In 1986, Casa Marianella, an emergency homeless shelter in East Austin for immigrants fleeing war and oppression, was donated by Ed Wendler to the Diocese of Austin for use as a shelter. Each year, the Ed Wendler Award for Outstanding Service to the Immigrant Community is presented to an organization that goes above and beyond to care for the immigrant community. This year, the Ed Wendler award was presented to Dr. Nicholas Yagoda representing CommUnityCare, a medical organization that serves the Austin community with unparalleled compassion to improve the health of the community by increasing access to the best care possible- turning no patients away.

Dr. Nicholas Yagoda accepts the Ed Wendler Award on behalf of CommUnityCare

CommUnityCare’s vision is to improve the health of the community by increasing access to the best care possible, working with the community as “peers with open eyes and a responsive attitude to provide the right care, at the right time, at the right place.”

Dr. Yagoda on providing medical assistance to our community:

“Any hope of improving the health of our community, including immigrants, depends on stepping out of the clinical setting and addressing the social determinants of heath, the conditions in which we live, and the fundamental drivers of these conditions.”

Casa Marianella residents are fortunate to be able to obtain the Medical Assistance Program (MAP) cards which provide them with free access to clinics, Brackenridge Hospital, and prescription medicines. Casa Marianella case managers have been able to help residents manage a full range of health concerns by working with the providers at CommUnityCare. This includes cases of advanced diabetes, cancer, and blindness. CommUnityCare has treated the residents of Casa Marianella and the immigrant community in general with respect and excellent professional attention.