Clinical Volunteers

Welcome Aboard, New AMPHS Volunteers!

Four new volunteers have recently joined the organization to dedicate their time in advancing the health and wellness of the Sunset Park community. Please join us in welcoming them aboard!

Peter Suib, Data Systems and Management Advisor

Peter Suib pic copyPeter Suib is joining AMPHS as an advisor in research and data collection. In this role, Peter will provide recommended practices and consistent methods to define, collect and analyze information to better understand the clients AMPHS serves. The analysis will aid in the development of additional client programs and serve as means to secure funding.

Suib has acted as consultant and program manager on many technology and business process improvement projects for over 30 years.  During the course of his career, he has designed, developed and implemented custom software applications for various world class organizations, and was instrumental in leading content integration for KPMG – a U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm.  He later developed his own company Interactive Valley, providing consulting services focused on Business Process and Knowledge Management.

Guided by his passion for cooking, Suib then ventured into pursuing an alternative career path, where he became a restaurateur overseeing both catering and fine dining at two City Island Yacht clubs.  His journey then shifted back to process and methodology, where he currently leads process improvement projects for Best Buy’s Geek Squad Services, utilizing a Lean Six Sigma framework.

Suib joined AMPHS to gain a better understanding of the needs of the communities at Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and hopes to use the information to expand services and program. His inspiration for joining AMPHS comes from his wife’s lifelong work as a Nurse Practitioner, where she provides health care to the underserved, “making a difference” one client at a time.    

Andreas Tedjasukmana, M.D.,  Clinical Volunteer

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAndreas Tedjasukmana, M.D. will be joining AMPHS as a clinical volunteer. Dr. Tedjasukmana grew up in Indonesia, the home of Courage and Purity. He encountered many challenges, yet acquired valuable experiences away from home; not only earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Otago University in New Zealand, but furthermore embarked a new journey to Europe in 2005 to pursue his Medical Degree in Poznan University of Medical Science in Poland.  While in medical school, Dr. Tedjasukmana was the founder of the Student Health Clinic and a dedicated member of the Teddy Bear Clinic, both hospital-funded organizations, designed to provide basic medical care to the homeless and underserved families and children.

Granted with his medical diploma in 2009, Dr. Tedjasukmana decided to pursue further education in United States. Since 2010, he has spent considerable time and dedication working for research at the OB/GYN and Anesthesia division in S.U.N.Y Downstate and Lutheran Medical Center. In 2013, Dr. Tedjasukmana completed his observation training at the E.R at S.U.N.Y Downstate Hospital. Having completed USMLE certifications exam, Dr. Tedjasukmana is currently pursuing his residency in the United States.

In the meantime, he is involved extensively with AMPHS’ clinical events with the intent of providing basic health care to the underserved and uninsured communities throughout Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is also training to be an advocate for the Domestic Abuse and Rape Victims of Beth Israel hospital. His ambitions further him to continue actively as a member of The Coalition for Asian Mental Health while beginning his rotation at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Stan Kogan, Community Research & Outreach Associate

StanStan Kogan will be interning with AMPHS for the spring term as Community Research and Outreach Associate, where he will provide assistance and support in data entry and analysis, community health research, social media communications, and event planning. Kogan’s parents emigrated from the small European country of Moldova in 1996, when he was only 6 years old. He started first grade only months after they arrived to America with no knowledge of English, but quickly learned the culture and language. Kogan has lived the immigrant experience and he feels grateful for the opportunities his family has had in this country.

Kogan began his college career in Baruch College, as an expected Finance major. However, this was around the year 2008, when the housing crash and financial woes were in full swing. It was in this environment that he began to study economics and policy while simultaneously observing the damage that these very institutions had wrought on the country, especially on the poor and middle-class. As a result, despite excellent grades and an acceptance to the Baruch Honors Program, he quickly became disillusioned with his chosen major. Hence, he decided to take a semester off to travel and learn more about himself and what his true interests were.

