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Founder of the Ministry of Caring

Dr. ThuHuong Trinh and her husband Peter Le were both born in Saigon, Vietnam and migrated to the United States when they were young. They both spent many months in refugee camps without their parents. Dr. Trinh escaped the Vietnamese Communist when she was 16 years old and Peter Le escaped when he was 10 years old. Dr. ThuHuong Trinh: Shortly after arriving in American, she studied as a determined student and it led her to receive her bachelors in Chemistry at Princeton University in New Jersey, followed by her Doctorate of Medicine at the University of South Carolina. Peter Le: A polio survivor – A year after living in American, he received extensive surgery and treatments at Shriners Hospital that allowed him to walk without braces and crutches. Upon graduating with a computer engineering degree from the University of Houston, TX, he entered the religious life and joined the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominican Order. After a series of event, Dr. Trinh and Peter Le met and later married. They currently have two children.

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One of the greatest discovery of the American spirit is the generosity of the American people. As former refugees, it is s a humbling experience to realize that we are here today because of the help from many good people. As an American citizen, it is our mission for us to carry on the tradition of giving back to the community (just like so many good Americans). As a Christian, it is our call to serve, especially the poor and marginalized. We are blessed with the gift of medicine that can open doors into cultures, religion, and hearts. Medicine is a powerful tool for caring and evangelism the message of God’s love, “heal them and proclaim the Good News of God is at hand” (Luke 9:1).

Thanks to the generous gifts from our patients, who contribute to becoming a member of St. Joseph Primary Care, their membership fee helps us to practice medicine among the marginalized. It’s a privilege for us to continue the American spirits – giving back to the community. Here are some of the projects that we give back to the community:

DAY OF CARING (DoC) is a version of our “backyard medical mission” – providing a high quality, comprehensive, and personalized Christian health care. On this day, St. Joseph Primary Care partners with one of the local churches and transforms the church into a free health clinic to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people in the community. Our DoC model receives and equips volunteers from local churches, healthcare providers, medical/college students, and other medical ministries and businesses to host this one-day health fair in an attempt to meet human needs in Christ’s name. Rather than traveling to another foreign country, volunteers engage the community in which they live with this “backyard medical mission”. Day of Caring offers a variety of medical and dental services, such as medical consultations, annual flu shots, Cholesterol and diabetes screenings, cardiovascular disease prevention and advice, as well as dental services to check for cavities, gum disease, oral lesions, etc. For people who need a follow-up, St. Joseph will be on site to schedule appointments for people to receive quality care. For more information on how you can take part of the Day of Caring, or sponsor Day of Caring at your church, please call Peter Le (919) 386-6866.

THE FREE FLU SHOT CLINIC – During the flu season, St. Joseph Primary Care collaborates with Walgreens and together they travel to local churches and administer FREE flu shots to the community. Our hope is that through primary prevention, people will remain healthy from the seasonal flu and continue to come to church and receive the Eucharist, pray and be generous with their gifts, and continue to give God thanks and praise.

WOMEN’S HEALTH – Preventive care is one of the most important services that we want to encourage our patients to engage. St. Joseph Primary Care, collaborates with REX UNC Health Care System, a local hospital, to offer mammogram screenings to women for early detection of breast cancer. On this day, patients/members of St. Joseph Primary Care can come to our clinic and receive a free mammogram through the Mobile Mammography Program. Since many of our patients/members are parishioners at local churches, St. Joseph Primary Care also coordinates with REX UNC Health Care System so that they can receive free mammograms at their local churches instead of coming to St. Joseph Primary Care.

ST. JOSEPH CHARITABLE CARE – We work with private donors, benefactors, Catholic Charities, and different churches in the Raleigh Deanery to provide charitable care for clients and parishioners. Medical care is provided at no/low cost, pay what they can, or for the equivalent of one hour’s wage for those who are working and able to pay. Some charitable care patients can join the Membership Care Program (MCP) at a reduced membership fee.  By paying the membership fee, they become a member of St. Joseph Primary Care.  As a member of the charitable care, they pay $20 at each office visit. Currently, the clinic does not provide free x-rays, labs, or medications, patients are required to pay for these services; however, we can arrange for necessary services through our community partners at the Capital Care Collaborative at special reduced rates. For example, a simple chest x-ray costs less than $50, and basic labs and medications cost less than $20.  Qualified uninsured patients can receive certain basic laboratory tests, free of charge, at all three Wake County hospital corporations (Duke Raleigh, UNC/Rex Healthcare and WakeMed). They can also receive specialist cares throughout Wake County. Costs to see a specialist doctor is free of charge, based on availability, first comes first serve; however there is a co-pay that ranges from $25 – $150 per visit. We do not accept walk-in or hand out an application for the charitable care. Our donors/benefactors and staff at churches will identify those in need of medical care – recipients and will inform us of their needs.  We will work with our recipients, including receive them as new patients and appointments.

***To fulfill our mission, we always reach out to the community, churches, and organizations. If you are one of them and wanting to offer charitable care to your clients or parishioners, please call our Executive Director, Peter Le, at (919) 386-6866.