Children, lions and food helped ring in the New Year in style.
Lutheran Medical Center played host to its annual Lunar New Year celebration. The hospital commemorated the Year of the Goat with a variety of traditional festivities such as the lion dance which is said to chase away evil spirits and a performance by children from the Brooklyn Chinese American Association. Chinese food was also provided for Lutheran employees.
“It’s always good to come together and celebrate,” said President and CEO of Lutheran Health Care (LHC), Wendy Goldstein. “I think there’s enough pain and difficulty in everybody’s life that when we have something wonderful to celebrate, we should come together and do that. We try to do that at Lutheran all the time. We also want the community to know that we are part of it. They come here and make us better, stronger and more able to take care of patients.”
After the festive lion dance which brought smiles to medical personnel, parents and children alike, the stars of the ceremony, the students of the BCAA, took center stage. Dressed in festive attire and holding pom-poms, the kids sang and danced to both classic American and Chinese tunes such as “Clap Your Hands,” and “See the Lion Dance and Prance.” Once their performance concluded, they received a rousing ovation from attendees.
“The more we learn about the Chinese community, we can do our job better and keep them healthy,” added Goldstein. “We’ve been doing it at least 10 years. It’s one of those things that has evolved. First it was a little, then it just got bigger. The children were amazing. Every year they get cuter and cuter. This is a tradition we started a while ago because we like to celebrate everyone that’s a part of our family.”
Everyone in attendance was then treated to Chinese cuisine. “The key is the food because the employees are very enthusiastic about the food,” said Goldstein.
“Often times its tough for our patients,” said Vice President of Cultural Competence for LHC Virginia Tong. “They don’t want to be here for the New Year because for some, it means they may be sick for the year. So for part of our celebration, we take some gifts and oranges which represent good luck. The employees take them upstairs and visit all the patients, also in the nursing home. It’s also great the kids get to dress up in beautiful clothes. They do lots of celebrating. They were in the parade last week.”
“We are very much a part of this community,” added Goldstein.