Over that semester he realized that he had always been deeply passionate about health. Whether it was physical health, nutrition, or socioeconomic disparities, he had always been fascinated and engaged in those subjects. However, he was always told that other than being an M.D., there was little to pursue in health. This is perhaps a common myth amongst immigrant families. Nevertheless, he began to research the possibility of a career in public health and became exceedingly excited at the possibility of working in that field. As a result, he applied to the University at Buffalo (UB) Exercise and Nutrition Science program at their School of Public Health as a way of learning as much about public health and medicine as he could in a bachelor program. After several semesters at UB, he finally discovered that the specific profession he was interested in is Epidemiology, and he has been pursuing that career ever since. Currently, he is in the process of applying to MPH programs and intends to begin shortly.

Kogan is very excited to learn about the role AMPHS plays in disease prevention within the Sunset Park community and believes that the experience he gains with AMPHS will be exceedingly useful in his chosen field.

Olivia MengMeng Zhao, MBA, Chinese Translator

oliviaOlivia (MengMeng) Zhao will be joining AMPHS as a Chinese translator and Mandarin interpreter. Zhao is originally from China, and graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce in January of 2014 with a MBA. She obtained her Shanghai Foreign Language Interpretation Certification in 2010. Zhao joined AMPHS because of her love for translation. She is excited that AMPHS will give her an opportunity to serve underserved communities in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

We heartily welcome our new volunteers to the AMPHS family!

New Volunteer Announcements

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We are extremely excited to welcome 8 new volunteers to the AMPHS team: Amy Handlin, Sloka Iyengar, Sheil Raj, Kaylan Sobel, Amelia Starr, Kathleen Tam, George-Hyuung Winer, and Dennis Zheng. Each of these new volunteers will be contributing to various aspects of the organization, including marketing/outreach, research, interpretation, social work, and legal compliance. Welcome aboard!

AMY HANDLIN  |  SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGY

Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin (R)Amy Handlin, Ph.D., MBA is joining AMPHS as SVP, Strategy. In this role, Amy will be responsible for managing strategies around increasing funding, enhancing organizational visibility, and developing AMPHS’ public image.

Amy is Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business at Monmouth University. A former Senior Fellow at Monmouth’s Center for the Study of Public Issues and current Chair of the University Review Board, she served for six years on the executive committee of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. Handlin holds a BA from Harvard, an MBA from Columbia and a PhD from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Elected to the state legislature in 2005, she is a member of the Assembly Committee on Health and Senior Services and the Joint Legislative Task Force on Health Insurance Exchange Implementation.

Handlin is the author of Be Your Own Lobbyist (Praeger 2010), Government Grief (Praeger 2011), and the forthcoming Dirty Deals: An Encyclopedia of Lobbying, Political Influence and Corruption (ABC-Clio 2014), among other books. Crain’s New York Business described Be Your Own Lobbyist as “a must-read for anyone who wants to make his or her voice heard in the halls of political power,” and New York Journal of Books called it “a toolkit for repairing and renovating democracy.” Choice recommended Government Grief as “unique, insightful, and practical.”

Handlin serves AMPHS as Senior Vice President for Strategy, becoming involved in the organization “to be part of an innovative local solution to a nationwide problem – inadequate public health resources, education, and research among underserved populations.” Using her expertise in  research, education, advocacy, and public policy, she looks forward to helping develop, refine, and build awareness of AMPHS’s unique model so it can be replicated around the country.

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SLOKA IYENGAR  |  NEWSLETTER WRITER & EDITOR

SlokaSloka Iyengar, Ph.D. is joining AMPHS as Newsletter Writer & Editor. In this role, Sloka will be writing and editing articles for the organization’s electronic newsletter, interviewing staff and clients, and crafting creative calls to action.

Sloka has been involved in neuroscience research for the last 8 years. She grew up in Ahmedabad, India; after finishing her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, she went to South Carolina to pursue her graduate work in neuroscience. Currently, Sloka is working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Nathan Kline Institute, New York, where she is investigating research in mechanisms of epilepsy. She is involved in designing and conducting experiments, training junior lab members and disseminating her work in the form of papers, posters and talks.

