Accomplishments

Join us for our May events!

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AMPHS In-House Health Screening

When: Saturday, May 10th  |  11PM – 5PM

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

Screening Services: Blood Pressure, Mammograms, Vision Testing, Dementia Screening, BMI Screening, Prescription Assistance, Health Insurance Assistance, Free/Low-cost Corrective Lenses, Health Education Material, Lifestyle Counseling, and More!

For appointments: call (212) 256-9036

 

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz Sunset Park Annual Health Fair

When: Saturday, 5/17/2014  |  12pm – 3pm

Where: Sunset Park Recreation Center, 43rd Street and 7th Avenue

Screening Services: Memory Screenings, CPR Demonstrations  

Walk-ins welcome; no appointment needed

 

Cholesterol Nutrition Workshop

When:Friday, 5/30/2014  |  10:30am – 11:30am

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

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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.

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tess Aldrich, Clinical Volunteer

“By reaching out to communities and individuals who are otherwise marginalized from ‘mainstream’ medical care..it feels great to be able to spend time really talking with people.”

IMG_3531As a public service organization serving a diverse ethnic community, AMPHS has a similarly diverse volunteer team operating its programs behind the scenes. This month, we had the opportunity to sit down with one of our clinical volunteers, Tess Aldrich to take a look at the work that she does both inside and outside of AMPHS.

Tess is an Adult and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a background in public health research.  Prior to becoming an NP, she worked at the Population Council in Mexico City and later at Gynuity Health Projects on studies relating to cervical cancer screening and management, family planning, and maternal mortality prevention.  After earning her MSN at the Yale School of Nursing, she worked for two years in adult primary care at a federally-qualified community health center based in Harlem. She currently works at the NYU Student Health Center in Women’s Health Services.

What do you do outside of AMPHS?

I work as a Nurse Practitioner at the NYU Student Health Center, primarily in women’s health, managing a variety of gynecologic and primarily care conditions. Because the patient population is, for the most part, comprised of young, healthy individuals, we do a lot of preventive care and education, which I greatly enjoy. There are also opportunities for teaching and mentorship; I precept a Nurse Practitioner (NP) student each semester and recently gave a talk to nursing students on heart disease in women.

Why did you choose to volunteer at AMPHS?

My fist job as an NP was at a community health center in Harlem, where I worked in adult primary care. In this setting, patients presented with a range of chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness. We also saw a number of uninsured individuals, many of whom had not accessed medical care in years. While it was very challenging, I greatly enjoyed this work and wanted to maintain a connection with community health — specifically related to New York’s immigrant population. When I learned about AMPHS and its mission, it sounded like a wonderful opportunity to stay involved.

DSC_0726What has your experience been your experience as a clinical volunteer thus far?

I’ve had a great experience with AMPHS so far. I’ve particularly enjoyed the community events I participated in this past summer, and was also really impressed with the energy and expertise of the summer interns I met during these activities. The in-house screenings have also been a wonderful opportunity to meet community members I otherwise probably wouldn’t have contact with and to hear about their health concerns. People who attend these screenings range from those who have not seen a health care provider in years (and perhaps don’t know about many resources available to them) to those who are well-informed and very much linked in with health care services — but perhaps want to learn more about a specific health topic.

From a public health perspective, I think one of the biggest challenges that AMPHS has highlighted is that of accessing healthy food options (e.g. fresh, affordable produce) and safe spaces to exercise. At one community event last summer, it was really motivating to see the many participants — young and old alike (including some AMPHS volunteers) — participating in Tai Chi and Zumba classes together. One community group had also set up a cooking station to demonstrate healthy, easy recipes.

How has AMPHS impacted you?

By reaching out to communities and individuals who are otherwise marginalized from “mainstream” medical care, I’m constantly reminded of both how resourceful people are in managing their own health and that of their families, as well as how stressful it can be to live in a city like New York when English is not your first language, and you perhaps don’t feel entirely connected to the myriad communities and services around you. Additionally, while the in-house screenings can get quite busy depending on the number of community members who show up, it’s great to be able to spend time really talking with people and answering questions. As an NP, as much as we strive to give patients adequate time in busy medical practices, the reality is that the visit often ends up feeling quite rushed – which is a constant challenge for both patients and providers.

