Thursday, June 11, 2009

Watching TV before you go to bed

Watching TV before you go to bed gives you a bad night's sleep and can lead to chronic health problems, scientists have claimed. Read more at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Everyone has a health care story. What's yours?

The health care reform debate is heating up fast. With the Obama Administration and policymakers in Congress poised to introduce their proposals to fix our broken health care system this summer, the time is ripe for NAPAWF members to raise our voices and be seen and heard on this critically important issue. NAPAWF wants to hear from you so we can link real world examples to the policy reforms we want Congress to make. If you have a story, please email Priscilla. We'll post your story on our blog, Warrior Prose, and may deliver your message on one of our Hill visits. Please indicate if you would like to remain anonymous when we post or share your story.

What's your health care story?

Nearly 18% of Asian American women and 24% of Native Hawaiian women are uninsured. API women are more likely than their white or male counterparts to live below the poverty line and lack employer-sponsored health coverage because many API women are employed in low-wage industries, work part-time or work for small employers that do not offer health insurance. Newly arriving Asian immigrant women also face the added burden of arbitrary waiting periods and meeting burdensome documentation requirements, while undocumented immigrant women are currently barred from all public health coverage programs. In short, API women face greater challenges accessing and affording health insurance.

Have you/your family faced a barrier to accessing affordable health insurance coverage?

If so, tell us your story.

Health insurance coverage alone does not ensure access to quality health services. The API community includes more than 30 diverse ethnic subpopulations that vary by national origin, language, culture, immigration status and economic status. As such, health services must be patient centered and take into account the impact of culture, language and gender identity at all levels of assessment, diagnosis and treatment in order to meet the needs of API women and their families. Health care reform must also invest in communities, the health care workforce and public health programs to increase the resources, diversity, distribution, cultural and linguistic competence and knowledge needed to provide quality care for all API women.

Have you/your family been dissatisfied by the quality of health care received?

If so, tell us your story.

API women need comprehensive health care services that span a woman's lifetime and address her physical, mental and dental care needs. Access to reproductive and sexual health services is a critical component to well-woman care particularly because API women experience a range of health disparities including high cervical cancer and breast cancer rates and increasing STI rates among young API women. Community-based prevention programs are also critically important to help reduce disparities. Because women in the API community already underutilize screening and counseling programs, health care reform efforts must promote community-based solutions that can help API women access safe spaces, improve health literacy, and use comprehensive family planning services.

Have you/your familiy experienced a gap in health care services due to your gender or race/ethnicity?

It so, tell us your story.

Everyone has a health care story. What's yours?

In sisterhood,


National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum | 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 506 | Takoma Park, MD 20912

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cameron House Exec Director Position Opening

Executive Director, Cameron House
Cameron House
San Francisco, California
Salary: $75,000-$90,000/yr

Cameron House, located in San Francisco’s Chinatown, seeks a dynamic
and visionary executive leader. In partnership with the Board of
Directors and Staff, the successful candidate will carry forward and
build on the legacy of inspirational leadership, high quality client
services and successful outcomes achieved by its retiring executive
director. S/he will be skilled in articulating a vision that will
continue to attract resources to the agency, and increase its reach
and impact for community members.

About Cameron House

Started by Presbyterian women as the Occidental Mission Home for Girls
in 1874, Cameron House intervened on behalf of Asian immigrant girls
and women who had been smuggled into the United States to be sold as
domestic workers and/or prostitutes in a system that became known as
the "yellow slave trade". Asian immigrant women who died in enslaved
conditions in San Francisco numbered in the thousands. Donaldina
Cameron came to the Occidental Mission Home as a sewing teacher and
stayed for forty years. She devoted her life as a missionary to assist
Asian women victimized by violence and racial discrimination.


• B.A. or B.S. degree in social work, business or public
administration or another social sciences related field is required.
Master’s Degree is desired.
• A minimum of five years of senior nonprofit management experience,
preferably in the area of social services.
• Proven experience raising both public and private funds, including
experience developing and implementing fundraising plans and
generating new sources of income.
• Experience supervising staff in a multi-service organization.
• Demonstrated experience with fiscal management, budget development
and monitoring, and financial oversight.
• Experience working with a nonprofit Board of Directors including
proven ability to set, manage, and implement policies.
• Awareness and working knowledge of, experience addressing, and
sensitivity towards the needs of immigrant families in the Bay Area.
• Ability to speak Cantonese and/or Mandarin is preferred.
• Proven experience serving and working with diverse populations.

