Author: Karen Hsiang
Translator: Wei Qingjun
Editor: Natasha Palance
Tzu Chi USA Northern California Chapter’s medical outreach mission in Milpitas on June 6, 2019 provided underprivileged residents in need with life-changing care, including the newly incorporated healthcare service of podiatry. Other services provided included Chinese medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology, and Western medicine – all of which were in high demand, as residents arrived hours before the outreach began at 6am. The outreach not only healed this community’s physical pain, it also provided emotional support to ensure an overall well being of locals.
After years of providing medical outreach services, our team has expanded our medical services, and improved our method of facilitation that ensures quality and timely care. This was demonstrated in the mission’s success, as volunteers facilitated with pristine organization throughout the outreach.
As large crowds rushed in, volunteers helped patients individually sign in, guided them to their service stations and found them the right doctors to best suit their personal needs. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, by the end of the day a total of 230 services were provided to residents.
Podiatry, the newly incorporated healthcare service, was a popular treatment at this medical outreach. The turnout for this service during care facilitation far exceeded expectations.
Despite language barriers, our team was well equipped with medical providers who were able to accommodate global aid recipients. One care recipient only spoke Minnan, a linguistic branch of Min Chinese spoken in certain parts of southern and eastern China, including most of Taiwan. With limited proficiency in Minnan, Dr. David Chuang took this recipient under his wings and was able to provide the care she needed. Despite not being fluent in Minnan, Dr. Chaung was still able to communicate with this recipient in both Chinese and Minnan Chinese, creating a universal sense of love and understanding.
Many of the elderly care recipients at the medical outreach suffered from various vision-related issues. With the help of our skilled volunteer optometry professionals, each care recipient was educated on how to best treat their individual ailments and improve their overall well being.
One elderly aid recipient was reminded of the importance of vision care. While receiving treatments, the doctor told her, “At your age you have good vision and hearing; I think you are doing very well. People are like cars. An 80-year-old train would have all kinds of problems and needs many repairs, but you are very well.”
The importance of personal care was a sentiment that was shared throughout the medical outreach, particularly the importance of vision care for the elderly. However, people both young and old are susceptible to vision problems if they spend too much time on electronic devices.
Tzu Chi volunteers and doctors worked diligently to ensure members of the community received the love and care that they needed. Many low income families came to the outreach with debilitating pain, but left free from ailments and restored love in their hearts. With Tzu Chi USA’s compassion and relief efforts, our communities will continue to become happier and healthier.