In a market as culturally diverse as Los Angeles cultural sensitivity is a necessity for any business desiring to succeed. Dr. Kim has a diverse population ranging from Asian, to African-American to Hispanic. As an artist, he celebrates the differences in appearance between the races. Patients considering procedures like rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty often tell Dr. Kim that they are concerned with maintaining their ethnicity while enhancing their beauty. Contrary to what some may believe, most patients are not interested in abandoning the physical characteristics that help to define their race. Dr. Kim believes that the best way to exceed the expectations of his patients is to have a candid discussion and agree upon the extent of enhancement the patient wants. Cultural sensitivity is now an actual department in many medical facilities. According to The Los Angeles Times in 2001, Weiss Memorial concluded that its patient base did not reflect the diverse Uptown neighborhood it is meant to serve.
The key activator was that patients were traveling outside their communities, said Caren Perlmuter, Weiss’ vice president of community relations. A hospital has to reflect the community it is in, and we are in an extraordinarily diverse community.
The answer Weiss came up with was a community outreach program. Weiss has three full-time advocates to act as a bridge between the hospital and Uptown’s Russian, Polish and Vietnamese communities.