Our Efforts in Building a Healthy Community

July 2017

In This Issue

ESL Summer Quarter
Starting July 10, 2017

10 am - 12 noon
Mondays (Beginner Level)
Tuesdays (Intermediate Level)
Wednesdays (Intermediate Level)
Thursdays (Advanced Level)

For more information, please call AACS at 614-220-4023 x 230.
Korean Seniors Program

The Korean Seniors Program offers Korean seniors ( 55 years of age or older) in Franklin County with public assistance and culturally appropriate support services.

To learn more about the program or if you have any question, please contact Daniel "Danny" Nam at dnam@aacsohio.org/614-220-4023 x 223.
Women's Quilting Group  
Thursdays, 1pm-3pm @AACS

This project seeks to connect women, share stories of  courage, create beauty, and move towards healing in our lives with one another. 

All craft supplies will be provided, and take-home kits will be available. The group will be hosted at AACS (4700 Reed Rd., Suite B, Columbus Ohio, 43220).

To learn more about our quilting group or are interested in attending, please contact our Program Manager, Chin-Yin Shih  at cshih@aacsohio.org  or 614-220-4023 x 224 .
Ikebana Classes:
Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement
Mondays, 2pm-3pm or 3:15pm-4:15pm

Our current classes are full.
Please stay tuned for sign-ups in our next series.

To learn more about our Ikebana classes or are interested attending, contact our Program Manager,  Chin-Yin Shih at cshih@aacsohio.org
or 614-220-4023 x 224.
Senior Benefits Program

If you have questions about:
-Medicare Part A, B, & D
-Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)
-(Medicare Part D) Extra Help
-Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
-Food Stamp Program (SNAP)
-Cash Assistance
-Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
-Homestead Exemption for property tax
-Golden Buckeye Card
-AT&T Lifeline
-Free Clinic
-Other related questions

Please contact  Chin-Yin Shih at 614-220-4023 x 224 or  cshih@aacsohio.org for more information and for a FREE screening for benefits eligibility.
Free Health  Consultation

The second Sunday afternoon, every month
12:45pm - 1:30pm

Columbus Chinese Christian Church
4141 Maize Rd, Columbus, OH 43224

For more information, please contact: Changcheng Zhao, 614-715-2212

Lao Volunteer Donation Association:
Monthly Provisions Giveaway
2017 Produce Market Dates

Saturday, 08/19/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday, 09/16/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday, 10/21/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday, 11/18/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday, 12/16/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm

1160 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, OH 43209

 Please call 614-506-1167 or 614-252-5786 to confirm.
Families living at or below the Federal Poverty Line are eligible to receive free produce. Please bring a bag to carry away your goods.
2017 Ohio Latino Health Summit

Friday, 07/28/17 - 8:00 am-3:30 pm

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Kresge Auditorium
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267

This is a free event hosted by Ohio Latino Affairs Commission. It consists of several presentations that aim to integrate, educate, and empower the Latino community. If you are interested, please register here.
Volunteers Needed!!!
AACS is seeking committed volunteers who can help support our programs!! We have a particular need in our civic engagement program. To learn more about our programs and overview of volunteer opportunities, check out our website or contact Margo Arnold (
614-220-4023 x226, marnold@aacsohio.org). Inquiries regarding unpaid internships (both summer and during the semester) are also welcome.

To volunteer for our Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) program, please contact Franchesca Brown (216-732-1570, fbrown@aacsohio.org).


Asian Health Initiative (AHI)

Receiving healthcare has long been an issue for some Asian immigrants in the U.S. Due to language barriers and the lack of health literacy, they have limited access to medical treatments and preventive services. On the other hand, low-income families may not be able to afford medical expenses even if they do have some coverage.

Chin-Yin Shih, the manager of AACS's Health Care and Prevention Department, understood this situation and was determined to make a difference. Since 2010, she has been working with the Asian Health Initiative (AHI), a free clinic that aims to break these barriers to maintain good health of our community members. It targets medically underserved Asian population in central Ohio, offering them culturally and linguistically appropriate health services. 

As AACS's collaborative project with the OSU Medical Center as well as the AACS Council, AHI has been running for approximately 20 years. It is held, by appointment, at Rardin Family Practice from 5:30pm to 9pm every Monday. 

Chin-Yin's responsibility includes helping patients make appointments and follow-up. Being bilingual allows her to be an effective contributor especially with those who prefer to speak Chinese. 

Though the clinic serves people of all races, the majority of patients are Asian. Primarily, they encounter seniors with chronic disease, offering medical services for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver function, body pain, and similar health issues. Patients can also have their blood drawn, receive health education on diabetes, and have prescriptions written. Quarterly Hepatitis B screenings are also held in February, May, August, and November, through regularly scheduled appointments.

