Reaching Out to Seattle's Vietnamese Community

“I was past due,” said Trang Nguyen, a Seattle resident, about her annual mammogram. But while attending the Tết Festival, an annual celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, she saw the Swedish Mobile Mammography bus parked outside.

At first, Nguyen was hesitant to receive a mammogram on a bus, but she realized that timing was important. “I am not sure how long I would have waited before making an appointment for my mammogram,” she said. “It was convenient to have this screening performed right there. The technician was thoughtful and explained each procedure she was going to do before she did it. ”

First-ever health fair helps 200 people


Mobile mammography was just one of the resources available at the first-ever Tết Festival health fair in 2015. Through a $2,000 community investment and about 50 hours of volunteer service, Swedish Health Services provided a variety of health care resources at the vent: free flu vaccines, BMI and nutrition counseling, biometric and blood pressure screenings, dental and vision care, health insurance enrollment assistance and more. When all was said and done, over 200 people received care and referrals. 

The health fair is one example of Swedish’s commitment to meeting community needs. Through a community health needs assessment, Swedish identified significant health needs including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and blood pressure, smoking and access to dental care within the local Vietnamese and Asian American populations.

Removing language gaps

Many health fair attendees commented on the positive interactions with Swedish volunteers were the best they have ever had with health care professionals. Communication barriers were removed through the availability of services such as “Ask the Doc” with Swedish primary care providers, InDemand Interpreting and health information printed in Vietnamese language. 

Through a network of community partners, Swedish looks forward to the continued success of this event and the opportunity to serve more people in the future.