Community Engagement

AMPHS Announced as Complete Count Fund Awardee Joining Citywide Effort to Ensure a Fair and Complete Count

New York, NY— Academy of Medical & Public Health Services is pleased to announce it has received a $75,000 award from the NYC Complete Count Fund — a partnership between CUNY, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council. The NYC Complete Count Fund is a first-of-its-kind Census-related community organizing program that will support and resource community-based organizations to help NYC reach a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census. These funds will support Census outreach through AMPHS health and education programs.

The Complete Count Fund was built with the understanding that local community-based organizations — which serve New Yorkers in the communities where they live and in the languages that they speak — are the most trusted messengers of important and sensitive information.

AMPHS is proud to join this coordinated citywide effort to build awareness about the census, convey its importance, fight the spread of mis- and disinformation, and help bridge the digital divide that might prevent many New Yorkers from participating in next year’s first online census.

A complete count is important to ensuring that the communities AMPHS serves receive funding for community resources to maintain healthy communities. In 2010, Sunset Park and Borough Park were designated two of the country’s hardest-to-count neighborhoods, housing ten of the tracts with the lowest response rates, with the lowest at 56.6%. In one tract, 24.9% of households had limited internet access and only 1% had a cellular data plan, indicating low projected response rates to the digital Census 2020 survey. Sunset Park alone houses nearly 130,000 residents — nearly half who are immigrants lacking English proficiency and are uninsured or underinsured; about a third who live in poverty. It is also home to one of NYC’s highest concentration of undocumented and newly arrived immigrants.

AMPHS recognizes the importance of increased outreach in hard-to-count communities in ensuring proper Congressional and electoral representation, funding allocations, and redistricting. Bolstered with our long history in Sunset Park, we will approach Census outreach by building Census awareness into our various existing and forthcoming health and education programs. We will center its Census outreach activities on immigrant communities in Sunset Park and neighboring South Brooklyn areas of Bay Ridge, Besonhurst, New Utrecht and Borough Park, concentrating primarily on Latino, Chinese, and Muslim populations. Specific strategies include: 

  • Integrating Census education into AMPHS’ education and social services
  • Conducting “civics” workshops and Census completion sessions as a part of our Adult Literacy ESOL course curriculum
  • Conducting community workshops and disseminating information at partner sites throughout the community
  • Working with local Councilmembers to integrate Census education into participatory budgeting outreach initiatives
  • Holding Census Days of Action to conduct active grassroots street outreach and business canvassing
  • Holding specialized events such as pop-up clinics, health fairs and career resource days that include Census outreach
  • Implementing social media and texting campaigns for Census outreach

“As the number of immigrants continue to grow, we cannot allow issues like housing, healthcare, employment, and school overcrowding — which already plague our community — to continue to affect its socioeconomic vitality, health and wellness,” said Mon Yuck Yu, AMPHS’ Executive Vice President.

In 2015, New York received $53 billion in federal funding for programs like Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Section 8, Title 1 grants and SNAP — making up a third of state funding. Brooklyn was one of the most undercounted counties across the country.

“That’s why we have schools with 30 students crammed into one classroom; why community members wait hours in the emergency room before being seen; why we still have families of five or six living together in one small living room,” Yu states. “Only with a fair and accurate Census count can we ensure that adequate funding is allocated to reverse this situation and ensure that our communities remain healthy and safe.”

A complete and accurate count is critical to the future of New York City. The census will determine how more than $650 billion in federal funds for public education, public housing, roads and bridges, and more, gets distributed annually throughout the country. It will also determine the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives (and thus, the Electoral College). Based on current estimates, an undercount could cost the State of New York up to two congressional seats.

In such a complex city, enriched by such linguistic and cultural diversity, New York City’s full participation in the first online census faces a unique set of challenges. As New Yorkers, we have embraced these challenges as an opportunity. Together, these citywide efforts will lay the groundwork for a civic engagement apparatus that will continue well beyond the 2020 census. 

According to Yu, “there are incessant barriers to help us achieve an accurate count. The digital divide, the fear of ICE being at the door, the fear of repercussions for completing the Census — all of these issues are real. Community groups like ours become one of their few trusted sources of information, providing the cultural and linguistic competence to educate our communities. With this funding, we be part of a movement to ensure that our communities will not be undercounted again in 2020.”

The Complete Count Fund will launch in early January with an all-day kick-off event and training.

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About your organization

AMPHS aims to make care more accessible to immigrant New Yorkers through grassroots, culturally-sensitive intervention methods and de-institutionalized healthcare environments. AMPHS’ mission is to identify and address barriers to health and wellness; coordinate needed primary care with social assistance; and deliver care with dignity and empathy to marginalized immigrant communities. Through its public health interventions, AMPHS lends to the empowerment of individuals and communities to create their own local and culturally-sensitive health and wellness paradigms, making healthcare more personable, accessible and holistic.

AMPHS provides coordinated and integrated interventions in three program areas—clinical services, social services, and education—addressing the root causes contributing to the health disparities and poor outcomes facing immigrant populations. Programs include: free health screenings and medical/dietary consultations; mental health therapy; social assistance counseling; health literacy, health access, and immigrant rights workshops; English Adult Literacy classes; Mental Health First Aid workshops; and emergency preparedness training. It also publishes health and immigrant resource guides for community education and coordinate monthly pop-up health events, as well as an annual resource fair serving over 1,250 people per year, where it provides free testing and community resources.        

About NYC Census 2020
NYC Census 2020 was established as a first-of-its-kind organizing initiative by Mayor de Blasio to ensure a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. The program is built on four pillars: (1) a community-based awards program, The New York City Complete Count Fund; (2) an in-house “Get Out the Count” field campaign; (3) an innovative, multi-lingual, tailored messaging and marketing; as well as (4) an in-depth Agency and Partnerships engagement plan that seeks to leverage the power of the City’s 350,000-strong workforce and the city’s major institutions, including libraries, hospitals, faith-based, cultural institutions, and higher educational institutions, and more, to communicate with New Yorkers about the critical importance of census participation.

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