Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AAHI at Southern Asian Seven Day Adventist Church (SASDAC)

This past Sunday, August 29th, AAHI participated in another successful health fair at SASDAC. The event was held at the community's church. AAHI staffers, Atyya and Sanjana were in attendance along with four new health promoters, Jimmy, Kusuma, Monique, and Simran and four seasoned health promoters, Leigh, Peter, Jean and Shamim. This event was a wonderful learning experience for the new health promoters.
AAHI provided the very popular bone density screening. Participants found this screening very helpful, they were filling out forms until the very last minute! In addition to bone density and osteoporosis education, AAHI provided education on breast health and demonstrations on how to conduct a self-breast exam. Furthermore, AAHI provided an opportunity for low-income/uninsured individuals to sign up for a free breast cancer screening. At the general AAHI table, there was educational materials on cancer and diabetes, along with AAHI information and giveaways.

We want to thank Southern Asian Seven Day Adventist Church for allowing us to participate in their Community & Health Fair.

Health promoter, Monique, handing out bone density screening forms to attendees waiting in line.

Health promoter, Simran, educating participant about her bone density results.

Monique and health fair participant practicing how to do a self-breast exam.

Health promoter, Leigh demonstrating exercise that can strengthen bones.

Leigh conducting the bone density screening on a wheelchair-bound participant.

Simran educating another participant about his bone health.

Leigh conducting a bone density screening on a participant, while his children observe.

Health promoters, Peter and Kusuma managing the general AAHI table.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AAHI Says Goodbye to Summer 2010 Interns

Summer interns, Shazra Azeez, Arina Kadam and Deborah Ngan have successfully completed their fulfilling and fruitful internship at the Asian American Health Initiative. Since the beginning of their internship, these wonderful interns actively participated in projects, outreach events and supported AAHI with their creative ideas and fresh perspectives. At their farewell celebration, the interns presented their Photo Voice Project to staff. They did an excellent job presenting their project, which highlighted linguistically competent Asian American resources and services in the area.

Prior to saying their goodbyes, AAHI interns sat down with Program Coordinator, Atyya Chaudhry, for an informal interview. When asked to describe the internship at AAHI, Deborah said it was “enlightening, an eye-opening experience”. For Shazra, Deborah and Arina, this internship shed some light on the real world of public health and more importantly, the health issues faced by Asian Americans. “This internship provided exposure to outreach in the community and research methods” says Arina. Shazra continued to say, “we are thrilled that our research skills have evolved, knowing how critical this will be in our future public health work”.
“This internship was a great experience, we learned so much by working in a real public health setting” echoed all three interns. When asked to further elaborate on what they learned, “office professionalism” says Arina. “We learned how to uphold a professional atmosphere in an office setting” she continued to say. Expanding on that, Deborah said “we learned how to use Microsoft Outlook and maintain professionalism in emails.” “But the biggest lesson learned” says Shazra, “was how to apply theory to practice, how to apply what we learned in school to real-life, public health settings”.

After discussing the internship experience, we shifted gears to chat about their most memorable projects. “My most memorable project was the AAHI Storybook” (soon to be released) says Arina. She enjoyed supporting AAHI in research for this project. “For me, it was the Health Disparities Bazaar, hosted by Maryland’s DHMH” says Deborah. At this event, Deborah actively engaged in reaching out to and educating the participants about AAHI. Shazra says “my most memorable moment at AAHI was participating in outreach meetings”. Shazra accompanied Program Coordinator, Sanjana Quasem, in her meetings with community leaders.

On a final note, Arina, Deborah and Shazra shared parting advice for future AAHI interns:

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions”
- Arina
“Take as much experience as you can from this internship”- Deborah
“Get involved in outreach efforts”- Shazra

Monday, August 16, 2010

AAHI SC Retreat & HP Training

After the start of the 2011 fiscal year, AAHI has hit the floor running in preparation of the upcoming year. In these past few weeks, AAHI hosted a Steering Committee Retreat on July 31st and a Health Promoter Training on August 14th.

At the SC Retreat, AAHI’s community advisors came together for a productive morning of planning for the present and for the future. At the retreat, AAHI was able to formally welcome five new Steering Committee members. With the passion and commitment expressed this morning, AAHI is excited to see where the SC vision takes them in the future.

At the HP Training, newly recruited Health Promoters were given a greater idea of the commitment which comes with being a Health Promoter. Through various guest speakers, Health Promoters were also given comprehensive education on AAHI’s five targeted health diseases (cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, hepatitis b, and tobacco control). Once again, the passion and dedication amongst the individuals present was palpable. AAHI is excited to work with such a committed group of individuals.

Please find pictures from both events below!

Steering Committee Retreat

FY 11 AAHI SC Retreat

Health Promoter Training