DSC_5559Do you have any suggestions for someone interested in a career in the healthcare field?

I do think being exposed early on to as many clinical settings and populations as possible can be critical; not only does this exposure build your skill set and teach the importance of adaptability, but I think it also impresses upon providers the importance of listening to patients and learning from them. I also think for someone just starting out, the importance of good mentorship cannot be stressed enough. As health care providers, we also learn so much from each other. This learning process is important throughout a career but especially valuable in the beginning.

Where do you see yourself in AMPHS in the future?

I think one of the most important aspects of AMPHS’ work is that of directing community members to medical and public health resources available to them. With the Affordable Care Act, hopefully many people who otherwise did not access medical and preventive health care will to do so now; AMPHS is well-situated to act as a liaison between individuals and these services. I also think the counseling/education piece that AMPHS provides (which sometimes falls through the cracks in busy health care settings) is incredibly important.

AMPHS Works with Amida Care for December 2013 HIV/AIDS Awareness Month Screening

In recognition of December 2013 HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, AMPHS partnered with AmidaCare to provide health care access information to individuals who have been tested as HIV-positive.

amidacareAs a Medicaid health plan, Amida Care provides services to individuals with HIV/AIDS living in Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan, with sites in Downstate SUNY and Brownville, NY.  By working with a special team of people such as social workers, health navigators, behavioral health specialists and a designated medical home, Amida Care is committed to serving people with chronic health conditions.

Individuals who participate in the plan do not have any out-of-pocket costs for treatment and care, and are given a $40 stipend per month for pursuing continuous follow-up care with their physicians. They will first be invited to a new members orientation and moving forward, are also invited to participate in regular town hall meetings and live-your-life events.

Unfortunately, undocumented individuals are not covered through this program, but can refer to CAMBA for additional resources and treatment information.

Learn more about Amida Care and its programs by visiting http://www.amidacareny.org

(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

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: http://greatnonprofits.org/org/academy-of-medical-public-health-services.

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.

AMPHS Builds Hope Among Volunteers and the Community

DSC_0226One of the ways AMPHS strives to make an impact on the community is through regular health screenings. AMPHS believes that access to healthcare should be a right to everyone irrespective of their insurance and economic status, and not a privilege. AMPHS has organized and hosted a number of health screening services since August in the Brooklyn area – in addition to routine health screenings, AMPHS has organized breast cancer screenings and screenings for Alzheimer’s disease. In the past few months alone, AMPHS was able to impact the lives of over 90 community members.

AMPHS touches the life of community members on a regular basis. One regular community member, Gail Rivers, says that she found out about AMPHS when she came to the headquarters and was pleasantly surprised to find out that all the health services we offered were free. “AMPHS provides a warm and welcoming feeling to its clients. It is very unlike going to a regular doctor for a checkup. I do not have health insurance, and it is good to know that there is someone for you when you need them.”

A resident of the Sunset Park area, Gail is certain that she will recommend AMPHS to her friends and family members. “The clinical volunteers and especially Mon Yuck, the Chief of Staff at AMPHS – go the extra mile to make sure community members understand their options and get the help needed.”

Our health screenings have touched the lives of our volunteers as well.

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Coordinator of Community Health Research Pensri Ho served as an event volunteer for the Turning Point Outreach Center Staff Health Day that was held on October 25th. The event was held in collaboration with Turning Point to encourage health awareness among their community. To Pensri, this event was unusual because this was the first time community members scheduled an appointment and completed the AMPHS health survey online. This enabled AMPHS to screen more community members than we usually would have. Pensri recalls that one middle-aged community member was so touched by the clinical volunteer’s bedside manner that she wanted him to be her primary care physician. All the community members mentioned that they were extremely impressed with the thoroughness of how medical history was taken, the time that was devoted to them on a personal level and the advice they received from the clinical volunteers.

