Free Health Screenings

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!


Join us for our April In-House Screening Event!

Clinical Volunteer Alice Bonner, RN provides BMI assessment

Clinical Volunteer Alice Bonner, RN provides BMI assessment

When: Saturday, April 19 from 1pm – 5pm

Where: AMPHS Headquarters, 5306 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (between 53rd and 54th Streets)

Who: Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred for priority service. Appointments can be scheduled by calling: (212) 256-9036

What: AMPHS will be offering free health screenings for BMI, blood pressure, vision, and memory along with healthy lifestyle counseling and information about health insurance, prescription assistance, and vision assistance. HIV and Hep C screenings will be provided by the Latino AIDS Society. Resources related to a healthy lifestyle will be distributed.

AMPHS is 4 years old!

fourth bdayFour years ago, on March 25, a few volunteers started teaching emergency preparedness classes to students from Brooklyn – and so AMPHS was born. A year later, we started free, monthly health screenings for basic tests such as blood pressure and vision problems. And now AMPHS has 40 volunteers – from doctors and nurses to translators and data scientists – and offers not only comprehensive health screenings, counseling and social assistance, but also health coaching, education workshops, and public health research.

Through these efforts, AMPHS has improved the lives of almost 2,000 people from our local communities. We thank all of our generous donors and volunteers for helping us get to this point, and we promise – with your support – to continue leading the fight to provide health services to vulnerable communities in New York City.

Vision screening

AMPHS Health Events – March Nutrition Month

Vision screening

AMPHS clinician performing macular degeneration screening for a community member.

.Nutrition Month AMPHS Health Screening

When: Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 1pm – 5pm

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

Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred for priority service. Appointments can be scheduled by calling: (212) 256-9036

AMPHS will be offering free health screenings for BMI, blood pressure, vision, memory screenings along with healthy lifestyle counseling and information about health insurance, prescription assistance, and vision assistance. HIV and Hep C screenings will be provided by the Latino AIDS Society. Since March is Nutrition month, we will also be distributing resources related to a healthy lifestyle.


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.

Check Out AMPHS’ January Programs!

Vision screening at AMPHS

A community member undergoing vision screening at an AMPHS event

The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) invites you to attend our January events. Appointments are preferred for all in-house screenings. Make sure you reserve your spot well in advance!


Eye Health Month AMPHS Health Screening EventVision Of Eyechart With Glasses

When: Saturday, 1/18/2014 from 1pm to 5pm

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

Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred. Screenings can be scheduled by calling (212) 256-9036 or emailing

AMPHS will be offering free health screenings, comprised of testing for BMI, blood pressure, vision, dementia, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, along with healthy lifestyle counseling, information about health insurance and prescription assistance. In recognition of Eye Health Month, additional eye health resources will be distributed and AMPHS social workers will assist with helping participants obtain free eye exams and prescription lenses.

Policy Presentation on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)ACA act

When: Friday, 1/24/2014 (Time to be announced)

Where: Turning Point Outreach Center, 423 39th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220

The presentation will provide an overview of effects of ACA on employees with employer insurance, information for community members on insurance options, and dispelment of popular misconceptions on the ACA.

Diabetes Nutrition Workshop and Counselingfruits vegges nuts

When: Friday, January 24th, 2014 from 10:30am – 1:00pm

Where: United Sunset Senior Center, 475 53rd Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220-2712

No appointment needed; walk-ins welcome. Workshop will be conducted in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Given that January is when most of us have made new resolutions, come see how AMPHS can help you keep those resolutions for the rest of the year! In this workshop, we will talk about sensible eating habits, especially for diabetes patients. We will discuss food alternatives that you can use to substitute some of those food favorites you like to eat so you can maintain healthy sugar levels year-round. After the workshop, our clinical volunteers will offer a nutrition counseling session to examine your dietary habits and provide guidance on making some healthier food choices.

December is HIV/AIDS Awareness Month – Knowledge is the best way to prevent HIV/AIDS, so read for more information!

AIDS or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is caused by a virus called HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus). AIDS is associated with a progressive failure of the immune system which allows life-threatening infections and cancer to invade the body.

How does AIDS spread?

HIV infection can occur by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk. Hence, bodily fluids are the main way by which HIV infection can spread. This is because the HIV virus can be present as both free virus particles as well as virus within cells.

Ways to diagnose HIV/AIDS

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that HIV screening should be part of one’s medical check-up, just to make sure you are healthy. Meanwhile, individuals that are at risk are advised to get tested for HIV/AIDS infection once a year; pregnant women are advised to get tested for HIV/AIDS during the course of each pregnancy.

The following are considered ‘at risk’ populations:

  • Individuals who share needles/syringes or other equipment for injecting drugs
  • Individuals with a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Individuals who have had unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with multiple partners
  • Individuals who have had unprotected sex with a partner who did not know their own HIV status.

Testing for HIV/AIDS infection is relatively easy, and can be done using mouth swab, urine or blood sample. The virus (HIV) is called an antigen, and in order to fight it, the body produces antibodies against the antigen. Hence, HIV/AIDS testing could entail detection of the antibody or of the antigen.

Antibody tests


Swab test for HIV
Photo credit : wikimedia commons

These tests use blood, oral fluid or urine to detect antibodies to HIV. The results can be obtained anywhere from 10-20 minutes to two weeks. If the antibody test turns up positive, another test is needed to confirm the results. This test is called the Western blot test and takes up to two weeks to get a confirmed result.

