About TLF

In 1992, Tan Lam established Tu Luong Medical Mission Foundation (TLF) in honor of his mother and father Tu and Luong, respectively. Our purpose was to organizes teams of healthcare professionals, students, and other volunteers to travel and provide free medical services to Vietnamese refugees in Southeast Asia. When the last Vietnamese camp closed, TLF (501c3) reincorporated in Washington to support medical missions and education.


 



Medical Missions


 

We are working with network of students, doctors, nurses, public health, social worker, and other healthcare workers and volunteers to provide free services to the underserved population around the world who cannot access to healthcare due to financial or geographical reasons.

Medical Missions for Students
For high school and college students, our medical missions providing them with clinical experiences that instill compassion and that help students understand the true meaning of medicine and service. Medical mission helps students take their education to the next level.
  • Chance to participate in providing health care to poor patients.
  • Shadowing the professionals and learn valuable experiences for future healthcare career.
  • Learning teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Provide training for local health professionals
  • Hard work and leadership will be reflected in letter of recommendations.
  • Develop long lasting friendships and gain valuable cultural experience.


Seattle Mini Medical School

To support education, TLF established Seattle Mini Medical School (SMMS), which was approved by Washington State Board of Education to provides full curriculum for grades 6-12.  SMMS will be a blended learning college preparatory school that focuses on STEM, Medicine, and Medical Mission.  SMMS is designed for students who are serious about pursuing a career in medicine.  SMMS provides a way to expose high school students to the basic science of medicine and clinical skills early on in their education.  Our medical mission will provide students with clinical experiences that instill compassion and help students understand the true meaning of medicine and service. 





Contact
Email is the preferred method for initial contact. I am a teacher. I do not answer phone during school hours. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Tan Lam's Testimony

God Has His Hands on Me

I was born in the late sixties in the peak of the Vietnam War, which rapidly spread into every corner of the country. Growing up during this period, many nights I could hear loud sound of machine guns and mortar firing. I could see streams of red phosphorus tracer bullets whizzing by through the night sky outside my windows. My worst fear about the war was March of 1974; on that afternoon, an 82mm mortar had hit Cai Lay Elementary School near where I was. The mortar killed 32 children and wounded 43 others. I will never forget the pictures of dead students. I did not feel safe going to school and terrified that this could happen to my school.

Another fearful memory about the war was on April 30, 1975, the day when South Vietnam fell to the Communists. On that day four soldiers were killed in front of our house. Anti-tank rockets hit and immobilized their tank from the first blow, but it did not catch fire and explode until the second hit. The smell of burnt and charred human flesh coupled with terrified human screams has haunted me for years. The last days of the Vietnam War were also my last days of school. After the war, the communists used schools for propaganda and children as spies on their families and parents. So my dad decided to pull me out of 4th grade, and I did not go back to school until seven years later after I had escaped from Vietnam.

After winning the war, the communists executed people and put hundreds of thousands of people into labor camps. Over a million families were forced to leave their homes and relocate to unoccupied jungles to develop new economic zones. Farmers were forced to hand over their land, harvests and livestock. The agricultural production fell alarmingly and food supplies decreased to a point of famine. These persecutions caused over a million Vietnamese took to create makeshift boats in an effort to flee from the communists. This group became known as the “boat people,” and I was one of them. Many of the boat people survive perished during the trip across the Gulf of Thailand, facing danger and hardship from pirates, over-crowded boats, and storms.

I left Vietnam at the end of 1980, on a small boat with other 33 people, to begin an uncertain adventure to search to freedom. The first night, the coast guards saw and fired at our boat. We got caught, but they let us go after bribing them. On the second day, we finally reached the international shipping lanes. We felt safe; however, this seeming euphoria was temporary as I remembered a pirate ship approaching us. Fortunately, the pirates only took away jewelry and money that they found. We were so afraid, because we knew Thai pirates raped women and killed men. In numerous instances, pirates also took women and young girls away. Many of these women were sold to pimps and later found as prostitutes in Thailand.

