Month: July 2014

AMPHS engages seniors in Sunset Park

Check out these photos from AMPHS’s talk at the United Senior Citizens center in Sunset Park. Last week, AMPHS visited to educate seniors on how to read food labels.

Photo Jul 23, 10 16 54 AM

The AC was cranking on a hot day!


Alice Bonner, RN, NP, and Mon Yuck Yu led the talk for AMPHS.

Alice Bonner, RN, NP, and Mon Yuck Yu led the talk for AMPHS.


We had a good crowd, and some of the seniors even took notes!

We had a good crowd, and some of the seniors even took notes!

Photo Jul 23, 11 22 45 AM

Here are our AMPHS volunteers with Carmen Rodriquez, one of the administrators at the center.

Working with Menchaca

As an organization devoted to serving the immigrant population, you can imagine how excited we were when Carlos Menchaca, a Mexican-American, won a seat on the New York City Council. And to make it even better, he represents our very own Sunset Park community! We always knew that we’d work together, and it looks like that’s going to be happening soon.

We met with two members of his staff this week, Lee Wellington and Rossanna Mercedes, and we were thrilled by their interest in our work. We had a great discussion, and several collaborations were suggested. We look forward to working closely with the Councilman and his office!

We want to give big thanks also to the councilman for helping us obtain NYC Discretionary Funding for 2015. This will allow us to continue to focus on our community health literacy efforts and improve our current clinical programs, including building much-needed additional screening rooms and offering basic blood testing.


From left, Rossanna Mercedes, AMPHS’s Hewett Chiu, and Lee Wellington

AMPHS welcomes new board members

AMPHS is excited to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors. They come from diverse backgrounds in law, psychology, finance, human resources and nonprofit management, and AMPHS President & CEO Hewett Chiu believes that this will signify a new direction for the organization.

“With the success AMPHS has seen over the past year, we are continuing to focus on strategic growth and how we can better serve our community members. To help guide our development, we underwent a search process to build a stronger Board of Directors in early 2014. I am very excited to introduce four new talented and dedicated professionals who will be joining the AMPHS board this year. This is truly a hands-on board who is passionate about healthcare access and service to our immigrant Sunset Park community.”

Meet our new Board members

 Scott Nolen, Secretary

ScottNolenScott currently serves as the Director of the Drug Addiction Treatment program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. This program partners with providers and advocates to provide access to high-quality drug addiction treatment to all individuals who need it. OSI-Baltimore works specifically on increasing the availability of such treatment for uninsured and underinsured people, in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland. Dr. Nolen is dually trained with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard University. He has worked in a variety of arenas including academic research centers, a Senate legislative office, and several advocacy positions in the public health and juvenile/criminal justice fields. Recently, he served as a health scientist in the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities Office of Strategic Planning, Legislation and Scientific Policy. In that capacity, he led a project focused on creating a resource portal to drive the national discussion on health disparities. Prior to that, he served as the Director of the Equal Justice Program at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which allowed him to combine his expertise in health care and criminal justice and utilize his legal training and social science research background to advocate for the most disenfranchised residents of New Jersey. Additionally, Dr. Nolen previously served as a Congressional Fellow for a United States Senator working on issues related to health care reform.

Bill Janes, Treasurer

BillJamesPrior to joining AMPHS, Bill served as a board member, CFO, financial management consultant, and volunteer at seven nonprofits. For two of the nonprofits at which Bill worked, he developed their strategic plan for doubling in size within four years. His plans were implemented and are proving successful. Bill comes to AMPHS with long-term experience as group vice president in charge of corporate financial management at European American Bank (EAB) and then at Citibank, which acquired EAB. Bill has a MBA in finance, MS in accounting, and a BS in financial management. He took an early retirement from commercial banking to “give back” by helping nonprofits succeed. He is convinced that AMPHS has great growth potential and is determined to help them reach it.

 Margaret-Ann Cole, Vice-Chair

MargaretColeMargaret-Ann is the Senior Vice President, Consulting Practice Leader for the Americas Northeast Region of Right Management responsible for both Career Management and Talent Management. Margaret-Ann combines expertise for developing, building and delivering innovative and integrated client workforce solutions spanning the entire employee development lifecycle. Known for engaging both colleagues and clients, developing innovative solutions, managing change, and helping individuals and teams reach their goals, Margaret-Ann has over 25 years of experience in working with organizations in shaping strategic direction and establishing organizational structures and operating systems to ensure achievement of strategic goals; leading revenue growth and cost reduction initiatives for Operations, Finance, HR, and IT functions.

