Embargoed until July 31, 2013 / Contact Rachel Mesia via online form
New York University (NYU) Center for the Study of Asian American Health Receives Funding to Improve Heart Health Among Filipino Americans in New York City, Jersey City, San Francisco, and San Diego.
The NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health (NYU CSAAH) and Kalusugan Coalition, Inc. (KC) received funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support activities that aim to promote heart health by preventing and controlling heart disease risk factors among underserved and minority populations. The funding award supports programs that use promising and ground-breaking ways to combine community health workers (CHWs) as key players in heart disease prevention efforts. For NYU CSAAH and KC, this funding will specifically support their development of the Alliance of Filipino American Community Health Workers. To begin with, this Alliance will strengthen the capacity of community health workers from Filipino Community Cancer Collaborative, a community coalition serving Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League , a community-based organization serving Filipino immigrants living in Hudson County, NJ, and Kalusugan Community Services , a Filipino American Wellness Center that serves the Filipino community in San Diego County.
CHWs serve as health educators teaching community members about healthy lifestyle choices and skills to adopt heart healthy behaviors. The NYU CSAAH and KC will provide training and maintain a peer-to-peer mentorship system with CHWs partner sites, to ensure they have the fundamental skills to utilize the NHLBI’s Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) health education materials tailored for Filipino communities. The educational materials are in Tagalog and English. These sessions will be conducted in various settings, including community-based organizations, places of worship, and health clinics. KC’s Lead CHW, Leonida Gamboa notes, “Knowing how much heart disease affects Filipinos, I think this Alliance will greatly benefit the community by building a stronger CHW workforce. CHWs are in a good position to really support and raise the consciousness of Filipinos to adopt healthier lifestyles so they can enjoy longer and fuller lives.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Underserved and minority populations have a disproportionate burden of death and disability from heart disease. Filipino Americans, in particular, exhibit higher rates of hypertension than their White counterparts (Ryan et al., 2000) and other Asian American subgroup populations (Klatsky et al., 1994). Despite these findings, few interventions have focused on controlling hypertension or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Filipino Americans. In addition to high rates of hypertension, several studies have found that Filipino Americans experience various co-morbidities and risk factors to hypertension. For instance, Filipino American adults have been shown to have higher rates of diabetes, higher body mass index readings, and lower rates of physical activity compared to other Asian and Pacific Islander subgroups (Gomez et al, 2004, Araneta et al. 2002; Klatsky et al. 1991, Lauderdale and Rathouz 2000; Adair 2004, Mampilly et al., 2005).
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