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Celebrating Family During Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: A Letter from Conifer’s Deepali Narula

May 14, 2021
I think of this month as a time to celebrate family. We should also take this opportunity to raise awareness and talk about everything – the tough topics, but also the happy moments that remind us why we cherish our respective cultures so fervently.

I grew up in Delhi, India. My husband Naveen did as well; we were high school sweethearts. We still have family in Delhi, and outside of our three children Aanya (12), Neel (7), and Krish (4), we have no other family in the United States. This has been especially hard with COVID, and particularly with the heartbreaking spread of the virus in and around the community where I was born.  Fortunately, my immediate family is doing okay after having contracted the virus, but we have lost some close relatives. It is heartbreaking but I continue to have hope because of how the community is coming together. Everyone is helping in their own way by sending meals to their elderly neighbors, sharing information and resources-e.g., hospital beds availability, oxygen concentrators, etc. 

In terms of our culture, it is a family-first culture. There are so many rich and colorful traditions we enjoy, and it is very important to me to keep those traditions alive for my kids. Especially Diwali. I was initially concerned that my kids wouldn’t value the holiday as much because they don’t see it all around them, but I learned they are very excited to celebrate and embrace their culture. Last year, I was busy with work and my daughter Aanya surprised me by taking charge and making sure that we had all our Diwali decorations in place. It is equally meaningful to my kids that they help create that culture in our home and they enjoy doing it. This gives me peace.  

We should all honor our own cultures and share them with those around us. But it is also about understanding and appreciating the culture where you live so you get the best of both worlds. Ideally, they come together to complement one another. 

The authenticity you get by accepting who you are and making sure people are aware of that is paramount. If you aren’t authentic, you’re not yourself, and you aren’t bringing the best of yourself to your work, to family and to all your relationships.

This month, as we honor the many different cultures across Asia and the Pacific Islands and think about our path forward, my hope is that we foster and nurture a better understanding. This is a time to listen, learn and understand, to celebrate traditions and people, and to treasure how they come together to enrich our culture and way of life.

– Deepali Narula, Vice President of Patient Services for Conifer Health Solutions 

Deepali-Narula-familyDeepali Narula is the Vice President of Patient Services for Conifer Health Solutions. She leads the group focused on the front end of the revenue cycle process for clients. This means they are often the first touchpoint for a patient with a hospital, and as such, they are focused on ensuring all those initial interactions incorporate the right combination of attentiveness, responsiveness and kindness. Deepali’s team has also played an instrumental role in supporting the registration processes for COVID-19 vaccinations in communities across the country.

Deepali was recently asked to lead Tenet’s Asia Pacific employee resource group. Born and raised in India, she shares her thoughts about family, authenticity and the importance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.