The SCOTUS Ruling: Our Fight Continues

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Immigrant Rights activists demonstrate outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images

On November 20th, 2014, immigrant families across the country gathered to watch President Obama’s prime-time address. “For more than 200 years,” the President began, “our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities—people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose. But today, our immigration system is broken—and everybody knows it.”

The President proceeded to unveil his historic Immigration Accountability Executive Action, which included an expansion of the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. This executive action would have provided deportation relief and authorization to work for nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.

While there were still many questions, and though it was certain that opponents would immediately endeavor to block the action, it was still a moment of great hope. Perhaps the United States was finally making a shift, as a nation and a culture, toward progress, generosity—the recognition of the many millions in this country quietly contributing but hiding in the shadows. Perhaps things were really changing.

The recent ICE raids seem to suggest otherwise, and now that the Supreme Court, locked in a 4-4 ruling, has effectively deemed President Obama’s immigration action unconstitutional, the nation’s undocumented population once again has much to fear.

Unfortunately, disappointments of this sort are nothing new to our immigrant neighbors. But this fight is far from over, and we at AMPHS stand in solidarity with our immigrant communities. We will continue the struggle for immigrant rights—their right to work, under proper working conditions. Their right to provide for their families, and to keep those families together. Their right to education, to decent housing, to visibility. Their right to equal treatment under the law, to live free from the fear of discrimination and deportation. Their right to quality healthcare.

Despite this major setback, we at AMPHS still have hope for this country. We believe that change is not only possible, but necessary. As the President said in November of 2014, “we are and always will be a nation of immigrants…What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal—that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”

We must settle for nothing less.

If you have questions about the Supreme Court decision, please contact us at (212) 256-9036 or info@amphsonline.org.

You can also attend New York Immigration Coalition’s town hall meeting on Thursday, June 30, or call their hotline on June 28 and 29 from 4pm-7pm.

DACA DAPA English

 

Mental Health First Aid at AMPHS

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AMPHS holds Mental Health First Aid training

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means it’s the last weekend of Mental Health Awareness Month. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to spread awareness throughout the year on this critical and often misunderstood public health issue.

Mental health challenges—such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse—are shockingly common in the Unites States. Would you guess that more than 16 million American adults are affected by depression in a given year? Or that 3.3 million American adults suffer from bipolar disorder? Or that over 11 million Americans will experience psychosis in their lifetime?

At AMPHS, we’ve found that the stressors often endured by the low-income immigrant populations we serve can lead to many of these mental health challenges. Inadequate housing, financial hardship, social isolation, fear of deportation—it is no wonder that a 2008 study conducted by the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill found 30% of Latino adolescents in North Carolina (93% of whom were not US citizens) showed signs of sub-clinical or clinical anxiety, and 18% showed signs of depression. The Asian Outreach Program at The Child Center of NY also identifies “the stigma still surrounding mental health and substance abuse treatment in traditional Asian cultures” as a particular obstacle for newly immigrated Asian children and adolescents at higher risk for mental health and substance abuse issues.

That is why we at AMPHS are making mental health a priority. With The National Council for Behavioral Health, we are providing Mental Health First Aid courses to help individuals work with those who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Identified on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, this training helps the public better identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses.

Based on the pioneering work of Mental Health First Aid founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm, this 8-hour training certification course instructs participants on a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions, and secure appropriate care for the individual experiencing a mental health crisis. Thorough evaluations, in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study, have proved this CPR-like program effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma, and increasing the amount of help provided to others.

This program is generously co-sponsored by Senator Jesse Hamilton, the Chinese-American Planning Council Brooklyn Community Center, and African Services Committee.

To learn more about Mental Health Awareness, visit Mental Health America whose awareness theme this year is Life with a Mental Illness, for which they’ve called on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike. All posts are collected here.

For more information on Academy of Medical & Public Health Services and our other training programs, visit www.amphsonline.org.

