Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

Santa Clara County hosted a public celebration recently to mark the full launch of health and wellness services at the Vietnamese American Service Center in San Jose.

The center, which opened in December, has added additional services on its second floor, including ambulatory primary care, behavioral health services, dental care, a pharmacy, and medical laboratories.

Initial offerings included behavioral health navigation, Valley Health Center patient navigation, enrollment assistance for health coverage, emergency rental assistance, COVID-19 support programs, a Senior Nutrition Lunch Program, health education, and community wellness programs.

“Over the years, as we’ve watched the VASC go from concept to reality, it has been immensely gratifying to see it become one of the County’s most beautiful and well-equipped buildings,” said County Executive Dr. Jeffrey V. Smith, in a news release. “With each phase of its opening, our community has repeatedly shared their enthusiasm for this community center, and we see in real-time how the services impact the lives of a long-underserved population.”

The demand for services at the VASC continues to grow, officials said. The center’s senior lunch program, which initially was serving 180 meals per day, is now serving 500.

“We assist community members with multiple services, including requests that are non-health related such as assisting with filling out an application or interpreting a jury duty notice. They have a place to go where they feel comfortable and welcome, even if they’re not completely sure of all the services that we offer at the VASC, they know we can assist them in their language,” said Mikelle Le, VASC manager. “When they share their gratitude with us, it’s heartwarming to know that we can provide the services that are important to them.”

“With each phase of its opening, our community has repeatedly shared their enthusiasm for this community center, and we see in real-time how the services impact the lives of a long-underserved population.”

Dr. Jeffrey V. Smith, Santa Clara County

The center took nearly a decade to become a reality, after a county-led study found notable health disparities and barriers to health and human services among the Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking communities.

The VASC’s celebration that took place April 10 included lion dances and comments from officials, followed by an afternoon of local Vietnamese and Spanish performers and facility tours.

For more information on the VASC and its programs, email the center or call 408-828-4981.