Maimonides Medical Center held its 12th annual Lunar New Year Celebration with the help of hospital leaders and performers from local schools.
The event, held at the Schreiber Auditorium in the Eisenstadt Administration Building on Wednesday, February 28, featured the Lion Dance and cultural dances by students from New Utrecht High School and P.S. 105, and the Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) Dance Team.
“The Lunar New Year Celebration is a special moment during the year for Chinese people here and around the world, but it’s also a special moment for us here at Maimonides and to celebrate with the Chinese community is important for us as we reflect on the diversity that we represent and the importance of culture, community and identity as a part of who we are,” President and CEO of Maimonides Kenneth Gibbs said. “At this point in time, it’s also important to celebrate that sense of culture and diversity that’s part of what defines the best of America.
“The theme here at Maimonides is partnering, supporting relationships and respecting the culture,” Gibbs went on. “In that spirit, I want to turn to the fact that this is the Year of the Dog.”
Dogs, he stressed, “Speak to what is necessary to true partnership and connection: [They are] honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward and have a strong sense of responsibility. These are all values we aspire to. If we do, then we at Maimonides are good partners for this community and we will work together to have better health care outcomes.”
Gibbs added that 12 percent of the patients that are admitted to Maimonides speak a Chinese dialect. In 2017, 365 of the staff members were Chinese-speaking, a nine percent increase over the year before. In addition, over 50 physicians who attend at the hospital speak Chinese.
“We are committed to reach out and try and meet the community where it is,” Gibbs said. “In 2016, we were thrilled to announce our partnership with the Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA). It’s an incredibly well-run organization of physicians, primarily in the Chinese community, and for many members of the health care community, it’s recognized as one of the most effective physician associations in the city. In 2017, we were delighted to welcome George Liu, the CEO of CAIPA to serve on the Maimonides Board of Trustees, an important step for us in embracing the community.”
Eugene Keilin, chair of the Board of Trustees, also spoke to attendees.
“As Ken said, dog people are loyal but I understand they are also stubborn,” he said. “I think of Maimonides that way. We are certainly loyal. We have been in this community in one form or another for over 100 years and are thankful for it. As the community has changed, we have changed. We are also stubborn. In an era in which many hospitals are shrinking, we are expanding. In an era where many of them are cutting back, we are cutting ribbons. “
“It’s such an honor to stand up on this stage to celebrate Chinese New Year,” added Liu. “This is a great opportunity for us to communicate with the hospital and community.”
Following the performances, there were raffles and awards were given to those who helped organize the performances.