Call to Action for AA NHPI Days of Community Service

The First 100 Days, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Every Day Thereafter

By Elena Ong

Because of what AA NHPIs did on November 4, 2008, CHANGE came to America, CHANGE came to Asian Pacific America.

Because of what AA NHPIs did on January 19, 2009, the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service, HOPE came to America, HOPE came to Asian America, HOPE came to Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander America.

From the First Day of the 2008 Presidential Election, to the First 200 Days of the Obama Administration, AA NHPIs throughout the nation, are answering President Obama’s Call for National Service

By believing in HOPE, because HOPE saves lives.

Every day, as the clock ticks, 6,000 patients diagnosed with myelolyphoma HOPE to LIVE, but only half-a-million AA NHPIs are in the Be the Match Registry, not enough to help everyone who needs a bone marrow transplant, to live. (delete to survive).

By creating SOLUTIONS, to keep HOPE alive.

By forming partnerships with AA NHPI medical leaders, community leaders, elected leaders, and patients, to prevent leukemia, and encourage more AA NHPIs to become bone marrow donors, and collaborating with Yul Kwon, Cook IslandsÂ’ Survivor and Spokesperson for the Be The Match Registry (BTM), Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA), AAPIs for Obama, APIAVote, APAs for Progress (APAP), Asian American Donor Program (AADP), Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M), Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation (CLLF), Family Bridges (FB), and South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters (SAMAR), Hon. Gary Locke, Hon. Fiona Ma, Hon. Jean Quan, Hon. Dee Andrews, Hon. Suja Lowenthal, and Hon. Harold Fong, to bring “The Gift of HOPE” to Asian Pacific America for the 2009 PIC National Day of Service at the Paul Hom Asian Clinic in Sacramento, the MLK Day Parade in Long Beach, the Tet Festival in San Francisco, the Renaissance Plaza in Oakland Chinatown, the APIA Vote Town Hall in Washington, DC, and at “Unity for the Sake of Change” at the Oakland Coliseum.  That weekend, hundreds of AA NHPIs, from NYC to Long Beach, took a simple cheek swab, and registered to become a bone marrow donor, to give “The Gift of HOPE” – a noble act, a noble gift of life, that money cannot buy.  Dozens more “pledged it forward” by agreeing to organize AA NHPI Bone Marrow Awareness Days/Drives/Recruitment Parties.

The result?  Passion.  Momentum.  A Lifelong Commitment Public Service.

The passion and momentum to propel National Service as more than One Day of National Service, but a Lifetime of National Service, not just on one day, but for the future, each and every day.

On Lunar New Year’s APAMSA teamed up with Yul Kwon to launch it’s National Public Service Project, “1,000 Cranes for Hope,” to register 1,000 AA NHPI Bone Marrow Donors by APA Heritage Month.  Hon. Laura Lee worked with APAMSA UCI to host a bone marrow drive at the Cerritos Friendship Festival; APAMSAÂ’s National Bone Marrow Director, Vinca Chow, hosted a “See One, Do One, Teach One” bone marrow drive at Stanford Medical School; Cupertino Mayor Kris Wang organized bone marrow drives at public libraries throughout Cupertino; Jeanette Moy of APIAVote teamed up with OCA NY to organize bone marrow drives with NYC Councilmember John Liu; and National APAMSA launched it’s “1000 Cranes for Hope” You-Tube, featuring Yul Kwon and APAMSA President Shelly Choo, to inspire community leaders and GenerASIAN Next to be the momentum that spearheads APAHM “Be The Match” Parties.

Take action!  Visit
1. Watch APAMSAÂ’s 1000 Cranes for Hope You-Tube with Yul Kwon.

2. Sign up at to become a “Golden Crane of HOPE”
Join Elected Officials:  Hon. Gary Locke, Hon. Art Torres, Hon. Mike Honda, Hon. Doris Matsui, Hon. John Chiang, Hon. Betty Yee, Hon. Judy Chu, Hon. Michelle Steel, Hon. Carol Liu, Hon. Leland Yee, Hon. Mike Eng, Hon. Paul Fong, Hon. Warren Furutani, Hon. Mary Hayashi, Hon. Ted Lieu, Hon. Fiona Ma, Hon. Alberto Torrico, Hon. Van Tran, Hon. Mariko Yamada, Hon. Margaret Abe-Koga, Hon. Dee Andrews, Hon. David Chiu, Hon. Carmen Chu, Hon. Laura Lee, Hon. John Liu, Hon. Suja Lowenthal, Hon. Eric Mar, Hon. Jean Quan, Hon. Kris Wang, Hon. Jay Chen, Hon. Harold Fong, Hon. Henry Lo, Hon. Mark Pulido and SF Police Chief Heather Fong.
Join Community Leaders: Yul Kwon, Vida Benevides, Gloria Caoile, Dr. Art Chen, Christine Chen, Curtis Chin, Rose Chung, Helen Dougherty, Lillian Galedo, Bill Imada, Dr. Ron Jan, Corrinne Jang, Deeana Jang, LOUD, Don Nakanishi, Francey Youngberg;
Join APAMSA & AASU Leaders: Lynne Ada Chang, Julie Chinn, Shelly Choo, Vinca Chow, Tristen Chun, Tien Sy Dong, Revathi Jyothindran, Lawrence Kim, Peter Koon, Julie Kwok, Kristen Lum, Anne Liu, Peony Liu, Rachel Rebong, Yeeck Sim, Sandlya Srikantom, Khin Thu, Emily Tsai, Grace Wang, etc.,

