AMPHS Builds Hope Among Volunteers and the Community

DSC_0226One of the ways AMPHS strives to make an impact on the community is through regular health screenings. AMPHS believes that access to healthcare should be a right to everyone irrespective of their insurance and economic status, and not a privilege. AMPHS has organized and hosted a number of health screening services since August in the Brooklyn area – in addition to routine health screenings, AMPHS has organized breast cancer screenings and screenings for Alzheimer’s disease. In the past few months alone, AMPHS was able to impact the lives of over 90 community members.

AMPHS touches the life of community members on a regular basis. One regular community member, Gail Rivers, says that she found out about AMPHS when she came to the headquarters and was pleasantly surprised to find out that all the health services we offered were free. “AMPHS provides a warm and welcoming feeling to its clients. It is very unlike going to a regular doctor for a checkup. I do not have health insurance, and it is good to know that there is someone for you when you need them.”

A resident of the Sunset Park area, Gail is certain that she will recommend AMPHS to her friends and family members. “The clinical volunteers and especially Mon Yuck, the Chief of Staff at AMPHS – go the extra mile to make sure community members understand their options and get the help needed.”

Our health screenings have touched the lives of our volunteers as well.

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Coordinator of Community Health Research Pensri Ho served as an event volunteer for the Turning Point Outreach Center Staff Health Day that was held on October 25th. The event was held in collaboration with Turning Point to encourage health awareness among their community. To Pensri, this event was unusual because this was the first time community members scheduled an appointment and completed the AMPHS health survey online. This enabled AMPHS to screen more community members than we usually would have. Pensri recalls that one middle-aged community member was so touched by the clinical volunteer’s bedside manner that she wanted him to be her primary care physician. All the community members mentioned that they were extremely impressed with the thoroughness of how medical history was taken, the time that was devoted to them on a personal level and the advice they received from the clinical volunteers.

President & CEO Hewett Chiu served as the clinical volunteer for the Breast Cancer Awareness Screening Event on October 19th, AMPHS’ monthly in-house health screening. This event was focused on community members learning more about breast cancer, as well as the fact that despite popular belief, men can be affected by breast cancer too. There was an equal mix of community members returning for follow up care and regular check-ins and new community members coming to access healthcare for the first time. Community members were also given personalized coaching sessions, resources, and educational materials for breast cancer susceptibility and prevention, and were urged to made follow up appointments for future mammogram screenings in December.  According to Hewett, it is heartwarming to hear the community members share their stories and learn more about the incredible suffering they have to live through every day.

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Talking about one particular incident, Hewett recalls: “an elderly gentlemen, who is a regular AMPHS member, came in and complained of terrible pain in his limbs and minor respiratory distress. Upon further inspection, his left foot was greatly swollen, a condition which was suggestive of a dire heart condition. We immediately performed a focused screening, then created a plan and gave him directions for seeking follow up care and treatment. Throughout the whole process, we educated him on what might be happening, what he should do, and what everything we’re doing means. He saw how much we cared for him and really took our advice to heart. Because of our quick intervention, when we called to check out how he was doing a few days later, he reported that he was feeling much better than he had in many weeks, and we may have possibly prevented a terrible medical emergency from occurring.”

Chief of Staff Mon Yuck Yu also served as a clinical volunteer for United Sunset Senior Health Center Alzheimer’s Screening on Friday, Sept 13th. AMPHS first provided a 45-minute workshop to the seniors at United Sunset on dementia and its origins, effects, methods of prevention, and the importance of getting tested.  District 51 Assemblyman Felix Ortiz also made a presence at the event. Ortiz expressed how grateful he was that AMPHS was able to provide memory screening services, telling the story of his grandmother’s affliction with the disease in the past and encouraging the seniors to get screened. For Mon Yuck, it is evident that AMPHS fills an important gap in the lives of numerous community members. “Many community members who were at risk for dementia would be living their everyday lives without knowing or without understanding how to prevent the condition. Many think that it is only important to either eat well or stay active, but they are not aware that there are other health measures they should be taking such as constantly engaging in social and cognitively-stimulating activities.”

AMPHS’ services continue to impact the lives of both its community members and its volunteers. AMPHS is grateful that is has had the opportunity to engage in over 10 screening events in the past 3 months and change the lives of so many individuals. We would like to thank our partners New York City Housing Authority, Affinity Health Plan, Interfaith Medical Center, Turning Point Outreach Center, Pentecostal Church El Camino, United Sunset Senior Center, SUNY Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center, Millennium Development Senior Center, and Latino Commission on AIDS for making these events possible. We look forward to bring additional health events to community members in the coming year.

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