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Fireworks Safety Tips & 4th of July Fun

fireworks 2

With the 4th of July just around the corner, fireworks season is finally here! If you’re in the state of New York, remember that while sparklers and party poppers are legal, any type of fireworks that leave the ground such as firecrackers or Roman candles are illegal. Here are a few safety tips to make sure you get the most out of this weekend.

  1. Always ignite fireworks outside, and keep away from brush, leaves, or other flammable substances.
  2. Be cautious if you let your children play with sparklers – they can heat up to 1,200°F which results in many adolescent injuries every year.
  3. Have a bucket of water nearby to soak the fireworks in after you’re done and to quickly put out any emergency fires.

If you’d rather leave the fireworks to the professionals, we’ve picked out a few firework shows and other events going on this weekend. Some of them will be familiar and others unfamiliar, so if you don’t have any plans then choose one of these!

Travis Parade
If you’re near Staten Island, stop by for this big-time parade in a small-town atmosphere. One of the oldest parades in US history, this annual event is a celebration of the rich history of Travis that spans as far back as the Revolutionary War. Featuring local music groups, county dignitaries, and prominent community members, the parade begins at noon in front of PS 26.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks
Celebrate the 4th of July with the most anticipated fireworks display of the year! This iconic event returns to the East River this year with viewing available along the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Heights Promenade. With performances by Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Meghan Trainor, and many more, come early to watch it in person or tune in to NBC at 8pm.

Harlem Children’s Parade
This one’s just for the kids – come early for Yoga for Kids by Land Yoga at 10am, decorate bikes and scooters to win prizes, and start lining up for the parade by 10:45am. Stay after the parade to get sprayed by firetrucks, so don’t forget your swimsuit! The parade begins on Morningside Drive at 115th St.

Coney Island
If you’re looking to get out of the city this weekend, come drop by the boardwalk and beaches of Coney Island this weekend for fireworks and of course, Nathan’s World Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. The fireworks will take place this Friday night at 9:30pm on the beach between W 10th and W 12th. Joey Chestnut returns to defend his world record of 69 hot dogs and will look for his 9th straight title this year. The contest begins at noon on Saturday at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues.

Whatever your plans this holiday weekend, we wish you a happy and safe 4th of July!


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Rent Laws: Know Your Rights

DanielSenator Daniel Squadron is sending the following message to community members in regards to recent changes in rent laws:

Dear Friend,

[Laws that create rent regulations have recently expired.] But your protections as a rent regulated tenant do NOT expire. Below is a helpful list from the Alliance for Tenant Power on some of your guaranteed protections:

  • DO NOT MOVE OUT. You are still a tenant of your apartment. The landlord cannot put you out of your apartment without going to court. If the landlord tries to do so, call the police. This is illegal.
  • If you have a lease, you are protected at least as long as the lease term.
  • If you have a renewal lease, sign it and send it back immediately.
  • If your lease expires on or before September 13, 2015, you are entitled to a renewal lease and you should be protected.
  • If you are rent-controlled (not rent stabilized, you’ve been in your apartment since 1971), you will be protected by the New York City laws which will not expire until 2018.

If the laws lapse and you have concerns about your personal housing situation, please contact my office at 212-298-5565, 718-875-1517 or with any questions on your rights as a tenant. You can also call:

  • NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal emergency hotline: 844-736-8435


Daniel Squadron
New York State Senator
26th District

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Charles B. Wang Community Health Center Awarded 2015 Tisch Community Health Prize


Written by Jane Eng, CEO

The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center was honored to receive the 2015 Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize for its work on hepatitis B. The prize is awarded annually by Hunter College Roosevelt Institute for Public Policy to a non-profit for outstanding achievements in public health.  We received the award on June 9, 2015, surrounded by our partners and supporters. If you would like to view the ceremony, you can watch a recording here. Here are remarks made by CEO Jane Eng, who accepted the award. 

I am truly honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center’s hepatitis B program.

The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize not only raises awareness of the health care needs of medically underserved Asian Americans, it also shines a brighter spotlight on hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a major health issue for Asian Americans and other foreign-born populations, but the disparity is not well known, even within the public health community. I want to thank the Tisch family and the award selection committee for giving us the opportunity to highlight this health disparity to the broader community.

The Health Center was started more than 40 years ago by volunteers who organized what we believe to be the first ever health fair in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown. The health fair was very successful, and about 2,500 people from the community received a variety of preventive health screening and health education. After the health fair, the volunteers recognized that a one-time screening event was not adequate to address the community’s ongoing need for bilingual, bicultural and affordable health care services.

The volunteers then asked a critical question:   “What resources, knowledge and skills do we have within Chinatown that we could bring together to address the gaps in health care?” The question helped them frame a solution – organize a free clinic staffed by volunteers, including doctors and nurses, in space donated by a local church.

From these humble beginnings, the free clinic has evolved to become a federally qualified health center operating in five locations throughout New York City. Today, we are a major provider of primary care for Asian Americans and other patients who face language, cultural and financial barriers in accessing comprehensive and high quality health care.

