AMPHS is Hiring!

AMPHS Year-End Campaign Collage

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.

Full-Time Positions:

Manager of Health Programs

Manager of Outreach and Policy Initiatives

Community Health Worker (Spanish & Chinese-speaking)

Executive Assistant

Part-Time Positions:

ESOL Instructor

Mental Health Therapist (Chinese-Speaking)

Bookkeeper

Volunteer Positions: 

ESOL Tutor

Clinical Volunteer

For more information or to apply, please contact personnel.resources@amphsonline.org.

AMPHS Announced as Complete Count Fund Awardee Joining Citywide Effort to Ensure a Fair and Complete Count

New York, NY— Academy of Medical & Public Health Services is pleased to announce it has received a $75,000 award from the NYC Complete Count Fund — a partnership between CUNY, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council. The NYC Complete Count Fund is a first-of-its-kind Census-related community organizing program that will support and resource community-based organizations to help NYC reach a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census. These funds will support Census outreach through AMPHS health and education programs.

The Complete Count Fund was built with the understanding that local community-based organizations — which serve New Yorkers in the communities where they live and in the languages that they speak — are the most trusted messengers of important and sensitive information.

AMPHS is proud to join this coordinated citywide effort to build awareness about the census, convey its importance, fight the spread of mis- and disinformation, and help bridge the digital divide that might prevent many New Yorkers from participating in next year’s first online census.

A complete count is important to ensuring that the communities AMPHS serves receive funding for community resources to maintain healthy communities. In 2010, Sunset Park and Borough Park were designated two of the country’s hardest-to-count neighborhoods, housing ten of the tracts with the lowest response rates, with the lowest at 56.6%. In one tract, 24.9% of households had limited internet access and only 1% had a cellular data plan, indicating low projected response rates to the digital Census 2020 survey. Sunset Park alone houses nearly 130,000 residents — nearly half who are immigrants lacking English proficiency and are uninsured or underinsured; about a third who live in poverty. It is also home to one of NYC’s highest concentration of undocumented and newly arrived immigrants.

AMPHS recognizes the importance of increased outreach in hard-to-count communities in ensuring proper Congressional and electoral representation, funding allocations, and redistricting. Bolstered with our long history in Sunset Park, we will approach Census outreach by building Census awareness into our various existing and forthcoming health and education programs. We will center its Census outreach activities on immigrant communities in Sunset Park and neighboring South Brooklyn areas of Bay Ridge, Besonhurst, New Utrecht and Borough Park, concentrating primarily on Latino, Chinese, and Muslim populations. Specific strategies include: 

  • Integrating Census education into AMPHS’ education and social services
  • Conducting “civics” workshops and Census completion sessions as a part of our Adult Literacy ESOL course curriculum
  • Conducting community workshops and disseminating information at partner sites throughout the community
  • Working with local Councilmembers to integrate Census education into participatory budgeting outreach initiatives
  • Holding Census Days of Action to conduct active grassroots street outreach and business canvassing
  • Holding specialized events such as pop-up clinics, health fairs and career resource days that include Census outreach
  • Implementing social media and texting campaigns for Census outreach

“As the number of immigrants continue to grow, we cannot allow issues like housing, healthcare, employment, and school overcrowding — which already plague our community — to continue to affect its socioeconomic vitality, health and wellness,” said Mon Yuck Yu, AMPHS’ Executive Vice President.

In 2015, New York received $53 billion in federal funding for programs like Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Section 8, Title 1 grants and SNAP — making up a third of state funding. Brooklyn was one of the most undercounted counties across the country.

“That’s why we have schools with 30 students crammed into one classroom; why community members wait hours in the emergency room before being seen; why we still have families of five or six living together in one small living room,” Yu states. “Only with a fair and accurate Census count can we ensure that adequate funding is allocated to reverse this situation and ensure that our communities remain healthy and safe.”

A complete and accurate count is critical to the future of New York City. The census will determine how more than $650 billion in federal funds for public education, public housing, roads and bridges, and more, gets distributed annually throughout the country. It will also determine the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives (and thus, the Electoral College). Based on current estimates, an undercount could cost the State of New York up to two congressional seats.

In such a complex city, enriched by such linguistic and cultural diversity, New York City’s full participation in the first online census faces a unique set of challenges. As New Yorkers, we have embraced these challenges as an opportunity. Together, these citywide efforts will lay the groundwork for a civic engagement apparatus that will continue well beyond the 2020 census. 