Although Sloka loves the intellectual challenge that basic research offers, she would like to be involved in the community in a more direct way. Her goal is to use the scientific knowledge for societal benefit. Working on scientific projects invariably requires the cultivation of a number of skills such as writing, presentation and organization that she hopes will be transferable to her community service work. Over the years, Sloka has been routinely involved in community service. While in India, she volunteered at the Missionaries of Charities. She also volunteered, and later on, worked at an animal shelter for stray animals called the Animal Help Foundation. In New York, Sloka works to offer healthy brunch alternatives every weekend at a homeless shelter in Harlem and has also established a creative writing group for the clients called ‘Exercise Your Write’.

Sloka is eager to be involved in the hands-on work of providing healthcare to underserved communities. She is interested in learning how a non-profit organization functions and would like to contribute directly to its mission. As she performs a substantial amount of writing for her work, Sloka hopes to effectively utilize those skills in her role as Newsletter Writer and Editor at AMPHS.

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SHEILA RAJ  |  SOCIAL WORKER

Sheila Raj, MSW is joining AMPHS as the organization’s first in-house Social Worker. In her role, she will not only provide social services such as assistance with health insurance enrollment, prescription, and vision to the community, but will also be working with the clinical team to develop new social services and group counseling.

Sheila is a licensed Social Worker and SIFI instructor. Her experience includes working in residential family and psychiatric settings where she connected many individuals to quality mental health services. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook in Political Science and a Masters in Social Work degree from Columbia University. Currently, she is pursuing further education in health care.

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KAYLAN SOBEL  |  LEGAL ADVISOR

Kaylan Sobel, J.D. is joining AMPHS as a Legal Advisor. In this role, she will work with AMPHS staff to provide legal advice on a number of projects and assist in evaluating AMPHS programs and operations for adherence to laws, guidelines, and professional standards of practice. She will also be counseling the senior leadership team on the legal compliance of new and current programs.

After earning her M.A. in Political Science from New York University, Kaylan Sobel spent five years providing project management and policy research for a statewide non-profit organization. During that time, she completed her Juris Doctorate at Brooklyn Law School, focusing on public interest law, before gaining admission to the New York State Bar Association. Recently, she has accepted a position as Policy Analyst for Health and Education with the Eastern Regional Council of the Council of State Governments. In addition to her academic and professional experience, she has been an active volunteer and leader with organizations throughout New York City, including the Elderlaw and Cancer Advocacy project of the New York City Bar Association. She has joined the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services to bring her experience and knowledge of both health law and non-profit project management to support the mission of AMPHS to expand healthcare access and quality to underserved communities.

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AMELIA STARR  |  COMMUNITY RESEARCH & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE

Amelia Starr is joining AMPHS as Community Research & Outreach Associate. In this role, Amelia will be directly involved in assisting with AMPHS’ social media, conducting outreach and setting up health events within the Latino community, while also engaging as a volunteer in AMPHS’ humanitarian events.

Amelia graduated from Fordham University in 2012 with a major in French studies and minor in history and biology. With hopes to go into the medical field, Amelia has worked with organizations such as Clinicas Mi Doctor to assist with outreach operations and interactions with the Mexican community in her Texan hometown. She currently works with City MD as a medical scribe and aspires to contribute more to the underprivileged immigrant community in Sunset Park through her work at AMPHS.

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KATHLEEN TAM  |  COMMUNITY RESEARCH & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE

DSC_0221Kathleen Tam, MPH is joining AMHS as Community Research & Outreach Associate. In this role, Kathleen will be directly involved in mapping the Sunset Park Asian community, conducting outreach and setting up health events, and compiling data for statistical research,  while also engaging as a volunteer and translator in AMPHS’ humanitarian events.

Kathleen is a recent graduate from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, having completed her Masters degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health Education this past May. She has interned with several non-profit organizations in Manhattan in the past, including the Chinese Progressive Association and Charles B. Wang Community Center. She is excited to serve a community in Brooklyn for the first time. Currently she also volunteers at the Greenmarket Youth Education program at GrowNYC and EATS at the Bubble Foundation. As a foreign-born Chinese, her personal history with immigrant health aligns with the goals of AMPHS. Kathleen hopes that AMPHS will help her gain more hands-on experience in health education and public health research to better equip her to work in the field of global health in the future.

