Blog

Learn more about Catholic Charities

We're serving those
in need regardless of
faith, culture, or situation.

RECENT POSTS:

  • How preparing for disaster can keep your family safe, and serve your community
    At Catholic Charities, we understand that disaster preparation, response, and recovery isn’t just a safety issue — it’s also a poverty issue. Unfortunately, disaster doesn’t discriminate between the financially stable…
  • Parishes partner to provide mental health support
    Culturally comfortable care for Spanish-speaking families By Ashley Wiskirchen Ilsi Palacios is the Hispanic Services Coordinator at Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. In her role, she provides case…
  • Resource Fair marks Catholic Charities Food Pantry second anniversary.
    By Jennifer Hudson To address the growing needs of mid-Missourians, community organizations and local collaborators are strengthening relationships to provide essential support and resources. The Catholic Charities Food Pantry serves…
  • The Multifaceted Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities
    Access to stable and affordable housing impacts household income and enhances community well-being in multiple ways. It is not just a roof over one’s head but the catalyst for positive…
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
    “We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.” Dorothy Day   “Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” St. Ignatius…
  • Youth & Education Assistant
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Part-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dedicated addition to join our agency’s case management team and play a…
  • Site Director (Columbia)
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to join our team. The ideal candidate is…
  • Administrative Assistant (Central Office)
    Jefferson City, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a customer-service minded addition to join our agency’s administrative team and play…
  • Administrative Assistant (Columbia)
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a customer-service minded addition to join our agency’s administrative team and play a…
  • Stay Safe: Tips on Preparing for Severe Weather
    Severe weather can happen at any time, and it can pose significant risks to everyone. From powerful storms and tornadoes to hurricanes and blizzards, being prepared for extreme weather events…
  • Mercy Moments: Rights and Responsibilities
    Created and hosted by Marissa Flores Madden “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you…
  • March Menu of Engagement
    March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month. Many families across the U.S. and in our own neighborhoods are just one disaster away from financial ruin – and many have experienced the…

Exceptional care for exceptional needs: Thida and Aung’s story

Catholic Charities Refugee Services Impact Report Feature Image

While refugee medical screenings are a staple in an extensive list of resettlement steps, every now and then our agency receives a newcomer with more complex medical needs.  

When Thida* and Aung* arrived in Columbia, Missouri with their medical care advocate, the Catholic Charities team was ready with the special care they required for Aung’s heart condition.

While refugee medical screenings are a staple in an extensive list of resettlement steps, every now and then our agency receives a newcomer with more complex medical needs.  

“When an individual we’re helping resettle has high medical needs, we’re alerted before they arrive and they travel with a medical escort,” explained David Mazimano, Acting Director for Case Management Operations in the Catholic Charities Refugee Services program, based in Columbia, Missouri.  

Such was the case in August of 2022, when preliminary data prepared case managers to receive a single mother, Thida* and her young son, Aung* who were resettling from Burma to mid-Missouri to be reunited with family, and dealing with a cardiovascular complication that required specialized treatment. 

“We went right to work reaching out to our partners at Compass Health who provide refugee medical screenings for our clients, and then coordinating that care with pediatrics center MU Women’s and Children’s hospital for additional care upon arrival,” David shared. 

“Sure, this is an uncommon medical situation, but it’s not an uncommon picture of how our staff cares for refugees we receive,” David continued. 

While grant-funded resettlement work can limit funding available to complex situations like Thida and Aung’s, their case manager remains invested in navigating resources to support working as a single parent, transportation, referrals to cardiac specialists and care teams, and the more common aspects of resettlement – school enrollment, cultural orientation, and English language training – together. 

“Navigating life with a medically fragile child is one thing – navigating those health challenges while rebuilding your lives in a new country is another,” David said, “That’s why at Catholic Charities we always treat ‘cases’ as individuals, looking at any avenues, resources, and community support that can make sure families in situations like these have what they need.”