HJN Profile: 5 Questions with Vietnamese Community of Orange County, Inc.

What is the mission of your organization?

Our Mission is to provide comprehensive — health, human, and economic development — supporting services to Vietnamese Americans in order to enable them to become actively participating citizens in the mainstream society through empowerment and capacity enhancement of each citizen.

What communities do you serve?

Our Asian Health Center (AHC) serves the underserved population in and surrounding central OC, particularly the cities of Garden Grove, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Tustin and Westminster. Two of these cities, Westminster and Garden Grove, encompass the largest concentration of Vietnamese in the U.S. living in poverty. While the AHC primarily serves the API community, we also serve members of various other underserved communities, such as the Hispanic community. The AHC takes special care to reach out to all those with barriers to healthcare, who traditionally are mono-lingual and of low income and immigrant backgrounds. As such, we have an open door policy and serve everybody regardless of age, race, income, gender or religious affiliation.

Describe two of your programs you would like HJN members to know about.

Project FOCUS – (For Our Children’s Ultimate Success): This is a mental/behavioral health program. Project FOCUS has a “Whatever-It-Takes” approach toward promoting success for youth. Emphasis is put on servicing youth (up to their 26th birthday) who are severely mentally ill or have serious emotional disorders/disturbance. Assistance is provided with medical, educational, social, prevocational, vocational, rehabilitative and other community services. We also provide referrals for housing, nutrition, child care, transportation, employment, health care and counseling. (Contact: 714-839-4441)

Women’s Health: Our health clinic actively works to inform women on how to prevent cancer and how to check for signs of cancer. Health services for women include clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap smears, pelvic exams, and more. The program takes initiative to screen all women for cancer risks and provide preventative care in a bilingual and bicultural manner.

What is the most pressing issue VNCOC is currently working on?

As the economy has fallen, VNCOC’s most pressing issue is finding the resources to serve a community whose circumstances have worsened as a result of job loss. Now more than ever, community members are finding a need for low-cost comprehensive care (including preventative care). While need has doubled, resources haven’t and we are working hard to address that for both our clinic and the community in general.

Anything else you would like to share?

Our 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner is on April 10th and we urge everyone to come and celebrate with us as we recognize the collaboration and partnership involved in the growth of the community. For more information, please visit: http://www.thevncoc.org

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