For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

AMPHS Testifies at City Hall

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On March 28, AMPHS President & CEO Hewett Chiu was invited to address the New York City Council on the importance of continued funding for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito‘s Immigrant Health Initiative. Read Chiu’s full testimony below:

“Good afternoon. My name is Hewett Chiu, and I am the President & CEO at the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS). AMPHS is a not-for-profit healthcare organization in Sunset Park that provides free clinical screenings integrated with individualized health education and social services to the immigrant populations of New York City. Our mission is to deinstitutionalize healthcare and make it a basic human right for all New Yorkers. We provide our services free of charge and without discrimination to documentation status, socioeconomic status, and any other demographic factor. In the past six years we have been operating, we have grown right alongside implementation of the Affordable Care Act and NYS Medicaid Reform, and we have come to realize that both grassroots outreach and coordination of care are critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of entire communities in New York City.

“As just one of many examples, we had a middle-age female Asian immigrant walk into our center speaking not a word of English. Let’s call her Ms. L. She initially came in because she wanted to check her blood pressure. Once the on-site clinicians began to talk to her and a certain level of trust was established, Ms. L opened up to us. It turns out she was under a lot of stress as a single mother raising three young boys as a new immigrant to our great city. She told us that several times, she had considered jumping off a cliff or into the ocean with her boys to take her family out of her agony. Serious conditions like mental health disorders, STDs, and HIV are so stigmatized in the immigrant populations that they are rarely discussed, but yet can be so prevalent. We find that we need to spend the time to conduct targeted public health interventions to ensure those with such conditions are properly screened for risk factors.

“What initially was just a blood pressure check turned into a lifesaving intervention that day – not just for Ms. L, but for three young children as well. We provided the medical screenings, initial counseling and guidance to Ms. L, and acted as a pair of ears that immigrants so rarely have in healthcare. We then seamlessly coordinated her next steps and made the proper referrals to a sliding scale mental health clinic for ongoing follow up care. Today, Ms. L is embracing life and supporting her boys through school.

“There are many more Ms. L’s out there. They do not know the resources available for them, and more importantly, they do not know the detrimental effects of not seeking care when they need to. The Immigrant Health Initiative is a key cornerstone to ensuring everyone in New York City will feel comfortable accessing appropriate health services at the appropriate time. It allows us to work closely with other vital community partners such as the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest to provide comprehensive wrap-around services that address a full continuum of care.

“Continued funding under the Immigrant Health Initiative will enable us to (1) leverage the grassroots model we already have and increase outreach to our immigrant populations in Sunset Park, a neighborhood identified by Mayor DeBlasio in October as being an underserved community for primary health care; (2) implement a new culturally sensitive public health education model to destigmatize specific serious health conditions through one-on-one outreach and counseling; and (3) more effectively coordinate care for our population, thus helping to reduce the administrative burden that providers today find they are facing. Ongoing coordinated preventive care is much more cost effective and a better intervention than emergency care, when it could already be too late. The Immigrant Health Initiative can truly help us save more lives, and I humbly thank the City Council for funding the initiative this past fiscal year and strongly urge the Council to continue fully funding this initiative.

“Thank you.”

AMPHS is Hiring!

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AMPHS is expanding its programs and seeking new members like you to join its team! Become a part of a dedicated team of volunteers and staff working towards expanding healthcare access among our most vulnerable communities.

Part-Time Positions 

Program Coordinator
Program Assistant
Social Worker
Community Health Worker
Nurse Practitioner (Volunteer)
Chinese/Spanish Translator


Program Coordinator

Position Description

AMPHS seeks a passionate and skilled professional to join the operations team. The Program Coordinator plays a key leadership role in integrating clinical and social services and ensuring the smooth coordination of all Community Health Project programming activities among AMPHS staff and partners. The ideal candidate is a seasoned program manager and exceptional communicator, relationship manager, trainer and coach. He or she will identify and contribute to the development and execution of innovative solutions to grow program capacity and expand outreach within vulnerable immigrant populations. The Program Coordinator reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

Primary Responsibilities:

Coordinate weekly program operations

  • Oversee, train and coordinate schedules and responsibilities among program staff, including clinicians, social work staff, and Program Assistant.
  • Coordinate client services with specialty service partner providers.
  • Ensure EMR patient schedules and profiles are complete and accurate.
  • Build an outreach system for maintaining a consistent client base of new and returning community members.

