Community Health Project

AMPHS Offers Memory Screenings and CPR Demonstrations this Summer


We are delighted to announce that AMPHS has been invited to participate in a number of screening events this summer! In partnership with the Chinese-American Planning Council, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, and CAIPA (Chinese-American Independent Practice Association), AMPHS will help increase awareness among seniors of dementia risk and to enhance community preparedness.

Please contact Ravi Joshi, our Chief Operating Officer, at if you would like to schedule demonstrations and screenings at your organization.

We also offer group certification course. Please contact if you are interested!


April Health Tip: Binge drinking

alcohol awareness

Photo Credit : CDC

The Centers for Disease Prevention wants to highlight the risks involved when women indulge in binge drinking. Binge drinking can be defined as consuming four or more drinks per occasion. (For men, it’s five or more drinks per occasion).

Binge drinking is dangerous for both men and women, but causes a disproportionate number of health and social problems for women. This pattern of drinking contributes to approximately 32 deaths per day in women! In a survey, women who binge drink reported that they indulge in risky behavior at least three times a month. This is not surprising, as excessive alcohol consumption leads to impaired judgment and decision making.

It is important to remember that no amount of alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant. There is no safe time to drink, and no safe kind of alcohol to drink. 

For more information, visit

Schedule a Health Event with AMPHS at Your Center!

screening 3Community 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.

screeningHealth-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 hewett w CMUnited 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…Clinical Staff Member Takes BPin 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.

Caring for Seizures: First Aid Tips

seizure first aid

Photo credit : The Epilepsy Foundation

Seizures (colloquially known as ‘fits’) can be caused by a variety of reasons, and can have a wide range of symptoms. Some seizures can cause the person to fall on the floor (generalized tonic-clonic seizures), whereas in others, the individual can have staring spells (absence seizures).

Seizures and epilepsy are not the same thing! A seizure is an abnormal movement or behavior caused due to unusual electrical activity in the brain, whereas epilepsy is the presence of spontaneous, unprovoked seizures. People of any age can have epilepsy – the causes and symptoms of epilepsy are varied, as are the treatment options. 1 in 26 people in the US have epilepsy, so it’s better to educate oneself about seizures and epilepsy. 

How should you react and provide care if you encounter someone experiencing a seizure?

  1. First, keep calm!
  2. Help prevent injury by removing sharp objects around the person, and by putting something soft and flat under the person’s head. Remove eyeglasses and loosen ties.

TIP: Contrary to popular belief, do not place anything in the person’s mouth, as this can cause injury to the jaw, teeth or tongue.

3.  Time the seizure! Call 911 in the following situations: if the seizure continues for more than five minutes, if the person has been injured or is in pain, or if the individual is pregnant.

TIP: Do not hold the person down or try to stop his/her movements. This can cause injury to the person. If the person is thrashing around, there is no need for you to restrain them. Remember to consider your safety as well. 

4.    Turn the person gently to one side to keep airway clear.

5.    Stay with the person and reassure him/her once the seizure is over.

For more information, visit

AMPHS Collaborates with Center for Family Life at Sunset Park High School to Offer Internship Placements

interns wantedThe Academy of Medical and Public Health Services is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Center for Family Life at Sunset Park High School to offer high school students job-training opportunities through term-long internships as a part of its 12th grade internship program. The Center for Family Life (CFL) is a family and social services based organization with its roots deep in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Its mission is to “promote positive outcomes for children, adults and families in Sunset Park through the provision of a comprehensive range of neighborhood-based family and social services.” By partnering with community centers, CFL facilitates access to opportunities that encourages students to develop into confident, capable adults.

AMPHS will be selecting 1-2 student interns to join its program from the CFL Internship Fair on February 27th, 2014. Student interns will have the opportunity to assist with coordinating AMPHS’ health activities and engaging the Sunset Park community through active outreach to local residents and organizations. They will also have the opportunity to participate in AMPHS health events throughout the month. This will be a significant learning opportunity for young adults with aspiring careers in public health, medicine, and nonprofits.