organizing and speaking at APAMSA “1000 Cranes for Hope” bone marrow drives during APAHM and beyond.

3. Find an “1000 Cranes for Hope” Drive in AZ, CA, CT, DC, IL, MA, MD, NC, NV, NY, OR, TX or VT, and invite a friend to become one of APAMSA’s “1000 Cranes for HOPE.”

This a partial listing of APAMSAÂ’s “1000 Cranes for Hope” Parties/Bone Marrow Drives:

– April 22: University of Vermont, VT – Julie Kwok
– April 24/5:  University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ – Yeeck Sim
– April 24/5: California Democratic Party, Sacramento, CA – Senator Torres & Crystal Strait
– April 28/9:  Stanford University, Stanford, CA – Vinca Chow
– April 29:  Duke University, Durham, NC – Rachelle Rebong
– April 29:  Univ of Chicago, SNMA, SMMA-MAPS, NNLAMS, Lambda Phi Epsilon & Pan Asia, Chicago, IL
– Apr 27-May 4: Yale University On-Line Drive, New Haven, CT – Vinca Chow

– May 2:  Service in Asia Concert, San Francisco, CA – Vinca Chow
– May 4:  Stanford University, Stanford, CA – Vinca Chow
– May 5: College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA – Khin Thu
– May 6: Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA – Tristen Chun
– May 6: John Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, MD – Shelly Choo & June Peng
– May 6:  Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV – Hao Nguyen
– May 16:  Asian Week APA Street Festival w SF Supervisors Chiu & Chu, SF, CA – Elena Ong
– May 18:  Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA – Tristen Chung
– May 18:  UCLA Center for Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA – Lynne Ada Chang
– May 18:  UCSF Medical Sciences Building, SF, CA – Kristen Lum
– May 19-21: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR – J Chinn & S. Srikantom
– May 24:  Baylor Vietnamese Outreach, Houston, TX – Revanthi Jyothindran & Peter Koon
– May 25-29:  Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX – Revanthai Jyothindran & Peter Koon
– May 26:  API Legislative Summit, Sacramento, CA – API Leg Caucus, Diane Ujiiye & Elena Ong
– May 27:  Microsoft, CA Wellness Fdn & IW Grp “Here & Now,” LA, CA – Bill Imada & E Ong
– May 28  Stanford “Be The Match” APAHM Dinner w Asm. Fiona Ma, Stanford, CA – V Chow
– May 30:  OCA Asian Fair & NY Medical College, Valhalla, NY – Matt Chow

– June 1: APIA Health Forum, Washington DC – Deeana Jang, Shelly Choo & Elena Ong

– Oct 10:  National APAMSA Conference, UCLA, LA, CA – Jim Nguyen & Jeff Chu

Remember “10/10,” the date of APAMSAÂ’s National Conference at UCLA, and be recognized as a Transformative Student and Community Leader who inspires National Public/Community Service by “keeping HOPE alive.”

Registration is civic engagement, and civic engagement saves lives.  When one registers as a vote at the age of 18, we get a civically-engaged voter for life.  When on registers a bone marrow donor at the age of 18, we get a humanitarian for life.

To promote health and save lives, contact Vinca Chow at or Elena Ong at

Special Thanks to APAMSA’s Golden Cranes of Hope
APIAVote . Asian American Donor Program . Asian Pacific Americans for Progress . Asian Week . Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches

Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation . China Spirit Music Ensemble . Dana Farber . Family Bridges . LOUD
. South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters

Hon. Margaret Abe-Koga, Mountainview Mayor . Kim Allen, Be The Match . Jacqueline Andrade, A3M

Hon. Dee Andrews, Long Beach City Councilmember . Vida Benevides, APIAVote . Asia Blume, AADP . Gloria Caoile, APIAVote

Lynne Ada Chang, APAMSA UCLA . Dr. Art Chen . Hon. Jay Chen, Hacienda Heights School Board . Alex Cheng, APAMSA University of Michigan

Hon. John Chiang, California Controller . Curtis Chin, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress . Rocky Chin, AAPIs for Obama

