At the time, Chan was a young man studying to be an engineer and took his first trip to China and various parts of Thailand with a team of doctors to study healthcare delivery systems.
“When I was in Shanghai, we went to hospitals and saw acupuncture and how different doctors operated, but we had time to take breaks,” Chan recalled. “I went out into the country and into the cities to look for my grandmother, and I was able to find her.”
His grandmother was ill and in her last days as she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chan did not speak the language, however he was able to speak with the help of a bedside nurse and meet his grandmother.
“I was very fortunate to make a trip just in time to see her,” he said. “I stood by her bed, we held hands and cried and we shared lifetime moments with each other.”
When he returned, he had a new purpose in life.
“It was awesome. I came back saying to myself, ‘I don’t want to be an engineer anymore,’ what my father wanted me to do,” he explained. “So I changed my path to the healthcare field. I’m a better person for that.”
Chan received a master’s degree from the School of Public Health in Chicago. In 1981, he came to New York and delved into his new passion as the assistant director of a family health clinic.
For the last three years as a business developer at Rockaway Homecare, Chan now travels to hospitals and health care facilities looking for new ways to provide home care and provide care-taking training courses.
“We take care of disabled elder persons and people with special needs,” he said. “Anyone who fits into that category...we can figure out a way to get them the care that they need.”