Meet Bernadette Lim, 2019 Dalai Lama Fellow

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Meet Bernadette Lim, 2019 Dalai Lama Fellow

Bernadette Lim is the daughter of Filipino and Chinese immigrants, and she says it was the health injustices suffered by her family and the Los Angeles immigrant community that inspired her project, the Freedom Community Clinic.
With the barriers of language and medical jargon, my mom had and continues to have little say in matters of her own health. Moments from my childhood manifest this clearly: my family's despair for not knowing why my mom had to undergo an immediate hysterectomy when I was seven, my mom coming home fatigued having to work overtime as a cashier at the Los Angeles County Jail, a growing pile of medical bills for cervical procedures, and a compilation of unanswered voicemails for mammogram check-ups—all culminating in my mom’s confusion with medical authority. I want to become a physician in order to serve, advocate, and find solutions that will improve health outcomes for disenfranchised people like my mom. I frame my journey in medicine as a lifelong, daily commitment to eliminating health injustices faced by under-resourced women, children, and families.
Freedom Community Clinic’s mission is to provide free, integrative health and healing services to under-resourced women, children, and families through regular pop-up clinics. With this project, Bernadette aims to nourish the bodies, minds, and spirits of this population as well as address gender inequities in health outcomes and the root causes of chronic disease.
Bernadette was drawn to Dalai Lama Fellows because of its emphasis on individual reflection, purpose, and well-being as necessary leadership foundations for the kind of social action that fosters revolutionary change with compassion.
“By engaging in the Head, Heart, Hands Leadership curriculum [taught through the fellowship],” she says, “I will be able to hold myself accountable not only to social change I envision for the world, but also the transformation of myself as I grow into the person I want to embody and be.” 

To learn more about Dalai Lama Fellows, watch the video.

Read the UVA Today story

Dalai Lama Fellows website