Chinese Community Health Partnership: caring for the community
The program has grown over decades with a focus on health literacy, as well as chronic disease detection and prevention, says Chui Man Lai, community affairs manager at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
“We are aware of cultural sensitivities, and it’s important for us to instill the values of multigenerational care within families,” says Lai. “We want to reach not only the elderly, but also those who look after young children and those who can look after their parents, so that everyone has a better quality of life.”
As a pediatrician, Dr. Poon helped lead the charge by arranging vision and hearing screenings at local elementary schools, which continue to this day.
“Dr. Poon never gave up on meeting the needs he saw,” Lai says. “He was always willing to go the extra mile for the neighborhood.”
The landscape of Lower Manhattan was changed after the 9/11 attacks, and many Chinese workers and families left Manhattan’s Chinatown as the economic climate forced the closure of garment factories, restaurants and businesses neighborhood,” says Dr. Poon.
As a result, CCPH has expanded its offerings to other large Chinese communities in Sunset Park and Flushing, while continuing to serve the Lower Manhattan community, expanding its educational lectures, vaccinations, and screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol. The team also developed a lung disease prevention program to combat smoking, including courses for workers in the food industry.
“In our communities, we still have a lot of underserved populations, some of whom don’t have legal status,” Lai says. “For those who have insurance, they may not know how to use it. We provide support, guidance, and people really depend on us to navigate the healthcare system.
As neighborhoods and populations changed, the CCPH team saw attendance increase, they say, as well as a willingness among participants to incorporate health into their daily lives.
“Their type 2 diabetes prevention program has helped me to be more mindful of my daily diet and the importance of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” says Yat Lung Li, a participant in one of CCPH’s many initiatives.