Death and taxes, they say. But let’s also throw in “health concerns.” Everyone has taken medication or seen a doctor or nurse.
Now, imagine you don’t speak English. (How do you tell the nurse how it hurts?) You can’t afford Obamacare. (That pain in your side will get better on its own, right?) You’re afraid of being deported if you go to the emergency room. (But you can’t catch your breath.)
That’s what AMPHS is here for. We are a safe place for people who need help. We don’t charge for our services. We don’t ask for a social security number. And we speak Spanish and Chinese.
The monthly screenings in our Sunset Park offices are among our mostly heavily attended sessions, and the one on May 10 was, in fact, a record-breaker! We saw 22 people over four hours. Consider that a screening consists of time with a clinician as well as a health lifestyle counseling session (and possibly time with one of our social workers), averaging 45 minutes to 1 hour in total; now that’s a pretty impressive number! We were so excited to provide comfort and information to so many needy people.
In addition to our usual screenings, such as blood pressure checks, eye exams and HIV tests, we honored Women’s Health Day by partnering with Project Renewal to provide free mammograms.
“It is amazing how many people are in such dire need of services like this,” says Mon Yuck Yu, Executive VP and Chief of Staff. “It was one of our largest turnouts yet. People are beginning to realize the importance of prevention, but first, they must overcome the hurdles of accessibility.”
AMPHS CEO and clinician Hewett Chiu says, “There was one community member who was suffering from severe back pain and hypertension; after our evaluation of her, we realized that much of her problems stemmed from her weight. We created a plan for her to change her lifestyle behaviors, including her diet. We convinced her that it was important for her to make living healthy a family project; it was something that she needed to do for her children and family. She has been returning to our clinic for continuous follow-up and has seen significant improvements since she first visited our site.”
AMPHS offers free 45-minute in-house screenings the third Saturday of every month. We will also be offering mammograms once again at our site on June 15th between 2pm and 4:30pm in partnership with Project Renewal. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a future date (upcoming dates: June 21st and July 19th), please call (212) 256-9036. No insurance or documentation is required. All services are free and confidential.
Thanks to all of our volunteers for making this happen, and also to our partners Project Renewal and Latino Commission on AIDS.