Community Health Project

AMPHS Coronavirus Updates as of 3/17/2020

Scroll to the bottom and see page 1 for English, page 2 for Spanish, page 3 for Chinese; desplácese hacia abajo y vea la pagina 2 para español; 去下面找中文第三頁

(Rev. 3/17/2020)

AMPHS is committed to continue providing up-to-date information related to the coronavirus in your language. There have been a lot of changes in recent days that not only impact AMPHS’ service provisions but the critical services that we use everyday. We will be providing you with regular information from NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Center for Disease Control so you can understand how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Below are the most recent updates as of March 17, 2020. At the moment, there are 814 confirmed cases in NYC and 1,374 positive cases in NYS.

How are AMPHS’ services impacted?

To ensure the health and safety of our staff and community members, AMPHS will not be open for walk-in services between March 17, 2020 and Tuesday, April 21, 2020. In April, we will make a determination to reinstate in-person services based on City, State, and Federal recommendations. All programs and events held at our AMPHS center and partner sites, including Adult Literacy classes, are cancelled or postponed until further notice; classes and some counseling services will continue to be offered through online platforms or by phone as permitted by HIPAA privacy guidelines During this time, we encourage community members to call us at (212) 256-9036 with any questions . Our phone lines are open between Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM to serve you. We will continue to offer vital services to the extent possible through our hotline. Community members with existing appointments will receive a call from our team regarding alternative arrangements. 

What is the latest guidance for NYC schools and libraries?

  • As of March 15, 2020, all NYC schools will be closed immediately with a tentative restart date of April 20, 2020 Remote learning will go into effect for grades K-12 as of March 23, 2020. The Department of Education will support schools at all levels of readiness to deliver remote learning; more information will be provided to families about online platforms. Students who do not have access to the necessary technology for remote learning can pick up devices from Thursday, March 19th through Friday, March 20th. To keep students busy at this time, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has learn-at-home resources as supplementary learning materials, which does not replace remote learning.
  • During this critical time, it is vital that NYC families have a central way to stay connected with student progress. The #NYCSchoolsAccount lets you see your student’s grades, attendance, schedule, and more from any computer, phone, or tablet: If you do not have an account, please make sure you sign up for one. If you need help with signing up for an account, call us at (212) 256-9036.
  • All library branches will also be closed; Brooklyn Public Library will be closed until at least March 31st. To access digital resources, please visit
  • The pre-K application deadline has been extended to Sunday, March 29th. Families can apply online through MySchools or over the phone by calling 718-935-2009 (Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Will schools continue to provide breakfast and lunch?

Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch will be available at the entrance of every building every weekday from 7:30 am-1:30 pm, to any child under 18, no matter what school they may attend, be it charter, public or private. This program will be available at every school site for this week, and students don’t need to go to their actual home institution but can pick up the food at whatever school is convenient. The plan is to then switch to centralized hubs for food service as the city does during summer breaks.

I still need to go to work. How can I get childcare services?

Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, Regional Enrichment Centers will be available for the children of first-responders, healthcare workers, and our most vulnerable populations, with more details to follow. Some mutual aid networks might also offer childcare services; see Resource #3 below.

What are the current recommendations for group gatherings?

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. These gatherings include both indoor and outdoor, such as conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies. For more information about places of public gathering and scheduled events, contact those facilities or visit their websites.For gatherings with 49 people or fewer, the CDC advises facilities to remain at less than 50% capacity in order to better encourage social distancing. 

How is service at bars, restaurants and entertainment venues being affected?

Starting Tuesday, March 17, restaurants, bars and cafes may only serve food take-out and delivery. Casinos, nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, concert venues and gyms must all close. 

Important cleaning and coronavirus prevention supplies are not only limited, but the costs are high. Is this allowed? 

An emergency rule banning price gouging on supplies needed to treat or prevent coronavirus has been implemented. The items include thermometers, sanitizing wipes and baby wipes, paper towels, latex gloves, face masks, fever reducers, cough suppressants, zinc oxide supplements, facial tissue, toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and Aloe Vera. Retailers cannot increase the price of these items by more than 10 percent. With every violation, there will be a $350 fine. To report price gouging, please submit a complaint to the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitica James.

I just got back from a CDC-designated country and am supposed to home self-monitor. What do I need to do?

  • Take your temperature twice a day. 
  • Check for symptoms — fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Stay at home and remain out of public places. Do not go to school or work. 
  • If you experience symptoms, call your regular healthcare provider regarding your symptoms and do not show up at the clinic without calling. If you do not have a regular healthcare provider, see Resource #8 below.
  • You need to do this for 14 days since the day you left the CDC designated country that requires home self-monitoring, even if you spent time in another country before entering the U.S. 

How are seniors affected?

All senior centers are closed until further notice. Citymeals on Wheels is providing centers with emergency meals and continues to operate its home-delivered meals program. Continue to check in on your elderly loved ones by giving them a call regularly.

I have been told to practice safe “social distancing.” What is it and why is it effective?

The idea is to maintain a distance between you and other people — in this case, at least six feet. That also means minimizing contact with people. Avoid public transportation whenever possible, limit nonessential travel, work from home, and skip social gatherings. You are not required to remain indoors all day; you may leave your house to get some fresh air, just make sure to avoid being in close contact with people. 

When you do leave your home, wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with, disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer and avoid touching your face. Above all, frequently wash your hands — especially whenever you come in from outside, before you eat or before you’re in contact with the very old or very young.