For more information on CFL, visit

AMPHS Works with Kress Vision Program to Offer Vision Assistance

vision screening3AMPHS is excited to announce its partnership with Kress Vision of NY Presbyterian Hospital to offer vision assistance to community members of Sunset Park. Kress Vision’s services will replace AMPHS’ previous partnership with New Eyes for the Needy, which will not be accepting new applications in Spring 2014.

Kress offers FREE screenings for any vision-related issue, including the prevention of blindness, cataracts and glaucoma, and FREE prescription glasses for all uninsured individuals, regardless of immigration status. Follow-ups with specialty ophthalmologist and surgical procedures will also be provided free of charge. Glasses (including frames and lenses) are offered free of charge thanks to a collaboration with Hoagland Opticians. Reading glasses will be offered on-the-spot on an as-needed basis. Community members who need just glasses and have a prescription do not need to get examined again – they can forgo the wait and be sent directly to the optician to get lenses and frames.

The Kress Vision Program mainly targets individuals who are uninsured, and do not qualify for insurance.  Interested community members should contact AMPHS at (212) 256-9036 or; you will be invited to come into the AMPHS office for a preliminary assessment and our social workers will provide you with the proper referrals to the Kress Vision Program.

DSC_0039AMPHS looks forward to partnering with Kress in the near future to offer free comprehensive vision screenings at its monthly health screening events in addition to eye health workshops in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical School.

The Kress Vision office is located at 170 William Street, NY, NY 10038. Hoagland Opticians, where community members fill their prescription lenses, is located at 1 Maiden Lane, about 5 blocks away.

On behalf of community members of Sunset Park, AMPHS would like to thank Kress Vision for their generosity and look forward to a fruitful partnership.

Interested in Volunteering?

Would you like to make a direct difference in the lives of underserved community members?

Would you like to work directly to improve immigrant health outcomes?

Are you interested contributing your skills to a young, entrepreneurial organization?

DSC_0650As a grassroots community-based organization, AMPHS fills in gaps where the health care system leaves off. Right now, we are seeking new volunteers! Apply online and submit your resume and supplementary materials to

The following positions are now open :

Board Member – The Board Member will be expected to provide not only organizational governance, but also take an active role in fundraising, fiscal stewardship, networking, public relations, long-range strategic development, event planning, and Board recruitment.

Chief Medical Officer The Senior Vice President, Clinical Services & Chief Medical Officer will be responsible for overseeing clinical activities, clinical staff, faculty and medical programs at AMPHS. This may include approving and developing screening procedures, overlooking screening events, and organizing/directing clinical trainings for staff and educational programs for the community.

Chief Financial Officer The Chief Financial Officer will be the primary financial manager responsible for assessing the financial health of organization. The CFO will define the process and implement the infrastructure/systems needed to support substantial long-term growth of AMPHS.

Development Associate The Development Associate will be responsible for managing the organization’s fund raising campaigns. The candidate must become familiar with AMPHS programs and events, and seek for funding sources that will support them.

Spanish Translator The candidate should be a native Spanish speaker and/or have an advanced degree or training in the Spanish language and strong written and oral proficiency. Applicants will be asked to submit a writing sample in English and Spanish to demonstrate written and oral competency.

Clinical Volunteer AMPHS holds free in-house health screenings the third Saturday of every month, as well as community health fairs with partner organizations throughout the year, where our the clinical volunteer will help underprivileged community members in the New York City (and in particular, the Brooklyn Sunset Park area) undergo regular disease screenings.

AMPHS Collaborates with Sunset Park Agencies for Referrals and Education Services

We are excited to announce that AMPHS is partnering with Turning Point and Atlas DIY to better serve communities in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

turning point logoTurning Point provides community members holistic support through education, health and social services programs. Its programs include:

  • Outreach and Testing Services
  • Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health Services
  • Scattered Site Housing
  • Transitional Housing
  • Educational and Vocational Services

A hugely successful endeavor of Turning Point is its Shower Project, where individuals in transitional housing are provided with shower and a change of undergarments.