Margaret-Ann has also provided services to companies by identifying and leveraging the talent of their people through: Helping businesses to think about and develop their corporate culture and its effect on individual performance; Enabling teams and systems to develop more effective and efficient ways of working; Performing in-depth one-to-one assessments for selection and development purposes, benchmarking managers against world-class standards; Assisting individuals to develop their personal performance, through executive coaching, development programs and mentoring schemes. Prior to joining Right Management, Margaret-Ann held senior positions with large consulting firms including Towers Watson, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lee Hecht Harrison. Margaret-Ann is also on the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together NYC. She has spoken on management issues in forums such as the American Management Association, Linkage, Marcus Evans, IQPC, and The College of New Jersey and has written for Dalbar, Trust & Investments, HR Advisory, Pharma Executive, and Human Resource Executive magazine.

Margaret-Ann graduated with a degree in economics and psychology from Fordham University. She holds a unique global executive MBA from TRIUM, an alliance of the New York University Stern School, the London School of Economics and the HEC Management School of Paris. She resides in NJ.

 Paige Lescure, Board Member

Paige Lescure 002-2A healthcare lawyer, public health advocate and teacher, Paige is passionate about advancing health and wellness education and access to quality healthcare for all individuals. Paige began her career in international banking law at White & Case in New York City but decided within a few years that her real interest was in healthcare law, a nascent legal specialty at that time. After earning an LLM in health care law at New York University School of Law, Paige began a 25-year career in private practice in health care law, representing hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers and entities. In 2011 Paige was invited to join the University of Maryland School of Law as Senior Health Law & Policy Fellow to assist with advocacy relating to health reform implementation in Maryland. In that role Paige worked to advance access to treatment for those with mental health and substance use disorders and was successful in achieving significant advancements in parity enforcement and other protections for vulnerable individuals in the State health reform legislation. In 2013 Paige joined the law faculty at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where she teaches clinical law practice and is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Health Law & Policy Clinic. In addition to its policy work in advancing access to care, the Clinic provides free legal services to benefit low-income individuals seeking access to health care and the organizations that serve such individuals.

June screenings reveal hypertension, diabetes among community members

Many immigrants flock to the United States to seek a better life – in search of better housing, better education, better healthcare. But what happens when they have to adapt to a English-speaking environment; to work long hours in laborious, mentally taxing jobs, making just enough to pay the rent; to live in a crowded apartment with poor living conditions? These factors often combine to cause conditions like hypertension and depression, and then healthcare is not something they’re privileged to receive.

AMPHS sees this scenario play out many times among our community members, especially in Sunset Park. While we do not serve as anyone’s primary care provider, our main goal is to equip community members with the resources to manage their own health and to let them know that there is somewhere to turn for help.

On Saturday, June 21st, we held our monthly healthcare event, providing community members with cardiovascular, dementia, and vision screenings, as well as long-term lifestyle counseling. Our partner, Latino Commission on AIDS, was also on site to provide free HIV screenings. A total of 13 community members were seen and over half were referred to additional resources from our partner organizations, including some who were able to sign up for exams for free prescriptive lenses.

Because of privacy and legal issues, we do not photograph our community members. This photo is from an article on Link in image credit at bottom of article.

This is a representative image, and is not of one of our community members. Link to image in credit at bottom of article.

Community members came from all walks of life, but what struck us was that many of the issues that they experienced came from strenuous labor, poor eating habits, and hard financial situations. One woman had lost her job because of a broken wrist and then was diagnosed with hypertension and ovarian cancer, but she was too scared to seek therapy due to negative experiences with the local hospital system and unable to pay for procedures because she didn’t have insurance. In situations like these, our clinicians and social workers try to provide them with the resources they need to combat these issues of fear and poor lifestyle behaviors. We address medical questions and concerns from a personalized standpoint to objectively consult with them on the best course of action.

We are happy to provide screenings like these every month. And we hope that community members view us not only as a medical resource but also as a friend when they are in need of any type of health and social assistance. The next in-house screenings will take place Saturday, July 19th and Saturday, August 20th from 1-5pm. We are also proud to announce that we have new screening equipment, thanks to the NYC Council and Barman’s Fund, which will be introduced during our screening this Saturday! Community members interested in scheduling an appointment should call (212) 256-9036.

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Summer outings for our volunteers

Volunteering is about finding a cause you believe in, and helping other people with your skills and experience. But it’s also about spending time with people you like!

Summer is a great time for that, and several of our volunteers filled their bellies at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg during a group outing this past Saturday. With volunteering, careers, kids and life, it’s hard to find time when everyone can get together, so we were excited to see everyone who came out.

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A potluck dinner is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, the 22nd, at the park in Sunset Park, for those who couldn’t make it on Saturday – or who are still hungry!

AMPHS talks to seniors in Sunset Park

Brain health is important to all of us, and especially to our seniors. So AMPHS’s Hewett Chiu was glad to speak to around 60 people recently at the CAIPA Social Daycare center in Sunset Park.


The center ensures that Asian-American seniors in the community receive culturally sensitive care and services to increase their quality of life. And so on July 5th, the center held its Summer Festival, which also included dancing, karaoke, and a ping pong tournament.

AMPHS was glad to be in attendance, and it’s always good to see our local Assemblyman, Felix W. Ortiz, who also stopped by to visit.