What we learned over the past 40 years is that a high degree of community engagement and community ownership is needed to address gaps in health and end health disparities.

So, we apply our community engagement and community ownership approach to our work on hepatitis B. About 20 years ago, our providers began to recognize the disproportionate burden of hepatitis B on Asian Americans. A local bank in Chinatown gave us a small grant to conduct screening and education events at local schools. Gradually, we expanded our outreach to the community, holding screening events at community sites throughout New York City.

About 8 years ago, we started comprehensive monitoring and treatment program to make sure that individuals identified with chronic infections at screening events are linked to accessible and affordable care. We incorporated hepatitis B screening as a routine service for at risk patients. We trained our providers to take care of hepatitis B patients within the community to reduce the need for more expensive specialist referrals. We also began an advocacy agenda to educate our elected officials and the broader public health community about the disproportionate burden of hepatitis B on the foreign born. We worked with the ethnic media to raise awareness about the importance of prevention. We even disseminated our findings and lessons learned through publication in journals and presentations at local and national meetings.

During the past 20 years, we have partnered with many individuals and groups to advance the hepatitis B agenda. Without question, collaborative efforts to improve health are essential. Working together, sharing resources, and combining talent enhance the opportunities and likelihood for achieving positive health outcomes. Because of the complexity and cost of today’s health environment, health care providers, public health agencies and others involved in prevention efforts cannot afford to work in isolation. Collaboration results in positive outcomes that are superior to outcomes that result from organizations working separately on parallel paths.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the many partners who contributed to and supported our hepatitis B work through the years. It is our partnerships, not just the Health Center, that deserves the credit for the success of our hepatitis B work.

First, I want to thank our board of directors. As Health Center patients and community members, you have always challenged me and our executive leadership team to put the community’s interest and needs at the heart of all that we do.

I want to acknowledge our hepatitis B team, under the leadership of Dr. Perry Pong, Dr. Vivian Huang and our Hepatitis B Program Associate Nicole Bannister, for your outstanding work which resulted in today’s award. I also want to acknowledge Dr. Su Wang, our former hepatitis B director, who advanced our hepatitis B awareness and advocacy campaign to the national level by serving as an expert consultant to the Institute of Medicine and the White House Summit on hepatitis B.

I am very proud that one of the Health Center’s core values is delivering high quality, patient-centered care to all. Everyone in the organization, not just the medical director or the chief operating officer, but everyone from top to bottom, is responsible for quality. The hepatitis B team certainly exemplifies our commitment to ensuring quality and achieving excellence in all that we do.

I also want to thank our many partners – the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Viral Hepatitis Division, the Chinese American Medical Society and Chinese American Independent Practice Association, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, NYU Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital, Lower Manhattan Presbyterian Hospital and many others. Your collaboration allows us to leverage each other’s expertise and resources, and amplify the prevention message to a broader segment of the community.

I also want to thank our many donors and funders, especially Robin Hood, Ms. Miranda Tang and Dr. James Chang, for your generous support of our Hepatitis B Care Program. Without your support, many uninsured patients with chronic hepatitis B infection will probably forgo lifesaving treatment that can reduce their risk of developing serious liver disease.

We know that community partnerships take time, trust and respect to build. It is a marathon, not a sprint. We hope that you will continue this journey with us. Together, we can achieve a world without hepatitis B.

Written by Jane T. Eng, Esq. Jane Eng is the chief executive officer of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jane has been involved with the Health Center since 1975. She is a board member of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS

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Getting Through Allergy Season

To help you make it through the allergy season, Holly Lee, FNP and clinical director of our Flushing site and one of our family nurse practitioners, shares some tips on how you can limit your contact with pollen and reduce your allergy symptoms.

Fighting your allergies can be a difficult battle, especially during this year’s allergy season. As grass, plants and trees grow and bloom at the same time, they will release a surge of pollen that will cause many people to sneeze, cough and tear endlessly.

Many of us suffer during allergy season because our bodies treat pollen as a foreign substance. Our bodies will then trigger protective responses known to us as allergy symptoms. These symptoms include itchy and watery eyes, itchy throat, sneezing and runny nose.

There are also over-the-counter medications like loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) to help relieve allergy symptoms. If you have severe allergies, your doctor can prescribe you stronger medications like nasal sprays and eye drops. You can also ask your doctor if you may benefit from an allergy vaccine.

Power through –– allergy season is almost over!

Written by Bonnie Tse. Bonnie Tse is a health educator at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College.

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The Perfect Father’s Day Gift


What do you give to the greatest man that you know?

Why don’t you give an extra special gift this year, and give back to the community in his honor. A gift to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center will enable us to provide quality, culturally relevant, and affordable healthcare and support services to Asian Americans and other underserved communities in New York City. Make a donation today, and we will send the special man in your life a customized Father’s Day e-greeting to acknowledge your gift.


To make a gift in honor of your father or the special man in your life, click on the giving button to visit our Father’s Day donation page. Include the name and email address of your father or special man in your life, and we will send him an e-greeting informing him of your generous gift.