President & CEO Hewett Chiu served as the clinical volunteer for the Breast Cancer Awareness Screening Event on October 19th, AMPHS’ monthly in-house health screening. This event was focused on community members learning more about breast cancer, as well as the fact that despite popular belief, men can be affected by breast cancer too. There was an equal mix of community members returning for follow up care and regular check-ins and new community members coming to access healthcare for the first time. Community members were also given personalized coaching sessions, resources, and educational materials for breast cancer susceptibility and prevention, and were urged to made follow up appointments for future mammogram screenings in December.  According to Hewett, it is heartwarming to hear the community members share their stories and learn more about the incredible suffering they have to live through every day.

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Talking about one particular incident, Hewett recalls: “an elderly gentlemen, who is a regular AMPHS member, came in and complained of terrible pain in his limbs and minor respiratory distress. Upon further inspection, his left foot was greatly swollen, a condition which was suggestive of a dire heart condition. We immediately performed a focused screening, then created a plan and gave him directions for seeking follow up care and treatment. Throughout the whole process, we educated him on what might be happening, what he should do, and what everything we’re doing means. He saw how much we cared for him and really took our advice to heart. Because of our quick intervention, when we called to check out how he was doing a few days later, he reported that he was feeling much better than he had in many weeks, and we may have possibly prevented a terrible medical emergency from occurring.”

Chief of Staff Mon Yuck Yu also served as a clinical volunteer for United Sunset Senior Health Center Alzheimer’s Screening on Friday, Sept 13th. AMPHS first provided a 45-minute workshop to the seniors at United Sunset on dementia and its origins, effects, methods of prevention, and the importance of getting tested.  District 51 Assemblyman Felix Ortiz also made a presence at the event. Ortiz expressed how grateful he was that AMPHS was able to provide memory screening services, telling the story of his grandmother’s affliction with the disease in the past and encouraging the seniors to get screened. For Mon Yuck, it is evident that AMPHS fills an important gap in the lives of numerous community members. “Many community members who were at risk for dementia would be living their everyday lives without knowing or without understanding how to prevent the condition. Many think that it is only important to either eat well or stay active, but they are not aware that there are other health measures they should be taking such as constantly engaging in social and cognitively-stimulating activities.”

AMPHS’ services continue to impact the lives of both its community members and its volunteers. AMPHS is grateful that is has had the opportunity to engage in over 10 screening events in the past 3 months and change the lives of so many individuals. We would like to thank our partners New York City Housing Authority, Affinity Health Plan, Interfaith Medical Center, Turning Point Outreach Center, Pentecostal Church El Camino, United Sunset Senior Center, SUNY Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center, Millennium Development Senior Center, and Latino Commission on AIDS for making these events possible. We look forward to bring additional health events to community members in the coming year.

AMPHS Revises Public Health Survey in Preparation for New Screening Events and Annual Community Health Reports

Community Member Filling Out Survey FormThis past fall, AMPHS rolled out a new version of its health screening survey form, which will be distributed to community members during its health screening events. The new form will be more user-friendly and include questions to facilitate clinician counseling. This will include questions on past vaccination and screening history, diet, sexual history, and advanced directives.

This information will enable AMPHS clinical volunteers to provide more detailed counseling sessions for community members as well as more comprehensive referral services. Participants’ health status will be tracked for improvement during recurrent follow-up appointments. We will also be launching an electronic form for community members with pre-scheduled appointments to complete before each screening to enhance the efficiency of their visit.

The public health data will moreover be entered into an anonymous database to contribute to AMPHS’ public health research project. A Sunset Park Community Health Report is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 for public examination. AMPHS would like to thank its volunteers Pensri Ho, Mon Yuck Yu, Hewett Chiu, Tony Schwartz, Tess Aldrich, Kathleen Tam, and Edith Zang for their contributions to this project.