Month: March 2014

Join us for our April In-House Screening Event!

Clinical Volunteer Alice Bonner, RN provides BMI assessment

Clinical Volunteer Alice Bonner, RN provides BMI assessment

When: Saturday, April 19 from 1pm – 5pm

Where: AMPHS Headquarters, 5306 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (between 53rd and 54th Streets)

Who: Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred for priority service. Appointments can be scheduled by calling: (212) 256-9036

What: AMPHS will be offering free health screenings for BMI, blood pressure, vision, and memory along with healthy lifestyle counseling and information about health insurance, prescription assistance, and vision assistance. HIV and Hep C screenings will be provided by the Latino AIDS Society. Resources related to a healthy lifestyle will be distributed.

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AMPHS is 4 years old!

fourth bdayFour years ago, on March 25, a few volunteers started teaching emergency preparedness classes to students from Brooklyn – and so AMPHS was born. A year later, we started free, monthly health screenings for basic tests such as blood pressure and vision problems. And now AMPHS has 40 volunteers – from doctors and nurses to translators and data scientists – and offers not only comprehensive health screenings, counseling and social assistance, but also health coaching, education workshops, and public health research.

Through these efforts, AMPHS has improved the lives of almost 2,000 people from our local communities. We thank all of our generous donors and volunteers for helping us get to this point, and we promise – with your support – to continue leading the fight to provide health services to vulnerable communities in New York City.

AMPHS Welcomes New Volunteers Aboard

AMPHS is pleased to announce four new volunteers. We would like to thank them for dedicating their time and expertise to the health of the Sunset Park community. Please join us in welcoming them aboard!

sariceSarice Greenstein, Spanish Translator 

Sarice will be interpreting on behalf of clients at screenings and education events and assisting with a number of translation projects at AMPHS. Sarice has lived in Texas for the past three years, but as a native (upstate) New Yorker, is happy to be back home. In Texas, she was involved in HIV prevention work, which inspired her passion for public health, and she is excited to start her Master’s program in Public Health next year. “For many years, I have had the pleasure of helping people understand each other across linguistic boundaries in Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Texas and Connecticut. I’m excited to be a part of the work AMPHS is doing in Sunset Park, and hope to be an important part of creating a healthier community.”

Alex DucettAlex Ducett, Development Associate 

Alex will help coordinate fundraising efforts and secure funds. She graduated from the University of Chicago in December 2013 with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and in Human Rights. She moved to New York soon after, and is currently looking to find a position at a human rights-focused non-profit or at a cultural institution or university. She is excited to work with AMPHS to gain experience in non-profit development and for the opportunity to contribute to a human rights-based organization working in the US.

clarkClark Aycock, Coordinator of Social Communications 

Clark will be responsible for directing all online outreach efforts, including social media, press releases and the monthly newsletter. Originally from North Carolina, he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and then moved to New York in 1993 to work in the publishing industry. Since then, he has worked on, among other things, textbooks, magazines, children’s products and a pop culture website for teens. Clark’s interest in AMPHS’s mission was driven by his volunteer work with English-language discussion groups with recent immigrants. He loves the diversity of NYC, and Brooklyn especially, and knows that’s driven by immigration. He likes good pizza, and lives with his wife in Ditmas Park.

Nikki Gurley, Community Research and Outreach Associate

In her capacity as Community Research & Outreach Associate, Nikki will  serve as a liaison to create and sustain community partnerships and organize community health events. She will also provide assistance and support in data entry and analysis to help further AMPHS’ public health research efforts.

Volunteer Spotlight: Dennis Zheng, Chinese Translator

dennis picMost people who encounter us are surprised when they hear that AMPHS is a completely volunteer-run organization, and we thank our outstanding volunteers for their time, effort and, most of all, their unwavering devotion to our mission. For this issue of the newsletter, we decided to interview one of our volunteers, Dennis Zheng. He has been volunteering as a Chinese translator since November 2013, and has been an invaluable asset to AMPHS.

“I believe that AMPHS is a trusted resource that the community of Sunset Park relies on for their health concerns and questions.”

What do you do outside of AMPHS?

I work for Healthfirst, an organization that provides free and low-cost health insurance plans to eligible adults, children, families, and seniors living in New York State, as a field interpreter. I travel within the five boroughs to interpret for senior members in their semi-annual reassessments. The reassessment is important for them to make sure that their health care service is up to date and appropriate to their needs. Under the managed long-term care program, I have worked closely with the elderly, Chinese-speaking population of NYC. My role is to enable members to speak up for their needs and receive the quality of care they deserve.

Why did you choose to volunteer with AMPHS?

