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Give Back for #GivingTuesday

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, the world will be giving on #GivingTuesday. The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is thrilled to take part in this special season of generosity and giving.

For over 40 years, the Health Center has been dedicated to closing health care gaps present for Asian Americans and other medically underserved communities. We have come a long way since our first health fair on Mott Street in 1971. Today our team of bilingual and bicultural care team works together to help patients achieve their highest level of health.

Our mission and services go beyond clinical care. Our internship programs like Project AHEAD, Health Disparities Research and Training Program and Community Service Learning Program develop high school, undergraduate and graduate students into leaders in health care, social services and education. Our award-winning hepatitis B team advocate for local and national awareness of the disproportionate burden of hepatitis B in immigrant populations. Our certified application counselors help non-English speaking patients sign up for health insurance so they can get the care they or other family members need. Our women’s health program has a bilingual breast cancer support group that provides emotional support and resources on treatment—like beauty techniques to help manage appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.

Has the Health Center impacted your life?

Give back this month. Join us for #GivingTuesday.

To support the Health Center for #GivingTuesday, you can give a one-time gift, pledge an ongoing gift, or give as a gift or in honor of a loved one. Just click on the giving button to visit our #GivingTuesday donation page.

Happy Giving!


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Quitting Smoking is Hard, But You Can Do It!

Stop smoking

Written by Michelle Chen

At the hospital, 60-year-old Mr. Fong lays in bed. He is surrounded by family, but feels great pain from advanced lung cancer. His bones ache and he has little energy. He has no appetite to eat the food his grandchildren have brought. Short of breath, he can barely speak. Just from the look on his wife’s face, he regrets all the years he smoked.

There’s no question about it: smoking increases your chance of getting lung cancer. It not only hurts your lungs but also your heart, eyes, bones, and stomach. You put yourself at risk for serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and other cancers. When you smoke, you also harm your loved ones. Over time, the toxic fumes left in the air can cause cancer and asthma for those around you. Smoking in another room or by a window is not enough. Smoke can stay in hair, clothes, and even furniture. Children are especially prone to getting sick from secondhand smoke.

This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, take the time to learn about the risks of smoking and what you can do to stop lung cancer in its tracks. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked, quitting now is a big step towards better health. Here’s what you can do:

  • Decide why you want to quit. People quit for many reasons—to improve their health, save money, or protect their family’s health. Remind yourself every day why you’re quitting.
  • Pick a date to quit so you can commit. Avoid a day that may be stressful and when you may feel tempted to smoke. Get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters by this day. If you plan to use medication, have it before your quit date.
  • Come up with ways to cope. You may feel irritable, tired, or anxious when you stop smoking. Cope with these feelings by chewing gum or talking to a friend. Avoid people or places that might tempt you to smoke.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek support from your family, friends, coworkers, and quitlines. Talk with a counselor or provider about medication options.

At the Health Center, we can help patients quit or cut back on smoking:

You can also get free patches and help from:

Nearly one in four Chinese and Asian American men in New York City currently smokes. To address this serious health issue, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Chinese American Medical Society, Chinese American Independent Practice Association, Asian Americans for Equality and NYU Langone Medical Center are working together to educate the community about the dangers of smoking and to help smokers quit. This project is made possible with funding from the RCHN Community Health Foundation. Stay tuned for more tips and resources on quitting.

Michelle Chen is a Health Educator at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She has a B.A. in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies from Barnard College. She is interested in the intersection of public health and Asian American activism.

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Managing Diabetes – Healthy Meal Planning

If you are living with diabetes, you can still enjoy the dishes you like and be healthy. Food affects blood sugar levels differently in people with diabetes, and so you need to pay attention to the foods you choose. Having a plan helps you manage your diabetes since it keeps your blood glucose level in the target range, and can prevent, delay, or treat diabetes-related problems such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia(high blood sugar), kidney disease, heart and blood vessel problems and eye and nerve problems.

Make a meal plan that works best for you. We recommend keeping a food diary to help you become more aware of when you eat, and checking your blood sugar before or after meals to help you understand how certain foods affect your glucose level. Be sure to share your food diary and blood sugar records with your healthcare team to better understand how well you control your diabetes.

When you plan your meals, choose healthier food options from each of these groups for a well-balanced diet. Be sure to check food labels to know what you eat, so you can make better food choices.

Grains, beans, and starchy vegetables

  • Eat whole grain or whole wheat products like whole grain bread or crackers, bran cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat spaghetti, buckwheat noodles.
  • Count starchy vegetables and beans in the same group of grains as they are high in carbohydrates, which will increase your blood sugar level. Substitute the grains with yams, potatoes, corn, taro, dried beans, and chestnuts to add the varieties in your meal.  Learn more about counting carbs here.
  • Limit the amount of packaged instant noodles you eat since they are high in fat and salt.


  • Choose more dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, bok choy, choy sum, and bitter melon.
  • Eat fresh or frozen vegetables plain or lightly salted.
  • Avoid preserved vegetables since they are high in salt.


  • Eat fresh fruit! Eat whole fruits like apples, peaches, and pears with the skin on. Whole fruits have more fiber than fruit juices, which helps keep you full.
  • Eat more fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and pomelo.
  • If you eat canned fruit, choose fruits packed in juice or water, not syrup.
  • Limit fruits that have highly concentrated sugar, such as lychee, lungan, or canned fruit packed in syrup.

Meat and protein

  • Eat fish and chicken without the skin. Choose lean cuts of beef, lamb, or pork for red meat.
  • Cut away all visible fat from meat.
  • Eat more tofu, a good source of low-fat protein.
  • Try beans, which provide protein and fiber. If you eat lots of beans, cut down the grain portion of your meal plan.

Dairy and foods rich in calcium

  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products like fat-free or low-fat milk, plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese.
  • If you can’t drink milk, try fortified, plain soy milk. Limit the flavored kinds like vanilla or chocolate that have more sugar and calories.
  • Try other calcium-rich foods, such as tofu fortified with calcium, bok choy, Chinese broccoli, and kale.

Read our Diabetes Healthy Meal Planning pamphlet for many more tips on managing your diet with foods that you love. If you or someone you know is managing life with diabetes, we have more bilingual resources here.