Mon Yuck Yu

(Re)Vision Magazine Films at AMPHS

photo 2 (2)This November and December, (Re)Vision Video Magazine will be filming at the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services for a featured piece on social entrepreneurship. (Re)Vision Video Magazine is a story platform seeking to inspire others to follow their visions and  their passions. Mon Yuck, our Chief of Staff, was chosen as one of the first four mini-documentaries to be featured in its upcoming release. Her story highlights her pioneering work with AMPHS and her devoted vision to its cause.

Throughout the month, (Re)Vision documentarists Alexander Stockton and Natalia Rodriguez will be interviewing Mon Yuck as well as other AMPHS volunteers on their experiences and their motivations for volunteering at the organization. They will be following the work of volunteers at screening events, trainings, and outreach activities, and interviewing community members about the impact the organization is making on their lives. Stockton and Rodriguez hope that that these inspirational stories will motivate other young people to pursue their visions and become recognized leaders in their communities.

Following AMPHS’ recent selection for its top-rated nonprofit status, (Re)Vision will also be putting together a video to help support the AMPHS cause. The video will feature AMPHS’ everyday work in the community and incorporate the touching stories of community members whose lives have been adversely affected by the gaping holes in health care. AMPHS hopes that the video will encourage viewers to recognize that even those who have lost their voice in society — the low-income, underprivileged, and many times, undocumented population — still deserve health care as a basic human right.

Video Sneak Peeks:

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AMPHS Builds Hope Among Volunteers and the Community

DSC_0226One of the ways AMPHS strives to make an impact on the community is through regular health screenings. AMPHS believes that access to healthcare should be a right to everyone irrespective of their insurance and economic status, and not a privilege. AMPHS has organized and hosted a number of health screening services since August in the Brooklyn area – in addition to routine health screenings, AMPHS has organized breast cancer screenings and screenings for Alzheimer’s disease. In the past few months alone, AMPHS was able to impact the lives of over 90 community members.

AMPHS touches the life of community members on a regular basis. One regular community member, Gail Rivers, says that she found out about AMPHS when she came to the headquarters and was pleasantly surprised to find out that all the health services we offered were free. “AMPHS provides a warm and welcoming feeling to its clients. It is very unlike going to a regular doctor for a checkup. I do not have health insurance, and it is good to know that there is someone for you when you need them.”

A resident of the Sunset Park area, Gail is certain that she will recommend AMPHS to her friends and family members. “The clinical volunteers and especially Mon Yuck, the Chief of Staff at AMPHS – go the extra mile to make sure community members understand their options and get the help needed.”

Our health screenings have touched the lives of our volunteers as well.

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Workshop on Breast Self-Exams and Mammograms at Turning Point Staff Health Day with Alice Bonner, RN

Coordinator of Community Health Research Pensri Ho served as an event volunteer for the Turning Point Outreach Center Staff Health Day that was held on October 25th. The event was held in collaboration with Turning Point to encourage health awareness among their community. To Pensri, this event was unusual because this was the first time community members scheduled an appointment and completed the AMPHS health survey online. This enabled AMPHS to screen more community members than we usually would have. Pensri recalls that one middle-aged community member was so touched by the clinical volunteer’s bedside manner that she wanted him to be her primary care physician. All the community members mentioned that they were extremely impressed with the thoroughness of how medical history was taken, the time that was devoted to them on a personal level and the advice they received from the clinical volunteers.

President & CEO Hewett Chiu served as the clinical volunteer for the Breast Cancer Awareness Screening Event on October 19th, AMPHS’ monthly in-house health screening. This event was focused on community members learning more about breast cancer, as well as the fact that despite popular belief, men can be affected by breast cancer too. There was an equal mix of community members returning for follow up care and regular check-ins and new community members coming to access healthcare for the first time. Community members were also given personalized coaching sessions, resources, and educational materials for breast cancer susceptibility and prevention, and were urged to made follow up appointments for future mammogram screenings in December.  According to Hewett, it is heartwarming to hear the community members share their stories and learn more about the incredible suffering they have to live through every day.

