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The Holidays are Here! Talk to Your Family About Health


Written by Bonnie Tse and Dr. Ady Oster

Family gatherings during the holidays are often spent eating or cooking together, exchanging stories and having a good time being together. When families live far apart from each other, the holidays can be a special time to reunite. With everyone gathered around, this can also be a good time to talk about health and family history. Talking about health with your family will help you to know and prepare for conditions that you may be at risk for, or open the door for support if you currently have a health condition.

For many, health is a delicate subject to talk about—especially with family. We decide not to talk about our health for fear of what others may think or because we rather not make our family worry. While it is uncomfortable to talk to your family about your health, informing your family can be the first step towards disease prevention and management. Diabetes, for example, is one of those health conditions that may run in the family. What you eat and how active you are can influence whether you develop diabetes. If someone in your family has diabetes, you may also have a higher risk of getting diabetes.

While you may not be able to change your family’s health history, you can start talking to your family about healthy changes you can make to delay or control diseases like diabetes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Plan physical activities together. As a family you can play a sport, take an afternoon walk (post meal walks are great!) or go on an adventure. Being active as a family is a fun way to increase physical activity and to stay motivated to exercise regularly.
  • Gain support to minimize stress and anxiety. Managing one’s condition often requires a lot of effort and can be overwhelming. Setting small goals and making changes as family provides encouragement and the strength to overcome the challenges of having a chronic disease.

So for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, or even at your next family meal, initiate a conversation about health. When talking to your children, you can use this chart provided by the American Heart Association to discuss and map out your family history.

The more you know about your family’s health, the better prepared you can be to create a healthy future.

Written by Bonnie Tse, with contributions from Dr. Ady Oster. Bonnie Tse is part of the Health Education Department at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College. Dr. Oster is the section chief of internal medicine at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. He received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed his residency training at Yale-New Haven Hospital and University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Oster is board-certified in internal medicine.


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4 Ways You Can Give to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center on #GivingTuesday


On Tuesday, December 2, the world is giving back! Charities, families, businesses, communities, and students around the globe will be coming together to celebrate generosity and giving.

How will you give? We hope that you consider giving to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center on this international day of giving. In doing so, you will support our mission to expand access to high quality health care, and improve health outcomes for medically underserved Asian Americans and other vulnerable populations in New York City. Do you want to see some of the work we do in the community? Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.

When you give to the Health Center on December 2, your gift will be DOUBLED! A generous supporter has committed to match up to $10,000 in #GivingTuesday donations. Here are 4 ways that you can give to the Health Center on #GivingTuesday:

1. Make an online donation. Simple! Every gift to the Health Center, no matter how big or small, supports our services and programs. Give a one-time donation on this special day of giving.

2. Pledge. If you want to continue to support health and social services for Asian Americans and other disadvantaged groups in New York City, consider an on-going contribution to the mission of the Health Center. You can manage pledge gifts on our giving page.

3. Give as a gift. The holidays are right around the corner. Are you stumped on what to give a loved one? Think about supporting the mission of the Health Center on a loved one’s behalf. A gift that keeps on giving!

4. Twice as nice. Does your workplace have a matching gift program? Ask your human resources department, your employer may be able to double—or even triple your gift!

Donating to the Health Center online is fast and easy, just visit our #GivingTuesday donation page by clicking on this link. After you give on December 2, be sure to share on social media using #IGaveToCBWCHC.

Happy Giving!

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Sexual Health Month – Protect Your Child From HPV

sexual health

Written by Dr. Carolyn Chang

For National Sexual Health Month, we want to talk about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection among both women and men. There are many different types of HPV. While some are harmless, others can lead to cancer in the cervix, genital warts, or infections of the mouth and throat. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer.

How do I get HPV?

HPV is spread during vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected partner. There are often no symptoms, so you may not even know if you are infected.

Can I prevent HPV and cervical cancer?

Yes! The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that are most likely to lead to cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine, which is given as a series of 3 injections over 6 months, has been tested to be safe and effective, with no serious side effects. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls and boys ages 11 or 12. It may be given starting at age 9, and even if you were not vaccinated as a child, you can still receive the vaccine until age 26. To learn more about the HPV vaccine, check out this great info-sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why do children need this vaccine when they are so young?

The HPV vaccine is more effective when given to girls and boys before they start having sex and are potentially exposed to HPV. This gives them more time to build up protection from HPV infection.

Should boys also get vaccinated?

Yes! Boys are also at risk for HPV infection and can and should be vaccinated. Boys can receive the HPV vaccine until the age of 26, if they were not previously vaccinated.

Talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor for more information about the vaccine. If your child is a patient of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, make an appointment to have your child vaccinated today.

To learn more about sexual health, you can check out some of our resources online. You can view them here.

Written by Dr. Carolyn Chang. Dr. Chang is a pediatrician at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She received her medical degree from Washington University, and completed her residency training from Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Dr. Chang is certified through the American Board of Pediatrics.

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Save the Date for ‪#GivingTuesday | December 2, 2014.


What is #GivingTuesday?

We have a day for giving thanks. We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world.

How will you give? Show your support to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center on #GivingTuesday. Join our #GivingTuesday initiative by following us on Facebook and Twitter throughout this month.