Michael Wong, MD

Allergy and Immunology, Central Valley Area

Neighbors in Health

“Everyone wants to measure success in terms of numbers of patients served. But I prefer to look at whether the people we served walked away delighted and encourages with the kindness and dignity with which we provided care.”

Dr. Wong provides the stimulus for Neighbors in Health, a community health fair that offers education, counseling, and other medical services to indigent residents of the San Joaquin Valley. The event, held at the Stockton Medical Center, served 7,000 people in 2001. While the majority of the planning for the event, as well as staffing for the primary and specialty care clinics, is done by volunteers from the Stockton facility, a wide variety of other resources. Following Stockton’s lead, four other KP facilities have organized Neighbors in Health programs; and two more are making plans to hold events in 2002.

For Dr. Wong, community service extends beyond Neighbors in Health. He travels to farm labor camps, community centers and schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Stockton’s mobile health van. He also travels to Mexico each March to coordinate a medical outreach program he created with the support of his church and KP. Whenever possible, Dr. Wong includes his wife and children in his outreach efforts.

“One of the values we try to teach our children is service – being unselfish and giving of themselves,” he explains. “We want them to understand that by helping others, they can make a difference.”