After I started working in the healthcare field, I felt like I was put in the frontline interacting with members. I understood that accessing healthcare is already hard, and the language barrier makes it even harder. The majority of the elderly population is uneducated, and many suffer from forgetfulness. Elderly people who live on their own are vulnerable, and unable to speak up for themselves. I know there is a great need in the Chinese community to receive the most basic and appropriate health care, so I wanted to use my language skills to fill in the gap. AMPHS’ values, vision, and mission attracted me to be a part of their team and their work. I do believe that AMPHS is a trusted resource that the community of Sunset Park relies on for their health concerns and questions.

Could you share a story with a community member that stands out in your memory?

I remember one particular community member whom I never met in person, but spoke to many times over the phone. He was calling to find out more about our vision assistance program, and I helped him apply for prescription lens. Because of his long working hours, he couldn’t visit AMPHS’ open house screening. Sheila Raj, AMPHS’ social worker, and I tried to schedule a trip to the optician for him, but we couldn’t coordinate it. A few weeks passed and I was upset because it seemed as though he would never have a chance to receive an eye exam or get glasses. To my surprise, he showed up on a Saturday at the AMPHS offices and finally got the care he deserved. I was very touched to see AMPHS’s direct impact on community members.

Love to snack? Make it a healthy one.

applesAlthough you may feel bad about eating between meals, snacks are not necessarily bad. In fact, well-planned weight-loss programs allow for snacks to help manage hunger between meals and reduce binge eating. For instance, eating fruits, nuts or raw vegetables can curb your hunger without ruining your appetite for the next meal. The most important thing to keep in mind while choosing snack items is balance and moderation. 

Use this list of healthy snack items as a start:

1. Low-fat bran muffin with low-fat yogurt

2. Fresh berries with soy milkalmonds

3. Bananas and pistachios

4. Apple wedges and raw almonds

5. String cheese and seven-grain bread

For more healthy snacking options, visit:

http://www.cancercenter.com/community/nutritional-support/healthy-snacking/?source=OUTBRAIN

 

 

Going Pre-Health? Gear up on your clinical skills!

Throughout the years, AMPHS has worked closely with undergraduate and post-bacc students across the country to provide clinical setting exposure, training opportunities, volunteer and internship opportunities in clinical medicine, public health, health policy, and health law and ethics.

In support of our mission and by popular demand, we are bringing back our annual Spring Clinical Practice Introductory Experience, a weekend intensive program for prospective medical, nursing, public health, and allied-health school students designed to equip them with introductory clinical skills and offer experience of what the field of medicine and public health is all about. 

Clinical Practice Introductory Experience

Description 

DSC_0142Pursuing a career in medicine, allied health professions, and public health is highly rewarding and fulfilling; but involves much time, preparation, hard-work, and of course, money. Undergraduate pre-health school curricula generally do not give an accurate picture of the intensity and rigor of medical school education, and doesn’t provide practical, hands-on experience.

The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) offers a popular annual weekend intensive program for prospective medical, nursing, public health, and allied-health school students designed to equip them with introductory clinical skills and offer experience of what the field of medicine and public health is all about.

The Clinical Practice Introductry Experience integrates actual health professions school coursework with American Heart Association (AHA) certification courses to simulate a well-rounded clinical experience, where medical professionals and certified instructors will take you on a journey across the clinical experience of what it is like becoming a medical professional.  You will attend classes in Cardiac Resuscitation, Medical & Trauma Emergencies, Electrophysiology, and even Public Health and Policy. In addition to being able to take these courses, you will receive 4 certifications, including national AHA certifications in HeartSaver First Aid, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, EKG, and an AMPHS Certificate of Completion.  These are the same certifications that states require for healthcare professionals to apply for their licensure.  The objectives of the experience is to:

  • Provide a well-rounded experience for the student to see how basic science, clinical skills, public health, health policy, and research design works hand in hand in the current U.S. healthcare system.  Health professions schools often do not provide training in public health and health policy, and we aim to give students valuable insight into how public health frameworks affect clinical decision-making.
  • Provide students with professional-level certifications that they can use to further their education and careers by boosting their credentials while partaking in a valuable educational experience over Spring Break.
  • Provide students with the foundations for critical thinking and analyses in a clinical setting, and understand how various fields such as public health, policy, and research interact to deliver healthcare for patients.

In keeping with the unique small-group nature of the program, we only limit 4-6 students into each session.  In the past, students have told us that they have preferred smaller groups to allow one-on-one interaction with our faculty members where instructors really get to know them and understand their clinical interests, much unlike large lecture courses in the health professions schools.

