Let's see if this syndication works from Posterous to my wordpress blog!
Brief update on youth action to eradicate hepatitis B. Been a little swampped at work with various projects and trying to finish up secondary applications for medical school.
Youth Hepatitis B Awareness Groups
We have roughly 6 or 7 new high school hepatitis B awareness chapters this year from students who attended the 7th Annual Youth Leadership Conference on Asian and Pacific Islander Health. The students who are creating these groups are all fantastic and are just so incredibly enthusiastic to raise awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer in their communities. The chapters range from Northern California to Southern California to Georgia and to New York. There might also be one in Texas soon. I’m really impressed by all the students’ effort and willingness to improve the health of their communities; I wish I had that drive when I was younger. I’m really looking forward to seeing their groups grow and am trying to think of ways to make sure that these students are recognized for their leadership. This is just a testament to the efficacy of empowering youth to address a health disparity, and how our youth leadership conference is a model program. Youth are so innovative and enthusiastic, and by teaching them the skills to enact their own outreach projects, they can do real good in their communities.
Also reading Jade Ribbon Youth Council applications. I’m a bit behind because I was pushing a grant through and preparing things for my next potential corporate partner – which will be very exciting. More details later.
And good news, our new Outreach Coordinator will be officially starting on September 30th, and I will be transitioning full time to Corporate Outreach and Advocacy. And while I’m looking forward to my new position,where there is great opportunity for innovation and leadership development, I will have to admit that I am going to miss working on the ALC’s outreach programming at large. After spending a year building relationships in the ethnic communities and working to make our youth programming exciting and sustainable, I am relunctant to leave that arena. I will really miss working with the interns and the high school students – it is really all about the people at the end. However, the new Outreach Coordinator DN will be a fantastic addition to our team and will bear the Outreach Coordinator mantle well. Plus, there are new and exciting things ahead!
And to end things today, check out this nifty little article on tracking where your waste – both garbage and recylcing – actually go. I’m interested in seeing what the results are for this project
Thank you for reading,
Cleaned up the blog interface over the weekend; hope you find the blog easier on the eyes, especially with pictures embedded in the text. Also, I’ve included some blogs and people I follow who write pretty thought provoking things. I highly encourage you to check them out; they’re located on the bottom of the column to your right.
Have been fiddling with Yahoo meme, although it is very similar to Twitter. What I do like about it is that you can see all the comments that are attached to one post or idea. Speaking of social media, Michael Brito was very kind to meet with me last week to talk about social media strategy for the Asian Liver Center. He’s so incredibly kind and generous with his time and expertise. We discussed blogging and how to leverage blogs to connect to the public (you!) and give people a sense of what is going on with our projects on the ground. Such a fantastic guy!
I have been primarily been trying to catch up with email and crunch out a mini-grant that is due tomorrow. Some exciting news on the hepatitis B front is news coverage of our Jade Ribbon Youth Council 2008-2009 in the San Mateo County Times newspaper. Congratulations to them for their fantastic leadership in raising awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer.
Interesting article on NPR.com about healthcare and the detrimental effect of copays on incentives, especially in the case of chronic diseases. The author of the piece is a lawyer from a biotech company and provides a well-written argument on how co-pays tend to drive “perverse financial incentives.” Co-pays lead individuals with chronic illnesses – like chronic hepatitis B, as highlighted in the article – to look for cheaper treatment alternatives and delayed treatment only to end up with surgeries and interventions later on that cost both the patient and the insurance a great deal more. Thanks to SC for the article.
And to end the night, here’s a little comic I found funny (thanks to SL for sending!):
Updates on corporate hepatitis B intiative and healthcare. A whole slew of other interesting things to come in the next post. Apologies about being MIA: I spent a week at home in Texas working on my medical school applications and to see my family, and the return back to the office was pretty hectic with all the events that happened this week and the flood of To-Do’s piled on my desk.
Corporate Hepatitis B Initiatives
On Wednesday, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend Corporate Asian American Employee Network’s (CAAEN) 6th Annual Event at Chevron in San Ramon. CAAEN is an organization comprised of employee resource groups from many Fortune 500 companies in the Bay Area that focus on developing leadership advancement for Asian Americans. CAAEN kindly invited us to host a booth during the networking time period, and I had the opportunity to speak with ~60 people in an hour timeframe. The Asian Liver Center booth was definitely very busy, mostly due to our wheel and the Jade Ribbon Campaign plushy cows. People were very receptive to filling out the 6-question knowledge survey, and with the incredible help of our Cisco supporter MT, I was able to provide many Silicon Valley employees with hepatitis B education. Many took the information seriously, and I hope that they go and ask their doctors about hepatitis B testing. One very exciting prospect that came out of that night is the possibility of working with Safeway to promote the Jade Ribbon Campaign. This is still in its early stages, but hopefully this can pan out with the help of CAAEN.
After the networking session, I had the chance to attend the panel discussion with top Asian American leaders from Visa, Chevron, and AAA. It was great to hear their perspectives on what it means to be an Asian American leader, the pros, the challenges, and where they see Asian Americans in future leadership. Our economy, our world is becoming increasingly diverse, and we need to embrace that diversity and bring it to the table. I enjoyed talking to Lynn Chou after the panel discussion – she’s such an inspiration as a successful Asian American female leader. To advance your career, she advised, is to excel at what you do, but to also have those 3-4 projects that you take ownership of for each year that you can speak about to your superiors and others to demonstrate your leadership and ability.
