Quiet Determination in Action

Returning to the World

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer by missamyyu on September 29, 2009

After a week hiatus from social media, I am back.  Apologies about the bout of absence, illness and work took me away. So, if you emailed me within the last two weeks, I promise I will get back to you; I’m just slightly overwhelmed at this point.

Updates from the hepatitis B front: SF Treasure Island Dragon Boat Festival was this past weekend, which is always a treat. We had the opportunity to collaborate with SF Hep B Free on holding a booth and providing educational surveys to the festival attendees. Knowledge levels about hepatitis B prevalence in Asian and Pacific Islanders (1 in 10 compared to 1 in 1000 of Caucasians), transmission (only through blood), and risks (liver cancer and liver failure) were very low, indicative of increased awareness and education.  Surveys from the Filipino Fil Am Friendship Festival in Daly City also reflected poor knowledge levels and misconceptions within the Filipino population.  NT, SC, and I are working on a paper that examines the knowledge levels of the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino populations, so that should be exciting.  Side note: everyone loved the Jade Warrior tattoos – I’ll upload one tomorrow.  They were such a hit.

On the youth front, the 2009-2010 Jade Ribbon Youth Council has been selected.  16 Bay Area high school students will be joining the ALC family to create innovative outreach ideas for targeting youth and learn how to be leaders in their communities.  The application was pretty stiff this year and it was difficult to choose out of roughly fifty highly qualified candidates.  Additionally, it is extremely exciting to see all the high school awareness chapters that are starting this year.  I think there are ten or more chapters that are starting from this year’s YLC alone.  And I also received an email from a YLC 2008 alumni at Vassar who is going to start a collegiate hepatitis B awareness group.  This is just one example of how these youth empowerment programs truly impact youth and stay with them. I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to play a role in such an rewarding endeavor.

And one more piece of exciting news: the ALC’s new Outreach Coordinator will be starting on Wednesday! I can now officially start full force on the corporate outreach work.  Exciting!

I also saw a mother carrying the Jade Ribbon Campaign reusable shopping bag at the Caltrain Station at Milbrae this past Saturday.  I almost took out the camera to snap pictures of her, but stopped myself less I appear inappropriate.  However, CL did come up with a neat idea: “Where have you seen the JRC reusable shopping bag” contest.  Definitely has merit and will continue ruminating on this idea for the future.

Thank you for reading!

Amy

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Writing and Reading

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest, Personal Actions by missamyyu on September 1, 2009

Hello,

In Lane Library of the Stanford medical school campus.  I’m taking a week off from work to work on and finish my secondary applications for medical school.   Wish me luck!  (and luck to those who are working on them as well – this goes out to you, GH)

Hepatitis B and Jade Ribbon Campaign Updates
Our Jade Ribbon Youth Council 2009-2010 application is due this week, and I am looking forward to reading them.  And although I won’t be directly working with the students this year, I am still excited about what they will potentially accomplish this year, and helping them coordinate with high school groups from across the nation.

We’re also opening up academic year internships at the Asian Liver Center this week.  If you’re interested in applying, feel free to email me (amyyu@stanford.edu).

Me at a TweetUp in Silicon Valley - here's me with two great guys from Intel

Me at a TweetUp in Silicon Valley - here's me with two great guys from Intel

Social Media Fun

Attended a Tweet Up last week hosted by Michael Brito on Santana Row.  I had a great time meeting new people and connecting with other social media influencers.  Tweetups are a fantastic idea – you have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with individuals who are the doers and the movers in terms of social media.  Plus, everyone is so kind and willing to listen to your story.  As a person from a non-profit organization, it’s a great way for me to raise awareness and make connections so that I can learn about new ways to leverage social media to eradicate hepatitis B and make some good friends at the same time.

Religious Thought
I had the opportunity to chat with one of my religious studies professors yesterday, and he brought to my attention an interesting new phenomena that has grown popular as of late: The New Atheists.  Essentially, they attack organized religion and see religion as the root of evil and what causes war and subordination.  Now, I don’t disagree that fundamentalist thinking does lead to such violence, but from what I gleaned off the internet and from my professor, it seems that these New Atheists don’t quite give religion its due respect.  I’ll need to pick up their books and then read Terry Eagleton’s polemic against the New Atheists’ assertions.  What’s interesting about Eagleton is that he isn’t particuarly religious himself.  He gave a lecture series at Yale, which I’ll listen to, and post later.   Let me know if you’ve read anything about this / have any thoughts – I would love to hear them.