According to Yu, “there are incessant barriers to help us achieve an accurate count. The digital divide, the fear of ICE being at the door, the fear of repercussions for completing the Census — all of these issues are real. Community groups like ours become one of their few trusted sources of information, providing the cultural and linguistic competence to educate our communities. With this funding, we be part of a movement to ensure that our communities will not be undercounted again in 2020.”

The Complete Count Fund will launch in early January with an all-day kick-off event and training.

###

About your organization

AMPHS aims to make care more accessible to immigrant New Yorkers through grassroots, culturally-sensitive intervention methods and de-institutionalized healthcare environments. AMPHS’ mission is to identify and address barriers to health and wellness; coordinate needed primary care with social assistance; and deliver care with dignity and empathy to marginalized immigrant communities. Through its public health interventions, AMPHS lends to the empowerment of individuals and communities to create their own local and culturally-sensitive health and wellness paradigms, making healthcare more personable, accessible and holistic.

AMPHS provides coordinated and integrated interventions in three program areas—clinical services, social services, and education—addressing the root causes contributing to the health disparities and poor outcomes facing immigrant populations. Programs include: free health screenings and medical/dietary consultations; mental health therapy; social assistance counseling; health literacy, health access, and immigrant rights workshops; English Adult Literacy classes; Mental Health First Aid workshops; and emergency preparedness training. It also publishes health and immigrant resource guides for community education and coordinate monthly pop-up health events, as well as an annual resource fair serving over 1,250 people per year, where it provides free testing and community resources.        

About NYC Census 2020
NYC Census 2020 was established as a first-of-its-kind organizing initiative by Mayor de Blasio to ensure a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. The program is built on four pillars: (1) a community-based awards program, The New York City Complete Count Fund; (2) an in-house “Get Out the Count” field campaign; (3) an innovative, multi-lingual, tailored messaging and marketing; as well as (4) an in-depth Agency and Partnerships engagement plan that seeks to leverage the power of the City’s 350,000-strong workforce and the city’s major institutions, including libraries, hospitals, faith-based, cultural institutions, and higher educational institutions, and more, to communicate with New Yorkers about the critical importance of census participation.

Celebrating the Holidays with Love

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our AMPHS Holiday Party & Toy/Clothing Drive on December 12th! We had a blast amid drinks, food, games and live jazz. With everyone’s contributions, AMPHS collected over 250 toys and clothing donations! We appreciate everyone who came out to support us, including Team Carlos Menchaca, Zellnor Myrie, and Mark Treyger. Plus, a huge thank you to Empowerment of Asian Americans and MetroPlus Health Plan for the 175+ toys they contributed!

The toys were distributed during AMPHS Annual Holiday Health Extravaganza on December 14th, where 200 children from the families we serve brought home a toy to celebrate the holiday spirit and a bundle of joy that they deserve.

Toy Drive
Toy Drive2

Every year at our AMPHS Holiday Party & Toy/Clothing Drive, we also honor a partner organization and rockstar volunteer and team member for their exemplary service. This year we are honored to recognize the recipients of our Volunteer of the Year Award, Dr. Htun Min Aung; Advocate of the Year Award, Kathleen Iverson, LCSW; and Building Healthy Communities Award, Chinese-American Planning Council.

htun

The Volunteer of the Year Award goes to a volunteer who has displayed strong dedication to community service. Dr. Aung volunteers at AMPHS’ clinic twice a month to help provide health screenings for the immigrants in Sunset Park. Many of our community members has not seen a doctor in as many as 40 years. Htun will take his time to work with each community member and make sure they are equipped with the healthcare information they need, sometimes spending 45 minutes to 1 hour with each community member. And he makes sure to never miss a screening day — even if it means coming straight from the airport!

kathleen

The Advocate of the Year Award goes to a trailblazing staff member who fights endlessly for our community members, advocating for their rights and expressing the true spirit of the AMPHS mission. Our Social Worker, Kathleen tirelessly fights for the needs and rights of AMPHS’ community members, on both a systemic and individual level. She is always there to provide our communities with services they need — to let them know which direction to turn, to follow up with them; she is a mentor for our teams and will always be able to make a sound judgment about the right course of action.

cpc

Finally, the Building Healthy Communities Award goes to a partner organization that has been truly dedicated to working together to advance the health and wellness of the our communities. The Chinese-American Planning Council has always been there to support our community work, from participating in our annual Health Empowerment Celebration to partnering on outreaching to the community for events and providing space for our evening ESOL classes.

We are so lucky to work with each and every one of you to service our community! Congratulations to all of our honorees!

Congrats to our Adult Literacy Class of 2019!

