The best recipes require ingredients, that when combined, create a burst of flavor that makes people ask for more. Why are we talking about recipes? Because the UT Physicians Multispecialty – International District clinic is a melting pot that represents the rich, unique “seasonings” of Houston.
Ringing in the Chinese New Year
The staff represents many nationalities, speaking a total of five languages. In celebration of that diversity, the staff organized a community Lunar New Year celebration on Feb. 8.
“The year of 2019 is the year of the pig. At UT Physicians Multispecialty –International District’s Lunar New Year, we celebrate the impressive qualities of every culture while celebrating the Asian Lunar New Year. We not only celebrate an important part of Asia but also include international performances. In the Chinese lunar calendar a different animal or mythological beast represents every year in a 12-year cycle,” said Fahad Kamal, the community practice manager for UT Physicians Multispecialty-International District.
“The clinic has worked hard to promote the remarkable diversity and impressive communities surrounding southwest Houston while fostering friendship among nearly every culture,” he said.
The event included a tai chi demonstration, traditional Lebanese dance, distribution of “Lucky Red Envelopes”—which are a Chinese tradition, customized brush calligraphy, vendor booths and more. Tai chi started in China and is an exercise for the body and mind.
Opened in 2015, the clinic is in Saigon Houston Plaza, in the heart of the International Management District, known for its Asian cuisine and diverse shopping. “We are part of the community around us,” Kamal said. “This helps us better serve the health needs of residents.”
The 5,500-square-foot clinic was designed following feng shui tenets to promote harmony, balance and energy with color and design nods to the five elements: wood, fire, metal, earth and water. Red and gold – positive colors in many Asian and Hispanic cultures – are used generously throughout the facility. The waiting room and hallway floors are a rich brown bamboo while the exam room floors have a subtle metallic sheen. When you reach one of the center’s seven examination rooms, your guide will roll back a black 10-foot tall shoji-inspired sliding door.
The clinic offers family medicine, pediatric,s and behavioral health services. Each staff member and health care provider contributes to a team environment to host events like the Lunar New Year celebration.
“We tried to use this event as an opportunity to celebrate our diverse culture and learn about making healthy choices,” said Ivy Weng, community health education specialist. “Our team worked together to make decorations and schedule events for the fair that were meaningful. We encouraged visitors to eat fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and use a Fu calendar to track their exercise and wellness appointments. A Fu calendar is a tradition. Fu stands for blessings and fortune.”
To schedule an appointment at the clinic, call 713-486-5900 or go to UT Physicians Multispecialty – International District.