Build and maintain strong volunteer/staff and partner relationships

  • Train clinic staff to screen for social determinants of health and refer patients to the social work team in a streamlined manner.
  • Create strong and healthy relationships with clinical volunteers, nurse practitioners, case managers, referring providers, and other clinic staff in an effort to build a strong team of community advocates.
  • Work with Social Worker to consolidate and maintain a local network of resource providers.
  • Meet with primary community stakeholders and attend community events to spread awareness of AMPHS services.

Ensure and track high-quality service delivery

  • Ensure the accuracy of programmatic outcomes as reported by the client management database, including data review for grant reporting.
  • Report data outcomes to program team on a monthly basis.
  • Use program data to manage program milestones, related metrics and improve AMPHS operations.
  • Engage in group planning, evaluation and problem-solving, while contributing to highly collaborative projects, meetings and trainings.
  • Work with senior management to analyze program design, strategy and program vision.

Ensure program sustainability

  • Work with senior management to identify funding opportunities and submit funding proposals.
  • Devise and implement strategies to continuously engage a return client base.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience in case management and/or client services with a vulnerable population required; advanced degree in management or health-related field desirable (e.g. MPH, MSW, MPA).
  • At least two years of program management experience required and previous experience with program start-up preferred. Previous experience in a hospital or clinic setting a plus.
  • Written and oral fluency in Spanish and/or Chinese desirable, but not required.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully leading and managing a team of young staff or volunteers.
  • Strong track-record working with community agencies and/or performing case management in clinic or other setting.
  • Proven knowledge of landscape of public benefits and community resources and how to facilitate individuals’ access to those resources.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage and work closely with a wide range of constituents including AMPHS clients, staff, volunteers, and partners.
  • Strong organizational, time management and self-management skills, outstanding attention to detail, and high degree of flexibility and self-direction.
  • Ability to excel in a highly dynamic, diverse and entrepreneurial environment.

Time Commitment:

  • 10-15 hours per week. Position requires Saturday availability and occasional weekday mornings or evenings for community meetings. Remote weekday work permissible.
  • The agreement for this position is effective until 06/30/2016 with the opportunity for renewal thereafter.

To Apply:

Please submit a copy of your cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and most recent transcript (if still in school or recent graduate) to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis until March 18, 2016.

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Program Assistant

Position Description

The Program Assistant is responsible for assisting in the implementation and administration of the health screening, education, and training programs at the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services. Responsibilities include event coordination, outreach, client communication, and basic reception and clerical duties. The candidate will work directly with Executive Management staff to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and efficiently.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Respond to client inquiries via phone and email, screen and direct calls, and relay messages
  • Schedule appointments and appointment reminders for screenings, workshops, and trainings and maintain the organization’s events calendar
  • Serve as program coordinator for quarterly Clinical Practice Training Program, responding to student inquiries, coordinating program logistics, and conducting university outreach
  • Assist in the coordination of annual Sunset Park community health and wellness event
  • Manage and maintain contacts database for volunteers, partners, and donors
  • Assist in coordinating logistics for in-house health screenings, including event outreach (flyering) and pre-screening patient intake
  • Assist in the preparation of outreach and educational materials
  • Work with Executive Management to send program updates to clients and volunteers
  • Prepare letters to stakeholders, including supporters and clients
  • Conduct outreach to community-based organizations and businesses for partnerships and awareness-building
  • Monitor the use of office equipment and supplies and maintain office inventory
  • May be required to perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Preference given to candidates with a bachelors degree or higher. College juniors and seniors also considered.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures.
  • Previous experience in an office environment.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with basic computer programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and email systems.
  • Demonstrated competency in writing and communication.
  • Bilingual fluency in Spanish and/or Chinese preferred.
  • Knowledge in graphic design a plus.

Time Commitment:

15 hours per week; Saturday availability required.

To Apply:

Please submit a copy of your cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and most recent transcript (if still in school or recent graduate) to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis until March 18, 2016.

