Month: November 2013

Announcing December Health Screening Events! Get Screened Today.

Health ScreeningThe Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) invites you to attend our December health screening events. Appointments are preferred for all in-house screenings. Make sure you reserve your spot well in advance!

We will be offering memory screenings, vision screenings, HIV and Hep C screenings, and more!


Long Island University Community Health Fair

When: Wednesday, 12/4/2013 from 10am to 4pm

Where: Long Island University, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11217

No appointment needed; walk-ins welcome.

AMPHS will be offering free memory screening services in collaboration with Long Island University and Affinity Health Plan. In addition, AMPHS has partnered with Turning Point Outreach Center for Hepatitis C (Hep C) and HIV testing services during the event.

A memory screening is an evaluation tool that checks your memory and cognitive skills. It does not diagnose dementia, but indicates whether additional follow-up with a primary care physician is required. During a memory screening, a clinician may ask you to answer a series of questions or perform a series of tasks to test your cognitive abilities, memory, and language skills.

United Sunset Senior Center Vision Screening and Workshop

When: Friday, 12/6/2013 from 10:30am to 1:30pm

Where: United Sunset Senior Center, 475 53rd Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220-2712

No appointment needed; walk-ins welcome.

AMPHS will be partnering with the United Sunset Senior Citizens Center to offer vision screenings and education to seniors at the center. Over a course of these three years, AMPHS has been delighted to be of service to over 700 community members by providing them with vision services; this includes professional eye examinations and free prescription glasses. Our clinical volunteers administer the Snellen eye check, and if they find that a community member is in need of prescription glasses, they are assisted and walked through the procedure of applying for professional eye exams through the VisionUSA service and prescription glasses through the New Eyes for the Needy program.

To educate community members about vision health, AMPHS has organized an educational workshop on vision health. The workshop will educate community members on different eye conditions that affect the elderly population and what can be done to mitigate the effects of eye degeneration, such as paying attention to lifestyle behaviors and nutritional intake.

4th Annual Holiday Extravaganza

When: Saturday, 12/7/2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Where: New Lots Avenue between Cleavand & Hegeman

No appointment needed; walk-ins welcome.

On Saturday, December 7th, AMPHS will partner with Affinity Health Plan and Umoja Events to celebrate their 4th annual Holiday Extravaganza and Tree lighting event in East NY, Brooklyn. AMPHS will offer blood pressure, memory screenings, and heart and lung health screenings along with health counseling to improve their general health conditions.

Come with your little ones, as they are bound to enjoy the tree lighting ceremony and gift distribution!

December HIV/AIDS Awareness Screening Event

When: Saturday, 12/14/2013 from 11:00am to 5:00pm

Where: AMPHS Headquarters, 5306 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Screenings can be scheduled by calling: (212) 256-9036

To recognize December as HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, AMPHS is offering educational resources related to HIV/AIDS and STDs.  In addition to providing HIV/AIDS screenings, AMPHS has also partnered with Project Renewal to provide mammograms and with the Latino AIDS society for Hepatitis C screenings. AMPHS clinical volunteers and social workers will also be offering the following services:

  • BMI screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Visual acuity testing
  • Memory screenings
  • Heart rate and respiration rate exam
  • SpO2 measurement (SpO2 is a measure of oxygen content in blood)
  • Oculomotor function
  • EKG testing
  • Healthy Lifestyle Counseling
  • Information about health insurance
  • Vision assistance program enrollment
  • Prescription assistance

For more information on memory screening, visit

For more information on Turning Point Outreach Center, visit

For more information on vision screening, visit

AMPHS Partners with Latino Commission on AIDS to offer Hep C Screenings

latino aids logoAMPHS is honored to announce that beginning November 2013, it will initiate a partnership with the Latino Commission on AIDS to provide community members with Hepatitis C and HIV/ AIDS screenings during AMPHS’ in-house events.

