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AAPI Nexus Journal Releases Special Community Health Center Issue


Photo Credit: Les Talusan/AAPCHO

The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center took part in a very special issue of the AAPI Nexus Journal, that focused on the role community health centers have in Asian American communities across the country.

The AAPI Nexus is a national journal that focuses on policies, practices and community research to benefit the nation’s burgeoning Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. This edition is entitled “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander Communities and Federally Qualified Health Centers”, which celebrates the 50th year of the community health center movement.

Health Center staff co-authored numerous articles published in this issue in areas including research participation of community health centers, the Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment efforts, Chinese language patient portal, PCMH model addressing Hepatitis B perinatal transmission and families with children with special health care needs, building a data warehouse to promote research, and efforts to implement patient experience survey. Take a look at the abstracts here.


AAPCHO Executive Director, Jeffrey Caballero; Congresswoman Grace Meng; CBWCHC Chief Executive Director, Jane Eng. Photo Credit: Les Talusan/AAPCHO

This issue was launched at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on March 17, 2015. Among the speakers that provided remarks at the launch event were Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary of Health of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  Congresswomen Grace Meng (D-NY) and Judy Chu (D-CA), two leading Asian American voices on Capitol Hill, also offered congratulations at the Nexus Journal launch event and reaffirmed their support of community health center funding at the federal level. Many of our staff was able to make the trip and join the celebration as well!

The journal is a joint project of the Asian Health Services, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Waimanalo Health Center, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), and UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Dr. Shao-Chee Sim, CBWCHC’s Chief Strategy Officer, along with Professor Marjorie Kagawa-Singer of UCLA and Professor Ninez Ponce of UCLA served as co-guest editors for this special issue. Congratulations to all on this very important issue.

SinoVision covered the launch event, you can view that here.


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Healthy Recipe Round-up

For National Nutrition Month, we have round up our favorite healthy recipes that we often share with our patients and community members. Feel free to download these recipes for your family! All recipe cards have full nutrition facts.


Fruity Oatmeal


  • 2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh fruit. Try apples, strawberries and blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of almonds (or other nuts)

In a saucepan, combine the water and milk and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the oats and let simmer for 5-8 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the oatmeal thickens. Add the banana, fresh fruit, honey, and almonds to oatmeal and serve. Easy!

Download this fruity oatmeal recipe card!


Almond Chicken Salad


  • 4 cups of lettuce
  • 1 medium tomatoes-diced or 6 cherry tomatoes-halved
  • 1 medium red or green pepper-sliced in bite sized strips
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • ½ cup of edamame beans
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast meat
  • ½ cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoons white sugar

In a large bowl, mix together the onions, carrot, red pepper, edamame, chicken and almonds. Set this bowl aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and garlic until smooth. Pour over salad mixture and toss until coated. Serve on top of the lettuce.

A few variations:

  • Serve the salad in a whole-wheat pita or tortilla wrap.
  • Use walnuts, pecans, or sesame seeds instead of almonds.
  • Use tofu, a good source of protein, instead chicken for a meatless salad.
  • Add slices of orange or grapefruit.

Download this almond chicken salad recipe card!


Asian Style Steamed Salmon


  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup shiitake mushroom caps, rinsed and sliced (or substitute dried shiitake mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (or 2 tsp ground)
  • ¼ cup scallions (green onions), rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil (optional)
  • 12 oz salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions (3 oz each)

Combine the chicken broth, mushroom caps, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil (optional) in a large, shallow sauté pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2–3 minutes.

Add salmon fillets, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook gently over low heat for 4–5 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).

Serve one piece of salmon with ¼ cup of broth.

Download this Asian style salmon recipe card!

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You Can Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Colerectal Cancer

Written by Dr. Ady Oster

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time to consider this important health issue for Asian Americans. When found early, it is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. It is recommended to get screened beginning at age 50. Here are a few reasons why it is so important that you get screened early and regularly.

Colorectal Cancer affects both men and women

It is a misconception that colorectal cancer only affects men. In fact, colon cancer is the second most common cancer among Asian American women and third most common among Asian American men.

Waiting until symptoms show may be too late

This type of cancer usually begins when the cells in your walls of the colon or rectum change and form into a lump or mass called a polyp. Polyps usually do not cause symptoms before they become large enough to spread. At this point, colorectal cancer becomes more difficult to treat and less likely to be curable.

Family history may mean less than you think

Many patients believe they do not need to worry about colorectal cancer if no one in their family has had colorectal cancer. A family member with colorectal cancer may increase your risks, but most colorectal cancers occur in people who do not have a family history.

Get screened this month!

Make an appointment this month to be screened for colorectal cancer. There are three tests that can detect colorectal cancer: colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and fecal immunochemical test (FIT). Learn more about these tests from this factsheet. Talk to you doctor about which screening is best for you.

