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

New Things

Posted in Uncategorized by missamyyu on September 20, 2009

Hepatitis B Outreach Updates

September has been an incredible whirlwind of hepatitis B outreach activities.  I’ve been out at events every weekend this month.  Finished with another Vietnamese screening (we held one in partnership with the Vietnamese Reach for Health Coalition last weekend, which was very successful!) today.  This one was held at a Vietnamese church, and it ran smoothly despite less than expected numbers attending.  However, UP did a good job setting this up and gaining the church’s buy-in, so I’m proud of her work for this summer.

In retrospect, I believe that in order for our outreach projects to be more successful, we’ll need to return to the partnered education and screenings  instead of trying to squeeze ourselves into the Sunday church schedule. Unless we have the entire church’s buy-in, it is difficult to incorporate our education and screening program.

I just heard of two new high school hepatitis B awareness groups that will be forming from students who attended our Youth Leadership Conference in August.  It makes me really excited to hear that we are able to inspire these young leaders to take action in their communities.

SF Treasure Island Dragon Boat Festival (Sept. 26 & 27th) next weekend!  Come out and enjoy the races and stop by our booth for hepatitis B education – or better yet, sign up to volunteer by contacting alcvolunteers@gmail.com

Social Media Fun
I have been fiddling with various social media tools / widgets this past week.  One of my particular favorites is the introduction of TimesPeople on NYTimes.com where I can directly tweet, facebook, digg, etc. articles that I find intriguing.  Plus, I can also recommend articles, and these articles will show up on my TimesPeople profile where those who follow me can read about my suggestions. I think this is a fantastic move for NYTimes to make the news (especially their news articles) much more accessible to others through peer dissemination. You can find me under the handle missamyyu if you ever decide to you use it.

Posterous has also been a newly acquired social media toy that I’m learning how to use. So bear with me as I test out various posterous features.

Had a fun time teaching BC about Twitter, and had a hilarious exchange about retweeting, and how retweeting only applies to those who are alive.  [Note, he’s an author, so that is how we got to talking about retweeting dead individuals like Ernest Hemingway.]

Of Interest
Tried my hand at mashed cauliflower (the healthier alternative to mashed potatoes) the other day.  Tasted pretty good despite my overuse of butter.

Also, in case you missed it, here’s an article “A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul” from the NYTimes.com that highlights the win-win outcomes by integrating culturally sensitive programs into healthcare.

Thanks for reading,
Amy

Corporate Hepatitis B Work

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, Of Interest by missamyyu on September 13, 2009

Hello,

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!

Amy


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

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

Youth Leadership Conference 2009 Part 1 :)

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer by missamyyu on August 11, 2009

Greetings from Hot-lanta!

Currently taking a break in the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia (Shout out to LC!).  I am currently attending the CDC’s 3rd Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media.  AG is presenting on the Jade Ribbon Campaign, and I have a poster presentation on Youth Leadership Conference.  Speaking of Youth Leadership Conference – it was FANTASTIC!!  I had hoped to do daily updates about the exciting things that went on, but alas, each day was full of the many to-do’s and running around.  The students were really great this year, and I was very much impressed with their work on Team Challenges.  The speakers for the conference were also brilliant and super inspiring.  When I get back to the office and am able to pull pictures from the server, I’ll update with brief intros about them and their talks.

I took away quite a bit of things from the conference this year.  One, is that high school students don’t use Twitter.  I didn’t know that!  They claim that it is “stalkerish,” something “old people use,” and it’s useless.  They much rather prefer the Facebook platform since all they really want to know is what their friends are doing.  How interesting!  In fact, you can read about it on Beth Kanter’s blog.  I’m so jazzed that we were highlighted on her blog!  Beth Kanter is one of the leading women in social media technology, so it is an incredible honor to be on her website.  There are even pictures of the students, CL, and me on her Flickr!