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GEORGE-HYUUNG WINER  |  COMMUNITY RESEARCH & OUTREACH INTERN

GeorgeGeorge-Hyuung Winer, B.S. is joining AMPHS as Community Research & Outreach Intern in summer 2014 and working as an event volunteer beginning this fall. In this role, George will be assisting with event logistics and client interactions during AMPHS’ health events; in the summer, he will pursue an independent public health research project to help further the AMPHS mission.

George first realized his passion in delivering healthcare to the medically underserved in 2008.  Before this, he had followed the path of his father and siblings, working in jobs related to the real estate industry, general contracting, and consulting. In 2012, George graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Life Science and the intention of attending medical school in Fall 2014.  He is the first in his family to pursue a medical degree and was inspired to do so due to health problems that riddled his father for the majority of his life.  George’s multi-ethnic background–Caucasian and Native Taiwanese–has also exposed him to family members that are geographically isolated from medical care.  After losing an indigenous family member due to this issue, it opened his eyes to how medically underserved communities are in need of support. He hopes that by volunteering with AMPHS, he will be able to learn how public health is applied in a clinical setting and assist similarly medically underserved communities in New York.

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DENNIS ZHENG  |  CHINESE TRANSLATOR

Dennis Zheng, B.A. is joining AMPHS as a Chinese Translator/Interpreter for the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Fujianese dialects. In this role, he will engage as an interpreter in AMPHS’ humanitarian programs, including health screenings, workshops, and other social services. He will also assist in the translation of AMPHS’ outreach and education materials and in conducting outreach among the Asian community.

Currently working as a field translator/interpreter with HealthFirst, he aspires to pursue a profession as a linguist. Prior to joining Healthfirst, Dennis was a paralegal for a real estate law firm. He received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, BA, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2011.

Embracing AMPHS’ mission and vision, Dennis is excited to be part of AMPHS’ team to achieve the noteworthy goals of increasing health care accessibility among underserved communities. He hopes to be able to assist in translating medical resources to benefit and educate the Chinese population and to build strong rapport with the underprivileged and undocumented immigrant population.

Lending a Helping Hand, One Community Member at a Time

AMPHS is pleased to announce that over the course of the past three months, it has worked with ten community partners to hold and participate in twelve health awareness events and perform over 150 community health screenings. Screenings include cardiovascular screenings (blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, etc.), vision screenings, dementia screenings, and HIV testing. A number of community members have also participated in the AMPHS prescription, health insurance, and vision assistance programs.

Screening events have included in-house events at the AMPHS Headquarters and events sponsored by and held in collaboration with Affinity Health Plan, National Action Network, City Tech, Renaissance Men’s Residence, Offices of Assemblymembers Felix Ortiz and Annette Robinson, Shorefront Y, HealthFirst, Interfaith Medical Center, and Family Services Network of NY.

AMPHS is excited to continue partnerships with these organizations. Below are some highlights from recent summer events:

Renaissance Men’s Residence AMPHS Health Screening Event

The Renaissance Men’s Residence, a shelter for low-income male residents recently invited AMPHS to their location to perform health screenings for their residents and employees. The event, which took place between 12pm and 4pm on June 21st,  involved a full-scale AMPHS health screening that included screenings for vision, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Other organizations, including Interfaith Medical Center and PSI were present to offer HIV testing and vaccinations. AMPHS volunteers, including Chief of Staff Mon Yuck Yu, President & CEO and Clinical Volunteer Hewett Chiu, Clinical Volunteer Alice Bonner, and summer interns Georgina Muri, Alexandra Lacqua, and Lisa Rennels, were present to distribute health materials, take health surveys, and perform clinical testing and counseling. AMPHS clinical volunteers Hewett Chiu and Alice Bonner performed 23 screenings and offered vision assistance for free/low-cost corrective lenses to 7 community members, making the event highly successful.

