Mrs. Woinshet Menegesha has been a patient at the Conway Health and Resource Center for a year now. She is a petite woman, but stands tall and proud with a gracious smile. Woinshet only speaks Amharic, the language of her native home in Ethiopia, but her personality spoke volumes. Through a translator she expressed a courageous story.
Woinshet left her home in Ethiopia and came to the United States to live and work. On May 23, 2016, she was granted asylum, but limited access to healthcare and resources would prevent her from achieving the freedom she was in search of.
“I became sick and was looking for free or affordable healthcare,” she said. “I suffered from pain in my legs from varicose veins, pain in my abdomen, and problems with my vision. It was hard for me and I didn’t know what to do until I found [Community of] Hope." After visiting a clinic in the Brookland neighborhood, Woinshet was referred to Community of Hope, which suddenly made her hopeful for the future.
At Community of Hope, we are proud to offer a variety of services for refugees and aslyees, like Woinshet. Roughly 500 refugees and aslyees receive immunizations, health education and care coordination every year.
Here Woinshet receives a variety of services and access to a host of resources to meet her complete healthcare needs. Meeting with the doctor was “a wonderful experience” she described. Her primary care provider had a great approach to understanding her health concerns. She was very respectful and attentive and provided her with supplemental tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“My first encounter was in the waiting room, waiting for Dr. Thompson. The very first person I spoke with was an Ethiopian receptionist! I was so happy to speak in my language, and she was very helpful from the beginning. I knew I was in the right place."
At Community of Hope, our diverse staff is committed to serving our clients in any capacity. Like a melting pot, our team of different cultures, backgrounds, ethnicity and languages have one mission – creating opportunities for low-income families and individuals. We serve our clients with the same compassion and love as we would our own families.
Since coming to Community of Hope, Woinshet’s health has changed dramatically for the better. We have addressed significant health problems and referred her for extensive services. She was able to have varicose vein surgery on her right leg – and hopes to have surgery on her left leg soon; the pain she experienced in her abdomen was treated with minor surgery; and her vision is much better with the help of prescribed glasses. “Overall, my health is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that my health is in order means that my life is in order. That’s all the motivation I need to keep going.”
When asked what life would be without Community of Hope, she simply said, “My life would be a complete disaster. There would be no hope, no future."