In the Carolinas

Project Overview

Since 1983, Curamericas Global has served some of the most vulnerable populations around the world.  We also recognize that there are many forgotten and vulnerable families right here. We are reaching hundreds of families in NC and PA.  Many of the people we hope to serve are members of immigrant families who are thrown into a new culture with very little health care assistance.  Our goal is to provide hope through health to these people, and empower them to take control of their own health.

Curamericas Global’s Strategy

Curamericas Global has altered its signature Community-Based, Impact-Oriented approach to empower Guatemalan immigrants in the Carolinas to take control of their own health. Curamericas Global partnered with the Guatemalan Consulate in Raleigh, NC in February 2019 to initiate a new program to improve access to health for Guatemalans living in the Carolinas.  A Curamericas Global team, including many health care professionals, have begun offering health care screenings and information on how to access health care providers, including those who serve persons without health insurance.  Their goal is to see every immigrant Guatemalan established with a provider, allowing continuity of care and rapid access.  This will reduce costly visits to emergency rooms and walk-in clinics for care, and improve the ongoing management of chronic problems.  The program also provides health care education about how to handle common problems.  As more information is collected, Curamericas Global can establish closer connections with the Carolina’s Guatemalan community and continue to meet their needs.  The team would love to connect with you and have you volunteer at the Consulate in Raleigh.

Project Area

The Guatemalan Consulate opened in Raleigh, NC in 2017.  It  is only the 11th Guatemalan Consulate in the United States and is the first of its kind in the Carolinas.  Prior to its opening, Guatemalan residents of North Carolina were forced to travel to either the Atlanta Consulate or the Guatemalan Embassy in D.C. to get their personal needs met.  The Consulate will serve the nearly 105,000 Guatemalans living in the Carolinas. One in twelve residents in North Carolina are immigrants, and just over 8% of North Carolina’s population is foreign born.  3.3% of these foreign born residents are Guatemalan immigrants. Raleigh has the highest Guatemalan population in the state, making it the most suitable location for the Consulate.  The Consulate will ensure that both the governmental and the health needs of the Guatemalan residents in the Carolina are sufficiently met.  A majority of these residents live with insurance, increasing the number of unnecessary emergency room and urgent care visits.  The Consulate hopes to increase participation in insurance programs and connect people with health care providers.

Our mission is to reduce inappropriate use of the emergency department and to increase preventative care.  Unnecessary use of the emergency department for primary health care needs produces overcrowding and dissatisfaction among providers.  92% of emergency departments in the United States sites overcrowding as a problem that hinders their ability to serve their clients.[1]  10.6% of naturalized immigrants reported that they use emergency care providers to address common health concerns.  This percentage increases among those who are not insured.  Concerns over inappropriate use of emergency departments by immigrants will continue to grow as the immigrant population is expected to double by 2050.[2]  It is Curamericas Global’s desire to decrease these concerns and problems associated with overcrowding by educating the local population about the benefits of primary health care providers.  To accomplish this goal, they hope to connect immigrant populations in North Carolina with local health care providers and health care insurers.  This will reduce the inappropriate use of emergency departments in the state.

[1] Ibrahim Mahmoud and Xiang-yo Hou, “Immigrants and the Utilization of Hospital Emergency Departments,” World Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 3 no. 4 (2012).

[2] Wassim Tarraf, William Vega, and Hector Gonzalez, “Emergency Department Services among Immigrants and Non-Immigrant Groups in the United States,” Journal for Immigrant and Minority Health, vol. 16 no. 4 (2014).

We would love to have you serve as a volunteer with Curamericas Global at the Guatemalan Consulate.  If you are interested, please visit www.curamericas.org/volunteer-information/ for more information.

For more information about our work in North Carolina, please contact us toll-free at (877)510-4787 or email our office at [email protected].

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