Alright, back to writing.  Thank you for reading,

Amy

Jade Ribbon Campaign and Miss Asian America 2009

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest by missamyyu on August 29, 2009

Hi Everyone,

Wal-Mart in Fremont, CA donated $1,000 to the Jade Ribbon Campaign (specifically, LIVERight).  Thanks to SW for applying for this community grant and thank you to Wal-Mart for their generous contribution to supporting liver cancer and hepatitis B awareness.  When I went to accept the check, I had the opportunity to chat with a fantastic Filipina lady by the name of C.  She was pretty remarkable in that she worked two jobs, seven days a week and survived the death of her youngest son to liver cancer.  Hopefully we can work with her in some capacity on some Filipino hepatitis B outreach.

Jade Ribbon Campaign and the Fight against Hepatitis B
This week was the last week for our summer interns (how sad!), and we’ll be hiring the new team in late September.  I’ve seen three teams of interns during my time at the Asian Liver Center, and I’m always sad when they leave.  It’s been such a pleasure watching this team grow and learn new skills and gain confidence in their communication or team building techniques.   And, in turn, they also teach me a few lessons about how to be a better leader, how to communicate in a more direct and positive manner, and how to manage projects so that they feel an investment, and I can make sure that projects move forward.  Of course, I’m still learning, but I am indebted to the past three teams of interns for their great work and their inspriration.

Speaking of inspiration, I met with a trio from Saratoga High this week to discuss their ideas for a Jade Ribbon Campaign awareness club at their school.  It is really heartening to hear their enthusiasm and drive to create a club that makes a difference in their community.  The meeting was productive in that we identified potential projects they could undertake during the year and ideas for their weekly meetings so that the meetings are geared more toward education and not only volunteer opportunities.  We’re beginning to get a lot more high school clubs with each subsequent YLC, and they are all excited about coordinating efforts nationwide as well – letter writing campaigns, and a coordinated Hepatitis B Awareness Week.

I’ve been working with SC to create some sticker and box designs for Sheng Kee Bakery to raise more awareness about the Jade Ribbon Campaign – so that has been very fun.  I will post some of the designs up when they’re at a more finalized state.  If you have any ideas, feel free to message me!

Me at the Miss Asian America 2009 Pageant with Sugar Bowl Bakery Mr. and Mrs. Ly

Me at the Miss Asian America 2009 Pageant with Sugar Bowl Bakery Mr. and Mrs. Ly

And in line with pastries, this is a picture of me at the Miss Asian America pageant with Sugar Bowl Bakery CEO and his wife (who are both so incredibly nice!) pinning them with the Jade Ribbon!  Thank you again to Miss Asian America for their support of the Jade Ribbon Campaign.  Furthermore, there’s the Jade Ribbon dress ST made!  That was a pretty exciting night, although I was fairly exhausted since it was right after the last day of Youth Leadership Conference.

Multitasking – a Detriment to our Cognitive Abilities?

I was listening to NPR yesterday, and currently, a study by Professor Clifford Nass is all the rage because it indicates that individuals who engage in multimedia multitasking are often bad at it, AND, they pay a mental price for it.  From the study, it appears that those who multitask at high rate have difficulty in differentiating between relevant and irrelevant information; hence, multitasking on a media level (e.g. chatting via IM while writing an email, watching the television, and reading a NYtimes article) can have a detrimental impact on our cognitive abilities.  Makes me consider if I should be multitasking (of course, it’s so ingrained into how I operate, that I’m undergain how I can stop).  Here’s the article from NPR, and a transcript of an interview with Professor Nass.

Next post: Tweetups.

Thanks for reading,
Amy

At the Computer

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Personal Actions by missamyyu on August 21, 2009

Hi Reader,

Overview: ALC website update, YLC section overhaul, delicious Indian Food, Twitter things, and weekend highlights!  I can’t believe it is already Friday.  As EN said in a tweet, this was the fastest week ever.  I’m looking forward to this weekend to have the opportunity to hammer out some more application things and for my picnic adventure.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy.

Asian Liver Center / Jade Ribbon Campaign Updates
Finished updating portions of the ALC website with pictures and some videos.  I’ve drawn satisfaction from the redesign of the Youth Leadership Conference portion of the website where it’s less text heavy, and more picture-heavy (although it can still be argued that there still is too much text).  It’s not completely done, but it will be soon after TC gets the team presentations uploaded onto our YouTube account.  He’s been working hard on them (editing and everything), so hopefully the students will enjoy them.  I’ve also updated with the 99 Ranch Market JRC reusable bag photos on our Flickr account as well.   Staring at the computer screen coding brings back fun memories of coding late into the night when html was still the new kid on the block.  Of course, this constant staring has also dried my eyes out (oi!).

