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Back in Lowell, Massachusetts, where 1 on 3 is from Cambodian origin. The city holds the second largest Cambodian community in the US - with 30 000 people - after Long Beach, Ca. One of the most recent part of the immigration heritage that has built the city since the mid 19th century, the Cambodians refugees and immigrants in Lowell have definitely "shaped" the city in a way no other community has done before, with its economical, social or cultural activities, its restaurants and shops. Still, many members of this community struggle with low paid jobs, lack of education, physical or psychological health issues.
For them, the Metta Health Center - one of the six community health centers in Lowell - has specialized since its opening in 2000 in Southeast Asian medicine and resources, mixing both western medicine and traditional Asian practices such as massage, meditation or acupuncture.
For the Cambodian Americans of Lowell and around, Metta Health Center is a great place to consult a doctor or a nurse, as everything in the center is made to put them comfortable: Cambodian staff, Khmer language in use, art from Cambodia displayed on the walls… More than 5000 patients have consulted at Metta Health Center in 2008 - a large amount being from Cambodian origin - to find affordable quality health services…
In the Buddhist Pali language
“Metta” means “Love”, “Compassion”…
Above: Cambodian native Chhan Touch D’Avanzo (right), a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Metta Health Center in Lowell examines Cambodian native Ou Nhanhm (left), 64, a father of 6, currently unemployed for health related issues.
Above: with the help of Cambodian native Sonith Peou (center) - a Program Director at Metta Health Center – for the interpretation between English and Khmer, acupuncturist Judy Fang (left) gets ready to treat Cambodian native Sreng Putha, 53, (right), who doesn’t talk English much. In May 2009 Sreng Putha was in a car accident. Since then he suffers back pains and come to Metta Health Center once or twice per week to ease and treat these pains.