Please check out the link for further information about this job.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Nick Glasgow is a 28-year-old multiracial Japanese American who desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Finding a good genetic match for multiracial patients like Glasgow — who is three-fourths Caucasian and one-fourth Japanese — can be excruciatingly difficult. It is his heritage, in fact, that caused a doctor to tell him he had a "zero percent" chance to live.

Glasgow urgently needs to find a bone marrow donor.

The Nichi Bei Times, a Japanese American newspaper, is co-sponsoring a bone marrow drive Saturday, June 13 in San Francisco's Japantown at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. Read more about the drive here:


WHEN: Saturday, June 13
WHERE: JCCCNC (Art Room, 1840 Sutter St., first floor) in San Francisco’s Japantown.
TIME: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* The process involves a quick, painless swab of inside cheek cells, and takes just a few minutes. (blood is no longer drawn)
* By registering, you join a national database of potential donors for any patient in need
* If selected as a match, you will be contacted for further testing, and then be asked to donate blood stem cells either from your blood or your marrow
* FREE for minorities through AADP. Only $25 (tax deductible) for non-minorities

For more information, visit or call 800-59-DONOR.

Our most recent story on Glasgow is online as well:

Please consider spreading the word.

Thank you,

Human Trafficking

Two years ago, I helped out with a panel put on by an anti-sex-trafficking organization called Stop the Traffick at UC Berkeley. Through this event, I was exposed to the atrocities of the sex trafficking industry in the US and the many myths that came with it.

This pushed me to research sex trafficking specifically in Vietnam for a class project, and I learned how at risk of trafficking many Vietnamese women are, especially poor women in rural areas. In a situation with such little resources, women are forced to use their most precious commodity, themselves, to sell for a high price in order to find a route out of poverty as well as piously take care of their parents. I think about women in those desperate types of situations, and I shamefully think about the times when I thought my life sucked because I had two finals and a paper due in the same week. My friend once said that if that’s all I have to worry about, then my life is really good. He’s right.

I am about to head to Vietnam for three months on a program called the Vietnamese Advanced Summer Institute to learn Vietnamese starting mid-June. Since I had a close friend working in Malaysia at the Penang Office of the Coalition to Abolish Modern Day Slavery (CAMSA), an anti-human-trafficking organization, I wanted to stop by to visit him and volunteer at the organization.

I got to Penang, Malaysia a few days ago. Yesterday, I was introduced to the office and the staff. Here in Malaysia, there are a significant number of Malaysian locals, Chinese (who helped expand the economy here), Vietnamese (who are usually laborers), and South Asians. I learned that the goal of this CAMSA office is human trafficking, yet practically all of their cases have been labor-related cases because it's easier for laborers to contact the office, and because sex trafficking is organized crime and it gets complicated. Labor trafficking was not what I was familiar with, but I was definitely excited to learn about it.

I’ve been working on a powerpoint to train people about human trafficking and CAMSA. I found out that the majority of human trafficking cases are labor trafficking cases, but sex trafficking definitely gets more media attention. Just talking to people, I have heard that the majority of Vietnamese people in Malaysia are laborers. Vietnam, the source country, exports workers to Malaysia, the destination country. Continuing research for the powerpoint, I found out that Vietnam’s policy, Eradicate Hunger and Reduce Poverty Program, strongly encouraged workers to work abroad and send money home. When problems arise with Vietnamese workers abroad, Vietnamese officials will even come over to the destination country and solve the problem in order to guarantee the quality of their product (their workers). This can mean threatening the workers or even physically abusing them into submission so that they will return to work. It saddens me that Vietnamese citizens are treated by their own people as dispensable tools to build up Vietnam’s economy rather than dignified human beings.

Tonight, I joined two staff members to interview Vietnamese laborers. With my Vietnamese-American Vietnamese skills (not the best), I caught only about 65% of what she was saying, especially with her different accent. However, I could see her frustration at her work place. Racial tensions and language barriers prevent her from speaking up. All she wants to do is make money to send her children to school in Vietnam yet she gets jipped left and right as others blame her constantly for problems within the factory. She takes it because that’s all she can do and with her Vietnamese, she cannot communicate to the people who run the show. She accepts it as fate and just tries to work a little harder to earn enough money.