I was laid off from my workplace over the past couple of weeks. Can I apply for unemployment?

The seven day waiting period to apply for unemployment has been waived for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. For more information visit:

How is vehicular transportation impacted?

Alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended through March 24. Additionally, all ride hailing carpools (such as Uber and Lyft) are banned. People who are a couple can ride together.

What are the latest developments around testing?

  • The City is now able to test 5,000 people a day for coronavirus, a major increase from the current capacity of several hundred people a day. 
  • Brooklyn Hospital will begin pre-screening potentially infected patients with basic thermometers and other tools at a new outdoor facility (121 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn).

The following are some local resources that can be useful during this time:

  1. AMPHS’ Blog – See here for a list of COVID-19 FAQs as the situation continues to change.
  1. Corona Couriers – A collective of cyclists willing to courier supplies to people in need for free, using the low contact methods first implemented in Wuhan. Anyone in need can e-mail requests to
  1. New York City Democratic Socialists Resource Document – 
  1. Invisible Hands Deliver – Grocery Delivery Website, Tweet
  1. Heights and Hills – Volunteer to support home-bound seniors – Google Form, Tweet, Website
  1. Tenants Rights Hotline- English & Spanish (212) 979-0611
  1. For real-time updates from NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, text “COVID” for English or “COVIDESP” for Spanish to 692692. Messages and data rates may apply. Visit for additional resources and information. 
  1. If you need a provider, NYC Health and Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, insurance status or ability to pay. Call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) or 311. 
  1. If you are feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, connect with trained counselors at NYC Well, the City’s confidential helpline. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text “WELL” to 65173. Or chat online at

AMPHS Response to Coronavirus & Important FAQs

See page 1 for English; Vea la pagina 2 para español; 中文参见第3页

(Rev. 3/15/2020)

Here at the AMPHS, the health and safety of our communities is our highest priority. We understand the concern over the coronavirus and will continue to send information about preventive measures as we learn more. Here are answers to important questions:

How are AMPHS’ services impacted?

We are dedicated to providing you the needed services and will continue to offer essential services Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM – 6PM until further notice while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Please continue using the services at AMPHS and other community organizations if they are important to you, unless you are displaying symptoms of fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath or have a pre-existing condition. We are taking the necessary precautions to protect our members because your health is our priority. 

Currently, New York State and New York City are in a State of Emergency. What does that mean? 

The number of positive coronavirus cases in NYC has risen to 269 as of today. A State of Emergency means that the Governor and Mayor can more rapidly reallocate funding and create new rules  to protect New Yorkers.

Should I go outside into crowds or gatherings?

Gatherings with 500 people or more have been banned – with the exception of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mass transit facilities. Venues with capacity of less than 500 will reduce capacity by 50%. This goes into effect at 5 PM on March 13. Small gatherings are still permissible, but individuals should maintain social distancing of 6 feet. 

How are schools impacted?

While local public school districts can elect to close, the only mandatory closures at this time are if a member of the school community, which includes staff, faculty, and students, tests positive for coronavirus. In that case, the school will close for a minimum of 24 hours. If a school is closed for 24 hours, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be available for any student who wants it at the entrance of their school building. Student tardiness and absences in the current school year will not count against students for their admissions to middle school and high school. However, families must notify schools of the reason for the absence.

How is mass transit affected?

Mass transit will not be halted, but workers will be conducting a deep clean every 72 hours, including Access-A-Ride. However, it is advisable to avoid packed train cars and traveling during rush hour.

How are seniors at nursing homes protected?

Only screened medical staff will be admitted to nursing homes – no visitors will be permitted due to the severity of the virus for seniors, with some exceptions.

How is the virus spread?

The virus spreads from one person to another between people who are in close contact, through respiratory droplets that are produced when one coughs or sneezes within a radius of 6 feet. Another way a person may contract the virus is by touching a surface or object that has the virus and proceed to touch their mouth, nose, or eyes (however this is not the main way the virus is spread).

How can I protect myself and my family from the virus?

The easiest and most effective way to prevent the coronavirus is through frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have soap or water, use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol level or higher. Maintain more vigilant hygiene practices — disinfectant your doorknobs, phones, sinks, and handles regularly. 

How can I get tested?

The City approved 23,000 new tests, which will be prioritized for those who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with a confirmed case of coronavirus, returned from impacted travel areas, seniors with pre-existing conditions, and for those who already display symptoms and have had other tests come back negative (meaning they likely have coronavirus). 

Do I have to pay for the tests?

If you have health insurance, you are not responsible for copays or coinsurance for the test.

If you do not have health insurance and need coronavirus testing, you may call 311 and they will refer you to a public hospital where you will receive the test for free.

My business is seeing less business and I cannot pay my employees? How can I get help?

New York City will provide relief for small businesses seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees with decreased sales of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000. Small businesses with fewer than 5 employees can apply for a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Eligible owners should fill out this interest form.

We are closely monitoring the situation and will send regular updates. If you do feel sick or have symptoms, you should call and seek guidance from a health professional or call the state’s helpline: 1-888-364-3065 or the city’s help-line 311. If you experience any discrimination or harassment, call 311 and file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights. For regular updates from NYC, text “COVID” to 692692 or visit the NYC DOHMH website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (212) 256-9036 and we will connect you with the appropriate resources or a counselor. You can also check out our Immigrant Resources Directory to find a social service provider.

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