By Eduardo A. de Oliveira, EthnicNewz and FI2W reporter
Jaime Viviani is treated at Congregation Beth-El, a Jewish temple in Sudbury, Massachusetts
(Photo: Elizabeth Mendonca/Brazilian Times)
SUDBURY, Mass. — Despite the economic crisis, the Barbosa family will have a healthy holiday this year.
Three generations of the Brazilian clan are undocumented and uninsured. But Alessandra Barbosa knows that if her mother or her daughter ever need health care they can find it at Congregation Beth El, a Sudbury Jewish temple which becomes a walk-in clinic on Tuesday evenings.
In spite of all the talk about how Massachusetts Health Reform has increased access to care, there are those, mostly undocumented immigrants, who are falling through the cracks.
“Last year, we provided care to 515 patients through 753 visits, nearly all the patients ranging in age from 19 to 64,” said Kim Prendergast, resource developer with MetroWest Free Medical Program. “About two-thirds of them were Brazilian and 15 percent, Hispanic.”
What started four years ago as a “band aid” to care for about twenty low-income people has morphed into a reliable source of treatment for forty patients a week. I strolled through the temple last week as nurses rallied language interpreters to help with the majority-immigrant crowd.