On average, the clinic serves seven to eight patients per week, according to Chin-Yin. 

Besides Chin-Yin, the clinic is comprised of volunteer doctors and students who usually serve one to two years there. Currently, its medical director is Dr. O'Handley, who has been consistently helping AHI recruit doctors from Mount Carmel Hospital. It also has Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick, the medical director for hepatitis B clinic. 

In addition, there are four medical school student coordinators with professional background who take turns for volunteer recruitment, mentoring, and blood drawing, while two people would serve each turn. There are also undergraduate student volunteers performing administrative tasks such as scheduling and paperwork, seven to eight volunteer physicians who regularly assist the program, and two pharmacy students at the clinic. 

While helping mitigate persistent healthcare disparities in central Ohio, AHI still has a long, arduous way to go.
The greatest challenge AHI is facing now, according to Chin-Yin, is the recruitment of doctors. 

Although Dr. O'Handley has been offering help, AHI is especially in need of volunteer doctors to accomplish its goals. If you or someone you know would like to make an effort in improving access to healthcare in the Asian American community, please contact AACS. We appreciate the time and contribution of those who have supported and currently support AHI!
Live Healthy- Hep Free!

June 28 is World Hepatitis Day. In the US, an estimated 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with Hepatitis B. However, not many people recognize how AAPIs are disproportionately affected, as 1 in 12 Asian Americans is a part of this epidemic.

An untreated hepatitis B infection can result in cirrhosis of the liver and even liver cancer. According to the Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention, liver cancer is th e leading cause of cancer deaths among Asian Americans. However , a s many as 2 in 3 infected AAPIs do not know they have it until they have been screened. (Check more facts on our website)

To raise community awareness of this important issue, AACS founded "Live Healthy - Hep Free" (LHHF). It is a school-based Hep B awareness and education program funded by the Hep B United mini-grant that AACS received in July 2016. Focused on virus prevention, it provides classroom presentations and interactive activities such as skit an d Q& A sessions for high school students.

Although LHHF is open to youth of all ethnic ities, it specifically targets schools with a high percentage of Asian American students due to the recognized need for outreach within the AAPI communities. 

Shweta Bhatt, the coordinator of AACS' Health Care and Prevention Program, has been working with LHHF since its inception last year. She oversees and evaluates the program, effectively assisting Karen Jiobu, an AACS' board member who guides it.

Their team h olds weekly meetings where members discuss program progress and future plans. Partnered with the OSU School of Medicine, it has been seeking additional opportunities to inform young Ohioans of the importance of Hepatitis prevention and screening.

In February, the team successfully delivered the LHHF program at Dublin Jerome High School. It recruited six medical students who served as volunteer instructors. Through classroom presentations they were able to reach over 127 high school studen ts and their families.

Many participants found the presentations informative and enjoyable, according to Shweta.

In the National Hepatitis Awareness Month in May, the program also organized two free community Hep B screening events, which were the Asian Mini Health Fair and the Somali Health Fair. The team circulated flyers to encourage priority populations to get screened.

To celebrate the World Hepatitis Day on July 28, LHHF has now started planning for more. While more and m ore people have become aware of this disease, outreach is still a critical aspect in efficiently delivering health message.

"One of the key challenges is to identify and get buy-in from high schools for the program," said Shweta.

Currently, the team is working on analysis of collected data and applying for new funding opportunities for the coming year. Since the OSU School of Medicine has shown interes t to collaborate with LHHF again, Shweta and her colleagues are looking forward to targ eting at least two high schools in 2018. AACS is hoping that LHHF would keep up making a positive difference to the AAPI communities!
Welcome New Team Member!

Margo Arnold 
Community Engagement Coordinator

Margo will serve to expand the outreach for AACS programming including civic engagement, volunteer management, and social media. She was motivated to join AACS to continue to educate the public about issues that society does not often address and to be a voice for people who are often forgotten. 

Margo graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Public Affairs with a specialization in Community Organization and Civic Engagement. Since graduation, she has spent time working at non-profits, volunteering at various organizations in the community, and recently completed a term with Americorps. She looks forward to connecting with community members and organizations to further the mission of AACS.
Our Journey of Civic Engagement

Members of our staff joined the Medicaid Rally at the Ohio statehouse on July 5 to defend Medicaid Expansion.

Members of our staff participated in 
the ACE (AAPI Civic Engagement) Network's annual site visit in Cleveland, OH on July 8. They learned about other ACE partners' accomplishments and current plans through civic engagement efforts. Additionally, they shared best practices to further their collective efforts in increasing civic engagement participation and representation in the AAPI communities.