Quote EndQuote Cross-Cultural Strategy

AMSSA Diversity Health Fair Helps Immigrants Manage Chronic Health Conditions

Posted by Alisa | 03.10.13

All attendees received a free Diversity Health Fair tote bag, full of product samples and health and wellness giveaways

As Vice-President of the AMSSA board, I was honored to emcee the opening ceremonies of the 9th Annual Diversity Health Fair this morning. We opened with a warm, traditional First Nations greeting, sang a beautiful rendition of O Canada in both official languages with the Sarah McLachlin School of Music, and enjoyed the ribbon cutting ceremony with Lynn Moran, executive director, AMSSA, and all the dignitaries.

Honorary guests included:
– Raj Chouhan, MLA
– Councillor Adriane Carr, Vancouver City Hall
– Drona Rasali, Director, Population Health Surveillance and Epidemiology, Provincial Health Services Authority
– Consul General Jianping Mei, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China
– Timothy Welsh, Director, Sector Relations, Immigrant Integration Branch

Fellow AMSSA board members present included Pradeep Khare and Berta Lopera.

After following the lion dance troupe from the Kin Fung Athletic Group out to the main exhibit hall, I had an opportunity to make my own stress-relieving squeeze ball, sample healthy Indian cooking by Chef Vikram Bajaj and Chef Jas Bajaj of Ace Curries To Go, learn about diabetes prevention, and the cross-cultural mental health programs offered by Vancouver Coastal Health.

Providing access to health and wellness resources is extremely important for immigrants, ethno-cultural communities, and especially newcomers to Canada. Research shows that within two years of landing in Canada, our newcomers became less healthy than when they first arrived. Contributing factors include stress, difficulty finding ingredients common to their culture, and adopting North American-style eating habits and tastes.

The theme for this year’s Diversity Health Fair is “Chronic Disease Prevention“.

An example of one of the many booths offered resources to learn about programs available in BC to manage chronic health conditions. Programs are offered in Punjabi and Chinese.

Thank you to our generous event funders and sponsors, our numerous multicultural media, the Diversity Health Fair steering committee and the over 70 multilingual volunteers for making health and wellness information accessible to everyone in the Vancouver area!

To become a sponsor of future Diversity Health Fair events in Vancouver or around BC, please contact me at alisa [at] quoteendquote [dot] ca.