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World Hepatitis Day Candlelight Vigil

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Written by Isaac Song

On Sunday, July 19, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center took part in a “World Hepatitis Day” Candlelight Vigil at Washington Square Park. The vigil was in honor of the 4,000 people worldwide who pass away every day due to viral hepatitis. This event was associated with World Hepatitis Day on July 28th, an international observance to build awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to empower the community that they can prevent hepatitis. Worldwide 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C. In NYC 250,000 residents are living with chronic (lifelong) viral hepatitis, and most of them do not know that they are infected. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplantation. With better awareness and understanding of how we can prevent hepatitis we can eliminate this disease and save 4,000 lives a day. With a focus on youth, over 125 high school and college students came out for the candlelight vigil. Students participated in educational activities raising general awareness of viral hepatitis. DSCF1222Hep 2 Students decorated their individual candles in preparation for the vigil.hep 3DSCF1306 We were honored to have two speakers, Paul Bolter of the American Liver Foundation and Sue Preziotti, an NYC Hepatitis Advocate. They each spoke of how their lives were influenced and how they overcame the hardships posed by hepatitis. We also watched Faces of Hepatitis, a series of short videos highlighting the stories of individuals affected by viral hepatitis. Dr. Su Wang, previously the Assistant Medical Director of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, was featured in one of these videos as well. DSCF1440 During the vigil, we lit our candles and participated in a moment of silence in remembrance of the 4,000 lives claimed by viral hepatitis each day.

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The event was organized by Hepatitis B Interns: Nelson Chiu, Jefferson Bai, Annie Huynh, and Sophia Huang under the direction of Niki Bannister, the Hepatitis B Program Associate. A big thank you to partner organizations that took part in this event, including Hep Free NYC, Team HBV NYC, William F. Ryan Community Health Network and the American Liver Foundation.

Written by Isaac Song. Isaac is currently the communications intern at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. He graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry.


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Go Outside for National Parks and Recreation Month!

This month marks the 30th year of National Parks and Recreation Month!

What do NYC parks have to offer? Get moving at your local recreation center – many offer free or low- cost classes, including basketball, swimming, yoga, and many more. Cool off in one of the many free outdoor swimming pools or check out nearby sporting events. Go on a canoeing, kayaking or paddle boat adventure. It’s not too late to learn to ride a bike or swim! Did you know you can go fishing, birding and even camping right here in NYC? And be sure to check this summer’s free movies, concerts and theater.

So get out of your home and visit the parks this summer! Here are a few of our favorites. Make sure to check out nycgovparks.org to learn more about events and programs near you.

Recreation Centers
Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center is near Chinatown and features year-round facilities which include a gymnasium for basketball and badminton. They offer seasonal activities such as ping-pong, swimming, and more. Free or low-cost classes in yoga, hockey, and belly-dancing are also offered. Membership is $50 for adults and free for youths age 18 and under.

Chinatown YMCA has many different types of classes such as adult ballet, kickboxing, yoga, and tai chi for YMCA members. Additionally, adult group exercise classes are offered for free every week. They also offer a swimming pool, as well as steam and sauna rooms. Membership fees vary based on age and group sign-ups.

Metropolitan Recreation Center, located in Brooklyn, offers classes for all age groups. The center features classes in art, chess, and dance for kids; fitness and strength-training for teens; and taekwondo and Zumba for adults. There is also a pool for general swim hours for everyone.

For non-members of recreation centers, Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes every week at various locations throughout the city.

Public Parks
Columbus Park in Chinatown often has free events for all age groups and is an excellent way to take leisure with Chinatown locals. Nearby is also City Hall Park, which showcases some iconic architecture and features a bike path leading straight to the Brooklyn Bridge. In Chinatown, there are many nearby parks and recreation centers to visit and take advantage of. Check out this guide from our website for more information.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located in Queens, is one of the largest parks in NYC. In addition to having open spaces for basketball, tennis, soccer, and more, there are also more leisurely spaces including an art museum, botanical garden, and science museum. Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink has a very large indoor pool and hockey rink. Take a walk along the Flushing Bay Promenade or visit the nearby zoo for a lovely day.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has a new roller skating rink along with many playgrounds and sports fields. Additionally, there are many unique activities including kayaking/canoeing as well as open spaces for barbecues. Featuring local events such as movie screenings and group cycling rides, there is always something to do here!


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Beat the Heat with Healthy Summer Drinks

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What better way to beat the heat than a tall, cold summer drink? We should drink about 8-9 cups of fluids every day to stay healthy—especially in the summer. Many bottled and store-bought drinks are packed with lots of sugar. It is hard to cut out sweet drinks completely, and you don’t always have to. Here are some ways to cut down on your sugar intake while still staying hydrated in the heat.

  • When ordering drinks, ask for less or no sugar in your order.
  • Limit the number of sweet drinks you buy each week.
  • Infuse water with fresh fruit or mint.
  • Make your own drinks. You can control how much sugar to put in—the less, the better.
  • Use water or seltzer water to dilute sugary drinks.
  • Learn to read food labels so you can control the amount of sugar in your diet.
  • Remember that water is the best option: it has 0 calories and 0 sugar!

Remember to drink liquids all the time, not just when you feel thirsty! Choosing unsweetened or low sugar drinks will keep you cool and healthy during the summer.