I created a Jade Ribbon Campaign “twibbon” for those who use Twitter and would like to join the Jade Ribbon Campaign.  Basically it puts up a little icon on your Twitter icon indicating you support the cause.  There are a lot of various twibbons out there, so you can definitely explore.  Regardless of the social media platform, customization is always in style.   You can find the JRC twibbon here.  This is an example:

Going to help TC with a Korean Church education and screening this Sunday – that shall be fun!  Excitement for educating people.

Personal Commentary

Went out to fantastic Indian food last night at Amber India Restaurant in Mountain View with CT.  The food was delicious and the service was excellent.  I definitely reccommend it to anyone who enjoys good food.  I hope to return soon.

I’ve found that most of my news now consists of what I read in Twitter feeds.  It initially struck me as a bit odd considering that I used to get my news from browsing the NYTimes.com website (not that I don’t anymore, but with less frequency), but after a bit of thought it didn’t.  As we’re continuing to use social media to let our friends know of various news items we find important, these platforms become dynamic news sources instead of stagnant ones.  Now, I don’t have to go in search of news – it comes to me.  And, I can choose what things come to me through the people I follow.  Maybe I should begin following Kristof and Dowd so I at least get my daily dose of NYtimes.

I’ll be going on my picnic tomorrow with CT.  We’ll be headed out to Safeway to purchase the goods tonight, so I’m looking forward to that.  I’ll let you know how the picnic goes.

Personal Commentary
Went out to fantastic Indian food last night at Amber India Restaurant in Mountain View with CT.  The food was delicious and the service was excellent.  I definitely reccommend it to anyone who enjoys good food.  I hope to return soon.
I’ve found that most of my news now consists of what I read in Twitter feeds.  It initially struck me as a bit odd considering that I used to get my news from browsing the NYTimes.com website (not that I don’t anymore, but with less frequency), but after a bit of thought it didn’t.  As we’re continuing to use social media to let our friends know of various news items we find important, these platforms become dynamic news sources instead of stagnant ones.  Now, I don’t have to go in search of news – it comes to me.  And, I can choose what things come to me through the people I follow.  Maybe I should begin following Kristof and Dowd so I at least get my daily dose of NYtimes.
I’ll be going on my picnic tomorrow with CT.  We’ll be headed out to Safeway to purchase the goods tonight, so I’m looking forward to that.  I’ll let you know how the picnic goes.

Thanks for reading!
Amy

Hepatitis B Youth Outreach & Social Media

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest by missamyyu on August 20, 2009

Dear Reader,

Jade Ribbon Campaign news and social media fun are all on today’s agenda.  Hope you’re doing well, and thank goodness the week is almost over (although, I’m not sure if I really like that considering the need to write secondaries).

Asian Liver Center / Jade Ribbon Campaign Update
Finally got around to uploading the online Jade Ribbon Youth Council 2009-2010 application onto the Asian Liver Center website.  I’m excited for what this year’s 15-person high school council will come up with to raise awareness about hepatitis B.

Finally post-processed the Youth Leadership Conference 2009 photos today.  Had the opportunity to teach TC, AC, and CL a little post-processing in Photoshop – I always like to get people Photoshop savvy!  Thx to TC and AC for helping me with the last set of photos.  And, TC has been a great help in uploading the team videos.  I’m looking to upload all those on the ALC website tomorrow.

Also, been talking with SC about nominating HepBMoms (part of the perinatal hepatitis B project SC and CC have been working on) for the Intel “Vote for a Cause” contest on Facebook.  The grand prize will be marketing with Intel – how exciting would that be?  Working on that – hopefully you’ll help out with the voting!

Social Media Fun
I’m not sure when I got into the whole social media thing (some time last year when I was drafting up what YLC 2009 should look like), but it sure is exciting.  It has been really great to meet all these incredibly talented and insightful people who are on the cutting edge of social media (e.g. Beth Kanter & Michael Brito to name a few) – and are so nice!

Today, CL and I attended a social media discussion hosted by Richard “Frosty” Welch from HP that included a guest panel of Michael Brito (Intel), Angela LoSasso (HP), Steve Rubel (Edelman Digital), and Richard Brewer-Hay (Ebay). Great comments about social media theory and practice that  can adapted for non-profit work.  CL and I had questions about how to leverage social media to raising awareness to a public that isn’t already talking about hepatitis B, and Michael and Steve had some great feedback.  Michael even offered to sit down and speak with us about strategy!

