Medical student organizes health fair for Albanian-American community

Event fills need for underserved population

| Author: Kate Worster

More than 70 members of the Albanian-American community in southeast Michigan received preventative health care during the first weekend in November, thanks to an initiative led by a CMU College of Medicine student.

Michigan has one of the largest populations of Albanian immigrants in the United States. Third-year student Michela Manga saw a need in an underserved population—a gap she could help fill. 

Michela Manga and Dr. Tony Lulgjuraj
Michaela Manga (left) and Dr. Tony Lulgjuraj (right)

"The Albanian-American community has a lack of preventative care initiatives that address their specific needs. There have been no community-wide initiatives to change that, and this event was intended to help fill that need in the community," said Manga.  

Manga organized 43 Albanian-American health care professionals and students, all of whom spoke Albanian, in an effort to educate people in their native language about the benefits of preventative health. Informational handouts regarding lifestyle modification and disease, written in Albanian and English, were available for the attendees to take home. In addition, the Albanian-American community members had the opportunity to meet current and future health care professionals in the region.

"Michela's drive, organization, and determination to put this fair together shines through even among our impressive students," said Dr. Tony Lulgjuraj, CMU assistant professor of pediatrics and physician at University Pediatricians/DMC Children's Hospital. "Michela and I are members of the same church, and I can attest that she is already being looked upon as a rising physician star in our Albanian medical community."

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