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Social Worker

Position Description

The Social Worker is responsible for providing high-level oversight over the organization’s culturally-sensitive social service counseling program and presiding over the organization’s weekly Saturday health screenings. AMPHS’ unique, integrated clinical-social service program enables community members to receive direct social service counseling to connect them to the needed care immediately following each clinical encounter. The Social Worker is responsible for managing client cases and assisting community members in navigating resources in coordination with recommendations from the clinical team. The Social Worker is also responsible for establishing and maintaining a community referral network, facilitating workshops and overseeing a team of community health workers.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate client navigation of the healthcare system, especially for patients moving among different health care levels.
  • Provide culturally-appropriate direct services, such as social service counseling, social support, care coordination and case management, working closely with clinical staff to address health risk factors and other social determinants of health, including, but not exclusive to domestic violence and child abuse, housing, end-of-life issues, living conditions, etc.
  • Provide ongoing follow-up, basic motivational interviewing, and goal-setting with community members and their families, especially those with complex conditions, while monitoring and evaluating clients’ progress and modifying treatment plans accordingly.
  • Coach patients in effective management of their chronic health conditions and self-care.
  • Develop literature for social service outreach and education.
  • Facilitate education and support programming (e.g., health education, parenting classes, domestic violence support programs, self-care classes, health access workshops) for individual and groups.
  • Conduct outreach and coordinate with other community resources and agencies to provide community-level advocacy on behalf of patients and families and refer clients to specialized services, such as drug and alcohol treatment, legal services, financial and employment counseling, and housing support.
  • Assess and intervene in domestic violence and child abuse situations.
  • Identify, assess and treat mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety (LCSWs only)
  • Oversee and train team of Community Health Workers.
  • Manage a regularly assigned caseload of community members at AMPHS open hours and record care management information in EMR system no later than 24 hours after contact.
  • May be required to perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school; Master’s degree in social work; LMSW credential or higher is required. Proof of licensure is required at time of application.
  • Oral and written fluency in Spanish and English and/or Chinese and English preferred.
  • Prior experience serving as a social worker in a community-based setting for at least 1-2 years.
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
  • Knowledge of some medical terminology preferred, but not required.
  • Basic computer skills and knowledge in Microsoft software.
  • Good communication skills, such as listening well, and using language appropriately.
  • Ability and willingness to provide emotional support, encouragement and motivation to patients.

Time Commitment:

  • 7-10 hours per week; Saturday availability required.
  • The agreement for this position is effective until June 30, 2016 with the opportunity for renewal thereafter.

To Apply:

Please submit your cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and a copy of your social work license to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis until March 18, 2016.

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Community Health Worker

Position Description

The community health worker (CHW) is responsible for providing culturally-sensitive health navigation services to help patients and their families navigate and access community services and resources within the healthcare system, while guiding them to adopt healthy behaviors. CHWs will work primarily with immigrant families in Sunset Park, many who have limited access to healthcare. The CHW supports clinicians, the supervising social worker and program coordinator by providing an integrated system of support services that promotes and maintains healthy behaviors and addresses the social determinants of health affecting the local community. Primary function areas include social service counseling, advocating for individuals and community health needs, and facilitating community outreach workshops.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide culturally-appropriate direct services, such as social service counseling, social support, care coordination and case management under the supervision of Social Worker and working closely with clinical staff.
  • Provide ongoing follow-up, basic motivational interviewing, and goal-setting with community members and their families.
  • Advocate for individual and community needs by locating support and needed services and articulating those needs to partner organizations.
  • Coach patients in effective management of their chronic health conditions and self-care.
  • Provide culturally-sensitive health education, information and outreach in community-based settings, including, but not exclusive to the AMPHS center, schools, community centers, senior centers, community board meetings, local businesses, shelters, etc.
  • Organize community presentations and workshops on health access.
  • Conduct outreach and presentations to spread awareness about AMPHS services.
  • Research and develop multilingual materials on disease prevention, wellness, nutrition, and health access.
  • Organize and/or facilitate peer support groups.
  • Build organizational capacity to expand resource network and address social determinants of health.
  • Manage a regularly assigned caseload of community members who attend AMPHS open clinic hours once per week and record patient care management information in EMR system no later than 24 hours after contact.
  • May be required to perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Preference given to candidates with a bachelors degree or higher.
  • Successful completion of a Community Health Worker formal training program such as from a college or other education institution is preferred, but not required. AMPHS will provide initial training and CHW is also expected to participate in additional training during their tenure.
  • Written and oral fluency in Spanish and English and/or Chinese and English required.
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
  • Experience working in a community-based setting for at least 1 to 2 years preferred.
  • Knowledge of some medical terminology preferred, but not required.
  • Basic computer skills and knowledge in Microsoft Office.
  • Good communication skills, such as listening well, and using language appropriately.
  • Ability and willingness to provide emotional support, encouragement and motivation to patients.

