As industry in Silicon Valley continues to grow and evolve, so too does its workforce. People from all around the world call this area home. The changing face of the community includes great opportunities, but it presents some challenges as well. For example, the American healthcare system can be difficult to understand for both lifelong residents and recent immigrants. As a community partner, El Camino Hospital sees an opportunity to help our neighbors better understand and successfully navigate the healthcare system in the United States.
“Here, you don’t walk into a hospital for general health needs. But in other countries, sometimes that is customary. Some of us take these things for granted, but unless you’ve learned the system, how would you know?” says Varsha Tickoo, community health programs specialist at El Camino Hospital.
For more than 30 years, El Camino Hospital has been creating and running community programs to help answer these types of questions. The U.S. Health Multicultural Event, held on March 22, 2017, is the latest example of ongoing efforts to address the needs of a diverse community. Varsha explains, ”This event provided education to immigrants and those who are unfamiliar with getting healthcare in the United States, as well as the necessary knowledge to living well in a new country.” Guest presenters spoke in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi and English. Qualified professionals spoke one-on-one with people who wanted their questions answered privately.
Varsha and her colleagues continue to reach out to cultural communities and organizations in Silicon Valley. In bringing together community residents and El Camino Hospital resources, such as the South Asian Heart Center and Chinese Health Initiative, Varsha hopes to foster better understanding of how patients can access healthcare and utilize the services at El Camino Hospital. To learn about other community services, visit the Health Library & Resource Center.