Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Christine Wells-Wonsley
Memorial is celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month by spotlighting members of our team who are committed to improving the health and wellness of our community. We hope you enjoy learning about them!
Christine is a Nurse Practitioner who specializes in primary care at Memorial’s Ocean Springs Primary Care and Multispecialty Physician Clinic. Her nominator shared the following:
“She lives and breathes Memorial’s mission. She brags on Memorial on a regular basis and makes it public. She truly cares about this health system and taking care of her community. Recently, Christine made a post that was related to anxiety and depression. She expressed how important it is to speak to a health care provider who cares. That our society tries to belittle and act as if mental health issues aren’t really a thing. She said that depression and anxiety are real. She backed up her point by sharing the suicide phone number as well as her clinic number, telling friends and family that mental health is just as important as physical health. I like to think she shared this information because she sees many people struggling these days and she wants to help them gain the light back at the end of their tunnel. That is the type of person she is. She truly cares and wants people to be healthy and happy.”
On how her heritage has shaped her, Christine shared, “My heritage has shaped me to be resilient in all aspects of my life. At a very young age, I remember my mother’s amazing work ethic but also how kind she was to others and her devotion to her family. She would often share the struggles she and her family endured while she was still living in the Philippines, but also how important it was to always put your best foot forward and never give up. She is the main reason I am the person I am today. She truly instilled the values of what it means to be a Filipino which is being family orientated, positive, adaptable, hardworking, disciplined, fun-loving, and always having faith in God.”
One tradition Christine practices is visiting family in the Philippines every 2-3 years. She added, “My second favorite tradition is starting my Christmas celebration much earlier than most. In the Philippines, the Christmas celebration starts in September and ends in December. This is referred to as the ‘Ber months’.”
Shining a light on her heritage
“Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month means that I am able to shine a spotlight on heritage and hopefully others will want to learn more about my culture and how unique it is in its own right. Especially with all that is going on in the world today, it is important that others broaden their understanding while showing mutual respect for others,” said Christine.
To honor her culture, Christine enjoys cooking traditional Filipino dishes and she is learning Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines. She added, “I have enjoyed sharing a little about my heritage with you all, and I hope that you all will take some time to learn about other cultures outside of your own but also be respectful of the customs and traditions. You should never stop learning about the world around you.
Thank you for the hard work and dedication you provide to our patients and community, Christine!