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Many new immigrants are unsure of which over-the-counter drugs to take for common ailments like allergies, cold and flu, or muscular and joint pain.

That’s where Doctor of Nursing Dorothy Dunn and volunteer Marisol Ruiz come in.

Dunn volunteers at the free mini clinic, which operates every other Wednesday at the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC), located at 1501 Acushnet Ave. Their clients are mostly new immigrants from Guatemala without documents or health insurance.

In addition to providing routine medical care like consultation and checking vital signs, the clinic uses a photo album showing hundreds of images of over-the-counter drugs to make it easier for clients to identify what to buy at their local pharmacy. The ability to easily communicate through images is one of the clinic’s success stories.

“We receive many people, mainly women, with muscular pains caused by the heavy and repetitive work they do in fish factories,” said Dunn.

Dunn, a retired nurse and university professor, visited Guatemala in 2012 with a group of practicing nurses to attend mostly to women. She fondly remembers the gratitude of the people she treated.

After retiring to New Bedford, she worked with Corinn Williams, co-founder and director of the CEDC, to launch the small clinic.

Email reporter Gerardo Beltrán Salinas at

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