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Health-Care Grant to Aid Asian Women

February 21, 1995|JULIE MARQUIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Vietnamese Community of Orange County has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from a philanthropic organization to establish a community health-care program for Asian women and children.

The pilot program, called the Women's Health Initiative, is intended to provide preventive and primary care to people who often face language, cultural and financial barriers in the existing health system, said Mai Cong, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Vietnamese Community.

The grant, provided by the Baxter Foundation, will help establish a community clinic in Little Saigon, probably in Westminster, Cong said.

Asians--particularly those who are poor and do not speak English--often have difficulty obtaining basic health-care services and health education, Cong said. "We want to help them develop good preventive health (care) habits," including regular Pap smears and tuberculosis screenings, she said.

At first, the money will be used to set up an educational program, recruit staff and do outreach around Little Saigon, Cong said. The goal is to open the clinic within six months.

The Vietnamese Community will seek to expand its existing relationships with medical providers, including Vietnamese physicians and UCI Medical Center, Cong said.

The Baxter Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc., a leading manufacturer of health-care products and services worldwide. Asian women make up about 45% of its Orange County work force.

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