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News Release

September 14, 2004

First-Ever Health Report for Houston’s Vietnamese Community to be Released by
St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities

(Houston, TX) – St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities will be releasing the first-ever comprehensive health report for Houston’s Vietnamese Community on September 14 at Park Place Regional Branch Library.  The report is now online and available for download.

The “2004 Community Health Report for Houston’s Alief/Park Place Super Neighborhoods” is based on a two-year assessment of the health and well being of Houston’s Vietnamese refugee communities that predominantly reside in the Alief and Park Place neighborhoods of Houston.

Since 1975, the U.S. has received more than 940,000 Vietnamese refugees, 14 percent of whom have settled in Texas. According to the 2000 Census, the number of Vietnamese in Houston is increasing faster than any other segment of the population at 75.7 percent, exceeding even the Hispanic growth rate of 73.5 percent. After reviewing the data on population density, the Asian-American Health Advisory Group of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities requested a focus on Houston’s Vietnamese, a population for which no comprehensive health assessment had ever been compiled.

According to the report, Houston’s Vietnamese are less likely to have health insurance, more likely to treat illness through self-care, have more ER visits and longer hospitalizations, will experience liver cancer and cervical cancer at rates significantly higher than Caucasian-Americans, are likely to experience intergenerational conflict and are more likely to be linguistically isolated.

The qualitative and quantitative study performed by the Episcopal Health Charities was initiated in Alief and extended to Park Place at the request of Khoa Tran, a representative of Houston’s seven Vietnamese “villages” in the Park Place neighborhood where more than 4,000 Vietnamese reside in a governance structure that parallels that of villages of Vietnam.

The 2004 Community Health Report for Houston’s Vietnamese population includes recommendations for:

  • developing culturally appropriate and accessible health and health education services,
  • working with local organizations to provide ESL classes
  • establishing opportunities for youth development, and
  • providing mental health services to residents of both communities.

Partnering with Shalom Mobile Health Ministries, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities will begin delivering mobile health services and health education to Park Place’s Vietnamese villages twice a month, starting the day the report will be issued to the public.

Research for this Community Health Report was guided by a community-based collaborative comprised of health professionals, non-profit organizations such as Park Place Library and various community members. St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities also plans to incorporate results of a survey of 800 participants launched in July by the Center for Research on Minority Health at

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on the health issues of Vietnamese and Chinese communities when the survey is completed.


St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System comprises the flagship St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s Community Medical Center - The Woodlands, opened in 2003; St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted exclusively to assessing and enhancing community health, not just for ill-care but for lifelong health and well-being; and Kelsey-Seybold Management, LLP, overseeing 21 area clinic locations. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart Institute, founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation by U. S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, it serves as the primary adult teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine. St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and the Health System has been recognized by Fortune as among “100 Best Companies to Work For” (2002 and 2004) and by Houston Business Journal as the top healthcare employer in Houston for three consecutive years.

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