Another good nugget is this: Be consistent. be confident, and be willing to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.
Evaluting “American Values” and their application to Healthcare & Reform
I hope that you all had the chance to listen to President Obama’s healthcare reform speech on Wednesday. He’s such an eloquent speaker. I was pretty happy to hear his stance on how health insurance shouldn’t be withheld from those who have existing health conditions and how health insurance should not be revoked when an individual begins to be too costly for an insurance company to cover. He’s right: it’s heartbreaking and it’s wrong. I haven’t had a chance to read about follow up commentary to the speech and what plans will be put forward, but if you have any suggestions, please do let me know!
And, here’s a very well written article by Pauline Chen from NYTimes about healthcare and “American Values.” There has been lot of talk about how certain parties or certain plans reflect “American values,” but what ARE American values? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.
More updates to come. Thank you for reading!
Just a quick post to ask you to take a moment to honor those whose lives were taken eight years ago.
A whole buffet (to take Beth Kanter’s most recent blog entry title) of updates to come later today!
Read a great NPR transcript of Congressmen Judy Chu and Mike Honda on healthcare reform. Judy Chu mentions hepatitis B and it’s importance in heatlhcare reform for Asian and Pacific Islanders. Especially pertinent since under our current healthcare program, those with pre-existing conditions are often denied healthcare. My own mother suffers from this problem due to her chronic hep B infection, so it is great to hear a politicion speaking out about this issue.
Let me know what your thoughts are!
Had a great chat with a friendly fellow, B from Intel Digital Health Group, on the plane yesterday about my hepatitis B work and his work at Intel. He was interested in the work that we have done at Cisco and bringing hep B awareness to the Asian employee base (although, I was thinking that we need to broaden the scope since hepatitis B also affects Russians, those from the Middle East, some South Americans, and Africans). Hopefully we’ll see some progress there soon. I was not even aware that Intel played a role in healthcare, but it only makes sense that Intel would play a role in helping to create cutting-edge technology to help improve healthcare data / information technologies. Definitely check out Intel’s healthcare website to see what innovative projects they are working on to improve our healthcare system, and ultimately, our health.
Also, was reading the blog of Eric Dishman, Intel Director of Health Innovation and Policy, and I really liked his blog entry on health care reform entitled “Healthcare Reform is Personal for Me”. I feel it really speaks to a lot fo the reasons why I support true reform in the current healthcare system. One of the most poignant points was the fear of losing insurance due to a pre-existing condition or not being able to get the care that you need due to all the red tape that exists now. I’d highly recommend you read the blog entry, and do let me know what you think.
One reason the blog entry struck me was because I was recently speaking with my own mother about how her insurance monthly payment is increasing almost each month, and how she can’t afford the increases and she can’t find another provider to take her due to her chronic hepatitis status. She won’t even go and do her regular 6-month ALT and AFP blood tests to check for liver cancer because she can’t afford to pay the $30 co-pay and then the cost of the bloodwork. And she’s been having problems walking, but she won’t go see the doctor because she’s afraid of all the billing that will ensue from the various MRI’s or tests she’ll undergo. She even tried to ask her insurance how much the tests would cost, but they said they couldn’t tell her – that it was dependent on how much the physician’s office wanted to charge. And when she called the physician’s office, they said they didn’t know either, and it was dependent on how much the insurance premiums were. And so, already strapped for cash and unwilling to spend more than she has to, my mom suffers each day, having to hobble around. I spent an hour last night rubbing Bengay cream on her leg and back as she whimpered in pain.
It’s frustrating to say the least. I tell her I’ll pay for her appointments and I even schedule them, but she doesn’t commit to them. I try to convince her that I’m willing to put forth this money so that we don’t have to spend more later in the event of serious disease or injury, but she doesn’t listen. She doesn’t feel that her healthcare provider is there to take care of her, only to take her money away, and that is incredibly frustrating on my end, when I just want to make sure she’s healthy and happy. She’s a small business owner, and doesn’t have the luxury I have to rely on a larger company / institution for healthcare. She has a pre-existing condition that bars her from finding more affordable healthcare. And she won’t utilize the little healthcare benefits she has because she can’t navigate the insurance policies and pricing costs. I don’t know about you, but I think our healthcare is in true need of reform – if not for my mother, then for all the other mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers out there that are suffering. I know there is incredible fear of change, but I don’t understand why people don’t fear our current system.
Thanks for reading, and I do invite you to share your thoughts with me. I’m still very new to discussion about the healthcare reform issue, but these are my thoughts, and what I see from my family’s perspective.
It’s around 2:00 PM on September 1st (Happy September!), and if you’re like me, you might be constantly clicking the “refresh” button on your browser in hopes that your Gmail account will load. There’s currently a server outage (and yes, Google is quite aware), and so for those of us who do not use IMAP or POP, we are stuck until the server starts running again. I tried to tweet about this, too, and I got the following picture (the fail whale):
Just thought I’d share this little piece of humor with you as I’m waiting for gmail to boot back up so I can send off a grant and get back to writing my essays.