Abstract: Health

AAPI Nexus: Health Volume 3, Number 1 Spring/Summer 2005 Abstracts

From Pedestrian Safety to Environmental Justice: The Evolution of a Chinatown Community Campaign
By: Julia Liou and Sherry Hirota

Abstract: Oakland Chinatown holds the record for the highest number of pedestrian and vehicle accidents in the City of Oakland. In response, Asian Health Services embarked on a local campaign focused on increasing awareness among community members about pedestrian safety issues. Recognizing the limits of addressing pedestrian injuries from an educational outreach approach focused on changing individual behavior, this campaign with a community capacity building perspective. Exemplifying the tenets of the Prevention Institute’s California Campaign model to address health disparities, the current campaign now entitled Revive Chinatown! demonstrates how an ecological system approach can more effectively address a chronic public health problem, and how health centers can function as catalysts of community and economic development.

The Bridge Program: A Model for Delivering Mental Health Services to Asian Americans through Primary Care
By: Hongtu Chen, Elizabeth J. Kramer, Teddy Chen, Jianping Chen, and Henry Chung

Abstract: Compared to all other racial and ethnic groups, Asian Americans have the lowest utilization of mental health services. Contributing factors include extremely low community awareness about mental health, a lack of culturally competent Asian American mental health professionals, and severe stigma associated with mental illness. This manuscript describes an innovative program that bridges the gap between primary care and mental health services. The Bridge Program, cited in the supplement to the Surgeon’s General’s Report on Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity as a model for delivery of mental health services through primary care; (2) to improve capacity by enhancing the skills of primary care providers to identify and treat mental disorders commonly seen in primary care; and (3) to raise community awareness by providing health education on mental health and illness. Results are presented and the potential for replication is addressed.

Preferred Language and Asthma among Asian Americans
By: Cecilia Chen, Doug Brugge, Alice Leung, Andres Finkelman, Weibo Lu, and Will Rand

Abstract: Little is known about childhood asthma rates and severity in the Asian American population in the US. We screened convenience samples of recent Chinese immigrants and longtime Asian Americans using the Brief Pediatric Asthma Screen (BPAS) in Boston Chinatown. Our goal was to conduct an exploratory study that helped develop methodology for researching asthma in Chinese immigrant populations. About 15% of the children surveyed were reported to have doctor-diagnosed asthma. Over 18% had possible undiagnosed asthma as scored via a modification to the BPAs that was likely to increase responses consistent with undiagnosed asthma. The CDC estimates that 8.7% of children have a lifetime diagnosis of asthma. Studies examining asthma in children have consistently found that asthma rates are higher among children living in urban communities of color, which is reflected in this study’s findings. The only statistically significant predictor of asthma diagnosis in a logistic regression model was taking the survey in Chinese (p<0.001; R=0.62) suggesting that acquisition of English is an important factor. We note that there are difficulties associated with translation of the word “wheeze” into Chinese and discuss the problems associated with this key term in the BPAS. Finally we report data from a separate survey of housing conditions in Boston Chinatown. Housing conditions known or suspected to aggravate asthma were reported by respondents to be infrequent. More research is needed to distinguish true difference in prevalence from differential diagnosis of asthma.

Making the Invisible Visible: Asian American/Pacific Islander Workers in Silicon Valley
By: Lisa Sun-Hee Park and David Naguib Pellow

Abstract: The role of working class Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Silicon Valley’s high technology revolution has been obscured by imposed silences, erasures, and a fixation on the relatively few who have become wealthy from the electronics boom. In this article we consider the thousands of Asians/Pacific Islanders who make Silicon Valley possible by producing the hardware that runs the machinery upon which this modern day empire was built. In particular, we address the health hazards experienced by those involved in home-based piecework. In addition, we consider a range of industry practices that produce and reinforce oppression among these workers. The low profile of working class AAPI workers in Silicon Valley enables industry to withhold occupational and environmental safety improvements, repress efforts to organize unions, and maintain oppressive workplace cultures. Finally, we examine oppositional strategies among AAPI laborers to make themselves seen and heard on the shopfloor and in the community.

Asian American Nonprofit Organizations in U.S. Metropolitan Areas
By: Chi-Kan Richard Hung

Abstract: This article analyzes the characteristics of Asian American nonprofit organizations in major U.S. metropolitan areas. The data are based on internet archives of nonprofit organization Form 990 and related information. Asian American nonprofits are less than 20 years old on average. They remain a relatively small part of the nonprofit sector. Religious organizations are generally the largest group among Asian American nonprofits, followed by cultural organizations, service agencies, and public interest associations of similar proportions. Asian American secular organizations as a group tend to be younger, are more likely to be in central cities, in wealthy and poor communities, as well as in metropolitan areas with a more homogenous Asian ethnic population and a relatively more active general population in community organizing. The opposite is true for religious Asian American organizations. The pattern is less consistent among Asian American cultural, service, and public interest organizations. Regarding organization size, more established Asian American nonprofits, Pan Asian American organizations, and those agencies located in communities with larger Asian American population have more total assets and annual revenue.