Anchorage Alaska October 27th 2022_____Filipino-American history month is a time to honor the heritage and history of Filipinos in the United States. The month commemorates the many ways that Filipino Americans have contributed significantly to American History ― from serving in World War II to opening businesses.
Alaska is home to about 720,763 people, and of these individuals, 8% of them are immigrants. The largest group of immigrants hail from the Philippines, making up 32% of all immigrants. A large part of the Filipino community in Alaska work in health care and education. One of those Filipino-Americans we want to highlight is Jessica Roley. Roley immigrated from the Philippines in April of 1988. She is the Owner and Director of Operations of MedPhysicals Plus, LLC (MPP). MedPhysicals is a health information company based in Anchorage that opened in 2012. MedPhysicals offers individual lab appointments with no doctor notes needed and serves like a concierge for employers wishing to do safety testing and other services. It is a 100% owned Minority and Women-Owned business.
“Opening MPP was not my first big leap into something new. I was raised in Manila. I joined my parents in Anchorage in my early twenties just in time for “breakup” (Alaskan’s term for Spring thaw) – wet roads and dirty cars; not what I expected of America from watching Hollywood movies growing up…,” remembers Roley.
Like many Filipinos starting out in the U.S. Roley started with entry level service jobs, despite having an academic background in medical technology in the Philippines.
“I worked as a hotel housekeeper and even as a hostess at Denny’s to learn conversational English, a mix of slang and formal English that I learned in textbooks,” states Roley.
Roley landed a medical lab assistant position at an Anchorage hospital where she gained insight on how a medical laboratory is run. She focused on servicing life insurance underwriting examination needs in Anchorage. Starting local, MPP now services Alaska through offices in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, Soldotna and Juneau, as well as having presence in 20 states in the lower 48.
“The importance of Fil-Am History Month to me is that it calls attention to Filipino American existence and contribution to this country. “America is not a land of one or two races, who are often mentioned in the news. In the words of Calos Bulosan, a Filipino-American author, ‘It is but fair to say that America is not a land of one race or one class of men. We are all Americans that have toiled and suffered and known oppression and defeat, from the first Indian that offered peace in Manhattan to the last Filipino pea pickers,’” Roley adds.
MedPhysicals Plus can be reached at (855) 561-7587 or online at https://medphysicalsplus.com, and on Instagram and Facebook. As part of their employer service offerings onsite and group flu shots are now available for Alaskan businesses . Interested employers should act now because the appointment slots are filling up.
She appreciates the opportunity for Filipinos to be less invisible as awareness is heightened this month, and is excited people are paying attention and asking her questions. She remembers this wasn’t always the case.