Healthy You - Every Day

Kym Williams Shares Memories and Moments of Inclusion

: Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage (AANHPI) Month by reading her story

Kym Williams

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage (AANHPI) Month. This month, we recognize AANHPI colleagues by sharing their stories.

Kym Williams, Acute Speech-Language Pathologist and Orthopedic Scribe for Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute, is influenced by her adoptive family’s culture as well as her Asian culture. 

What are some of the most memorable moments when you felt included and welcomed at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)?

I feel welcomed at the Asian/South Asian CARES Group meeting. CARES (Colleagues Aligned as Resources for Engagement and Support) Groups create spaces for belonging, connection and development among colleagues from underrepresented groups, are voluntary and are open to all colleagues. Having been with LVHN for more than five years, that first in-person meeting gave me a good feeling. I was so happy to join the group that I recruited one of my colleagues. It makes me feel hopeful and warm that LVHN created these groups to support and encourage different racial and ethnic groups. Any LVHN colleagues who are interested in joining should contact Jessica Liu, PhD, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager, to learn more.

“It makes me feel hopeful and warm that Lehigh Valley Health Network created these groups to support and encourage different racial and ethnic groups.”

What is one of the most common misunderstandings or assumptions people make about your racial/ethnic heritage or identity?

Throughout the years, I believe stereotypes have decreased overall, but as an adopted Korean American, the misunderstandings are multiplied. For example, when I am out in public with my family, others view me as a friend of the family and not a family member. Also, when I am asked my last name, people are very confused that Williams is my last name and usually assume incorrectly that I am married.  I have spent a lifetime educating those who have not come across many children from foreign countries who are adopted into white families about our uniqueness and that we do not fall into any generalized categories. It’s a challenging adventure to say the least.

What food makes you think of your family/heritage and why?

When I think of home, I think of halupki, halushki, pierogies and kielbasa. I was raised by a Polish, German, Pennsylvania Dutch family, and that is some yummy food. As an adopted Asian, I wasn’t introduced to Korean food until I was older. When I was a child, I got to attend a Korean camp, and we were taught how to cook Korean food. It was nice to learn recipes from the country I was born in.


Nichole Cameron

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