The Latino Commission on AIDS is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 with the goal of preventing and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community—one of the primary populations that AMPHS serves. Founded in New York, the Commission is now active in 40 US states and Puerto Rico. Recognizing that factors such as social stigma, language barriers, immigration status, and accessibility are preventing people from seeking care leading to higher infection rates, the organization offers a range of services to address these issues:

  • Access to knowledge – Organizing campaigns that educate the general public about HIV prevention and treatment.
  • HIV prevention Working closely with organizations serving women, adolescents, and members of the LGBTQ community to implement programs for HIV prevention.
  • Advocacy – Organizing National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, a country-wide event for HIV testing, prevention and education.
  • Research – Collecting, analyzing, and publishing data in peer-reviewed journals.
Hep C Fingerstick Test Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hep C Fingerstick Test
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hepatitis C is a disease closely linked to HIV/AIDS that is caused by the hepatitis C virus and primarily affects the liver. Infection with the virus can lead to illness that could be very mild to a condition that is very serious, leading up to liver cancer and cirrhosis. In a manner similar to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, so prevention is the best cure.

Working closely with the Hispanic population of Sunset Park, AMPHS recognizes that hepatitis is a common, but under-diagnosed disease affecting a number of community members in the area. The two organizations hope that the partnership will help address invisible cases of the disease and provide community members with the proper treatment options, regardless of health insurance and documentation status.

Screening for hepatitis C consists of fingerstick blood tests to determine whether a person has the hepatitis virus and measure the quantity of virus in the blood and its genetic makeup. It is usually conducted alongside a HIV oral swab test. Results for both tests are ready after 20 minutes. Individuals tested positive for Hepatitis C will be referred for follow-up testing and treatment with a primary care physician.

For more information about the Latino Commission on AIDS, visit

(Re)Vision Magazine Films at AMPHS

photo 2 (2)This November and December, (Re)Vision Video Magazine will be filming at the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services for a featured piece on social entrepreneurship. (Re)Vision Video Magazine is a story platform seeking to inspire others to follow their visions and  their passions. Mon Yuck, our Chief of Staff, was chosen as one of the first four mini-documentaries to be featured in its upcoming release. Her story highlights her pioneering work with AMPHS and her devoted vision to its cause.

Throughout the month, (Re)Vision documentarists Alexander Stockton and Natalia Rodriguez will be interviewing Mon Yuck as well as other AMPHS volunteers on their experiences and their motivations for volunteering at the organization. They will be following the work of volunteers at screening events, trainings, and outreach activities, and interviewing community members about the impact the organization is making on their lives. Stockton and Rodriguez hope that that these inspirational stories will motivate other young people to pursue their visions and become recognized leaders in their communities.

Following AMPHS’ recent selection for its top-rated nonprofit status, (Re)Vision will also be putting together a video to help support the AMPHS cause. The video will feature AMPHS’ everyday work in the community and incorporate the touching stories of community members whose lives have been adversely affected by the gaping holes in health care. AMPHS hopes that the video will encourage viewers to recognize that even those who have lost their voice in society — the low-income, underprivileged, and many times, undocumented population — still deserve health care as a basic human right.

Video Sneak Peeks:

MYY and HC MeetingScreen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.36.45 PM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.24.09 PMScreen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.29.23 PM

New Volunteer Announcements


We are extremely excited to welcome 8 new volunteers to the AMPHS team: Amy Handlin, Sloka Iyengar, Sheil Raj, Kaylan Sobel, Amelia Starr, Kathleen Tam, George-Hyuung Winer, and Dennis Zheng. Each of these new volunteers will be contributing to various aspects of the organization, including marketing/outreach, research, interpretation, social work, and legal compliance. Welcome aboard!


Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin (R)Amy Handlin, Ph.D., MBA is joining AMPHS as SVP, Strategy. In this role, Amy will be responsible for managing strategies around increasing funding, enhancing organizational visibility, and developing AMPHS’ public image.

Amy is Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business at Monmouth University. A former Senior Fellow at Monmouth’s Center for the Study of Public Issues and current Chair of the University Review Board, she served for six years on the executive committee of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. Handlin holds a BA from Harvard, an MBA from Columbia and a PhD from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Elected to the state legislature in 2005, she is a member of the Assembly Committee on Health and Senior Services and the Joint Legislative Task Force on Health Insurance Exchange Implementation.

Handlin is the author of Be Your Own Lobbyist (Praeger 2010), Government Grief (Praeger 2011), and the forthcoming Dirty Deals: An Encyclopedia of Lobbying, Political Influence and Corruption (ABC-Clio 2014), among other books. Crain’s New York Business described Be Your Own Lobbyist as “a must-read for anyone who wants to make his or her voice heard in the halls of political power,” and New York Journal of Books called it “a toolkit for repairing and renovating democracy.” Choice recommended Government Grief as “unique, insightful, and practical.”

