Volunteers

AMPHS Welcomes New Volunteers Aboard

AMPHS is pleased to announce four new volunteers. We would like to thank them for dedicating their time and expertise to the health of the Sunset Park community. Please join us in welcoming them aboard!

sariceSarice Greenstein, Spanish Translator 

Sarice will be interpreting on behalf of clients at screenings and education events and assisting with a number of translation projects at AMPHS. Sarice has lived in Texas for the past three years, but as a native (upstate) New Yorker, is happy to be back home. In Texas, she was involved in HIV prevention work, which inspired her passion for public health, and she is excited to start her Master’s program in Public Health next year. “For many years, I have had the pleasure of helping people understand each other across linguistic boundaries in Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Texas and Connecticut. I’m excited to be a part of the work AMPHS is doing in Sunset Park, and hope to be an important part of creating a healthier community.”

Alex DucettAlex Ducett, Development Associate 

Alex will help coordinate fundraising efforts and secure funds. She graduated from the University of Chicago in December 2013 with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and in Human Rights. She moved to New York soon after, and is currently looking to find a position at a human rights-focused non-profit or at a cultural institution or university. She is excited to work with AMPHS to gain experience in non-profit development and for the opportunity to contribute to a human rights-based organization working in the US.

clarkClark Aycock, Coordinator of Social Communications 

Clark will be responsible for directing all online outreach efforts, including social media, press releases and the monthly newsletter. Originally from North Carolina, he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and then moved to New York in 1993 to work in the publishing industry. Since then, he has worked on, among other things, textbooks, magazines, children’s products and a pop culture website for teens. Clark’s interest in AMPHS’s mission was driven by his volunteer work with English-language discussion groups with recent immigrants. He loves the diversity of NYC, and Brooklyn especially, and knows that’s driven by immigration. He likes good pizza, and lives with his wife in Ditmas Park.

Nikki Gurley, Community Research and Outreach Associate

In her capacity as Community Research & Outreach Associate, Nikki will  serve as a liaison to create and sustain community partnerships and organize community health events. She will also provide assistance and support in data entry and analysis to help further AMPHS’ public health research efforts.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dennis Zheng, Chinese Translator

dennis picMost people who encounter us are surprised when they hear that AMPHS is a completely volunteer-run organization, and we thank our outstanding volunteers for their time, effort and, most of all, their unwavering devotion to our mission. For this issue of the newsletter, we decided to interview one of our volunteers, Dennis Zheng. He has been volunteering as a Chinese translator since November 2013, and has been an invaluable asset to AMPHS.

“I believe that AMPHS is a trusted resource that the community of Sunset Park relies on for their health concerns and questions.”

What do you do outside of AMPHS?

I work for Healthfirst, an organization that provides free and low-cost health insurance plans to eligible adults, children, families, and seniors living in New York State, as a field interpreter. I travel within the five boroughs to interpret for senior members in their semi-annual reassessments. The reassessment is important for them to make sure that their health care service is up to date and appropriate to their needs. Under the managed long-term care program, I have worked closely with the elderly, Chinese-speaking population of NYC. My role is to enable members to speak up for their needs and receive the quality of care they deserve.

Why did you choose to volunteer with AMPHS?

After I started working in the healthcare field, I felt like I was put in the frontline interacting with members. I understood that accessing healthcare is already hard, and the language barrier makes it even harder. The majority of the elderly population is uneducated, and many suffer from forgetfulness. Elderly people who live on their own are vulnerable, and unable to speak up for themselves. I know there is a great need in the Chinese community to receive the most basic and appropriate health care, so I wanted to use my language skills to fill in the gap. AMPHS’ values, vision, and mission attracted me to be a part of their team and their work. I do believe that AMPHS is a trusted resource that the community of Sunset Park relies on for their health concerns and questions.

Could you share a story with a community member that stands out in your memory?