I am really indebted to CL for finding Beth’s blog and to BE for making the connection – who knew the world was so small!   I really hope the YLC students take away at least something from her presentation.  I have to admit here that this conference’s theme Web 2.0 was in part, a personal interest that I wanted to expand, and I hope that the students, although perhaps not exactly creators quite yet (well, beyond creating just for their friends), will be able to take what they learned and utilize it in the years to come!

The students came up with some very innovative ideas for social media projects to advance hepatitis B and liver cancer awareness, and I’m looking forward to actually incorporating a lot of their ideas.  This year, many of the ideas are definitely scalable and usable, and I can’t wait to get back in the office to think how to incorporate them into the ALC’s social media / communication plan.    We’ll be  posting up their final presentations on the ALC website soon, so make sure to check it out (I’ll let you all know when it’s up).

The Youth Leadership Conference on Asian and Pacific Islander Health is a conference designed to provide high school students from across the nation with the tools and skills to effect change in their communities and to inspire them to take leadership roles; however, I feel that YLC isn’t just a growing experience just for the students – it is a growing experience for the interns, the Jade Ribbon Youth Council, and especially for me.  I sincerely hope that the Team Leaders (ALC interns) and Assistant Team Leaders (JRYC) had a great time with the conference, and came away with an experience that helped them grow into being more confident leaders.  It’s a very different experience learning to guide a team of high school students and trying to inspire morale and expand their minds.  This year, for feedback, I’m really interested in not just what the YLC participants have to say in how we can improve the conference, I really want to hear what our interns and JRYC have to say.

One thing that I learned this conference (among the many things from all the speakers!) comes from an incident that occured during our late-night YLC staff meeting.  This was Thursday evening – the end of the second day of the conference, and everyone was very tired and rather un-energized.  Not to go into details (you can ask me if you wish.  And big props to RN for talking it through with me that night), but what I learned from this experience was that as a leader, I need to really make sure I open up communication between those I’m working with so that they can let me know if anything is going wrong or if they are frustrated about my management.  This year, I put a lot more trust in my interns to run YLC on their own (much more than I did last year since I was green to the whole management thing and to YLC), but that may have put more stress on them and I probably didn’t offer enough guidance.  So, I’m really looking forward to their feedback this year (I made a list of 30 odd questions for them, so I’m hoping I get some constructive responses).  Leadership is all about communication, and a good leader is able to promote and maintain open dialogue between the people who work with him/her.  Michael Chen put it eloquently: in order for a boat to get somewhere, everyone needs to be paddling together, both the leader and the team, in a synergistic manner.  And for that to happen, open communication needs to be established and cultivated.

But how do you critique  something to your direct supervisor?  I will be the first to admit that I haven’t had the most positive thoughts about every project that I do or think the best of the way a boss manages things, but looking back, I should have said something, even if my supervisor didn’t extend that hand.  If I’m frustrated and I don’t tell my boss, then he/she won’t know, and we can’t work together to find an agreeable solution.  I think it’s the responsibility of both parties to reach out to each other. Dialogue only works when both parties are involved.

I know that a lot of my interns often doubt certain aspects of our various projects (and I’m glad they do, because it shows that they are thinking about them!), but feel uncomfortable saying it directly to me.  So, I’m glad they have other staff to speak to about those uncertainties.  I want to be there for them, but I am probably not the best person to talk to, especially since I’m their outreach coordinator.  I am also glad that during YLC, AG, CC, SC, and MB were able to bring the interns snacks, gatorade, and send encouraging text messages to keep morale high.  It’s hard to listen to one person (aka me) yap about what needs to be done and still keep a smile on your face.  I’m realizing more and more, the way that you hold yourself, your facial expressions, etc. all make a huge impact on how the rest of your team acts and responds.

Alright, enough ruminations from me.  Thanks for reading – if you got through all that (and even if you didn’t thanks for reading the portions that you read).  Time to go to another workshop on how to evaluate web 2.0 efforts.

Also, welcome to Club 23, DT.  It was good speaking with you over the phone yesterday.

Yours,
Amy