Alan Shapiro, M.D., FAAP, first met the adolescent after he had endured months of stressful events. The boy had witnessed his best friend’s murder and decapitation by Guatemalan gangs, left his family and made the harrowing trek on the top of la Bestia (the Beast) train across Mexico. Smugglers led him to the U.S. border, extorting the last of his money. He was apprehended by a Customs and Border Protection agent immediately. The month that followed was a blur: bunking in the shelter, awaiting placement with a sponsor and being sent by bus to the East Coast.

Photo by John Moore/Getty images

Leaving a violent home and surviving the journey across Mexico takes a toll on migrant children’s health. It will take a medical home to meet short- and long-term needs of the 60,000 to 90,000 children entering U.S. communities alone in 2014.

Months later, sitting across from Dr. Shapiro...

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