Spring 2014 Session

Date: Friday, March 21, 2014 to Sunday, March 23, 2014

Location: Brooklyn Clinical Training Center (5306 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220)

Tuition

$417.00 (includes course tuition for all class sessions, all applicable registration and academic support fees, course materials, certification examination fees for all exams, and all 4 certifications upon successful completion).

General Registration & Tuition Payment Deadlines

Open Enrollment Deadline: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:00pm EST

Waitlist Period: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 to Friday, March 15, 2014

Registration 

For more information and to register, please email faculty.resources@amphsonline.org indicating your interest for the Spring 2014 Clinical Practice Introductory Experience (Course Code DME14-001).

For more information, please visit us at: www.amphsonline.org.

 

Please note: We are not a degree-granting institution nor are we associated with any such institutions, including, but not limited to medical schools and graduate or undergraduate universities.  All of our instructors are volunteers with expertise in their fields, and all of our certification courses are taught by American Heart Association certified faculty members.  Since we at AMPHS are all volunteers giving our time and resources to ensure a safer community, all proceeds from this program will be donated to the AMPHS Community Health Project.  This is a collaborative effort in which we provide healthcare access and resources to underprivileged and uninsured families across New York City.

Vision screening

AMPHS Health Events – March Nutrition Month

Vision screening

AMPHS clinician performing macular degeneration screening for a community member.

.Nutrition Month AMPHS Health Screening

When: Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 1pm – 5pm

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

Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred for priority service. Appointments can be scheduled by calling: (212) 256-9036

AMPHS will be offering free health screenings for BMI, blood pressure, vision, memory screenings along with healthy lifestyle counseling and information about health insurance, prescription assistance, and vision assistance. HIV and Hep C screenings will be provided by the Latino AIDS Society. Since March is Nutrition month, we will also be distributing resources related to a healthy lifestyle.

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Nutrition Month Tip: The Diabetic Plate

medicine diabetes

Photo credit : KM Nutrition

Diabetes has become the leading cause of mortality in the US along with heart attacks and stroke. It is a very complicated condition that can affect numerous parts of the body – starting from the eyes to the toes. People can get diabetes through a combination of genetic inheritance or lifestyle behaviors. If you have diabetes, being wary of ways to control your glucose levels and care for the rest of your body is key to fighting off its negative effects. In fact, diabetes is the cause for complications such as heart disease, stroke, and foot amputations. Therefore, it is very important to educate oneself about how to properly care for your body, beginning from your personal diet.

What is the best way to deal with diabetes?

There are three main things to take care of if you have been diagnosed with diabetes:

1. Proper food planning. Speak to a dietitian to plan out a balanced diet.

2. Regular exercise and losing weight. Maintain at least 3 hours of active exercise per week; avoid rigorous activities that might damage your feet. Try less-rigorous exercises like yoga, aerobics, or swimming.

3. Routine doctor visits and and reporting of conditions such as recurrent infections, blurry vision etc.

What is the diabetic plate? 

diabetic plate

Photo credit : Web MD

The diabetic plate is a simple and effective way to manage your diabetes through diet. There is no special tool needed, and no calories to count! If you envision your dinner plate, make sure that at least half of it is made of non-starchy foods; the rest can be starchy foods and proteins. This simple method lets you choose the foods you like, and when you are ready, you can also try new foods from the same categories.

What can I eat if I have diabetes?

It is important to remember to have three meals a day, and not snack in between meals, as this can make blood-sugar levels go awry. The following is a list of foods that all diabetic patients should prescribe to their daily diets:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. The more of these on your plate, the better!
  • Fruits enriched with Vitamin C (oranges)
  • Sweet potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes
  • orangesBeans – kidney beans, black beans, etc. are full of proteins.                                                               (Be careful to drain off the liquid while having canned beans.)
  • Berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish – Fresh fish like salmon is best for you. Stay away from deep-fried fish!
  • Walnuts
  • Fat-free yogurt or milk
  • Whole grains – stay away from processed foodstuffs! Try a daily bowl of fiber-rich oatmeal.
  • Tofu – it is a great healthy source of protein.

While you may enjoy using certain types of flavoring like MSG or salt, it is important to understand that these can cause side effects such as blindness, headaches, and heart problems. Keeping a sodium-free diet and using flavoring substitutes like ginger, garlic, and onions is recommended.

Diabetic patients are also advised from drinking too much alcohol. Men should not have more than 2 drinks per day and women should not have more than 1 drink per day (equivalent to 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of vodka).

REMEMBER, diabetes requires continuous care and maintenance; it does not only involve glucose control, but also many other lifestyle factors. Start from looking at your diet today and speaking with your doctor and dietitian to see understand the best options for you.