Last month, the Academy of Medical & Public Health Services graduated our second class of Adult Literacy ESOL students. This year, AMPHS received over 200 registrations and celebrated achievements of 131 of those students on Graduation Day. Students came from 21 different countries across Central America, Latin American, East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and Africa, and participated in classes at the Beginner, High Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels over a period of two semesters. Parents who otherwise would have needed to choose between going to class and taking care of their children were offered free babysitting services during class time. Students also received support through AMPHS’ health, mental health and social services programs throughout the term.

Over the course of the term, students not only developed their written and verbal communication skills, and connected with other English language learners in the community. They participated in workshops about immigrant rights, mental health, personal financial management, and college education opportunities. Classes went on field trips to plays Target Margin Theatre, Brooklyn Public Library, New York Aquarium, Governor’s Island, Sunset Park, NY Lantern Festival and participated in Iftar celebrations with the Arab-American Association of NY and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

In celebration of the holidays in November, students across AMPHS’ class participated in a Thanksgiving Day feast, designed to educate students about the United States Thanksgiving tradition. We transformed cafeteria tables with a long dinner table holiday setting and brought drinks, turkey, and Thanksgiving Day staples. Students brought traditional home cooking to contribute to a multicultural Thanksgiving potluck feast. Teachers discussed the history and tradition of Thanksgiving and reviewed dining and dining etiquette terminology, while students across the different classes networked through food, drink and “speed-dating” activities. Students concluded the evening with a white elephant gift exchange. According to one student, “The event gave me a family feeling and made me feel the holiday spirit. I had never had a feast like that before.”

IMG_1275.JPGIMG_1221.JPGIMG_1227.JPGimg_1237.jpgimg_1241.jpgimg_1242.jpgIMG_1231.JPG

They also attended AMPHS’ Holiday Party and had the chance to share their experiences with AMPHS’ programs over food and drink.

48355823_292558734709812_7747192069277351936_n.jpg48038520_341864799726132_4916004594745606144_n.jpg47579567_711334139252873_983512231922630656_n.jpg

On May 31st, Advanced class student Febe Xu was honored for a essay, “As a Beginner in New York” at the DYCD Student Achievement Ceremony, with a reading by Carlos Montivero, along with Mexican Folk Dance “Ballet Folklorico” from student Fatima Osorio.

20190530_124601.jpg20190530_123929.jpg20190530_113450.jpg20190626202710_5C1A3181.jpg

In May, students participated in a rally to advocate for additional funding to support ESOL classes, with an impassioned speech by Intermediate student Mauricio Paz Viola.

IMG-20190529-WA0010.jpgIMG-20190529-WA0012.jpg

On June 8th, we held our First Annual Sunset Park Career Day featured a combination of workshops, career panels, and tabling throughout the day, with an aim to provide community members with information about workforce development programs, workers’ rights, and job opportunities. The event was open to all members of the community, attracting over 120 attendees including AMPHS’ Adult Literacy students. Career Day connected students to work and training opportunities and showed students that if they committed themselves to achieving their goals, and with a little bit of help along the way, anything is possible — achieving the American Dream is possible.

Workshops were facilitated through the Center for Family Life and CUNY BMCC. Twenty agencies participated to offer information about their job and training opportunities. Panelists shared stories about their struggles entering their professions, including going to school, finding a job as an undocumented person, and dealing with discrimination, and provided recommendations on educational pathways to success.

IMG_1207.JPGIMG_0908.JPG20190608_124334.jpgDSC_0197.JPGDSC_0145.JPGIMG_1303.JPG

To our students, our Adult Literacy classes mean much more than a class or a program. It is a community and an opportunity for education.

“I never went to school when I was young. My parents didn’t allow me to,” said Ms. Li, a student in our Beginner class, who at 80 years old had been enrolled in our program with her daughter since last year. “My daughter only completed elementary school; she was the primary caretaker for her younger siblings and began working as a teenager to earn money for the family. Her brothers had a chance to go to school, but she never did. Now she is my primary caretaker, and I know I owe so much to her. This, for us, is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The commitment and motivation of our students are unmatched. They are at once the breadwinners, parents and caretakers of the family. While struggling to learn to thrive in a new country, they are also attending classes 6+ hours a week to build upon their English — making a commitment to excel and build a better life for their children. We cannot be more proud of our graduating class and happier to have played a role in their journey. Take a look at our graduation booklet to meet them all!

