NY Times: Foreign Ways and War Scars Test Hospital
Hennepin County Medical Center, a sprawling complex in downtown Minneapolis near the Metrodome, offers an extraordinary vantage point on the ways immigrants are testing the American medical establishment. The new arrivals — many fleeing repression, war, genocide or grinding poverty — bring distinctive patterns of illness and injury and cultural beliefs about life, death, sickness and health.
This article was an interesting look into a side of the immigration story that we often miss. In some ways it is a story of triumph--the ways in which the medical system has recognized, and served, the needs of new immigrants. On the other, it is a sad reminder of some of the hardships that immigrants face that those of us who were born here don't need to worry about.
Though a sad reminder, I think it is an important one. The story talks about the scars of war, both physical and emotional, that many of the Somali immigrants in Minneapolis bring with them to the U.S. It is a different image of immigrants than we usually hear, and I think it is one that needs to be told more often. Perhaps a more sympathetic view toward immigrants--such as that of the doctors and nurses at Hennepin County Medical Center who care for them--will in turn create greater understanding of their experiences and an impetus for naturalized Americans to reach out to them.