Time Commitment:

  • 15-20 hours per week; Saturday availability required.
  • The agreement for this position is effective until June 30, 2016 with the opportunity for renewal thereafter.

To Apply:

 Please submit a copy of your cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and most recent transcript (if still in school or recent graduate) to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis until March 18, 2016.

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Volunteer Nurse Practitioner

Position Description

The Academy of Medical & Public Health Services offers free weekly Saturday health clinics for low-income, uninsured community members in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Screening participants often lack health insurance or experience language barriers that prevent them from accessing available health resources; for many, it is their first time receiving a health assessment in many years. During the clinic, AMPHS clinicians perform health screenings while partner healthcare agencies offer free specialty services, such as HIV and Hepatitis C testing, mammograms, and flu shots. AMPHS may also offer specialty theme-based services each month. At the beginning of the screening, AMPHS volunteers distribute health surveys through which it collects health data used to analyze community health trends and develop education programs.

The Nurse Practitioner will be responsible for presiding over AMPHS screenings to conduct basic and specialty screenings, provide long-term medical counseling, and facilitate health education workshops. The NP will identify risk factors and lifestyle changes that the community member should pursue, as well as follow-up treatment. He or she will then work collaboratively with the Social Assistance team to connect community members to the relevant services based on treatment recommendations from the clinical encounter. The ideal candidate is passionate about working with immigrant communities and has significant experience working with low-income populations who have had little or no access to care.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Obtain and record client health history; perform comprehensive medical evaluations for biological, social and psychological needs, including screenings for BMI, blood pressure, heart and respiration rate, oxygen saturation, visual acuity, macular degeneration, oculomotor function, pupillary reflex, dementia, glucose and cholesterol, and mental health.
  • Educate and guide patients on disease prevention and healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Provide group, individual and community education classes on disease prevention and management, wellness and nutrition.
  • Design curricula and education materials for public health education workshops.
  • Manage a regularly assigned caseload of community members at AMPHS open clinic hours and record care management information in EMR system no later than 24 hours after contact.
  • May be required to perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school of nursing; Master’s degree in nursing; completion of a state acceptable Nurse Practitioner’s program; a minimum of one year’s experience is desirable. National certification in specialty is preferred. Proof of licensure is required at time of application.
  • Thorough knowledge in nursing techniques and procedures, medical and lab equipment, testing procedures, medications, and interviewing and counseling techniques.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language (in particular, Spanish and Chinese) a plus.
  • Previous experience working in a community-based, multi-cultural public health setting.
  • Ability to work independently; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; deal tactfully and patiently with clients and other social work case managers.
  • Basic computer skills required.

Time Commitment:

  • At least one shift per month; Saturday availability required.  However, we are flexible with volunteer scheduling.

To Apply:

Please submit your cover letter, resume, and copy of your nursing license to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Candidates will serve independently; that is, providing a broad range of clinical services based on their own scope of practice, comfort, and level of licensure as an independent clinician volunteering at AMPHS sites and events. Candidates will be asked to submit proof of current professional liability coverage prior to commencing the position.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis.

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Chinese/Spanish Translator

Position Description

The Academy of Medical & Public Health Services (AMPHS) works with a predominantly Latino and Chinese community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, bringing them accessible healthcare through free health screenings and education workshops. At the beginning of each screening, AMPHS staff collects demographic data from each participating community member to conduct analytical research on predominant health trends in the local community. AMPHS also holds public health workshops that educate community members in health access, disease management and prevention, nutrition and wellness. We are seeking fluent or highly proficient Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin speakers to interpret for AMPHS constituents during open clinics and events.

