CSAAH Winter 2014 Newsletter

 Featured Highlights:

Community Programs

Presentations and Dissemination

CSAAH Compliments

Dr. Rey Retires After a Distinguished Career at NYU School of Medicine

The faculty and staff of the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) and the NYU Prevention Research Center (NYU PRC) would like to congratulate Mariano Jose Rey, MD on his well-deserved retirement after 41 years of dedicated service and distinguished leadership at the NYU School of Medicine, as a cardiologist in preventive and nuclear cardiology and rehabilitation; an educator who received the rare honor of being named Distinguished Teacher of the Year in both Clinical Sciences and, 10 years later, in Basic Sciences; a researcher who was continuously funded by federal grants throughout his entire career, and a pioneer in the study of health disparities.  

Dr. Rey’s many contributions to community-based health disparities research include the P60 Center of Excellence award to establish CSAAH with Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, in 2003 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, now in its third cycle of renewal.  Since 2006, Dr. Rey served as senior associate dean for Community Health Affairs and since 2009 as co-director of the Community Engagement and Population Health Research core of the NYU-HHC Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).  Additionally, Dr. Rey launched the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded NYU PRC focused on building community capacity and leadership for disease prevention using a community health worker model approach in 2009.

We look forward to continuing to work under the leadership and scientific direction of Dr. Trinh-Shevrin, Associate Professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, Director of Large Research Initiatives, and Director of the Section for Health Equity; and CSAAH Director, Dr. Simona Kwon, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. We extend our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Rey for his mentorship and support in fostering initiatives aimed to strengthen community engagement and capacity to eliminate health disparities in underserved communities. Dr. Rey is retiring to spend more time with his family:  his wife of 37 years, Margaret Mary, his three children, and his three grandchildren. We wish him and his family all the best.


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CSAAH Participates in ASPE Study on the Feasibility of Using EHR for Research on Small Populations

Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, participated in a Target Population Interview, as an expert on Asian American health, in a study administered by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The final ASPE report addresses the challenges and limitations of using federal surveys and federal claims databases for studying small populations, the need for disaggregated data collection, and potential next steps to improve and utilize EHR and other electronic health data for research on small populations.
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 CSAAH a Part of CDC Exhibit "Health is a Human Right"

 CSAAH is honored to be a part of the David J. Sencer Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Museum Exhibition on "Health is a Human Right: Race and Place in America" running through April 25, 2014.  The exhibit examines the challenges in achieving health equity for all in the U.S.  The "Be Certain, Get Tested for Hepatitis B" social marketing campaign, aimed to build awareness about hep B in Chinese and Korean American communities, along with CSAAH's first round of Community Health Resources and Needs Assessments (CHRNA) are featured in the exhibition. 

CSAAH Community Health Resources & Needs Assessments (CHRNA) on display.

The "Be Certain, Get Tested for Hepatitis B" bus shelter ad is showcased in Chinese.
All Photos Courtesy of the David J. Sencer CDC Museum.
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 NY State of Health Insurance Marketplace: DREAM Project Staff Provides Navigation Assistance

 Through an exciting partnership with the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families (CACF), DREAM Project staff members are now trained In-Person Assistors(IPAs) / Navigators for the NY State of Health insurance marketplace.  IPAs/Navigators provide in-person enrollment assistance to individuals, families, small businesses and their employees who would like help applying for health insurance through the online Marketplace.  Modeled on successful community assistance programs in New York, the IPA/Navigator program is designed to meet the needs of New Yorkers by providing assistance in convenient, community-based locations.  IPAs/Navigators will provide culturally competent, linguistically appropriate, and disability accessible enrollment services.  Along with DREAM Project staff, CACF will also be sub-contracting 8 additional community-based organizations that serve AANHPI communities across 4 counties (Bronx, Kings, New York, and Queens).  Navigator services will be available at convenient times, including evenings and weekends, at no cost to enrollees.  As of December 15th, 2013, more than 134,000 New Yorkers had enrolled in a low-cost, quality health insurance plan available through the individual marketplace.  For more information on the NYSOH individual and/or small business marketplace, visit https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/
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STRIVE Project Reaches Over 1 Million AA and NHPIs across the Country

In 2012, NYU CSAAH and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help eliminate chronic disease disparities and improve the health of the nation's Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) populations. The project, titled Strategies to Reach and Implement the Vision of Health Equity (STRIVE), funded 15 AA and NHPI community-based organizations (CBOs) across the country. In a span of just seven months, all organizations created a multi-sector partnership, conducted a community assessment and policy scan, and implemented high impact, population wide strategies related to physical activity, nutrition and weight management that reduced AA and NHPI racial or ethnic health disparities. CBOs implemented a variety of strategies to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in their local community. These strategies included changing nutrition policies at faith based organizations, starting farmer’s markets, introducing healthier menu options at AA and NHPI restaurants, and promoting walking trails. Collectively, STRIVE organizations have successfully reached over one million AA and NHPIs through their strategies. 

