Growing up, Peter always knew he would get involved in health care.
He may not have added the “MD” his parents were hoping for, but he’s found his own way to impact the health of Greater Lowell.
A child of Cambodian refugees, Peter was born and raised in Lowell. From his parents, he learned the value of hard work – and giving back.
“My mother was a nurse, so the importance of good health care was drilled into me,” says Peter. So was the idea of finding a meaningful career.
“My parents definitely hoped I would become a doctor, or maybe a pharmacist,” he says with a laugh. “I always felt connected to the field. But, I wanted to do something with broader impact. It’s something I’m passionate about.”
With that in mind, Peter decided to major in Public Health at UMass Lowell. He felt lucky to win an internship, and eventually a full-time position, at the Lowell Health Department, working on a new initiative centered around opioid abuse and prevention. This was when he really got to know Lowell CHC, including Teen BLOCK, our free after-school program that helps teens make healthy choices and feel more connected to their families and the community.
“I was really amazed by Teen BLOCK – the programs, the staff, and how they interact. It’s a powerful combination. I wish I had known about it in high school.”
Today, Peter has found a new career in medical sales, helping to bring the latest, most effective medical technologies to the community he knows and loves.
Along the way, the Health Center has never been far from his thoughts.
“There was a time when my father was between jobs and lost his private health insurance. So, he came to the Health Center,” he recalls. “Right away, Dad felt so comfortable in Metta (Lowell CHC’s ‘West Meets East’ practice the focuses on serving Southeast Asian and other refugee populations).” Now, with a new private insurance plan, Peter’s father chooses to remain a patient at the Health Center, where he feels welcomed and understood.
Peter is a proud founding member of Lowell CHC’s Developing Leaders Council, and now chairs the group. The DLC is a group of young professionals who help raise awareness, and funds, for the Health Center, including Teen BLOCK.
We are grateful for young leaders in our community, like Peter, who are helping to shape our Health Center for the next 50 years… and beyond.
“The Health Center does so much more than just provide exceptional health care. I love how it embraces different cultural backgrounds and meets people where they are – it’s invaluable to this community.”