Zoua Yang is a Pharmacy Manager and COVID Clinic Depot Leader in Wausau, Wisconsin. She is also a member of the robust Hmong community.
“Medical professionals who aren’t familiar with Hmong people don’t understand why the entire family needs to consult on a procedure,” Zoua says. “Many Hmong follow shamanistic traditions, too, which can contradict typical medical practice.”
Culturally, COVID-19 has been especially challenging. “We didn’t want to offend anyone by wearing a mask to suggest we had to protect ourselves from them,” she explains. “We also didn’t want to visit our elders due to higher mortality rates, which is hard for a community that relies on elders for guidance.”
Zoua has been instrumental in the vaccination efforts against COVID-19, directing resources to the Hmong people and providing ease of access to vaccinations. In fact, her grandparents Chue Lao Yang and Chi Yang, were her patients.