word out about the event and the services provided. The goal was to bring care to the families and to get them there.

We worked together to get the flyers out, to make sure they got the information and that they know about the wonderful services that Tzu Chi provides here.

Soloman not only cares about her students but is a caring force in the community because she works with parents as well so that she can understand and help resolve family problems along with helping students academically.

For the first time, Tzu Chi brought the Happy Campus Program and free medical clinics. By providing medical outreach and proper health tips students have the means to be successful. It is not only about academics, it is about the entire person.

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We plan to do this four times this year for those people, and, hopefully, we can take care, and at least they can feel they have someone who they can depend on and count on to get better health everyday.

By coming to the medical clinic, families receive medical services right away and that includes blood tests, cholesterol tests, dental checkups or whatever they need. Because schools are the center of a community, these people feel more comfortable and at ease to receive these services there.

From medical to vision to dental care, the compassionate volunteer doctors and nurses are able to provide services that these families rarely if ever receive. They often are overlooked and are part of the more than 50 million in the U.S. without insurance.

The free mobile clinic is accessible and can be a reminder to patients to tend to their health needs. Tzu Chi TIMA doctors are readily available to help with care but also with emotional support and compassion.