Dr. Ady 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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Social Work Month – Celebrating Social Workers

SW month

March is Social Work Month! Social workers provide support and guidance when families need it most. Our community has unique social needs, and our social workers work tirelessly to meet them. We are celebrating our social workers by talking to Amanda Wong, LCSW, about what being a social worker means to her.

Amanda worked at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center from 2002 to 2008 as a social work assistant. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College, and returned to the Health Center as a licensed social worker in 2010. She is currently a social work supervisor.

DN: What made you decide to  pursue social work?

AW: I wanted to be in a profession that helps people, because of my own experiences of growing up as an immigrant. I had the opportunity to work at the Health Center as a social work assistant, and it showed me how I can truly help the needs of immigrant families.

DN: Why is social work important for our patient population?

AW: It is incredibly important. We work to help our patients and their family cope with medical conditions or other life stressors. Many of our patients and clients do not know their rights, or what resources are available to them. We provide our clients with those resources and knowledge so that they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

DN: What are challenges specific to serving an immigrant population?

AW: A lot of immigrant families are not able to reach out for help because of language and cultural barriers, or may even feel like reaching out is a sign of a weakness. They may also feel like they just don’t want to bother others with their problems.

We work with low income families who work long hours, and finding time to see their doctors is difficult.  It is important for our patients to understand that we provide services regardless of ability to pay. These are the kind of challenges that we work on with them, the importance of their health and the kinds of services we have available to them.

DN: What is a day in the life like for you?

AW: When I come in I check emails and voice mails to see if my clients are in need of immediate help. I spend the morning reaching out to those needs. The rest of the day, I see all kinds of patients with different kinds of medical problems and life stressors. I have clients who have appointments, and I often see patients who are referred on the spot by our doctors. Sometimes I have walk-ins, who may just have a letter or bill in English that they do not understand. A lot of times, our patients come in for something small, but I can quickly uncover a much bigger problem. That is what is so special about social workers—we ask the questions that get to the heart of the real issues. We work closely with our patients and families to address them so that they can be empowered to achieve a better quality of life.

DN: Can you share a time that a small issue turned out to be a much larger issue?

AW: A patient and his mother once came to our office for help with a very simple billing issue from a recent emergency room visit. Turns out the patient was in the hospital for psychiatric reasons. I helped the patient schedule a follow-up visit with his doctor and was able to learn more about his mental health issue from his school and hospital visit. I met with the patient and his mother, and learned that he was very worried about his mother’s well-being after moving away to college. I provided counseling for him and his mother to address his concerns and anxiety. His mother ensured him that she would be fine, since she receives support and medical care from us.

In order to ensure the patient received ongoing mental health care, I referred him to our on-site mental health team for counseling. The patient is currently receiving regular counseling from our mental health team, and his mother meets me regularly to discuss her own health and wellness needs.

DN: Do you have advice for others who want to pursue social work?

AW: You need to have a lot of patience as a social worker. You also need to take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself, you will be the best support to others. Social workers teach clients about self-care, so my advice to aspiring social workers is to make sure you give yourself some self-care time as well.

DN: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

AW: Going through a difficult time with my client—no matter what the outcome is—is incredibly rewarding. Just being there for them through the process of a difficult time is rewarding. We can’t fix everyone and everything, but we can be a support during life’s challenges.

When someone says to me “Thank you for being there when I was too overwhelmed to make a decision”, or “Thank you for being with me during my time of crisis”, I know that I have chosen a rewarding job.

I wish I had a social worker when my family was struggling as new immigrants! But then again, I am glad for my experiences. It is because of them that I know how important this work is. It is why I chose social work.

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Keeping Your Kids Active in the Cold

Active Kids

Written by Dr. Carolyn Chang

Just because it is cold outside does not mean you and your family have to wait until spring to be active. Kids should be active for 60 minutes a day. There are many fun indoor and outdoor activities in the city to help you and your family stay active during the remaining weeks of winter—here are just a few ideas.

Indoor Activities

  • Work out or play sports at a recreational center. The Department of Parks & Recreation has the most affordable recreational centers in New York City, with programs and facilities for all ages. Check out NYC Parks website to learn what community centers are in your neighborhood.
  • Spend the day at a museum. Did you know that many museums are either free or have free days? Check out this list put together by NYC & Company.
  • For those really cold days, you do not have to leave your home to be active. Try one of these indoor exercises that you can do from your own home.

Outdoor Activities

  • Go to your local park for some snow fun. Build a snowman or make snow angels.
  • Check out your local ice skating rink.
  • Take walks in your neighborhood.

When you are having outdoor fun, be sure to bundle up, wear several layers and replace all wet clothing with dry ones after coming inside. For those long afternoons outside, consider keeping an extra pair of mittens in the pockets. Take breaks from time to time to come inside for warm drinks or food. With the right precautions, you can help your child stay safe while staying active during the wintertime.

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 in St. Louis, and completed her residency training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Dr. Chang is certified through the American Board of Pediatrics.