I remember one particular community member whom I never met in person, but spoke to many times over the phone. He was calling to find out more about our vision assistance program, and I helped him apply for prescription lens. Because of his long working hours, he couldn’t visit AMPHS’ open house screening. Sheila Raj, AMPHS’ social worker, and I tried to schedule a trip to the optician for him, but we couldn’t coordinate it. A few weeks passed and I was upset because it seemed as though he would never have a chance to receive an eye exam or get glasses. To my surprise, he showed up on a Saturday at the AMPHS offices and finally got the care he deserved. I was very touched to see AMPHS’s direct impact on community members.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tess Aldrich, Clinical Volunteer

“By reaching out to communities and individuals who are otherwise marginalized from ‘mainstream’ medical care..it feels great to be able to spend time really talking with people.”

IMG_3531As a public service organization serving a diverse ethnic community, AMPHS has a similarly diverse volunteer team operating its programs behind the scenes. This month, we had the opportunity to sit down with one of our clinical volunteers, Tess Aldrich to take a look at the work that she does both inside and outside of AMPHS.

Tess is an Adult and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a background in public health research.  Prior to becoming an NP, she worked at the Population Council in Mexico City and later at Gynuity Health Projects on studies relating to cervical cancer screening and management, family planning, and maternal mortality prevention.  After earning her MSN at the Yale School of Nursing, she worked for two years in adult primary care at a federally-qualified community health center based in Harlem. She currently works at the NYU Student Health Center in Women’s Health Services.

What do you do outside of AMPHS?

I work as a Nurse Practitioner at the NYU Student Health Center, primarily in women’s health, managing a variety of gynecologic and primarily care conditions. Because the patient population is, for the most part, comprised of young, healthy individuals, we do a lot of preventive care and education, which I greatly enjoy. There are also opportunities for teaching and mentorship; I precept a Nurse Practitioner (NP) student each semester and recently gave a talk to nursing students on heart disease in women.

Why did you choose to volunteer at AMPHS?

My fist job as an NP was at a community health center in Harlem, where I worked in adult primary care. In this setting, patients presented with a range of chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness. We also saw a number of uninsured individuals, many of whom had not accessed medical care in years. While it was very challenging, I greatly enjoyed this work and wanted to maintain a connection with community health — specifically related to New York’s immigrant population. When I learned about AMPHS and its mission, it sounded like a wonderful opportunity to stay involved.

DSC_0726What has your experience been your experience as a clinical volunteer thus far?

I’ve had a great experience with AMPHS so far. I’ve particularly enjoyed the community events I participated in this past summer, and was also really impressed with the energy and expertise of the summer interns I met during these activities. The in-house screenings have also been a wonderful opportunity to meet community members I otherwise probably wouldn’t have contact with and to hear about their health concerns. People who attend these screenings range from those who have not seen a health care provider in years (and perhaps don’t know about many resources available to them) to those who are well-informed and very much linked in with health care services — but perhaps want to learn more about a specific health topic.

From a public health perspective, I think one of the biggest challenges that AMPHS has highlighted is that of accessing healthy food options (e.g. fresh, affordable produce) and safe spaces to exercise. At one community event last summer, it was really motivating to see the many participants — young and old alike (including some AMPHS volunteers) — participating in Tai Chi and Zumba classes together. One community group had also set up a cooking station to demonstrate healthy, easy recipes.

How has AMPHS impacted you?

By reaching out to communities and individuals who are otherwise marginalized from “mainstream” medical care, I’m constantly reminded of both how resourceful people are in managing their own health and that of their families, as well as how stressful it can be to live in a city like New York when English is not your first language, and you perhaps don’t feel entirely connected to the myriad communities and services around you. Additionally, while the in-house screenings can get quite busy depending on the number of community members who show up, it’s great to be able to spend time really talking with people and answering questions. As an NP, as much as we strive to give patients adequate time in busy medical practices, the reality is that the visit often ends up feeling quite rushed – which is a constant challenge for both patients and providers.

DSC_5559Do you have any suggestions for someone interested in a career in the healthcare field?

