Lily Chen 陈健
U.S.-China Geriatric and
Long Term Care Association
Lily is the founder of “Pacific Silver Lining: 美中老年医养协会” which is to promote learning of the best U.S. elder care models through training and education for Chinese. She is also on the faculty at Northern Illinois University college of nursing. She is passionate about serving advocating and serving older adults and Chinese American community. Her greatest blessing is her family. Having just spent the Christmas with the addition of a new son-in- law, and going through her five children’s untouched “school closet” first time in years, she is keenly aware how time really flies. She wants to continue to build lasting memories for her family, serve and enrich lives of those around her professionally, personally, socially, and spiritually in the new year.
What was your first job, and how did it shape your life?
Working as a nurse at Guangzhou First People’s Municipal Hospital starting at the age of 18. It was sometimes frightening being responsible for 30 plus sick people while sleep deprived being on a rotation of five shifts over six days covering 24 hours. Practicing nursing taught me hard work, remain “cool” with quick decision making during emergencies, problem solving, taking risk with the best informed decision, and compassion. Those skills and qualities carry me throughout my very busy personal and professional life.
What keeps you awake at night?
WHAT BOOKS ARE CURRENTLY ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?
New York Times best seller: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande. It is transformational in how we should conceptualize and support care for people with terminal illness: we all should have open discussion on how to live the way patients would like until the end, and support those decisions.
WHAT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY PLACE YOU HAVE RECENTLY TRAVELED TO?
Yosemite National Park: where you could smell, play, hike, swim and really be a part of it.
WHAT’S ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I sewed four matching Christmas/concert performances dresses for my three older girls and one friend, and all the window treatments in my house!