Mothers are most often the heart and center of a family – the one striving to keep everyone healthy and safe even during the most difficult times. Life for a mother can be especially challenging if she or a family member is an immigrant or refugee – like many we serve.
ONE MOTHER’S STORY – Maria S.
When Maria Sanchez’s newborn son Jon was diagnosed with Noonan Syndrome, a rare genetic disease, she knew exactly where to turn for help.
This rare condition can have a range of symptoms that call for care by many different providers. Heartland’s Dr. Shaheena Ahmed helps Sanchez manage the team of doctors responsible for Jon’s care. “[All] the doctors are linked to Dr. Ahmed,” Sanchez says. “I told Dr. Ahmed Jon snores and she said ‘You know what, let’s get him to the ENT, I want to rule out he doesn’t have sleep apnea.’ Jon might need heart surgery, and Dr. Ahmed and the cardiologist need to clear all that.
So, everyone is connected.”
Sanchez began bringing her daughters Rebecca, now 22, and Priscilla, now 11, to Heartland’s pediatric clinic after Advocate referred Jon to Dr. Ahmed. Now Rebecca brings Maria’s granddaughter, 1-year old Ashley, too. Sanchez and her daughters say Dr. Ahmed is attentive to each child’s needs, manages the details of the family’s health referrals, and shows she cares about them.
“What I care about is their health, and Dr. Ahmed cares about them,” Sanchez says. “It’s nice my granddaughter gets to come here now.” On a personal note, she adds, when her husband passed away last year, Dr. Ahmed helped her process the loss: “She actually cared and sat there and talked to me.”
Now when the Sanchez family come for their appointments at Heartland Health Center’s pediatric clinic, they file in to Dr. Ahmed’s examining room together. “I like how we can all be together,” says Priscilla. “Right,” Rebecca agrees. “It’s family time.”
At Heartland Health Centers we believe health care is a human right. Our vision is to provide comprehensive care that surrounds and supports the dedication and determination of mothers like Maria. We recognize that by supporting the health and well-being of mothers and caregivers, we help grow healthy families; and healthy families build healthy communities.
Special thanks to everyone who participated in our Mother’s Day Campaign, with your support we raised over $6,000!
Below are all the Mothers/Caregivers who were honored during this campaign.
Ms. Zarina Ahmed
Mrs. Frankie Davis
Betty Lois Runyen
Mary Ann Kelly