Health Center News

Metta: Where the Care is Bettah

Nurse Practitioner Chhan Touch examines patient San Duong at the Metta Health Center in Lowell. (Staff Photo by Jon Hill, Lowell Sun)

The excellent care offered at Metta Health Center in Lowell, MA, recently drew a nod from local press. The Lowell Sun came knocking after the health center was named one of five finalists for the Premier Cares Awards, receiving $28,000 and recognition for its work with the area’s underserved, who include Cambodians and Laotians. The article zeroes in on the often overlooked but critical element of providing culturally competent care. What does that mean? Metta — a term in Khmer that means kindness and compassion — approaches health care deliver with the language, education and culture of its patients in mind. The Lowell Sun notes that Metta’s “philosophy isn’t about translating the needs of Southeast Asians from Khmer into English; it’s understanding them to begin with.”