Translators will also have the opportunity to engage in other community fieldwork projects that include conducting interviews and focus groups and community outreach alongside our community engagement team. Additionally, they will be responsible for assisting with other administrative projects, such as recording Chinese/Spanish segments for educational videos, translating educational literature, brochures, flyers, and other outreach material, and writing Chinese/Spanish blog posts for our online news portal.

AMPHS screenings take place Saturdays on a weekly basis; workshops take place on weekends and select weekdays. Translators will receive training in medical terminology, patient history-taking, and HIPAA prior to engaging in a service role.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Interpret communication between AMPHS staff and non-English speaking AMPHS clients.
  • Translate written educational materials and documents in accordance with readability guidelines.
  • Work with social service team to follow up with non-English speaking population to inquire about individuals’ status and answer questions.
  • Assist non-English speaking population in completing documentation and forms.
  • Translate for facilitators in 3-4 community public health education workshops per month.
  • Assist Program Coordinator and senior managers in design of culturally-sensitive health services.
  • May be required to perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Native Chinese or Spanish speaker and/or advanced degree or training in the Chinese/Spanish language. Strong oral and written proficiency required. Applicants will be asked to submit a bilingual writing sample to demonstrate written and oral competency.
  • Prior knowledge of medical terminology preferred, but not required.
  • Ability to accurately interpret and communicate information in an unbiased, clear and concise manner with clients, families, and providers.
  • Ability to work independently in an efficient, productive manner while maintaining composure and sensitivity in accordance with the environment of health care services.
  • Basic computer skills and competency with Word processing systems required.

Time Commitment:

  • 7-10 hours per week; Saturday availability required.
  • The agreement for this position is effective until June 30, 2016 with the opportunity for renewal thereafter.

To Apply: 

Please submit your cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample in English and Spanish or Chinese, and transcript (if current student or recent graduate) to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis until March 18, 2016.

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Understanding Mental Health in Sunset Park

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The graduates of AMPHS first mental health first aid training.

Many immigrants, particularly in Sunset Park, are at risk for developing mental health conditions due to assimilative stresses, domestic violence, bullying, separation from their families, and financial strain. This can lead to adverse consequences, including substance abuse, depression and suicide.

In support of Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray’s ThriveNYC initiative, AMPHS has launched a series of free mental health first aid trainings for the community, beginning in December 2015. The training course introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and instructs them on a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions, and secure appropriate care for the suffering individual.

AMPHS held its first 2-day training this month in collaboration with the Office of Senator Jesse Hamilton, Chinese-American Planning Council Beacon Center, African Services Committee, and Mental Health Association of New York City, training over 25 community members on addressing mental health issues in their communities in the overwhelmingly popular class. Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Congrats to Mon Yuck Yu, 40 Under 40 Rising Star

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Mon Yuck Yu, AMPHS Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff

We at AMPHS couldn’t be more proud of Mon Yuck Yu, AMPHS Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff, for being selected as one of New York Nonprofit Media’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

The daughter of a first-generation immigrant, Mon Yuck has long been devoted to the causes of New York City’s low-income and immigrant populations, specifically through the advancement of equitable and accessible health care.

Through AMPHS, Mon Yuck has worked tirelessly to advocate for those without documentation, health insurance, the means, or perhaps the language skills to navigate the U.S. healthcare system on their own. She’s performed community needs assessments to guide the free health services AMPHS provides from their headquarters in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She coordinates with local government officials, partner organizations in health and immigrant justice, and AMPHS’ own volunteer force to provide these much-needed services, such as physical exams, Hepatitis C and HIV screenings, mammograms, blood testing, flu shots, dental services, eye exams, as well as health counseling and other social services.

On screening days, Mon Yuck often serves as an interpreter as well, speaking to community members in English, Chinese, and Spanish. She also conducts CPR, First Aid and emergency preparedness workshops. Her fundraising and outreach accomplishments include AMPHS’ first annual Health Empowerment Celebration this past summer, which brought hundreds of Brooklyn residents to Sunset Park for health-related activities, demonstrations, and information from a variety of local businesses and organizations.