“Lives that flash in sunshine, and lives that are born in tears, receive their hue from circumstances.” -Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

Here's some more information about human trafficking and the myths that accompany it:

Monday, June 8, 2009

APIAHF Launches Health Information Network

I'm on a listserve on the Health Information Network, and it's free if you want to get on it and be continuously updated with the latest of what is happening in APIA Health:

APIAHF Launches Health Information Network
The Health Information Network includes issue-specific listservs, allowing students, researchers and advocates a forum to share information and resources. A health organization directory will connect members of the public with organizations that serve Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Students, researchers and advocates will also be able to find data and research on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, in a publications database containing reports, facts sheets, data briefs, graphs and presentations, and other documents.

“One of the biggest challenges in addressing health issues in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities is finding and distributing information about the health issues we face,” said Dr. Ho Luong Tran, president and CEO of APIAHF. “Our goal is to provide timely and accurate information to support our communities in their efforts to improve health and healthcare. The Health Information Network links our communities together and provides a gateway to lessons learned, new ideas and the knowledge base for driving change.”

The Health Information Network will provide up to date information on public health emergencies or national disasters. APIAHF is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, (NCAPIP) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to make announcements and urgent information available in Asian and Pacific Islander languages. The Health Information Network will also serve as a portal to U.S. Census data. APIAHF serves as a U.S. Census Information Center, providing population, growth, and socio-economic data for 21 Asian American and Pacific Islander sub-groups as well as for other major racial/ethnic groups in the United States.

Resources for API Data

Oooo...the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) received a website makeover, and it's looking good like eye candy. ;-)

Anyway, APIAHF is a national policy/advocacy organization that focuses on Asian and Pacific Islander American health. It's a really really great resource for anyone doing research on APIA health. I'm not saying this because I was an intern there. I had to do some research before in school, and did you know they have census information broken up by county AND by ETHNICITY? I had no idea they had that kind of disaggregated data! (You have to register though, but it's for FREE :-) )

Also, they have a ton of fact sheets. Some that I used were Health Briefs specific to many API ethnicities such as Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean, Chinese, Hmong, Filipino, etc. They highlight the health issues prevalent in those communities. I remember also seeing some cancer fact sheets. For those of us who are too lazy to read and just want brief summaries of everything, searching for them on their publications search engine here is VERY VERY HELPFUL:

The APIAHF also just published these huge data sheets full of ethnic-specific information by state. It pretty much looks like a poster. I think it will be more publicized soon, but this would definitely be a great resource for researchers who are doing studies on APIA health.

On a side note, I think APIAHF is one of the few that actually make an attempt to include Pacific Islanders in their agenda and not just their name as part of the political identity. It's something more orgs should consider or possibly consider taking the PI part out of their name if they truly do not represent the needs of that community.
Another helpful resource for us people who are lazy to read is
This website makes it easy. Click on the title to just find the statistic you're looking for by race/ethnicity and region. Click on the link below "Also find studies and reports" to...duh..find studies and reports related to your topic. One of the most user-friendly resources I have seen.

Feel free to comment with any other helpful resources!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Influenza A (H1N1)

So I've been flying...a LOT. I went from the US to Korea (layover) to Malaysia and every country I went to, they made me fill out a Health Information Card due to the widespread fear of Influenza H1N1. HUGE HUGE FEAR! I was temperature checked as I passed through...they put some device near my chin. The US is one of the countries that they consider to be dangerous along with Canada, Mexico, Korea, France, and many others that I can't remember off the top of my head. If you came from those countries, Kuala Lumpur's airport signs will ask you to "kindly report to the Health Desk." The guy next to me on the plane (as well as many others) were wearing masks to avoid catching Influenza, although I don't really know how much that would help.

I knew it was hugely talked about in the U.S., but I didn't know it was THAT huge to the point where each airport passenger has to fill out cards in all the countries and they have banners directing people to health information desks...especially if you have flu-like symptoms or come from those at-risk countries.

Anyone know more about it? What's the deal?