January 6, 2010

The Nurse

See a multimedia version of this story at this link.

Malida Suong's parents fled Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, and escaped to Khao-I-Dang refugee camp on the Thai border, where an estimated population of 160,000 refugees was living.
Malida was born in Khao-I-Dang in 1981.
In 1985, the whole family finally left for a new life in a new country, the United States. After a short period in Maine, Malida’s family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, where South-East Asian refugee families had already settled, among them a big majority of Cambodians. Malida’s parents found jobs easily there, factory works…

It’s not until she traveled back to Cambodia in 2004 - the first time since her family had left the country - that Malida envisioned the career she wanted to embrace: public health and nursing. In May 2009, she has graduated with a Masters in Science and received her license to be a nurse practitioner.
Malida is now working at LCHC (Lowell Community Health Center), a non-profit organization that started in 1970 to serve the diverse ethnic population of Lowell, with high quality and affordable health care services.