(Click on photo to view complete photo gallery of event)

I am please to announce the success of our women’s luncheon titled “Let’s Celebrate Health.” There were over 100 people in attendance, with 80 people being women or girls, some of whom came all the way
from Rockford.

The event took place at the Seville in Streamwood, IL on Saturday June 30, 2012. Lao American Organization of Elgin (LAOE) collaborate with Asian Health Coalition (AHC), Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), and Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) to present an educational session surrounding the topic of Human
Papillomavirus (HPV) and breast/cervical cancer.

The event was free for all attendees due to the generosity of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), who provided LAOE with a $2000.00 grant to host an event to encourage women to vaccinate their children to prevent cancer. I would like to sincerely thank everyone that came out to the event and for specific individual’s support during this month long process.

I could not have done this without everyone’s hard work. All of you put countless hours into the event, including Manivong and Janette Nanthavongsa (LAOE, Women Community Health Workers) who passed out hundreds of invitations and help with the logistics of the event, Reena Patel (AHC,Women’s Health Program Consultant) and Celine Vatterott Woznica (AHC, Director of Programs) who gave me continual guidance, Pastor James Ratthahao (Lao New Harvest Church of the Nazarene) who assisted with the invitation printings, Sam Romano (Seville, Owner) who provided us with the location, great accommodations, and wonderful staff members to work with, for all the LAOE board members who came and assisted with the questionnaire translation, taking pictures, and everything else. Also I would like to thank Ray Valek (IPHA) who provided us with the HVP PowerPoint and media announcements. I would also like to express my gratitude to the VNA including Paul Regan (VP of Clinic Services), Elisa Lara (Clinical Coordinator), and the other VNA staff members. VNA has been supportive of the Silk Brocade (breast/cervical cancer program) since the beginning and women who are referred from the program receive their services at the VNA, which our women report being very pleased with the services.

I would also like to thank the Chicago Suntimes for coming out to cover the story for our luncheon and Tara García Mathewson (Daily Herald,Staff Writer) for updating the Fox Valley community of the Silk Brocade Project as well as the luncheon. Last, but not least I would like to especially thank Jacqueline Tran,
Director at the Center of Excellence to Eliminate Disparities in Health (CEED) and Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), and Edwin Chandrasekar (AHCI, Executive Director)
for entrusting LAOE with the Silk Brocade Project, it is truly an honor to be a recipient for this grant. This is one of many events that will be hosted to continue to education our Laotian women to take charge of their health and seek out services to promote a healthier life style for themselves and their family. With that being said, I am truly blessed and humbled to be working with such a great group of people who are truly committed to the advancement of the Lao community and I look forward to our near future collaborations!!!

Many Bessing,
May Saengpraseuth, MSW
Program Director
Women and Health Services
Lao American Organization of Elgin (LAOE)