Note for self: need to look into Posterous, Friendfeed, and continue to dig around Social Mention

Of Personal Interest
Writing an email to the Stanford Alumni San Francisco group about my dismay with their endorsement of GenerationRescue and the group’s claim that vaccines cause autism and misinforming folks.  So much for doing due diligence and slapping the Stanford name onto irresponsible, media-friendly celebrities.  Here’s a science based resource to such misinformed assertions.  Join me if you think this is wrong, too.

Considering investing in an iPhone or a PalmPre.  Also, heard from a good friend KK – this made me very happy and somewhat nostalgic for the days when we walked to and from Roble to Mudd.

And last, but certainly not least, happy 9th, CT! 🙂  Can’t wait for picnic day!

Thank you for reading,
Amy

Back to Work!

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest by missamyyu on August 14, 2009

Hi Everyone,

Returned to work at the ALC today – it’s a little strange to come back to the office on a Friday having been out the entire week.   Seems like the week just started.  Taking care of some post-YLC things.  Can’t wait to see the results from the pre and post surveys from the students.  I enjoyed reading through the intern and JRYC feedback; it was very helpful to read through everyone’s candid take on how YLC was organized.  I think the conference is getting better and better each year, and I can’t wait to see what will happen at the 8th Annual YLC.

Here’s me at the CDC’s 3rd Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in front of my poster on the YLC. As mentioned in my previous post, many people were interested in replicating the program, so if you would like to see any of our materials, let me know.  We are more than happy to share!

Me in front of my poster on Youth Leadership Conference.

Me in front of my poster on Youth Leadership Conference.

I’ll post up pictures from YLC when I get PD’s cd of photos.  We have some from our own camera, but alas, we’re not the best photographers.  I’ll try and sift through some of them and post them soon.  I’m really excited to share all the great speakers, challenges, and everything with all of you.  I have some neat ideas for next year too – which include having a webinar that is open to everyone around the world, a blogging post at the end of the day, and live recording of students’ thoughts – so we’ll see where that goes.

In other news, I’m helping EC with a lung cancer survey that will be distributed via mail.  My job is to make this brochure look pretty and inviting so that people open it.  I’m uncertain about the success of the project in terms of people actually filling it out, but hopefully I can create something that will attract people’s attention!  Once it’s created, I’ll post it, and perhaps people can give me feedback.

Got a good stargazing tool from DH. It helps stargazers with forecasts of the night sky.  What a gem!  For those of you who are in the Stanford area, good places to go for stargazing include: FootHills Park, Stanford Observatory, Monte Bello, and Skyline. 🙂  Can’t wait to go on another night hike.  ::sigh:: DH, SL – you need to come back!

I realize that I didn’t say anything about Miss Asian America Pageant 2009!  It was a great event, and we were able to raise $1700+ for the Jade Ribbon Campaign.  ST made me a Jade Ribbon dress (I still have yet to get a picture of me wearing it!), and it was a HUGE hit.  RL and the MAA 2008 Queen and court were helpful with encouraging pageant attendees to support the Jade Ribbon Campaign.  I even had a chance to speak with the Sugar Bowl Bakery CEO and his wife again!  They are incredibly sweet (no pun intended!).   CT, SW, and DC were very helpful, and I’m very indebted to them for coming out to help.  The entire experience was pretty tiring since I literally ran from the end of YLC to MAA, but I’m glad I went.   Will post pictures when I get them.

Thanks for reading!

Yours,
Amy

Hot-lanta and CDC’s NCHCMM 2009

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest by missamyyu on August 12, 2009

Hello!

Currently relaxing in my hotel room at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta (Hot-lanta as it’s often endearingly called) taking care of some emails and about to begin working on secondaries again.  Just finished a morning of a poster presentation on Youth Leadership Conference – many people were interested in replicating the program for other ethnic groups, and were impressed with the workshops and skills we offer our students.  Hopefully, they can utilize our stuff (workshop slides, format, etc) to create other youth programs for teenagers across the nation!  I even ran out of handouts for my poster!

AG finished a great (and very fast) presentation on the Jade Ribbon Campaign in a panel presentation.  I really liked SC’s suggestion about presenting the Jade Ribbon Campaign via the gaps that were identified concerning hepatitis B awareness and education.  The panel itself was really enjoyable, and one common theme that ran across all the presentations is the necessity of making sure that the community is highly involved in any health initiative that is going to be done successfully.  Partnering is so incredibly important to make anything truly effective and impactful.  The point of my job isn’t to just educate and stand on my soap box, it’s to engage and initiate behavior change.  I hope I carry this lesson into my career as a physician (::has fingers crossed::).

