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UMC provides care for 55 Afghan refugees, including new mom

An exterior view of the University Medical Center of El Paso.
UMC Foundation
An exterior view of the University Medical Center of El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- As more Afghan refugees arrive in the Borderland, University Medical Center of El Paso is opening its doors to them.

“Whether you are a longtime Borderland resident or an international patient, our mission is to heal, so we don’t check the passport at the door,” Ryan Mielke, a spokesperson for UMC said. 

As of Tuesday, UMC had treated 55 Afghan refugees for various ailments. Three of those patients were admitted to the hospital, one of that trio was a new mother who gave birth on Monday. Most of the patients UMC has received were low-level outpatient cases.

Meilke told ABC-7 that the situation is changing rapidly, but they have enough resources in place to accommodate the potential 10,000 Afghan refugee capacity of Fort Bliss. Meilke also said UMC has systems setup to handle more patients at a moment's notice. 

According to Mielke, UMC is in constant contact with Fort Bliss and vice versa. 

“The Army has been very very good in communicating with us what the patients are and what the conditions are that they’re going to bring to us,” Mielke said. “So we’re prepared before they even get here.”

Article Topic Follows: Health

Rachel Phillips

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