Health Department

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Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

Health Department Recognizes 15 Years of Service by Multicultural Advisory Council Members

During this week of Thanksgiving, the Fairfax County Health Department reflects on the 15-year tenure of its Multicultural Advisory Council and expresses gratitude for the efforts of this grassroots group of volunteers. Council members were honored during a special meeting on November 16 by Fairfax County Health Director, Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu.

The Multicultural Advisory Council was formed in 2007 and brings together leaders from faith-based communities, nonprofit organizations, community groups, the medical community, and other health-related organizations. The Council provides the Health Department with grassroots-level insights on community health needs and concerns through a cultural lens.

During the pandemic, the work of the group expanded. Members deployed quickly to provide the Health Department with knowledge about the urgent needs of people in neighborhoods across Fairfax County. As part of the department’s COVID-19 equity strategy, they volunteered to promote community-based testing events and vaccinations, and shared health-related resources widely. From the earliest days of the pandemic, the committee provided the Health Department extensive input on communications to ensure cultural competency of health messaging and access to resources.

During her remarks to the group, Dr. Addo-Ayensu said, “I cannot thank you enough. You have taught us how to be a better Health Department. Thanks to your long partnership, we were able to better listen and respond to the needs of our community throughout the COVID-19 emergency. As the trusted voice of your communities, you carried important health and safety messages forward. Your invaluable, ongoing input helped us adjust our efforts to meet the needs of people in the community directly.”

Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu and Dr. Sergio Rimola
Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu and Dr. Sergio Rimola

Among those honored was Dr. Sergio Rimola, a physician member of the Multicultural Advisory Council, and a spokesperson for public health in the local Hispanic community. Among the first to be vaccinated in the county, Dr. Rimola allowed the Health Department to film his vaccination and he provided commentary on its significance in both English and Spanish.

“When the pandemic began, the rates of disease were disproportionately impacting Hispanic people. Through outreach, community-based testing and vaccination, and culturally competent communications, the disease rate decreased. Today, the Fairfax area is among the highest in rates of vaccination of Hispanics in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Dr. Rimola.

Multicultural Advisory Council members honored during last week’s event include:

ADAMS Center
America Nepal Society 
Anthem HealthKeepers Plus
Boat People SOS 
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation 
Dar Al- Hijrah 
Durga Temple
Emerson Clinical Research Institute
Emmanuel Worship Center
ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia 
Family Counseling Center of Greater Washington
Hai- Hua Community Center 
Hamkae Center 
Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington D.C., Inc.
ICNA Relief Virginia 
Kidist Selassie Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington 
Loving Hands Touch Ministry 
McLean Bible Church 
Multicultural Family and Education Center
National Hispanic Medical Association
Rajdhani Mandir 
Second Story
Silver Light Seniors Association 
The Chinese American Community Health Services
Vietnamese Resettlement Association 
Virginia Latino Advisory Board

Multicultural Advisory Council
Members of the Health Department's Multicultural Advisory Council. The Council marked 15 years of service to local public health during a meeting on November 16.


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