Korean Community Services have partnered with H & Y Marketplace in New Jersey to promote brown rice in their community. 

Operation Samahan in San Diego have taken existing menu items in local AA and NHPI restaurants and made healthier versions for restaurant patrons.

Pictured: Boat People SOS in Orange County, California is incorporating physical activity breaks for nail salon employees.

Boat People SOS in Orange County, California is incorporating physical activity breaks for nail salon employees.
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DREAM Staff Celebrates Program Successes at Graduation Ceremony

 On September 28th, 2013, the DREAM Project celebrated the achievements of the third official group of program graduates at a ceremony held in Kensington, Brooklyn.  For their efforts in controlling and maintaining their diabetes for the previous six months, 24 participants were awarded a certificate of accomplishment by Nadia Islam, PhD, DREAM Project Director, and DREAM Project Community Health Workers -- Gulnahar Alam, Mamnunul Haq, and MD Taher.

Distinguished guests in attendance included Dr. Shaikh N. Hasan, a private provider in the area that provided referrals and support for the latest cohort, as well as Catherine Zinnel, District Director for the office of Brad Lander, City Councilman of District 39, and New York City Assembly Member, Jim Brennan.  Other distinguished guests included community leaders Mohammed Haider, Rob Chowdhury, and Alhaj Mohammed Abul Hashem.

Additionally, the current graduates were joined by past project participants and friends of the DREAM Project, many of whom shared how DREAM impacted their lives and health.  The presentation of certificates was followed by a cultural program, which included several performances by participants, DREAM staff, as well as friends of the DREAM Project.

DREAM Project graduates celebrate their achievements in controlling and managing their diabetes with the help of DREAM Project CHWs.

New York City Assembly Member Jim Brennan congratulates DREAM CHW Mamnunul Haq.  Assembly Member Brennan represents the 44th Assembly District in Brooklyn, which includes sections of Park Slope, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood and Windsor Terrace.
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CSAAH and the NYU PRC at APHA 2013

CSAAH and the NYU Prevention Research Center participated in another exciting year at the 2013 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston from November 2-6, 2013. CSAAH and the NYU PRC had a strong presence at the Exposition, "Think Global, Act Local," where faculty, staff, community partners, and interns conducted a total of 8 oral and 6 poster presentations.

Shijian Li, PhD, former post-doctoral fellow at CSAAH, and CSAAH co-authors received the Best Published Paper Award for "Smoking Among Asian Americans: Acculturation and Gender in the Context of Tobacco Control Policies in New York City," awarded by the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus (APIC) for Public Health at the APIC 2013 Social and Awards Reception.


Shilpa Patel, MARHABA Project Coordinator (right), speaks with a conference attendee.

Lindsey Riley, DREAM Project Coordinator and Yousra Yusuf, DREAM intern at a poster session.
Lindsey Riley, DREAM Project Coordinator and Yousra Yusuf, DREAM intern at a poster session.


Dr. Shijian Li receives the "Best Published Paper Award," photo courtesy of APIC.


CSAAH and NYU PRC colleagues and friends reunited at the APIC 2013 Social and Awards Reception.


CSAAH and NYU PRC colleagues and friends ride the trolley!
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 Community Health Resources and Needs Assessments

CSAAH is undertaking a second round of the Community Health Resources and Needs Assessments (CHRNAs). First administered in low-income Asian American communities in NYC between the years 2004-2006, the purpose of the CHRNA surveys is three-fold: 1) to determine existing health issues in Asian American communities in NYC; 2) to determine resources available to Asian Americans; and 3) to determine best approaches to meet the needs of these communities.  This second round of surveys will allow us to assess population changes (especially the increasing diversity of Asian subgroups in metro NY and new emerging populations), population health improvements, and changes in risk and protective factors in the last decade.  Working closely with community-based partners, CSAAH will use a venue-based approach to ensure that we reach underserved and hard-to-reach immigrant populations and uncover representative data on these communities.  A total of 1,000 surveys will be collected in diverse Asian American communities including, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Tibetan, Nepali, and Bangladeshi.
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CSAAH Collaborates with NLM to Conduct National Information Needs Assessment

In partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), and with funding from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), CSAAH recently completed a needs assessment to better understand the informational needs of gatekeepers serving Asian American communities with the ultimate goal of improving health literacy, information, and reducing health disparities among Asian American populations. Project AXIS Findings.
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CSI Intern Spotlight: Monika Khan

Monika Khan, a Master of Public Health candidate in the Department of Sociomedical Science at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, engaged directly with the local Bangladeshi communities through her internship at CSAAH. As a DREAM Project intern, Monika assisted with the data collection and analysis process by conducting one-on-one surveys and observing focus groups with participants in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. She also helped inform program outreach materials on healthy eating and nutrition by visiting restaurants and grocery sites in Brooklyn where many participants regularly shop and observed the community health workers (CHWs) present cultural competency trainings specifically on caring for Bangladeshi patients to medical residents in Long Island City. 