Mon Yuck, whose father, an immigrant carpenter with meager benefits, passed away from cancer felt disempowered by the healthcare system and felt that people like him needed a voice. She was not alone. Brooklyn, New York 2015

Mon Yuck assists community members at AMPHS Headquarters.

Through her efforts, Mon Yuck has bettered not only the standing of this young healthcare initiative, only in its fifth year, but also the standard of care for the underserved communities she works with. We cannot think of anyone more passionate about nonprofit work or more deserving of this incredible honor.

In addition to her work for AMPHS, Mon Yuck has held various positions at American Red Cross, Chinese-American Planning Council, FEMA and New York State Assembly. She has a background in Psychology and Anthropology from Dartmouth College and NYU and is currently pursuing a degree in Public Administration at Columbia University. ‎

Would You Like to Work at AMPHS?

AMPHS staff and volunteers convene before patients arrive in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

AMPHS Seeks Program Assistant

The Program Assistant is responsible for assisting in the implementation and administration of the health screening, education, and training programs at the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services. Responsibilities can include event coordination, outreach, client communication, and basic reception and clerical duties. The candidate will work directly with Executive Management staff to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and efficiently.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Respond to client inquiries via phone and email, screen and direct calls, and relay messages
  • Conduct outreach to community-based organizations and businesses for partnerships and awareness-building
  • Coordinate logistics for the AMPHS Clinical Practice Training Program for pre-health students
  • Schedule appointments and appointment reminders for screenings, workshops, and trainings and maintain the organization’s events calendar
  • Schedule meetings and training sessions for volunteers
  • Manage and maintain a Salesforce contacts database for volunteers, partners, and donors
  • Assist in coordinating logistics for in-house health screenings, including event outreach (flyering) and pre-screening patient intake
  • Assist in the preparation of outreach and educational materials
  • Update organizational policies and procedures manuals as needed
  • Work with Executive Management to send program updates to clients and volunteers
  • Prepare letters to stakeholders, including supporters and clients
  • Monitor the use of office equipment and supplies and maintain office inventory

Qualifications:

  • Preference given to candidates with a bachelors degree or higher. College juniors and seniors also considered.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures.
  • Previous experience in an office environment.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with basic computer programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and email systems.
  • Demonstrated competency in writing and communication.
  • Bilingual fluency in Spanish and/or Chinese preferred.
  • Knowledge in graphic design a plus.

To Apply:

Please submit a copy of your cover letter, resume, writing sample, and most recent transcript (if still in school or recent graduate) to personnel.resources@amphsonline.org.

Commitment to Care in NYC

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AMPHS volunteers receive the 2015 EmblemHealth Commitment to Care Award

On Wednesday, September 30, AMPHS was honored to receive the 2015 EmblemHealth Commitment to Care Award alongside such admirable organizations as the Chinese-American Planning Council​ Nan Shan Senior Center and the Flushing Chinese Business Association.

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Councilman Peter Koo speaking at the EmblemHealth Commitment to Care Lecture & Award Ceremony

Councilman Peter Koo, affectionately referred to as the “Mayor” of Flushing, spoke at the event about the rising costs of care in the U.S., something he’s uniquely qualified to speak to as a pharmacist. With the price of life-saving drugs skyrocketing and crippling bills being issued for even a two-mile trip in an ambulance (Councilman Koo sardonically advised the audience that they might be better off finding another route to the hospital), the councilman thanked the recipients of the award for their efforts to disrupt such an inequitable and unsustainable system.

Dr. Russell Petrella, EVP of EmblemHealth, says the following about AMPHS: “The Academy of Medical & Public Health Services is one of three distinguished organizations that will be honored for its commitment to enhancing the quality of life in New York City. The Academy’s dedication to providing care, services, and support to the residents of New York is commendable. To celebrate this outstanding contribution, we would like to present [AMPHS] with the Commitment to Care Award for eliminating barriers to clinical health care services for underserved immigrant populations.”

Previous recipients of the award include the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Chinese American Medical Society, National Council of Negro Women, Organization of Chinese Americans, Harlem Children’s Zone, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, and University Settlement, among other notable organizations. We at AMPHS couldn’t be happier to be included among these important and influential ranks, and to work together to ensure the basic human right of quality healthcare for all NYC residents.

