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Idente doctors reach 30 year mark providing care immigrants in Rome

2013-09-08

The Fernando Rielo Association for Health Care and Medical Research reached its 30th anniversary. Their founders, Idente missionaries, were the first to bring health care to undocumented immigrants arriving in Rome.  

MARIA DEL CARMEN TIMONEDA ARMENGOL
Idente Missionary
"It was the first help center for immigrants. From there, after a few years with these young doctors, we saw the need to have the first International Congress for Migratory Medicine. We had foreign experts come from countries where they were already working with immigrants. In Italy, there was no such thing at the time.”

In 1983, one of the missionaries ran into Chaldean immigrants that lived in Ostia, and were in need of medical care. One doctor and one nurse set up a small care center at the Termini train station. Soon, dozens of volunteers joined them.

MARIA DEL CARMEN TIMONEDA ARMENGOL
Idente Missionary
"We began to treat immigrants, whom were mostly young, and that were here without a visa but had gotten sick. They didn't know where to go for treatment.”

They not only cared for their physical well being, but also on an emotional level, by offering consolation and a helping hand. This small gesture makes them different from other doctors.

ANNE DABAN
Idente Missionary
"Our founding father taught us that a person is not just a body, but also a psyche, and above all, a spirit. That's why he spoke about spiritual needs.”

That's a lesson they live by, but also one they teach. From that small clinic at Termini, other educational projects developed, like the Rielo School for Advance Studies in Biomedical Sciences or the Idente Foundation for Studies and Research. The group has always followed their founder's main mission: to do good in the world. In their case, as doctors.


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