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Assemblymember Felix Ortiz Senior Health Day Event

AMPHS participated in NYS Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz’s First Annual Senior Health & Educational Resource Day, sponsored by HealthFirst, on Saturday, June 22nd  at the Sunset Park Recreation Center on 43rd Street in Brooklyn. Approximately  ten community members took advantage of the free and confidential AMPHS health screening services and received blood pressure checks, memory screenings, and counseling on how to stay healthy from AMPHS’ attending clinical volunteer, Tess Aldrich. AMPHS also distributed educational flyers and materials health topics including diabetes, osteoporosis, and hypertension. Senior Health Day was a day for both seniors and families. There was music and instructors leading tai-chi and zumba sessions, in addition to a free shoulder massage station for all participants. Other vendors included Prudential, TD Bank, Walgreens, and Grow NYC. Earlier in May, AMPHS also participated in Councilman Feliz Ortiz’s Women’s Empowerment Event, where it offered free health screenings and distributed health education materials to women and families alike.

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See May 11, 2013 Felix Ortiz Women’s Empowerment Event, a set on Flickr.

June Men’s Health Month & July Hepatitis Month AMPHS Health Screenings

AMPHS holds health and wellness-themed in-house screenings at the AMPHS office the third Saturday of every month. During June and July, AMPHS celebrated Men’s Health Month and Hepatitis Awareness Month with in-house health screenings, where it offered comprehensive screenings that ranged from measuring blood pressure for cardiovascular disease to memory screenings for dementia to counseling and referrals. AMPHS was able to successfully conduct screenings for nine community members, each appointment lasting approximately 40 minutes, compared to the nationwide average of 21 minutes for a doctor’s visit. Eight of the nine community members did not have health insurance.

According to attending clinical staff Hewett Chiu, “our screenings are unique because we are able to spend a considerable amount of time with each community member to understand their problems. We do not ask for documentation or insurance, so community members feel comfortable disclosing their health information to us. During one of our screenings, for example, one community member told us about the distress that she was feeling because her husband was suffering from chest pain. We referred her to visit the Cumberland Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a HHC member which offers cheaper co-pay options to undocumented immigrants. They ultimately had to pay only $15 for their clinic visit. For another community member, we found out that he had considerably high blood pressure and recommended lifestyle changes to ensure that he pursued healthier diet and lifestyle behaviors moving forward. We were also able to help some community members with poor vision obtain free glasses. With the rising costs of healthcare and the limitations of the Affordable Care Act, these services are extremely valuable for the undocumented and uninsured community that cannot afford frequent visits to health professionals.”

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AMPHS Chief of Staff Mon Yuck Yu with community member Jorge, who underwent the AMPHS vision assistance program to receive free prescription glasses. Jorge has had blurry vision for many years, but never had the resources to visit a doctor. This is the first time he has been able to actually see clearly–at almost no cost to him–because, ultimately, the right to see and the right to live healthy is a basic human right–a basic human right that AMPHS tries to achieve for all its clients.

New Volunteers Join AMPHS

September 29, 2012

Academy of Medical and Public Health Services is happy to announce that the following volunteers have recently joined the team:

Shashank Agarwal has joined AMPHS as a Clinical Volunteer. Shashank is a doctor from India and is currently working as a Research Associate Intern in the Emergency Department at Bellevue Hospital. During medical school, he organized blood donations and polio immunizations. He planned to continue the same work when he decided to migrate to the U.S.. He discovered the work that AMPHS was doing, and wanted to contribute his clinical skills to improve health care for the underprivileged. Apart from work, he is passionate about sports. He plays volleyball and enjoys kayaking on the weekends.

Dewakie Guptar has joined AMPHS as Medical and Public Health Services Associate. She recently completed a term of service with Americorps where she was part of the second graduating class of the NYC Civic Corps. She completed her term of service at the Community Service Society’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) where she worked on program development. Prior to her work with RSVP, Dewakie was a recruiter for the 2010 Census, focusing her work in West Brooklyn. Given her background in science, passion for public health and community work, she believes AMPHS offers the perfect junction between her interests and aspirations of becoming a public health professional. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Health at the CUNY School of Public Health.

