Ukrainian refugee shares success, shortfalls in transition to Lincoln life
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - When war broke out in his home country, Alexander Syniy, his wife and three kids fled Ukraine and came to Nebraska.
Then, a new worry set in, though nothing like what he was trying to escape from.
“When we got to America, I have some nervous [sic] about medicine,” Syniy said. “Because I hear it’s very expensive here.”
Part of their transition included a stop at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department for check-ups, vaccines and to connect Alexander and his family to medical care.
“In one month, I have Medicaid,” Syniy said. “I and my family, it’s a good experience for us.”
Tuesday, at the Board of Health meeting, Health Director Pat Lopez shared what her office has been doing to help not only Ukrainian refugees but refugees from all over.
“We’re one of the largest resettlement sites in the state of Nebraska,” Lopez said. “And Nebraska is one of the largest resettlement sites in the country.”
All families go through a physical, get lab work done, see a dentist, and can get signed up for food assistance.
“Many of them haven’t been able to access medical care for some time,” Lopez said.
All of that said, Syniy said there still have been struggles in the move, like getting behind the wheel and being able to pick up his family.
“I can’t because I doesn’t [sic] have a work permit and driver’s license,” Syniy said.
It’s an issue Lopez said the city and county are aware of, with both working to figure out a way to help these families get the documentation they need. Regardless, Syniy said he is grateful for all the help he’s received since arriving in the Capital City.
“Everybody has stress when they come live in the other country,” Syniy said. “But usually here, very kind people.”
Lopez said the health department is helping refugees from all over the globe.
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