Handlin serves AMPHS as Senior Vice President for Strategy, becoming involved in the organization “to be part of an innovative local solution to a nationwide problem – inadequate public health resources, education, and research among underserved populations.” Using her expertise in  research, education, advocacy, and public policy, she looks forward to helping develop, refine, and build awareness of AMPHS’s unique model so it can be replicated around the country.



SlokaSloka Iyengar, Ph.D. is joining AMPHS as Newsletter Writer & Editor. In this role, Sloka will be writing and editing articles for the organization’s electronic newsletter, interviewing staff and clients, and crafting creative calls to action.

Sloka has been involved in neuroscience research for the last 8 years. She grew up in Ahmedabad, India; after finishing her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, she went to South Carolina to pursue her graduate work in neuroscience. Currently, Sloka is working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Nathan Kline Institute, New York, where she is investigating research in mechanisms of epilepsy. She is involved in designing and conducting experiments, training junior lab members and disseminating her work in the form of papers, posters and talks.

Although Sloka loves the intellectual challenge that basic research offers, she would like to be involved in the community in a more direct way. Her goal is to use the scientific knowledge for societal benefit. Working on scientific projects invariably requires the cultivation of a number of skills such as writing, presentation and organization that she hopes will be transferable to her community service work. Over the years, Sloka has been routinely involved in community service. While in India, she volunteered at the Missionaries of Charities. She also volunteered, and later on, worked at an animal shelter for stray animals called the Animal Help Foundation. In New York, Sloka works to offer healthy brunch alternatives every weekend at a homeless shelter in Harlem and has also established a creative writing group for the clients called ‘Exercise Your Write’.

Sloka is eager to be involved in the hands-on work of providing healthcare to underserved communities. She is interested in learning how a non-profit organization functions and would like to contribute directly to its mission. As she performs a substantial amount of writing for her work, Sloka hopes to effectively utilize those skills in her role as Newsletter Writer and Editor at AMPHS.



Sheila Raj, MSW is joining AMPHS as the organization’s first in-house Social Worker. In her role, she will not only provide social services such as assistance with health insurance enrollment, prescription, and vision to the community, but will also be working with the clinical team to develop new social services and group counseling.

Sheila is a licensed Social Worker and SIFI instructor. Her experience includes working in residential family and psychiatric settings where she connected many individuals to quality mental health services. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook in Political Science and a Masters in Social Work degree from Columbia University. Currently, she is pursuing further education in health care.



Kaylan Sobel, J.D. is joining AMPHS as a Legal Advisor. In this role, she will work with AMPHS staff to provide legal advice on a number of projects and assist in evaluating AMPHS programs and operations for adherence to laws, guidelines, and professional standards of practice. She will also be counseling the senior leadership team on the legal compliance of new and current programs.

After earning her M.A. in Political Science from New York University, Kaylan Sobel spent five years providing project management and policy research for a statewide non-profit organization. During that time, she completed her Juris Doctorate at Brooklyn Law School, focusing on public interest law, before gaining admission to the New York State Bar Association. Recently, she has accepted a position as Policy Analyst for Health and Education with the Eastern Regional Council of the Council of State Governments. In addition to her academic and professional experience, she has been an active volunteer and leader with organizations throughout New York City, including the Elderlaw and Cancer Advocacy project of the New York City Bar Association. She has joined the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services to bring her experience and knowledge of both health law and non-profit project management to support the mission of AMPHS to expand healthcare access and quality to underserved communities.



Amelia Starr is joining AMPHS as Community Research & Outreach Associate. In this role, Amelia will be directly involved in assisting with AMPHS’ social media, conducting outreach and setting up health events within the Latino community, while also engaging as a volunteer in AMPHS’ humanitarian events.

Amelia graduated from Fordham University in 2012 with a major in French studies and minor in history and biology. With hopes to go into the medical field, Amelia has worked with organizations such as Clinicas Mi Doctor to assist with outreach operations and interactions with the Mexican community in her Texan hometown. She currently works with City MD as a medical scribe and aspires to contribute more to the underprivileged immigrant community in Sunset Park through her work at AMPHS.