Also watched an interesting bit of news on CNN last night: there was a poll of North Carolina’s residents that weren’t sure if Obama was born in the United States.  I was rather flabbergasted because I would hope that most Americans would know that in order to be President of the United States of America, you need to have been born in the US.  I hate to make stereotypes, but I wonder if the reason for the “confusion” is resultant of Obama’s race and his father’s ties to Islam (correct me if I’m wrong).  It was both humorous and frustrating at the same time, and the fact that I’m still thinking about it indicates that something about it just rubs me the wrong way. What do you think?

I haven’t been keeping abreast of the healthcare reform situation; however, I certainly saw many explosive town hall meetings being covered last night.   Now that YLC is over and other things are quieting down (well, when do things at the ALC ever quiet down?), I can get back on track with my news.  I found a little primer on NYtimes that may be useful for those of you who are equally confused by the coverage.  For those of you who are well-versed, drop me a line to let me know if the primer is any good or if you’d like to share your opinions.  I’m not certain if I’m for or against the new plan, but I’m certan things need to change.  Too bad that doesn’t translate into having a good solution.

And here’s a little piece for all you procrastinators out there about a fast clock for your menu bar from Guy Kawasaki.  Haha.

To end, here is something cute to look at for your enjoyment.  Check out the juice boxes and hamburger, too.  Thanks to SL for that link!

Until next time,
Amy

Why I Work ALL the Time

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Personal Actions by missamyyu on July 13, 2009

There are those small moments when I’m reminded why I enjoy working all the time. Sure, I can blame it on the sheer amount of work that needs to be done or my boring life, but I believe I continuously work on hepatitis B related things because I believe that I can truly do good by working on this as much as I can. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I can save the world by myself (wouldn’t that be awfully egotistical?), but I think that if I work that much harder each day, take 2 more minutes of my time to talk to someone about hepatitis B, I can save one more life.

Today, I went to Pho Night at a E.’s place. The pho was delicious, especially since it was homemade, and I ate two whole servings. He even had tripe to add to the pho – my favorite! While the crowd was primarily the usual med student crowd that I’ve come to know, my favorite part of the night was when I had the chance to meet S. and J., UCLA friends of E.’s. They work at PriceWaterhouse Cooper and Cisco respectively, and it was neat that I could actually relate to those companies. We also talked about the crazy new fad since Pinkberry in LA – Koji BBQ Truck (http://kogibbq.com/). Check it out – you shall be amazed. But what really made my night was when I was asked what I did at the Asian Liver Center (“Why Asian livers?), and I got S. and J. to consider getting screened for hepatitis B, and gave them a little bit of hep B education and liver cancer facts. S. followed with a “Do you get paid for this – talking to people outside of work about hep B?” and Y. jumped in and said: “No, it’s about passion for a cause.” That really warmed my heart. And made me realize, that yeah, I do this all the time because I am passionate about getting rid of hep B, and I want to make sure others at least protect themselves and their loved ones.

On another note: can’t believe YLC is in THREE weeks. C. and I need to seriously buckle down and start working our tails off. I really want this conference to be a blast for the students.

I was super excited to see the Jade Ribbon Campaign bag in the Ranch 99 in-store flyer (http://www.99ranch.com/) check it out (Northern California in-store promotions). I toted around my JRC bag on Friday while I got groceries. Those things come in handy. haha. I bought so much mochi and boxed Asian drinks – delicious!

And an update on med school apps: sent the amcas primary in at the beginning of july. working on the texas primary. and freaking out in general.

Went running today with C. I need to get new running shoes – couldn’t even make it halfway around Campus Drive, and my feet were dying. Guess I’ll just have to suck it up and put down a good wad of money for good running shoes (I’m looking at Mizuno Alchemy 8 running shoes). If you have any suggestions for someone who has wide feet, let me know.  Then went to the gym and lifted some weights; I am going to be so sore tomorrow.  We’ll see if I’ll be able to lift my arms past my shoulders.   One day I’ll be fit, too!  (After many painful hours…)

If you shop at Ranch 99 and live in the Bay Area – be on the look out of the Jade Ribbon Campaign grocery bag!  We’re havin a kick-off at the Cupertino store on Friday, July 24th @ 3 PM with Miss Asian America.  Roll out and support!

And to wrap it up: Thanks for reading. Will be in touch soon.

Yours,
Amy