Year Joined MKLM: 2013
City: Phnom Penh
Focus: Pastoral and Healthcare
Project: Health Program, a free healthcare service
provided by the church
People Served: Approximately 2,000 patients and their
Hang has a graduate certificate in Public Health and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas. She spent three years managing a business that specializes in nutrition. She has served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, at a soup kitchen and a hospice. Hang was born and spent part of her childhood in Saigon, Vietnam and her home parish is now St. Theresa in Austin. Regarding her decision to join Maryknoll Lay Missioners, she says, “Maryknoll Lay Missioners live their faith beautifully through sharing and collaborating with others and serve a wide range of those in need overseas. I feel called to do likewise.”
In the pursuit of health, the poor and marginalized in Cambodia usually do everything possible to purchase treatments for a sick loved one, such as selling their possessions or borrowing. As the result, the entire family can become exceedingly destitute. Through donations from various good will organizations and individual gifts, the church offers a Health Program to provide free healthcare to the sick and poor.
In particular, the poor coming from rural areas are assisted with transportation, food and shelter, while receiving various services in the capital city of Phnom Penh. These include, but are not limited to, diagnostic testing, treatments, therapies, hospice care and funeral arrangements. This ministry collaborates with public and private healthcare providers through formal arrangement or friendly referrals. It especially trains local volunteers, who in turn work closely with the poor and coach them on navigating the systems and interacting with professionals in health centers. Many beneficiaries gain confidence in utilizing their community-based resources.
Hang’s role consists of coordinating the staff and operations, which include two sick shelters, kindergarten health education and provincial health referral services. This ministry serves approximately 2,000 patients and their families.