By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Lutheran HealthCare rang in the Chinese New Year with a week-long series of events at several of its southern Brooklyn locations, including the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center in Bay Ridge and Augustana Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation in Sunset Park.
This is marks the Year of the Horse on the Chinese calendar.
Lutheran HealthCare is the entity that operates the hospital Lutheran Medical Center as well as a host of family health clinics in neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Park Slope, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.
The New Year celebration events culminated with a party at Lutheran Medical Center at 150 55th St. that included a traditional lion dance performed by members of the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association (BCA). The party also featured performances by preschoolers from BCA's daycare program.
Traditional oranges and red envelopes representing good luck and prosperity were distributed to participants. Lutheran HealthCare representatives also visited Chinese patients in the hospital and presented gift baskets to commemorate the holiday.
With large numbers of Asians moving into Brooklyn in recent years, health care facilities have been striving to increase their services to the Asian community. According to the 2010 US Census, Asians make up 10.4 percent of Brooklyn’s population.
Lutheran Medical Center has an Asian inpatient health care unit. Opened in 2004, the unit offers multilingual doctors and medical staff available 24 hours a day to communicate with patients in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Patients can eat Chinese meals prepared by an Asian.
Lutheran HealthCare opened a Brooklyn-Chinese Family Health Center at 5008 Seventh Ave. in 2011. A new Chinese unit at the Augustana Center opened in August, 2012 to provide a culturally sensitive environment for health and healing for senior citizens.