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Screening at Pentecostal Church El Camino with Hewett Chiu

Talking about one particular incident, Hewett recalls: “an elderly gentlemen, who is a regular AMPHS member, came in and complained of terrible pain in his limbs and minor respiratory distress. Upon further inspection, his left foot was greatly swollen, a condition which was suggestive of a dire heart condition. We immediately performed a focused screening, then created a plan and gave him directions for seeking follow up care and treatment. Throughout the whole process, we educated him on what might be happening, what he should do, and what everything we’re doing means. He saw how much we cared for him and really took our advice to heart. Because of our quick intervention, when we called to check out how he was doing a few days later, he reported that he was feeling much better than he had in many weeks, and we may have possibly prevented a terrible medical emergency from occurring.”

Chief of Staff Mon Yuck Yu also served as a clinical volunteer for United Sunset Senior Health Center Alzheimer’s Screening on Friday, Sept 13th. AMPHS first provided a 45-minute workshop to the seniors at United Sunset on dementia and its origins, effects, methods of prevention, and the importance of getting tested.  District 51 Assemblyman Felix Ortiz also made a presence at the event. Ortiz expressed how grateful he was that AMPHS was able to provide memory screening services, telling the story of his grandmother’s affliction with the disease in the past and encouraging the seniors to get screened. For Mon Yuck, it is evident that AMPHS fills an important gap in the lives of numerous community members. “Many community members who were at risk for dementia would be living their everyday lives without knowing or without understanding how to prevent the condition. Many think that it is only important to either eat well or stay active, but they are not aware that there are other health measures they should be taking such as constantly engaging in social and cognitively-stimulating activities.”

AMPHS’ services continue to impact the lives of both its community members and its volunteers. AMPHS is grateful that is has had the opportunity to engage in over 10 screening events in the past 3 months and change the lives of so many individuals. We would like to thank our partners New York City Housing Authority, Affinity Health Plan, Interfaith Medical Center, Turning Point Outreach Center, Pentecostal Church El Camino, United Sunset Senior Center, SUNY Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center, Millennium Development Senior Center, and Latino Commission on AIDS for making these events possible. We look forward to bring additional health events to community members in the coming year.

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.”

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.

AMPHS Chief of Staff Nominated as 2013 Nonprofiteer of the Year

1012369_10151714323799609_2090810445_nAcademy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) is proud to announce that their Chief of Staff, Mon Yuck Yu, was nominated for recognition as one of five finalists for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of New York City’s 2013 Nonprofiteer of the Year Award. This is the second year in a row that an AMPHS volunteer has received this honorary recognition.

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of New York City (YNPN-NYC) supports the professional development of the next generation of nonprofit leaders by providing opportunities for skill-building, information sharing, and networking. Each year, the Nonprofiteer of the Year Award is presented to a young nonprofit professional who has exemplified the values of the social sector and have made significant efforts in making their organization, and the sector as a whole, a better place.

Mon Yuck joined AMPHS in 2010, shortly after the organization was founded. In her time at AMPHS, she has been responsible for ensuring the stability of the nascent community organization by means of resource development, programming, and coordination of complex inter-departmental projects. As such, she has overseen the grants acquisitions, community engagement and public affairs, talent acquisition, staff engagement and satisfaction, and staff retention functions at AMPHS. Over the past three years, Mon Yuck has organized a number of successful staff engagement processes, such as the initial orientation session, volunteer outings, volunteer awards, the AMPHS “miniversity” workshop series  and the annual summer internship program. During this time, she has also single-handedly spearheaded a number of new clinical programs, including the highly successful vision assistance program, where AMPHS is now able to provide underserved community members with free and/or low-cost ophthalmological examinations and corrective lenses. In addition, she has worked to conduct community health research and needs assessments with her anthropological background and established a number of community partnerships. In the words of her nominee, “She takes on the challenges of the organizations as those of her own; and continually strives to deliver results at a higher standard each time through challenging herself.”

All five finalists were honored at YNPN-NYC’s anniversary event on June 27th during the YNPN-NY Annual Gala at the Center for Social Innovation and were asked to give inspirational speeches to attendees with career advice.

AMPHS congratulates Mon Yuck for receiving this prestigious nomination.