Our heartfelt thanks to EmblemHealth for this incredible honor, and to our volunteers who make the work we do at AMPHS possible.

Introducing AMPHS’ New Oral Health Program

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Last month, AMPHS launched its Oral Health Program, a new initiative that incorporates free dental health services into its monthly clinical offerings. “We have seen an increasing number of community members at AMPHS with oral care needs,” explains AMPHS President and CEO Hewett Chiu, “but free dental services are often much more difficult to access than medical services.”

With so much national focus on the big-ticket items of healthcare reform, it’s easy to overlook just how vital dental care is to one’s overall well-being, not to mention the difficulty of access for the poor and uninsured. The Huffington Post reported last month on the tragic death of Kyle Willis, an unemployed, single father who simply could not afford the cost of a wisdom tooth extraction. His face “swelled like a balloon” before he went to the Emergency Room, where he was prescribed painkillers for $3 and antibiotics for $27. “Unable to afford both, he bought only the painkillers,” and soon after, “the infection spread to his brain.”

While this may seem like an extreme example, this unfortunate and entirely preventable circumstance illuminates the fissures in our current dental care landscape. The Huffington Post goes on to cite that “130 million Americans—over 40% of the population—do not have dental insurance.” And the burden on hospitals can be remarkable, a reported $2.7 billion in Emergency Department charges in a three-year period.

There has been progress. The Affordable Care Act does mandate dental coverage for individuals under 18, but the safety net for adults in need is thin to nonexistent, and even treatment for children has a long way to go toward equitability. According to a recent report by Pew Charitable Trusts, “low-income children are particularly vulnerable,” with 4 million children in 2012 having gone without dental care “because their families could not afford it.” The report’s analysis of the state-by-state delivery of low-cost sealants, which prevent tooth decay among at-risk children, finds that “most states are not meeting national goals.”

Medicaid also offers dental coverage, but that coverage varies depending on the state and is often limited to emergency treatment. Additionally, only 20% of dentists nationwide accept Medicaid.

These are some of the gaps that AMPHS hopes to fill for the Sunset Park community. Jie J. (JJ) Sun, our new Coordinator of Dental Health Services, is no stranger to these hurtles. A third-year pre-doctoral student at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, JJ has worked with diverse populations including refugees, homeless populations, and underserved communities overseas. She also coordinates oral screening programs and mission trip donations for Dentists for Humanity. “The primary goal of AMPHS’ Oral Health Program,” she says, “is to prevent dental diseases through good oral hygiene habits and a good understanding of how oral health can affect systemic health.”

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Jie J Sun, our new Coordinator of Dental Health Services

JJ explains that many in immigrant communities like Sunset Park don’t have dental insurance and don’t see dentists regularly unless they have dental pain. “Poor oral hygiene favors bacterial growth, which can lead to tooth decay and inflammation in the gum surrounding the teeth, a condition known as gingivitis. Over time, if gingival inflammation persists, periodontal disease will develop and result in irreversible bone loss.” Diabetes and heart disease have also been linked to poor oral health. “Many times, the earliest symptoms of a systemic disease manifest in the oral cavity first.”

The Center for Health Care Strategies lists the individual barriers to dental care for low-income adults as follows:

  • coordinating work, child care arrangements, and transportation
  • lack of awareness of dental benefits
  • gaps in oral health literacy
  • the perception that oral health is secondary to general health
  • primary care providers who may not encourage oral health care

Through counseling sessions and free oral screenings, AMPHS hopes to empower Brooklyn’s immigrant communities with more comprehensive care, the promotion of better oral hygiene practices, and the confidence to navigate the dental care options available to them. The initiative will also organize trainings for physicians on oral cancer screening and coordinate with existing community outreach programs.

“Currently, we are working with the American Student Dental Association and Chinese Student Association at NYU College of Dentistry to plan for oral screening events,” JJ says. “Dental students will be able to screen and educate community members, as well as refer those in need of treatment back to the NYU College of Dentistry for reduced costs.”

AMPHS is excited to provide these much-needed services and to participate in the growing national dialogue on the exigencies of equitable and accessible dental care.