The success of the classes would not have been possible without the hard work of our 2018-2019 Adult Literacy team: Administrative Support team Mon Yuck Yu, Philip Lindsay, Aimee Kim, Jialiang Huang;  ESOL Instructors Weam Al-Rubaye, Somia El-Rowmeim, Tanya Chambers, and Bonnie Blaha; the Literacy Partners team Adriane Lee, Mary Sillman, Jessica Kan, Caitlin Mroz, Fatema Kabir, Megan McDonald, and Sarah Jaffe. Thank you for all your hard work!

Now Accepting Applications! 

Summer Classes: New and returning students can opt to enroll in a 5-week computer class and conversation table this summer between July 10th and August 10th to continue to build their English skills. Registration is on a rolling basis.

Fall Classes: Registration for our Fall Cycle is now open. To register, please call our offices at (212) 256-9036 to make an appointment for registration and testing.

 

AMPHS Selected as 2019 CRE Rising Fund Recipient!

AMPHS is proud to have been selected as one of six CRE Rising Fund recipients this year. The CRE Rising Fund, now in its fifth year, assists small, dynamic nonprofit organizations that are working to improve the lives of the diverse people and communities of New York City. Through the Rising Fund, expert CRE consultants partner with small nonprofits to complete no-cost, three-month long consulting engagements.

“We are proud to be partnering with these incredible nonprofits,” said Katie Leonberger, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRE. “These groups are working across New York City to support historically underrepresented communities, promote equity, and expand opportunity. We are honored and excited to partner with them to build their capacity for the future.”

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with CRE to build our capacity and think strategically about how to make our programs stronger and more impactful for the communities we serve,” said Hewett Chiu, President & CEO. “This will mean better and more effective services, particularly in light of the increasing needs within immigrant communities now.”

The 2019 awardee nonprofits were selected from 28 applications. The six organizations will each receive customized, no cost consulting services to better serve their communities and achieve their missions.

AMPHS has been selected among the following six nonprofit awardees that will receive pro bono consulting services:

  • Academy of Medical & Public Health Services (AMPHS) is a not-for-profit health service organization with a triple aim to identify barriers to health and wellness in underserved immigrant communities; coordinate truly needed primary care with social assistance; and deliver care with dignity and empathy to marginalized New Yorkers.
  • Center for Law & Social Justice (CLSJ) provides quality advocacy, training, and expert services in a personal manner to people of African descent and the disenfranchised. CLSJ conducts research and initiates advocacy projects and litigation on behalf of community organizations and groups that promote human, national, and international understanding.
  • Custom Collaborative trains and supports women from low-income and immigrant communities to launch fashion careers and businesses. By learning the standard techniques and ethical business practices of the fashion industry, participants can achieve secure livelihoods in the fashion industry as designers, entrepreneurs, pattern makers, and seamstresses who create and sell high-quality clothing and accessories.
  • The Feminist Press publishes books that ignite movements and social transformation, lifting up insurgent and marginalized voices from around the world to build a more just future.
  • Friends of WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School)’s goal is to make sure that every student at WHEELS has the information, counseling, and extracurricular experiences they need to get into and succeed in college and beyond.
  • Made in Brownsville is a youth creative agency and innovation hub providing a gateway for young people to learn marketable hard skills in STEAM, access postsecondary education, achieve economic mobility, and engage in placed-based community revitalization.

CRE will partner with AMPHS on a capacity building project that includes strategic planning, board development, and teambuilding. For more information, please visit https://www.crenyc.org/.

Meet Margarita: Immigrant, Mother, and Growing Advocate 

Margarita, 48, lives with her husband and two sons in Bay Ridge. She immigrated to the US from Mexico twenty years ago for financial reasons, and has lived in Brooklyn ever since. When Margarita went searching for a new job in Sunset Park, the Center for Family Life recommended that she focus on improving her English, and referred her to AMPHS. “I said to myself, if that’s the path, then let’s go, let’s get started.”

A few weeks later, she was enrolled in AMPHS’ Advanced English Class with Bonnie Blaha, one of AMPHS ESL instructors. Margarita quickly became one of the most outspoken students in class and often encouraged her classmates to be more active in the classroom. “Bonnie has lots of patience with us. She is wonderful.”

AMPHS English classes provide students with the language skills they need to survive and connect community members to each other through a common goal. They also provide access to holistic health and wellness services, further empowering community members to understand and assert their rights.

Once Margarita also learned about AMPHS health services, she immediately took advantage of AMPHS Saturday health screening services and signed up for weekly counseling with AMPHS’ licensed mental health therapist, Matilde Pedrero. “There are a lot of people here that don’t speak English… there are people who don’t ever receive check-ups. Here they have a chance to see a doctor, to learn English, to understand their situation.”