Leah Ratner has joined AMPHS as a Clinical Volunteer. She joined AMPHS to make access to health services and preventive health easier for the underprivileged community. Leah is currently a third year medical student rotating at Lutheran Medical Center.

AMPHS Clinical Volunteers Trained to Serve Our Communities

Date: March 21, 2012

Seeing our first community member coming up the steps, eyes open wide and expecting, we rush to help.  We know we can make a difference and we are eager to.  Hello sir, my name is Barbara and I am a volunteer here at AMPHS.  Now that is one statement we will never get tired of saying.”  – Ms. Barbara Olivier, Coordinator of Youth Programs and Clinical Volunteer, AMPHS

The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) has been committed to rigorously training their clinical volunteers to provide the highest standard of healthcare services to community members.  Through a combination of lecture sessions, recitation sessions, laboratory sessions, and clinical rotations, volunteers have been trained in matters relating to community members’ confidentiality such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, initial encounters, communication and referral, as well as areas in medicine such as general screening procedures, optometry, cardiology, respiratory, and memory and cognition.

AMPHS performs the majority of their health screenings, as part of the Community Health Project, in the Sunset Park neighborhood, a large immigrant community of Brooklyn.  AMPHS makes significant effort during its training program to expose and educate volunteers on regulatory requirements such as HIPAA to ensure every community member’s information is kept confidential, in fostering a diversified volunteer staff to meet the ethnicity demands of New York’s melting pot of community members, and train and provide understanding around the religiosity impact on healthcare decisions.

Mrs. Adriene Clark, Vice President of Community Engagement, AMPHS says,  “AMPHS ensures that these [above] important community concerns are upheld through continuous training efforts that are in place at the beginning as well as during each volunteer’s time spent working at AMPHS.”

She goes on to say, “AMPHS seeks to be all inclusive in its approach to ensuring that there exists qualified and competent volunteers to attend to those community members we serve by applying a multifaceted approach to the volunteers’ experience.”

The clinical training program, a mandatory program for all individuals interested in becoming an AMPHS clinical volunteer and taking part in the organization’s Community Health Project, requires volunteers to be dedicated and motivated to learn and study the subject matter, and are tested on the  information acquired in the program.  Volunteers must obtain 36 hours of clinical training and score a minimum of a B average in the program before being able to offer non-evasive heath screenings.

Mr. Jonathan Gettinger, Coordinator of Community Health Services, AMPHS and a clinical volunteer gave an account of his experience in the clinical training program, “The clinical training program, as taught by Hewett Chiu, has provided me with the essential skills necessary to help further AMPHS’ mission of providing free health services to the community, as well as all those who need it.  I now feel confident in my ability to provide the medical services that AMPHS regularly delivers.”

About AMPHS: The  Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) is a humanitarian 501(c)3 non-profit organization operated exclusively by volunteers dedicated to providing healthcare services to underprivileged communities of Brooklyn and New York City.  From strengthening our foundation through the public trust, we work to integrate healthcare systems, education, awareness, and disease prevention such that all people can appreciate healthcare not as a privilege, but as a basic human right.

For more information about us, please visit us at: national.amphsonline.org

To get involved with AMPHS and become a clinical volunteer, please contact Mon Yuck Yu at: mon.yuck.yu@amphsonline.org.

About AMPHS Community Health Project:  The Community Health Project has been created to meet certain defined needs within several communities. The ultimate goal is to integrate the main core principles and concepts of education, research, and public service together to supplement the healthcare system in providing services to underprivileged populations.   At the end of the day, we are filling in the gaps of healthcare.

This project consists of 5 components:

– Free community health screenings:
– Health Access & Coverage Assistance Coverage Program
– Prescription Assistance Program
– Community Education Seminars
– Public Health Research

For more information about our Community Health Project, please visit us at: http://www.amphsonline.org/national/chp.htm