AMPHS will be working to complement Turning Point’s services through free health screenings and social assistance referrals for individuals with health and healthcare concerns. Additionally, it will be working closely with the Shower Project to offer regular screenings to community members lacking health insurance and healthcare.

atlas diyAtlas DIY is an organization that empowers undocumented youth by providing them with education, and a sense of community. Some of its programs are:

  • Legal help for Immigration issues
  • Career club
  • Assistance with college applications
  • Mentorship sessions

By partnering Atlas DIY, AMPHS expects to reach out to a larger population of undocumented immigrant families and provide them with the necessary resources to stay healthy while pursing their American Dream.

To learn more about Turning Point and Atlas DIY, visit

AMPHS Partners with Project Renewal to Offer Free Mammograms at December Screening Event


We are excited to announce that Project Renewal will be partnering with AMPHS to provide free mammograms to community members on Saturday December 14th,2013

Project Renewal is a non-profit organization based in lower Manhattan; its aim is to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering homeless men and women with mental illness and/or addiction the means to rebuild their lives. Project Renewal provides comprehensive services to families and individuals to empower them to take control of their health and well-being. A massively successful endeavor of Project Renewal is the ScanVan Program. This program is a mobile clinic that provides mammograms, chest X-rays, and cervical exams to New Yorkers, regardless of their medical insurance status. The ScanVan Program is a free service offered to women and men of all economic and cultural backgrounds.

scan van

Project Renewal’s Scan Van

On Saturday, the ScanVan will be parked outside the AMPHS office in Brooklyn Sunset Park, offering its services simultaneously with AMPHS’ monthly in-house screening. Project Renewal will provide mammograms for women 40 and older who haven’t had a mammogram in the past year. Women under the age 40 but with a history of breast cancer in their family are also advised to get themselves checked. This service is offered for free to all participants; those with health insurance will have the service covered by their insurance companies with no out-of-pocket costs and individuals without health insurance will obtain the service at no cost.

What is breast cancer and who should be screened?

Breast cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death after lung cancer in women. Compared to 1989, the incidence of breast cancer has decreased dramatically because of earlier detection through better screening procedures. Hence, screening services for breast cancer are very important. Almost 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump in their breasts. While women above age 40 are generally at higher risk for breast cancer and should perform an annual mammogram, professionals recommend that all women conduct a breast self-exam (BSE) beginning in their twenties.

What types of tests are available?

Breast Self-Exams


Breast self-exam procedure

40% of breast cancer cases are detected by women who feel a lump while conducting a BSE. Breast self-exams should be done every month in the shower, in front of a mirror, or lying down. They can help you become familiar with the regular look and feel of your breasts so that you can notify your doctor if you notice any irregularities. Here are a few pointers for your breast self-help exams:

  • Know your breasts! A self-breast exam is about knowing what is normal for you.
  •  Check at the same time every month: a week after your period for premenopausal women and the same date of the month for postmenopausal women.
  • Use your eyes and hands to look and feel for changes in lumps, thickness, density, or anything that concerns you.

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about any lumps. Most lumps will not be cancer, but seeing your doctor is the only way to know for sure.

Talk to your doctor if you find:

  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels
  • A change in the breast or nipple appearance
  • Any nipple discharge—particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge


mammogram pic 2

A mammogram being performed
Photo credit : wikimedia commons

A mammogram is an X-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. The breast is exposed to a small dose of radiation that produces an image of the breast tissue. It is important to get a mammogram because it can often show a breast lump before it can be felt. The lumps can be caused by a variety of conditions (e.g. cancer, fatty cells or cysts), but doing the necessary test (mammogram) is the only way to know for sure.

mammogram consists of placing the breasts, one at a time, between two plates. The breast is compressed between the plates, and then exposed to X-rays. In this way, two pictures are taken of each breast –one from above, and one from the side.

Get screened today!

flyerCome get a free mammogram and other screening services during our monthly health screening event. Make an appointment by calling the number below.

When:  Saturday, December 14th. 11am to 4pm

Where: 5306 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220

To make appointment call:  1-800- 564- 6868

Procedures are 30-min long, non-invasive and completely confidential.

To learn more about Project Renewal, visit

To learn more about breast self-exams, visit

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.