Due to disparities in our healthcare system, Asian Americans are at higher risk for many conditions, from diabetes to colorectal cancer and hepatitis B.
Low-income Asian Americans in particular—including the one in four Asian American adults in New York City who live in poverty—face additional challenges accessing healthcare because of financial, linguistic, cultural, and transportation barriers.
This May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Foundation is highlighting the work of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (Health Center) to help improve health outcomes for Asian American New Yorkers. Founded in 1971, the Health Center provides high quality, affordable, and culturally competent healthcare services with a focus on NYC’s Asian American community.
Primary care services offered by the Health Center include dental, internal medicine, mental health, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and social work. The Health Center also provides other services, such as: support groups and workshops for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities, a smoking cessation program, and hepatitis B screening and treatment.
It also provides care management, health education information, and informational workshops on a range of health conditions, including hepatitis B and diabetes.
To support the Health Center’s efforts to improve health outcomes for Asian American New Yorkers, the Foundation awarded a grant of $125,000 for the Health Center’ bilingual smoking cessation program.
Although overall smoking rates have declined in NYC since 2002, smoking rates among Asian male smokers have steadily increased. Asian American men have the highest smoking rate of all racial and gender groups in NYC, an estimated 22%, potentially contributing to poorer health outcomes for Asian Americans. However, a number of free and well-known smoking cessation resources are often not accessible to many Chinese-speaking residents, because most services across the city are only offered in English and Spanish.
The Health Center’s Quit Smoking program educates patients and community members about the health benefits of quitting, provides information on the Health Center’s smoking cessation resources, and offers one-on-one smoking cessation counseling services to Chinese- and English-speaking smokers interested in quitting. The grant will enable the Health Center to support 175 clients in their efforts to quit smoking this year.
From primary care services to culturally competent smoking cessation efforts, the Health Center provides a range of services to over 50,000 patients each year to help address the health disparities of Asian American New Yorkers.
To learn more about the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center and to support their work, visit their website here.