Community organizations are invited to schedule health events with us this spring. Here at AMPHS, we make our biggest impact by providing individuals the opportunity to interact with our clinicians and social workers as a group and one-on-one. While we hold monthly in-house screening events, much of our work takes place outside of our facilities with our community partners.
Organizations can choose among the following services that AMPHS routinely offers:
Health screenings, including BMI, blood pressure, vision, memory, HIV and hepatitis C screenings.
Health workshops related to disease, health and wellness, conducted in three languages (English, Spanish, Chinese).
Lifestyle plan and social service counseling, where clinical volunteers and social work staff will sit down with community members to evaluate and their lifestyle behaviors and social situations and provide the best lifestyle plan and health insurance, prescription, and vision assistance options.
Health-related services are desperately needed in communities like Sunset Park, where many people have not seen a healthcare professional in years. In addition, many are unwilling to see a doctor because they haven’t seen one in years, and are afraid of costs that might incur or potential deportation if they are undocumented. Issues like mental health are highly stigmatized and people are not motivated to attend counseling sessions or workshops. To help deal with some of these issues, AMPHS offers its services in a safe, comfortable environment. AMPHS is blind to identification and insurance status and offers its services to the community at large, regardless of whether or not community members can afford them.
Mon Yuck Yu, AMPHS’ Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, has volunteered at several such events at United Sunset Senior Citizens Center in Brooklyn. Yu believes that “it is incredible the amount of impact we are able to make. Although many of the seniors have health insurance (like Medicare due to their age), there are many who fall through the gaps, and are unable to afford certain procedures or whose primary care physicians don’t communicate with them in the right ways. Our counseling has really helped them discover the path to better health. Some people would come up to us after the workshops to ask questions that don’t even get answered by a regular physician. For example, one person from a previous screening had extremely low blood pressure and after speaking with one of our clinical volunteers, was told that he needed to simply drink more water to alleviate his condition, which his doctor did not inform him about because he did not look close enough at his diet and lifestyle behaviors…in fact, many people have trouble believing that we are offering all of these services for free.”
Kathleen Tam, who has served as the Chinese translator for a number of health screenings recalls: “Older community members are eager to participate in the health education sessions. They usually gather and listen to us. I think they learn something new about how to stay healthy every time we go in. They also take our handouts home and share with their family and friends.”
Community members who attend screening and healthcare-related workshops will return to AMPHS for longer follow-up care and to seek additional social services. While AMPHS does not substitute a regular provider, it attempts to be the intermediary providing community members with the knowledge of their health risk factors, prevention methods, and resources for health access.