Though Margarita has graduated from AMPHS Adult Literacy program, she continues to play an important role in the AMPHS community as a volunteer, encouraging others to learn English and spreading the word about the organization. “I bring people in, little by little- my friend, my neighbor.” Margarita often brings her sons Jonathan and Jordan into the office as well. “The kids are happy here, they love to come here. They say, mom, let’s go to the school.”

AMPHS services, she points out, can make an enormous difference in someone’s life: “I am especially worried for my Guatemalan friends, the ones working dangerous jobs, the delivery bikers. Just the other day, a 16-year-old boy was killed delivering food. He probably barely knew how to read the ‘No-turn’ sign… or maybe if he had known some English he wouldn’t have to be dodging cars, maybe he could be waiting tables somewhere instead.”

 

Culture Day: Celebrating Diversity

On June 25th, AMPHS and the Arab American Association of New York, held a celebration of the diverse cultures that make up Brooklyn. Featuring the traditional food, garb, song, and performances from our very own ESOL students, we spoke to importance of diversity, understanding, and community solidarity. It was a beautiful unification of the different ethnic groups and generations among hundreds of students and their family members, to show that it is possible to erase differences and barriers to develop one voice, one community.

culture day

AMPHS Graduates its Inaugural Adult Literacy Class!

In March, with funding from NYC Department of Community and Youth Development, AMPHS began offering six English classes for over 150 immigrant community members from Beginner to Advanced levels. Our adult literacy program furthers our mission to serve and empower NYC’s immigrant community, complementing our health and wellness programs by providing our students with the English skills for self-advocacy in both healthcare settings and in their everyday lives. We also offer babysitting services for parents who otherwise would not be able to take the classes.

Students improved upon their written and verbal communication skills, and connected with other English language learners in the community. They also took part in field trips around NYC (visiting the Brooklyn Public Library, Statue of Liberty, Museum of the City of New York, and even local restaurants!), participated in our first Culture Day, and celebrated all their hard work and progress at the end of June at the AMPHS Graduation Ceremony.  Students further engaged in conversation groups to practice their English with peers and work readiness workshops to help students advance in their career search beyond the classes. Take a look here for a list of graduating students!

The success of the classes would not have been possible without the hard work of our Spring 2018 Adult Literacy team: a big thanks to Somia El-Rowmeim, Adult Education Specialist and Adviser, and ESOL Instructors Jarod Yong, Bonnie Blaha, Weam Al-Rubaye, Patrizia Barroero and Ekhlas Sedhom. 

IMG-20180609-WA0001 (1)

Registration for our Fall Cycle is now open. To register, please call our offices at (212) 256-9036 to make an appointment for registration and testing! Registration ends August 31st, 2018.

Making Your #Right2Health a Reality

right2health-final-v2

AMPHS wants to hear from you this holiday season!

Between now and the end of the year, take a few minutes to write about the health and wellness needs of your community. What barriers are you or someone you know currently experiencing in the pursuit of a healthy life? Are you having any trouble accessing quality care? What kinds of health and wellness services do you feel would improve the lives of the people in your community, your family?

Share your story or idea by emailing us at nicholas.maistros@amphsonline.org or by tagging us and posting your message to Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #Right2Health. Please, protect the privacy of your subjects by removing any identifying information.

At the beginning of the new year, we will aggregate your messages and use them to tailor our services, making your #Right2Health a reality!

AMPHS’ Action Plan: Bridging the Healthcare Gap in Uncertain Times

Academy of Medical and Public Health Services

In anticipation of the incoming administration, we at AMPHS are maximizing our efforts to protect the rights of our immigrant community members and to make health and wellness accessible to those in need.

This is our plan:

  1. Provide free health and disease prevention services to the New Yorkers who might lose health insurance or be excluded from the healthcare system in 2017.
  2. Educate immigrant communities about their immigration and healthcare rights through Know Your Rights Workshops and street canvasses.
  3. Coordinate care plans for individuals who are left out of the healthcare system and connect them to resources to help them navigate their options.
  4. Assemble pro bono legal service providers to assist immigrants in conducting immigration screenings, securing health insurance, and being represented in immigration proceedings.
  5. Conduct active street outreach to identify community needs and sentiments.
  6. Convene community leaders and members to discuss action roadmaps to protect our community.
  7. Support New York City’s efforts to fight back against threats and coercion against immigrant communities.

No matter the political situation, AMPHS remains devoted to advancing quality healthcare to those in need, regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status. We are here for our immigrant communities.