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RECAP: Third Journey to Wellness Health Screening Fair 

Updated: Apr 18

Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) is proud to announce that the third Health Screening Fair in APCC’s Journey to Wellness—AANHPI (Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) Health Empowerment Initiative took place on March 23rd, 2024 and was a success.  


This third screening fair and first of the year focused on tuberculosis and diabetes awareness, screening, and education. The team of local healthcare professionals, APCC staff, and volunteers provided health screening and education throughout the day. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department representatives were also present to raise TB awareness and promote TB education. APCC plans to partner with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for more TB awareness programs in the future. 


What is tuberculosis? Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world. TB is spread through the air from one person to another and attacks the lung. Symptoms of TB disease are cough, chest pain, fever, sputum, and fatigue. Latent TB infection is when a person has inactive TB bacteria in their body and is unable to spread TB to others. 


Why is tuberculosis awareness important for the AANHPI community? TB case rates for Asians in the US is 32 times higher than non-Hispanic white persons. Southeast Asians represent more than 45% of all new TB cases. There is also a cultural stigma against TB in the AANHPI community, which must be addressed with education about TB. It is very important for the AANHPI community to learn more about TB, TB screening, and TB treatment. 


What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic health condition that results in too much sugar staying in your bloodstream. Insulin signals your body cells to use blood sugar as energy. With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t respond as much to insulin. This can result in serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Dr. Zhiyu Wang, an endocrinologist with expertise in diabetes, volunteered his time to help educate attendees on diabetes.  


What are the types of diabetes? There are four types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, pregestational, and prediabetes. Around 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with lifestyle changes like exercising and eating healthy. 


Why is diabetes awareness important for the AANHPI community? 

  • Asian Americans are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. (1) 

  • Asian adults develop Type 2 diabetes at a lower body mass index (BMI) compared to other racial/ethnic groups. (2) Among Asian groups, Filipino and South Asian adults are at the highest risk. Diabetes screening of Asian adults at healthy BMI levels is needed. 

  • Asians are more susceptible to visceral fat, or fat that is not visible. Asians can be at a healthy weight but have too much visceral fat and be at risk for type 2 diabetes.   

  • Low health literacy, which is in part due to language barriers and belief in traditional medicine, often result in people not seeking diabetes screening or treatment when diagnosed.  

Dr. Edward Seto from the Community Health Care (CHC) helped raise awareness on diabetes. 


Why is health literacy important? AANHPI individuals are at high risk for heart disease and diabetes. These chronic conditions often require taking medication continually, but low health literacy sometimes prevents this. Community health education helps patients feel more comfortable and can increase health literacy. At this health fair, Dr. Jenny Wong, PharmD, helped educate attendees on medication indication and side effects. 


What’s the point of this program? In the AANHPI community, obstacles like language barriers, low health literacy, and cultural stigma contribute to numerous health disparities. The Journey to Wellness program is focused on improving the health of the AANHPI community by partnering with local health professionals, having multilingual volunteers, and using low-cost screening tools.  


We will continue hosting community health events. At this past health fair, we surveyed attendees on their tuberculosis awareness. With this valuable community data, we aim to apply for grant funding to expand our outreach.  


Be sure to look for more newsletters and upcoming events. We will continue hosting health fairs and expanding community health outreach. The Journey to Wellness program plans to host more health screening and health education fairs in the future.  


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