The following day, due to lack of good storage containers, food and water supplies were contaminated with salt water and became useless. The weather was extremely hot, and the bright tropical sun hung motionlessly above our heads. As the temperature rose, we lost more water from the bodies; our throats were dry, parched, and sticky with salty spittle. On the fifth day, a strong wind violently shook our boat; the high dark blue waves tilted the boat from side to side, back and forth. I remember people began to call upon to their gods to save them, which did not seem to help. Whether or not we lived or died, the sea did not care. Thirty-three more human souls in her watery grave was such a small contribution when she already had hundreds of thousands. I did not remember how long the storm lasted. I was completely exhausted with fatigue and hunger, and my vision became blurry. The next thing I remembered, I opened my eyes and saw many strange faces. We were rescued by a Christian Thailand fishing boat.

I arrived at Songkhla’s refugee camp in Thailand on the second day of the Lunar New Year in 1981. Five days later, I was reunited with my sister and my childhood girlfriend. They were on separated boat left a few days after my boat. My friend told me the horrible things that happened to her. Pirates had attacked her boat at least three times a day. Each time after stripping the refugees of their money and jewelry, the pirates separated the men from the women. Some pirates guarded the men while they took turns raping the women and girls. As a girl in Vietnam, my friend was so beautiful and cheerful. When Thai pirates raped her, that night turned my friend’s life from a cheerful into depression and quietude. Sitting on the beach on a quiet evening, I did not know what to say to comfort her, but I was deeply sympathetic.

As we sat there on the beach watching and listening to the wave, we heard the broadcast from a church behind us, “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthews 11:28). Every night when we came and sat there, we heard a short message from the church behind. The message was all about the hope. These messages led me to the church and accepted Christ as my personal Savior. A month later I was baptized by a Baptist missionary on the beach of Songkhla. There was nothing to do in the camp so I spent many hours reading and memorizing the Bible. Four months later I was transferred to Bataan Refugee Camp in the Philippines, while my friend left for California.

Ten months later, I was allowed to resettle in Dallas, Texas. Immediately after arriving in the United States, I encountered many challenges such as culture, language differences, and prejudice. I felt humiliated whenever I said something that people could not understand, and when kids made fun of me. I was not able to attend public school because I did not have parent lived in the district. One night I went out for a walk and met Charles Gyurko, a missionary and President of Christ for the Nation, Japan. When Charles learned about my situation, he arranged for me to attend a Christian high schools and stayed with the principal’s family. In my senior year, I was a captain of our Bible Quiz team and spent many hours memorizing the Bible. As a former refugee, I have received plenty of assistance from my church, schools, and Christian teachers. They all went the extra mile to help me. I feel that I owe a great deal to God, this country, and my teachers.

In 1988, both my parents passed away in Vietnam on the same day just of couple hours apart. My mom was ill and died from complications with diabetes. After the war, Vietnam became controlled by the Communist’s centrally planned economy. There were severe shortages of food, drugs, and medical supplies. My dad was a nurse practitioner but did know that my mom had diabetes. After my mom passed away, my dad did not want to live without her and took his own life. One of my parents’ dreams was to have one of their 14 children become a doctor. This was a major setback because I lost two of the most significant people in my life. Sometime I do not understand why thing happened to me the way it was. However, I believe that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). In 1992, I established the Tu Luong Medical Mission Foundation (TLF) in honor of my mother and father Tu and Luong respectively. TLF’s first purpose was to organize medical teams to provide free medical services to Vietnamese refugees in Southeast Asia.

When I was a kid I always dreamed of becoming a doctor and find a cure for cancer. Collectively, I had about ten years of cancer, immunology, and virology research experience. In college, I helped developed a model that represent different stages of tumorigenic progression from normal embryonic cells to immortal, transformed, cancer cells, and metastatic cancer cells. As a graduate student at Dartmouth Medical School, my research involved cancer and viral immunology.