Monika presented on her internship findings at the PHANYC (Public Health Association of NYC) Student Conference last spring. Based on her experience at CSAAH, Monika plans to incorporate DREAM research findings into her Masters thesis and conduct a mixed method approach to explore Bangladeshi women’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors concerning physical activity, as a means to enhance understanding of facilitators and challenges associated with physical activity among this particular demographic. The aims of her analysis are to help identify avenues to strengthen the capacity of CHWs to optimally tailor culturally appropriate diabetes management through physical activity for Bangladeshi women.

According to Monika: “In addition to gaining hands-on and professional skills, the program has introduced me to a network of talented and dedicated individuals, including practitioners, community health workers, and peers with whom I consider a valuable resource to learn and share ideas with. My experience interning at CSAAH thus far has been fantastic. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a dedicated research team that has demonstrated its commitment in both producing meaningful research while making a positive difference in the lives of its DREAM participants.”  


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Feb 28, 2014 - New York City Epidemiology Forum (NYCEF)

Dr. Simona Kwon, CSAAH Director, and Laura Wyatt, Data Manager, will be presenting at the New York City Epidemiology Forum (NYCEF) First Annual Conference on: 1) Testing and Prevalence of Hepatitis C in Racial and Ethnic Communities in New York City: 2009-2012; 2) Poor Mental Health and Cigarette Smoking Among Asian American Populations in New York City; 3) Prevalence and Social Determinants of Multiple Chronic Disease Behavioral Factors Among Asian Americans in New York City; and 4) Diabetes prevalence and management among minority populations in New York City.
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Gulnahar Alam, DREAM CHW, Completes Immigrant Civic Leadership Program

DREAM Community Health Worker, Gulnahar Alam, recently completed CORO’s prestigious Immigrant Civic Leadership Program (ICLP).  This five-month program enhances the capacity of people working to lead change in immigrant communities across the five boroughs.  Using NYC as a classroom, ICLP participants gain a deeper understanding of policy and decision making in the city, the skills to effectively lead change in their organizations and communities, and a network of engaged and influential alumni to support them in reaching their goals.  Participants develop a Community Change Project that seeks to strengthen their immigrant community so that the impact from their participation goes beyond the training room.  Nahar, along with 19 other active and engaged community members, were awarded with Certificates of Completion for the program at a recent graduation ceremony on January 21st, 2014.  Invited speaker Fatima A. Shama, former Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs congratulated each of the CORO participants for their efforts and leadership towards affecting change in their respective communities.  When asked about her experiences in the program, Nahar noted “This training was unlike any other that I’ve ever attended.  More than anything, it helped me to realize what my strengths and skills are, and also how to take time for myself even though I’m always helping others.”
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Best Wishes, Dr. Chun!

CSAAH would like to acknowledge Dr. Young "Kay" Chun for her partnership and dedication to the Korean community in her role as the director of the Public Health Research Center of Korean Community Services of Metro NY. We look forward to continuing to work with her in her new position as the Executive Director of the Korean American Helping Hands Foundation, Inc (KAHHF).
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Dr. Chau Trinh-Shevrin Presents at the AHA/ASA Health Equity Summit and the UConn Health Disparities Institute

Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, was an invited speaker on the panel, The Role of the Affordable Care Act in Achieving Health Equity: Case of Asian Americans in New York,  at the first annual American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Founders Affiliate's Health Equity Summit on October 10, 2013. This summit provided an opportunity for organizations and leaders in the community to join together and develop strategies that will expand networks and foster collaboration on initiatives that remove disparities in care and improve the health of those most at risk. 

On January 30, 2014, Dr. Trinh-Shevrin launched the University of Connecticut Health Disparities Institute’s 2014 Year in Public Engagement Seminar Series, as the inaugural speaker presenting on Advancing Health Equity through the Intersection of Social Determinants and Community-Engaged Approaches. The goal of the seminar series is to engage civic, community and academic leaders in conversations about health equity through the lens of research, outreach, engagement, capacity building, and policy.
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Wishing All a Happy and Healthy Lunar New Year!