Medical Services in San Jose Bring Forth a Brighter Tomorrow

Northwest  |  April 17, 2024
It was drizzling outside, and people with appointments for medical treatment entered the Thanksgiving Hall under the guidance of volunteers.
Volunteers guide patients inside and out of the damp weather so that they can receive care. Photo/Kitty Lu

Written by Alice Wang, Baron Lee, and Susan Lee
Translated by Ariel Chan
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto

After several days of drizzling rain, on March 24, 2024, a group of volunteers from Tzu Chi USA’s Northwest Region began making the final preparations to provide free medical consultations and outpatient services to the community.

Volunteers begin preparing for the medical event. Photo/Kitty Lu

Community volunteers had been deliberating for several months, holding a medical volunteer training course a week before to ensure the effective provision of professional medical knowledge and services guided by Tzu Chi’s philosophy of great love. 

Volunteers extend the utmost care to every community resident who comes for consultation. Photo/Kitty Lu

A total of 47 Tzu Chi medical volunteers participated in this event, including 23 professional physicians, physician assistants, therapists, and more. Medical services included dentistry, traditional Chinese medicine, internal medicine, Chiropractic, and blood glucose (blood sugar) testing, providing a wide range of health consultations and treatment services. This event served a total of 75 community residents.

Every professional Tzu Chi doctor participating in the clinic works wholeheartedly to address various ailments and inquiries for their patients. Photo/Kitty Lu

Blessed Are Those Who Give and Receive

Lunan Wang first learned about Tzu Chi through his daughter-in-law, Yuchi Le. The March 24 event was his first time attending the community health clinic. “At first, I had doubts about Tzu Chi,” shared Wang. “It was hard to imagine someone willing to give continuously without asking for anything in return.” However, after his daughter-in-law began participating in various volunteer activities with Tzu Chi, Lunan Wang gradually began to understand the Foundation’s philosophy, and came to support his daughter-in-law’s involvement. Seeing volunteers welcoming residents at the clinic like family left a deep impression on him.

Visitor Lunan Wang is very satisfied with the warm treatment of Tzu Chi volunteers and medical professionals. Photo/Kitty Lu

Guarding Health, Guiding Love

Alan had been troubled by pain for a long time, and despite seeing many doctors, he couldn’t improve his condition. At the suggestion of his wife, a Tzu Chi volunteer, he sought treatment from Dr. Guangzheng Huang, a specialist in spinal neurology. With his humorous attitude, Dr. Huang eased the tension and provided professional life advice after carefully listening to Alan’s concerns. Dr. Huang also personally led yoga sessions to relieve the pain. “The movements Dr. Huang taught are simple and easy to remember; I will continue to practice self-care on a daily basis,” Alan said.

Seeking help for the first time at the clinic, Alan finds relief from pain and learns how to maintain daily care. Photo/Kitty Lu

Dreams From Nicaragua

Due to political and social unrest in Nicaragua, Cesar and Rosa traveled for nearly a month to reach the United States, and secure a better life for their children. They recalled, “When we first arrived at the U.S. border, we experienced three days of only drinking water, gradually weakening physically, and rapidly losing weight.” Despite the hardships, their dreams remained unbroken. Cesar currently holds two part-time jobs, and Rosa works in a restaurant to make ends meet while planning to save enough money to bring their family together once again.

Visitors Cesar and Rosa are glad to receive medical treatment and thank volunteers. Photo/Kitty Lu

However, due to the extremely high medical costs in the United States, they couldn’t afford the cost of care. While distributing clinic flyers at a nearby mall, a Tzu Chi volunteer translator named Sharon Li met Cesar and Rosa. Learning of the opportunity to receive medical treatment lifted the couple’s spirits immensely. For Cesar, who works at a construction site, resolving the back and tooth pain he had been experiencing for some time was a great blessing. After the clinic ended, Cesar happily showed volunteers his freshly cleaned teeth, profusely giving thanks.

The Right Time, the Right Place

The clinic’s success is due not only to enthusiastic volunteers and patients willing to trust Tzu Chi but also to the generosity and dedication of the medical professionals. Nurse practitioner Edward Liu had been a new force in this event, connected to Tzu Chi through volunteer Ian Krajcovic. He noticed Ian had been actively promoting Tzu Chi’s activities on social media for some time, but unfortunately, he always had to miss out on participating due to his active schedule. Seeing the recruitment this time, Edward felt the importance of lending a hand more than ever and contacted Ian, finally becoming part of the clinic.

Nurse practitioner Edward Liu participates in the clinic for the first time, hoping to strengthen his impact with Tzu Chi. Photo/Kitty Lu

Early in the morning, Edward drove from San Francisco to Tzu Chi USA’s Northwest Region Office in San Jose, arriving at the venue early. During the clinic, he inquired about the patients’ conditions with care and provided professional explanations and advice. Seeing the smiles of patients who were very satisfied with their clinic experience, Edward expressed that he was deeply touched and looked forward to participating in future clinic activities.

The Most Beautiful Smiles

Volunteer Gonzalo and volunteer Sharon jointly serve as Spanish translation volunteers.
Volunteers Gonzalo and Sharon work together to translate for Spanish-speaking patients. Photo/Kitty Lu

Volunteers Gonzalo and Sharon Li have shared the responsibility of translating Spanish documents for the past three years. “I feel happy to be able to help others. Especially seeing the patients’ faces, from their original gloomy expressions to a happy smile after treatment. It fills my heart with warmth and makes me want to continue volunteering,” Gonzalo said.

Gonzalo, a volunteer translator, feels happy to be able to help others. Photo/Kitty Lu

This manner of outreach not only provides practical medical assistance to community residents but also promotes teamwork among communities in the spirit of compassion, bringing health and happiness to local residents.

After the event, Tzu Chi doctors and volunteers joyfully take a group photo. Photo/Kitty Lu

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