One of our biggest initiatives at APAMSA is our hepatitis effort. APAMSA is the only nationwide organization of its kind that represents Asians and Pacific Islander medical students. One of the main health disparities in the API community is hepatitis, infecting 1 in 10 of the API community worldwide and in the United States.
Every year, we offer scholarships and resources for those in the community to increase the awareness to combat this disease. We are proud to have supported the efforts of Harvard’s Team HBV chapter in their latest hepatitis screening event!
On April 18th and April 25th of 2015, Team HBV at Harvard College hosted two consecutive free screening events for Hepatitis B in Boston Chinatown. They were held at Malden YMCA and Castle Square Tenants Organization with at least 20 attendees each. Partnered with Quest Diagnostics, Team HBV provided professional phlebotomists at each event, who performed blood withdrawals on audience members who wanted to be screened. Every screening event began with an educational presentation on basic information about Hepatitis B, its dangers, and the importance of vaccination. Following the closing of the presentation, representatives of Team HBV began the process of screening. Each attendee was provided with an ID number, which was used to label his or her blood samples, and asked to complete a patient intake form and a consent form. Afterwards, these blood samples were tested for antibodies indicative of Hepatitis B by Quest Diagnostics, and the results were sent to our partnered physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital for evaluation. The result letters were then sent out to each patient with recommendations on the next step and vaccination options. Team HBV screened a total of twenty people from the events.