Antigen tests

These tests require a blood sample, and can detect HIV infection earlier – from 1 to 3 weeks after infection with HIV. This test is done by a technique known as the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Preventing HIV/AIDS

The most effective way of preventing HIV/AIDS is to not engage in risky behavior. This includes the following:

  • Limiting the number of partners and avoiding sex with people whose sexual history is unknown.
  • Using condoms properly from start to finish when having sex.
  • Refraining from sharing needles with others.
  • Using clean needles
  • Purchasing new, sterile needles from pharmacies
  • (For pregnant women to decrease the risk of passing HIV to their unborn child) receiving appropriate medical care and taking prescribed medications.

Treating HIV/AIDS

Symptoms of HIV/AIDS include the occurrence of infections that are not observed in normal individuals. These infections can be pulmonary, gastrointestinal or neurological. Hence, the treatment of HIV/AIDS consists of keeping these infections at bay. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. The frontline of treatment consists of drugs called antiretroviral therapy (ART) – this consists of a combination of drugs that limit the HIV infection.

HIV medication consists of a variety of ARTs – these drugs attack the virus at a different stage in its life cycle, so it is important to adhere to the regimen and take all prescribed drugs religiously. One problem in treatment of HIV/AIDS is that of drug resistance – this happens when the virus replicates and makes copies of itself that do not respond to the drug the same way they used to. Following the 3-drug regimen is one way to stop drug resistance from taking place.

In addition, one should eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of rest and exercise and refrain from alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, and get regular health check-ups.


AMPHS clinical volunteers at past screening.

AMPHS clinical volunteers at past screening.

Over the last three years, AMPHS has mobilized forces to provide the Brooklyn community with HIV/AIDS testing during its monthly health events, partnering with organizations such as Interfaith Medical Center, Turning Point Outreach Center, and Latino Commission on AIDS. Because December is HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, annual HIV/AIDS testing and education services during its in-house screenings during the month of December. This year, AMPHS will be offering in-house screenings on Saturday, December 14th between 11am and 5pm. Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are welcome. To make an appointment, please call (212) 256-9036.

Since there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, the most effective way to prevent infection and spread of HIV/AIDS is education. For more information about HIV/AIDS, visit:

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.


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.


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.”

Community Member

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.

National Nutrition Month: AMPHS March 16th FREE Health Screening & Health Insurance Enrollment

March 14, 2013

healthy eating 2

In recognition of National Nutrition Month in March, Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) invites all Sunset Park residents and visiting New Yorkers to attend a FREE healthcare screening on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Sunset Park! Come learn how you can maintain good health and a balanced, nutritious diet. You can also enroll in affordable public healthcare insurance, if you are eligible!

When: Saturday, March 16, 2013

Time: 1 – 5PM

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

Affinity Health Plan Color Logo

A facilitated enroller from Affinity Health Plan be there to tell you about free or low-cost health insurance options for your children and family.

If you are interested in enrolling in affordable healthcare insurance, here’s what you will need to bringhealthy eating 3 with you.

– Proof of address (e.g. recent electric, telephone bill, etc.)

– Proof of child’s age (e.g. birth certificate, passport)

– Proof of income (e.g., 4 recent paycheck stubs)

– Social Security Card (if available)

Please be advised: anyone seeking affordable healthcare insurance must be a LEGAL resident of the U.S.

Friendly staff that speak Spanish will be there!

If you know anyone who would like to attend, please refer! Please note: All healthcare screenings are optional and information will be kept strictly confidential.


Here’s a copy of the flyer:

March 2013 – National Nutrition Month

March 2013 - National Nutrition Month

AMPHS Partners with Affinity Health Plan to Provide Free or Low Cost Healthcare Insurance to Sunset Park

March 6, 2013

Academy of Medical and Public Health ServicesAffinity Health Plan Color Logo

Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) has partnered with Affinity Health Plan. Affinity Health Plan is a non-profit organization that offers free or low cost healthcare insurance to residents of the New York City metropolitan area.

A facilitated enroller Affinity Health Plan joined us during our February 16th Heart Health Month screening to enroll all who are eligible for government-assisted healthcare insurance such as Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Medicare.

Affinity Health Plan will be joining us every month at our office during our free health screenings in Sunset Park. Our screenings take place monthly on the third Saturday. For a listing of dates of our monthly screenings, please check our website:

About AMPHS: AMPHS is a humanitarian nonprofit organization operated solely by volunteers, dedicated to advancing the health care of underprivileged communities across the nation and around the world.  We accomplish our goals by providing free and low-cost community activities that forge a firm foundation for the improvement of health and well-being. Our Vision: AMPHS strives to be a premiere interdisciplinary medical and public health service organization, building faith and transparency within our communities.  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

About Affinity Health Plan: For over 20 years, Affinity Health Plan has been offering free or low-cost health coverage to New Yorkers who have Medicaid or no health insurance at all. Their goal is to help you Members stay healthy. Each of our members can count on our promise of great customer service. We promise to work hard to make it easy to get the care you need. The mission of Affinity Health Plan is to improve the health of underserved populations by providing comprehensive, affordable, high quality health care coverage, and by striving, in collaboration with its primary care providers, to improve care-seeking and care-giving.