I do think being exposed early on to as many clinical settings and populations as possible can be critical; not only does this exposure build your skill set and teach the importance of adaptability, but I think it also impresses upon providers the importance of listening to patients and learning from them. I also think for someone just starting out, the importance of good mentorship cannot be stressed enough. As health care providers, we also learn so much from each other. This learning process is important throughout a career but especially valuable in the beginning.

Where do you see yourself in AMPHS in the future?

I think one of the most important aspects of AMPHS’ work is that of directing community members to medical and public health resources available to them. With the Affordable Care Act, hopefully many people who otherwise did not access medical and preventive health care will to do so now; AMPHS is well-situated to act as a liaison between individuals and these services. I also think the counseling/education piece that AMPHS provides (which sometimes falls through the cracks in busy health care settings) is incredibly important.

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 personnel.resources@amphsonline.org.

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.

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

life-ring-welcome-aboard

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.

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.

A Big Welcome to New Clinical Volunteers, Sonny & Shaili!

AMPHS is pleased to announce that Sonny Nijjar and Shaili Parmar, both medical students at St. Georges University, will be joining AMPHS as Clinical Volunteers. Here is a little about each of them in their own words:

Sonny Nijjar, CVSonny Nijjar

“I have always believed that there is an untold connection which unites all beings on our planet. Some people find this connection through science or art or religion, I have affirmed this connection through the integration of healing into life. Naturally, my inclination towards science and medicine was made during university in Canada. I am currently in the 4th year of medical school and will receive me degree from St. Georges University. In the past few years I have learned a lot about medicine and perhaps even more about life.  I have found that by combining western healing philosophy with eastern spirituality, all within the background of a community based approach, a holistic connection is made, encompassing healing through unity. AMPHS is a wonderful medium to unite communities and ultimately society under a common health-first umbrella. Through AMPHS I feel there is an opportunity to enhance the entire human connection.  I look to utilize the new found understandings of public health into my practice and more importantly, into life.”

shaili2Shaili Parmar

“Community service has been a part of my life since some of my earliest memories. Spending the first eight years of my life in India exposed me to a wide array of societal conditions which relied on community aid, as such, I am very aware of current issues surrounding public health and healthcare in general. I completed many courses related to public health during my undergraduate completion at Boston University. My affinity towards health care drew me towards the field of medicine, which I am currently in my 4th year and will receive my degree from St. Georges University. I am looking forward to a residency in Family Medicine where I will actively incorporate public health awareness and disease prevention techniques to my practice. Naturally, when I discovered AMPHS a serendipitous feeling came over me as I was completing 3rd year rotations only a block away at Lutheran medical center. I feel very strongly that AMPHS will help expand my awareness of the public health sector and the medical needs of individual communities. AMPHS has a strong framework of community based care driven by the clinical knowledge of caring and enthusiastic individuals, thus, I feel very comfortable with my decision to donate my time there. I look forward to many more learning opportunities within the context AMPHS outreach programs to continually better myself, communities, and ultimately, humanity.”

Welcome to the team. We are excited to have you!

Why so serious? AMPHS volunteers take a playful break upstate

Last Saturday, August 14th, AMPHS volunteers and summer interns enjoyed a field trip that featured a unique integration of nature, culture, and adventure. AMPHS volunteers drove upstate to the Storm King Art Center only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley. Our volunteers spent a beautiful time together having a picnic and exploring the magic inside one of the world’s leading sculpture parks.

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The fun didn’t stop there; after this magical excursion, we headed up to Cold Spring, a small historical village in southeastern New York, where we explored local food shops and antique stores (some which carried pieces dating back to the Civil War!).

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We settled at a local ice cream shop and while there, shared experiences, stories and personal goals while enjoying the local delicacy. ‘It was a great trip; I really appreciate AMPHS organizing it. It really shows how much this organization care about its volunteers and interns,” said Adriana Cardenas, a volunteer since January 2012. “One of the best parts was that everyone had to a chance to share not only food but their experiences working at AMPHS. I felt like I got the opportunity to know everyone on a much more personal level.”’

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We hope our volunteers enjoyed the trip and are ready to come back to AMPHS to bring the organization to new levels!

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.