After graduating from Dartmouth, I went back to my alma mater to teach Science. My goal was to teach for three to five years and then return to medical school. That was 26 years ago. It was then that I altered my trajectory from becoming a physician to becoming a teacher. As a former refugee, a school dropout, and an English language learner, my teachers went the extra mile to help me. I believe that becoming a teacher is one of the best ways to honor these teachers from times past. As my teaching career winds down, I have begun to think about what legacy I will leave behind when my life has passed. 

In 2019 I applied and got approved by the Washington State Board of Education to establish the Seattle Mini Medical School (SMMS), which provides full curriculum for grades 6-12 that focuses on STEM, Medicine, and Medical Mission. SMMS is designed for students who are serious about pursuing a career in medicine by providing a way to expose students to the biomedical science and clinical skills early on in their education. Our medical mission will provide students with clinical experiences that instill compassion and help students understand the true meaning of medicine and service. I hope to use SMMS to guide, encourage, and educate the future physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to have compassion for the poor and needy both locally and globally. I hope that students will accomplish that I was not able to do.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you (Isaiah 41:13).

Contact
Email is the preferred method for initial contact. I am a teacher. I do not answer phone during school hours. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Teaching Picture

 













Contact
Email is the preferred method for initial contact. I am a teacher. I do not answer phone during school hours. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Teaching Philosophy

 As a teacher, I must understand that students learn differently and have various skill levels. These require me to use a variety of teaching strategies and a rich collection of information resources. As a teacher, I must be able to create an active learning and supportive environment both inside and outside the classroom. Teaching Pictures


As a science teacher, my instructional strategies must include hands-on activities such as utilizing laboratory exercises, solving problems, and collecting scientific data. I must be able to help students to publish their ideas in the form of a report or presentation. I need to be aware of what is happening to ensure safety in an active investigating and learning environment. I believe in helping students to develop critical thinking skills. I think of myself as a resource that is there to "facilitate" students’ learning and not to handout to students the answers to the questions. Whenever students encounter a roadblock, they will/can seek my advice. In all probability, I will ask them questions to help stimulate their own thinking. Finally, as a science teacher, I need to connect students to the real life answers to classroom questions whether students are on a field trip or in the lab.

I believe that teachers must provide cooperative and collaborative learning activities. A teacher must develop strategies for involving all students in meaningful learning activities. A teacher must be able to assess students for their strengths and weaknesses and help them improve. As a teacher, I must provide students with structure and modeling as well as freedom and responsibilities. Students need to understand that rules and expectations are about meeting their needs and not designed to punish their wrongdoing. As a teacher, I must treat all students equally with respect and be able to establish trust with students, build friendships, and yet keep professional distance. I will encourage students think for themselves and become confident in expressing their own ideas with solid reasoning behind their ideas.

I believe the classroom is a complex learning environment of both educational and social situation. Classrooms must prepare children to be ready for higher education and/or to be productive members of the society. As a teacher, I must work collaboratively with parents/guardians, colleagues, outside professionals, and other students to create a complete learning environment in the classroom.

I must teach students how to learn and not just what to memorize. I must be able to utilize technology to help students become more motivated, actively engaged in their learning, better problem solvers and obtain critical thinking skills. In many ways, the lessons will incorporate technology to meet the needs of various learning styles. I will use technology to communicate with parents, invite parents to be virtual volunteers, and provide students online support such as participating on discussion boards, mentoring, and tutoring. In addition to technology, the routines must be established early with clear expectations. Students who come into the classroom will know exactly what to do and where to start first, and that is how a teacher can make him or herself progressively unnecessary.

In conclusion, an effective teacher must be able to use both traditional and non-traditional instructional and communication strategies. As a teacher, I must collaborate with other professionals and parents in both a traditional and a non-traditional approach in order to provide students a complete learning environment. I must be able to use the technology to accommodate various learning styles, to communicate with parents, and to recruit virtual parents and professional volunteers who can help students with homework online or provide professional advice.



Contact
Email is the preferred method for initial contact. I am a teacher. I do not answer phone during school hours. Thank you for your understanding.