Patients > Stories
Mrs. Yu: Pan Asian, a life-affirming experience.
When elderly people visit the US, their biggest worry is having to see a doctor! I had no health problems during my first two visits to the US, but this year, I contracted a urinary tract infection. A friend introduced me to the CCACC Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic. I went there three times, and I was greatly impressed. [Read More] [Close]
The first time I visited the clinic, I was received by Mr. Lee, who is a native of Henan. Mr. Lee quickly determined my eligibility and took care of the paperwork. When he learned that I'd visited a hospital ER the previous day, and that my condition had worsened, he immediately had me admitted. I'd never met Mr. Lee until that day, and I wasn't expecting to be able to make an appointment, much less receive immediate treatment. So Mr. Lee's caring nature made me feel very warm inside. Mr. Lee is a truly fine person!
Soon after this visit, while reading the paper one day, I saw an article about Dr. MoPing Chow, a volunteer doctor at the Pan Asian clinic. I was deeply impressed by one of the things he said. In short, he said there are people who help others, even when they themselves are in dire straits. By comparison, it's nothing for him, who lacks for nothing, to spend one afternoon a week helping others, and it gives him a chance to make a difference. Even if he must treat patients all year round, however great the burden, he'd still consider it worth the effort.
When I read this, I was so moved: there are still good people in this world. I decided that if I saw Dr. Chow when I next visited the clinic, I would personally thank him, on behalf of myself and on behalf of all the people that he's treated. Sadly, during my second visit, Dr. Chow was so busy that I didn't get a chance to thank him.
During my third visit to the clinic, my daughter was going to be busy, so we arranged for her to drop me off on her way to work and then pick me up in the evening. However, she got stuck in a meeting and was running late. It was now almost 7pm, and everyone had left except for Mr. Lee and a young women named Ms. Lu, who stayed with me. After a time, Ms. Lu suggested that she drive me home, but my English was imperfect and I couldn't clearly specify my address. Ms. Lu thought for a moment and then used the computer to look up my address from my medical record. She then insisted on driving me home, for which I was deeply touched.
The volunteers at the Pan Asian clinic are, without exception, a very warm-hearted group. Whether it was handling admittance, making appointments, measuring blood pressure, or using the pharmacy, everyone was cheerful and answered questions patiently. Sometimes they even handed out candy and cookies for everyone to share. In short, my experiences at the Pan Asia clinic have eased my fears about seeing a doctor in the US.
I've told my daughter that we also should give back to the community. Others have helped us, it's only fair that we help others in return. We should volunteer, and moreover, volunteer at the Pan Asia clinic.
Mrs. Li: Pan Asian is there when you need it.
Mrs. Li, who turned 65 this year, traveled to the US last November to see her infant granddaughter. While back home in China, she exercised regularly, and so her health was very good. Her previous two visits to the US were uneventful, and she was able to spoil her grandchild and enjoy being with her family before departing. [Read More] [Close]
However, for many nights during the first two months of Mrs. Li's third visit, she felt dizzy and experienced headaches and heart palpitations. Her son bought a blood pressure monitor and began taking measurements. Her blood pressure was 140-150 over 90 for several nights. Mrs. Li became very anxious, since her son's company health plan didn't cover visting relatives, and getting temporary traveler's insurance meant paying very high premiums. It was endlessly worrying, wondering how she could pay for treatment and medical tests without any coverage. She didn't want to add to her son's worries. Plus, finding a bilingual doctor who was nearby would be difficult.
After several inquiries, Mrs. Li found the Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic. The qualifying process indicated that Mrs. Li met the eligibility requirements: she was staying with her son in Montgomery County, and was receiving no income (being a tourist), and had no health insurance. She was able, that very day, to use the clinic's services.
A nurse first administered an EKG to Mrs. Li. After that, a doctor gave her a free routine blood test and recommended that she visit a partner facility in order to have an ultrasound performed on her renal artery. Mrs. Li then made an appointment to revisit Pan Asian the following Friday, and was given a free prescription for hypertension medication.
Mrs. Li's experience left her filled with positive feelings. She now knew there was a clinic - Pan Asian - that's staffed by licensed physicians and that provides free medical services. The volunteers there were friendly and nice, and were highly dedicated and attentive to their patients. Mrs. Li was deeply touched by this spirit of selflessness.
Mr. Li: Low-cost specialist care.
Mr. Li turned 40 this year, and he and his family of 2 have lived in the US for three years. He worked as an interior decorator, which brings only intermittent income. His wife thus did odd jobs to supplement their finances. [Read More] [Close]
Recently, Mr. Li began to suffer from chest discomfort. He had difficulty breathing, and he tired easily. Since he didn't have health insurance, Mr. Li never saw a doctor when he felt unwell. He simply endured it, hoping it would pass. But this time, the symptoms persisted for weeks. His wife began to worry.
After several inquiries, a friend recommended that he visit the Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic. After going through through the qualification process, Mr. Li was found to have met the clinic's eligibility requirements:
He resided in Gaithersburg, which is in Montgomery County.
His annual household income was under $46,525*, which meant that his was a low-income household.
He didn't qualify for Medical Assistance (Maryland's public insurance programs), since it required US citizenship or possession of a Green Card for five years. Mr. Li had held a Green Card for only three years.
Having been found to be eligible for treatment, Mr. Li then went to consult the attending doctor. He received a prescription and then underwent a free EKG and routine blood test. A week later, Mr. Li returned to the clinic to get the test results. The doctor's preliminary diagnosis was that Mr. Li's symptoms were being caused by pulmonary hypertension, and he was encouraged to consult a specialist.
With help from Montgomery County's specialist referral service (Project Access), Pan Asian was able to send Mr. Li to another community clinic for further treatment. Mr. Li had to pay only a small portion of the cost.
* This value is no longer current, since income requirements change every year.
Ms. Wang: Pan Asian, a Woman's Wellness center.
Recently, Ms. Wang had become very worried. Her aunt back in China had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and had been told by the doctor that this disease is easily inheritable - a female is 2-3 times more likely to develop breast cancer if one of her close female relatives (mother, sister) has contracted the disease. [Read More] [Close]
Breast cancer can take up to 12 years for symptoms to appear, but it's curable in 90% of cases if it's detected and treated early. For this reason, doctors recommend that women who are over age 40 get regular checkups.
Ms. Wang was nearly 40, which placed her in a "sandwich cohort" - not a senior but no longer young. Her life was so busy that she rarely had time for regular checkups - if she got sick, she took a pill and moved on. But when she learned about her Aunt, Ms. Wang couldn't take this lightly.
Ms. Wang lived in Montgomery County and had no health insurance. Annual income for her family of four was under $55,875*, which made her eligible to use the Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic. She called the clinic and made an appointment to get a checkup at the clinic's Woman's Wellness event later that month. She showed up on the appointed day, and was given a comprehensive breast exam by a female doctor. The checkup also included a Pap Smear (aka cervical smear, which refers to the cells sampled from the cervix and examined under a microscope to check for abnormal cells).
The checkup was finished on the same day, and the clinic referred Ms. Wang to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for a free mammogram (Mammogram Screening). The clinic staff informed her that if the mammogram results were abnormal, then they would help her apply for state funding in order to pay for further treatment.
* This value is no longer current, since income requirements change every year.
To find out if you're eligible for our services, please see the eligibility requirements.
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We welcome anyone who volunteers or donates, so that Pan Asian can continue to help people like the ones whose stories are described here.