DSC_0221Kathleen Tam, MPH is joining AMHS as Community Research & Outreach Associate. In this role, Kathleen will be directly involved in mapping the Sunset Park Asian community, conducting outreach and setting up health events, and compiling data for statistical research,  while also engaging as a volunteer and translator in AMPHS’ humanitarian events.

Kathleen is a recent graduate from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, having completed her Masters degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health Education this past May. She has interned with several non-profit organizations in Manhattan in the past, including the Chinese Progressive Association and Charles B. Wang Community Center. She is excited to serve a community in Brooklyn for the first time. Currently she also volunteers at the Greenmarket Youth Education program at GrowNYC and EATS at the Bubble Foundation. As a foreign-born Chinese, her personal history with immigrant health aligns with the goals of AMPHS. Kathleen hopes that AMPHS will help her gain more hands-on experience in health education and public health research to better equip her to work in the field of global health in the future.



GeorgeGeorge-Hyuung Winer, B.S. is joining AMPHS as Community Research & Outreach Intern in summer 2014 and working as an event volunteer beginning this fall. In this role, George will be assisting with event logistics and client interactions during AMPHS’ health events; in the summer, he will pursue an independent public health research project to help further the AMPHS mission.

George first realized his passion in delivering healthcare to the medically underserved in 2008.  Before this, he had followed the path of his father and siblings, working in jobs related to the real estate industry, general contracting, and consulting. In 2012, George graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Life Science and the intention of attending medical school in Fall 2014.  He is the first in his family to pursue a medical degree and was inspired to do so due to health problems that riddled his father for the majority of his life.  George’s multi-ethnic background–Caucasian and Native Taiwanese–has also exposed him to family members that are geographically isolated from medical care.  After losing an indigenous family member due to this issue, it opened his eyes to how medically underserved communities are in need of support. He hopes that by volunteering with AMPHS, he will be able to learn how public health is applied in a clinical setting and assist similarly medically underserved communities in New York.



Dennis Zheng, B.A. is joining AMPHS as a Chinese Translator/Interpreter for the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Fujianese dialects. In this role, he will engage as an interpreter in AMPHS’ humanitarian programs, including health screenings, workshops, and other social services. He will also assist in the translation of AMPHS’ outreach and education materials and in conducting outreach among the Asian community.

Currently working as a field translator/interpreter with HealthFirst, he aspires to pursue a profession as a linguist. Prior to joining Healthfirst, Dennis was a paralegal for a real estate law firm. He received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, BA, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2011.

Embracing AMPHS’ mission and vision, Dennis is excited to be part of AMPHS’ team to achieve the noteworthy goals of increasing health care accessibility among underserved communities. He hopes to be able to assist in translating medical resources to benefit and educate the Chinese population and to build strong rapport with the underprivileged and undocumented immigrant population.

AMPHS Honored as a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Charity

new badgeWe are extremely excited to announce today that AMPHS has been honored with a prestigious 2013 Top-Rated  Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of reviews on not-for-profit organizations across the United States. AMPHS was part of the inaugural group to qualify for this year. As a Top-Rated Nonprofit, AMPHS has not only demonstrated excellence and commitment to public service, transparency and accountability to our communities, but is also a disruptive innovator breaking down traditional beliefs of not-for-profit and healthcare organizations alike, making healthcare service more accessible, personable, and a true humanitarian effort. This honor follows AMPHS being named as one of the top 5 NYC charities with Nonprofiteer of the Year Finalists by the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network in both 2012 and 2013.

Before a qualified not-for-profit organization is eligible to be considered for the Top-Rated Award, the organization must commit to a long-term review process in which clients, volunteers, board members, community members, and industry experts openly rate and review the organization and its on-the-ground results. GreatNonprofit collects and audits reviews and ratings, and AMPHS has been found to be one of the “most impactful” and “life-changing” organizations, where “everyone rolled up their sleeves” to “redefine the healthcare landscape of the underserved communities.”  

We encourage everyone who hasn’t yet had the chance to review AMPHS to do so here:

AMPHS thanks all its supporters for their commitment and dedication to the AMPHS mission of bringing healthcare access and coordination to immigrant underserved communities. Without each of your support, we really could not have received this prestigious award. This award truly is a form of recognition by the community. We thank everyone for being such an integral part of one of the most effective and impactful charities in this country.