Local communities including undocumented immigrants encouraged to avail of free multi-health screenings

Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim (right) with MHAP Director Pedro Ramirez. Photos by Tet Valdez and Evangeline Rodriguez

Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim (right) with MHAP Director Pedro Ramirez. Photos by Tet Valdez and Evangeline Rodriguez

By Dante D. Ochoa

The consulates general of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines joined St. Vincent Medical Center in a press conference Friday September 18, to help drum up public interest on the upcoming Free Multicultural Health Fair to be held on September 27 at 2222 Ocean View Avenue in Los Angeles near Alvarado and Third Street.

Pedro Ramirez, director of Multicultural Health Awareness and Prevention (MHAP) Center said the multicultural health fair, which is now on its 13th year, is St. Vincent Medical Center’s response to the needs of low income and uninsured individuals, many of them constituencies of the participating consulate generals.

The health fair according to MHAP represents a “significant partnership that enjoys the power of an entire health community that greatly advances our goal of providing health access in our community. Besides the consulates general, the health care awareness program also involves the City of Los Angeles through Councilman Mitch O’Farrell of the 13th Council District and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Philippine Consul-General Leo Herrera-Lim, one of project partners of the health fair, encouraged Filipino Americans in Los Angeles, including the undocumented individuals to take advantage of multicultural health fair noting that “first of all, it’s free.”

“Importante rin na malaman nila na mahalaga ang kanilang kalusugan; hindi sila makapagtatrabaho kung wala silang kalusugan at sayang ang kanilang ipinupundar sa kanilang trabaho. Iyung mga “undocumented”, hindi sila dapat magambala na ang records nila ay hindi secure. Hindi ibinibigay ng providers sa pulis or immigrasyon and kanilang impormasyon. Mas insecure pa ang mga internet sites at social media na pinapasukan nila.” (It’s important for them to realize that their health is important, and that they cannot work if they are not healthy. Also they should not worry about their personal information because the health fair providers do not share information with government agencies. The internet they visit and the social media are actually less secure).

The health fair also presents significant savings in for participants.

“If one avails of all the health screenings being offered free, an individual could save up to $3,000.00; a mammography screening alone could cost approximately $400.00,” says Ramirez. He also pointed out to the TheFILAMLA that a survey conducted by St. Vincent’s in early 2000, showed that the second cause of Filipino females’ death in California was breast cancer which can partly be attributed to failure to avail of mammography screenings.

Finally, Ramirez added: “The health fair is really a big opportunity for anyone to check up on one’s health status without spending a lot of money, besides the obvious convenience of the health and medical screenings being available at the same time and place.”

Various health screenings for mammography, cholesterol, dental, glucose. diabetes, anemia, osteoporosis, blood pressure, vision, HIV/STD, body fat and many others will be available during the health fair. Free flu shots, acupuncture and other medical information will also be offered to all participants on a first-come first served basis.

For more information, the Multicultural Health Awareness and Prevention (MHAP) Center number is (213) 484-7766.

For more information, the Multicultural Health Awareness and Prevention Center number is (213) 484-7766.

More photos below of officials from various consulates general with MHAP staff.
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St. Vincent Consulate Partners (L-R 1st Row) Consul Adriana Lucia Argaiz Parr of Mexico, Cathy  Fickes, SVMC President/CEO, Ambassador Liliana Cino of Peru, Sr. Patricia Miguel, SVMC Vice President, Mission Integration; (2nd Row L-R) Jan Stein, Vice President & Executive Director, St. Vincent Foundation, Consul Jong Han Kim of Korea, Consul General Leo Herrera Lim of the Philippines, Consul General Pablo Garcia Saenz of Guatemala, Consul General Pablo Ordonez Guzman of Honduras, Pedro Ramirez, SVMC MHAP Center Director, and Deputy Consul General Sorasak Samonkraisorakit of Thailand

St. Vincent Consulate Partners (L-R 1st Row) Consul Adriana Lucia Argaiz Parr of Mexico, Cathy Fickes, SVMC President/CEO, Ambassador Liliana Cino of Peru, Sr. Patricia Miguel, SVMC Vice President, Mission Integration; (2nd Row L-R) Jan Stein, Vice President & Executive Director, St. Vincent Foundation, Consul Jong Han Kim of Korea, Consul General Leo Herrera Lim of the Philippines, Consul General Pablo Garcia Saenz of Guatemala, Consul General Pablo Ordonez Guzman of Honduras, Pedro Ramirez, SVMC MHAP Center Director, and Deputy Consul General Sorasak Samonkraisorakit of Thailand

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