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In the Field: Binational Health Week Kickoff with Ventanilla de Salud, Austin

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Dancers perform at the BHW 19 event

By Luis Edwardo Retta, Health Network Associate

October is a month for health awareness and the Ventanilla de Salud likes to begin the month with it its annual Binational Health Week Kickoff, which took place earlier this month. The Binational Health Week is a grand collaboration between many incredible organizations hosted by Migrant Clinicians Network, the Mexican Consulate of Austin and the Ventanilla de Salud to bring essential medical services and information on available resources to the greater Austin community, completely free of charge.

This year marks the marvelous events’ 19th year at the Mexican Consulate in Austin and this year’s Binational Health Fair aimed to be larger than the previous year. Without a doubt MCN’s Ventanilla de Salud Coordinator, Roxana Pineda, accomplished said goal, welcoming over fifty different organizations from around the Austin metroplex.


Dr. Enrique Cruz


Increasing access to and raising awareness of essential resources in order to improve the health of the Austin community have been the driving forces for hosting the event every year. This year, the Mexican Consulate of Austin opened its doors along with organizations such as: Austin Public Health, which provided over 180 vaccinations, Sonrisas Orthodontist and Dr. Enrique Cruz, Access Dental, Alzheimer's Association Capital of Texas, Center for Health Empowerment which provided STI/HIV screenings, Walmart Health and Wellness which provided blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings, and Lions Club giving which provided vision screenings just to name and explain a very few of the organizations present.


Woman poses in front of Mariachi band


The Binational Health Week Kickoff wouldn’t be a kickoff of course without a little bit of a fiesta for the entire family. A few of the wonderful organizations that joined us to help with the festivities were: Atkins High School, Corazon Latino - providing a zumba class at the event, Ghissalo Cycling Initiative - giving the children the opportunity to complete a bicycle obstacle while learning how to safely ride, Emma Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center, Belly Dancing, Yoga, Danzversity and a wonderful performance by the welcomed Mariachi band to end the day.


Luis Retta, Health Network Associate, with BHW 19 volunteers


The most exciting part is how both the organizations and the community are the reason for the growing event. More organizations are eager to offer their services at no charge and the Austin community are hearing them loud and clear making this event one of the best attended. As a result, we are getting a healthier and a more informed and educated Austin.


Migrant Clinicians Network, Ventanilla de Salud and The Mexican Consulate of Austin would like to give a big thank you to the participating organizations:

Access Dental, Alcoholicos Anonimos, Alzheimer's Association Capital of Texas, Any Baby Can, Ash and Well,  Austin ISD, Austin Police Department, Austin Public Health, Austin Public Health Neighborhood Centers, Austin Public Health WIC Program, Austin Public Library, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, Baylor Scott & White Health, BB&T, BBVA, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of TX, Center for Health Empowerment, Central Health, Children's Health Express- Ascension, CommUnityCare, Corazon Latino Dance Studio, Cuidado Casero Home Health, Danzversity, Dell children’s health plan, El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission, Emma Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center, Emmis Communications, Foundation Communities, GenCure in partnership with Be the Match, Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, Go Austin/Vamos Austin, H.E.B.,  Inspirare Communications LLC, Lions Club, Lone Star Circle of Care, Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project, Mama Sana Vibrant Woman, MedicoMD, Mr Natural, MYDENTAL, National Kidney Foundation, New York Life, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Poni, Project Access Austin, ProyectoTEATRO, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, SAFE alliance, Sonrisas Orthodontics, Southwest Key Programs, SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER, Think Bilingual, United Healthcare, University of St. Augustine for the Health Sciences, Walmart Health & Wellness, Wells Fargo Bank


Migrant Clinicians Network, Ventanilla de Salud and The Mexican Consulate of Austin would like to give a big thank you to our lovely volunteers from the following Organizations:

Austin Public Health, Chi Beta Delta, Doctors Without Borders, MISMA, Phi Kappa Theta, Texas Orange Jackets, University of St. Augustine, Sigma Delta Pi and Dr. David Navarro.


A final special thank you to these lovely people:

Consul General - Pablo Marentes, Deliana Garcia, Ana Carazco,  Luis & Hector Ordaz along with the entire Proyecto Teatro Team, Anjanette Gautier, Jacob Soto Ortiz



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