Julie Chinn, APAMSA Oregon H&S University . Hon. David Chiu, President of SF Board of Supervisors . Shelly Choo, APAMSA President
Matt Chow, APAMSA NY Medical College . Hon. Carmen Chu, SF Supervisor . Hon. Judy Chu, California BOE Member
Tristen Chun, APAMSA Boston University SOM . Martha Dodge . Helen Dougherty, Native American Caucus . Hon. Mike Eng, California Assemblymember Hon. Harold Fong, Sacramento School Board Member . Hon. Paul Fong, California Assembly . Hon. Warren Furutani, California Assemblymember
Lillian Galedo, Filipino Immigrant Services . Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal, Historic Filipinotown Festival . Carol Gillespie,  AADP . Kimie Gon, UCLA

Christine Lee Haggard, Bone Marrow Recipient’s Family Member . Lisa Hasagawa, NCAPACD . Hon. Mary Hayashi, California Assemblymember
Sherri Hirota, Asian Health Services . Hon. Mike Honda, US Representative . Bill Imada, IW Group . Shin Ito, A3M

Peter Koon, APAMSA Baylor College of Medicine . Judy Jacobs, Native American Caucus . Dr. Ron Jacob, SAMAR . Dr. Ron Jan, Paul Hom Asian Clinic Corrinne Jang, Family Bridges . Deeana Jang, APIAHF . Joan Jia, OCA Westchester . Revanthi Jyothindran, APAMSA Baylor College of Medine
Eileen Kage, LOUD . Ms. Kahn, SAMAR . Kurt Kessler . Betsy Kim, AAPIs for Obama . Lawrence Kim, APAMSA UCI . Svetlana Kim, Author . Leslie Kimori, LOUD . Julie Kwok, AASU University of Vermont . Yul Kwon, Be The Match . Jeanne Kwong, Bone Marrow Recipient’s Family Member . Cammy Lee, Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation . Dr. Jhemon Lee, APAMSA . Hon. Laura Lee, Cerritos City Councilmember . Hon. Ted Lieu, California Assemblymember . Anne Liu, APAMSA UCLA . Hon. Carol Liu, California Senator . Hon. John Liu, NY City Councilmember . Peony Liu, APAMSA UCLA Hon. Henry Lo, Garvey School Board . Hon. Gary Locke, Cabinet Secretary . Hon. Suja Lowenthal, Long Beach City Councilmember
Kristen Lum, APAMSA UCSF . Hon. Fiona Ma, California Assemblymember . Charmaine Manansala, AAPIs for Obama . Hon. Eric Mar, SF Supervisor

Hon. Doris Matsui, US Representative . Jeannette Moy, APIAVote . Don Nakanishi, UCLA Asian American Studies Center

Hao Nguyen, APAMSA Touro University Nevada . Jim Nguyen, APAMSA UCLA . Elena Ong, National APAMSA Advisory Board

Sueanne Paprocki, Be The Match . Hon. Mark Pulido, ABC Unified School District . Hon. Jean Quan, Oakland City Councilmember

Dharmi Patel, APAMSA UCLA . Hon. Mark Pulido, ABC Unified School District . Rachelle Rebong, APAMSA Duke University

Delores Rue-Jones, Be The Match Oregon . Karla Salazar, CDP . Vicki Shu, Organization of Chinese Americans – NY
Magda Silva, Be The Match – Oakland . Yeeck Sim, APAMSA University of Arizona . Sandhya Srikantom, APAMSA Oregon H&S University

Elaine Stef, LOUD . Crystal Strait, California Democratic Party . Sharon Sugiyama, A3M . Hon. Michelle Steel, BOE Member

Khin Thu, College of San Mateo . Sen. Art Torres, California Democratic Party .  Hon. Alberto Torrico, California Assemblymember

Hon. Van Tran, California Assemblymember . Dr. Tran, APIAHF . Emily Tsai, APAMSA Trustee . UC Davis Medical & Undergraduate Students
Diane Ujiiye, APIsCAN . Hon. Kris Wang, Cupertino Mayor . Brian Wang, . Grace Wong, APAMSA Past President
Hon. Mariko Yamada, California Assemblymember . Hon. Betty Yee, California BOE Chair . Hon. Leland Yee, California Senator
Francine Youngberg . Juliette Zhou, KSCI*

Online Bone Marrow Drive

Every day, thousands of patients are searching for a life-saving bone marrow donor – someone like you.

Natasha Collins, a 26 year-old medical student, and Matthew Nguyen, a 27 year-old pharmacy student, are in need of bone marrow transplants. Natasha’s mixed African American and Caucasian background and Matthew’s Vietnamese background make it difficult for them to find their matches due to the critical underrepresentation of ethnic minority and mixed donors on the registry.

Five minutes of your time today could mean a lifetime for someone in need.

Please consider joining the Be the Match Registry online at Registration fee is waived during the Asian Pacific American Heritage month of May. When asked to provide a Promo Code, please enter “APAMSA4Life”.


If you experience trouble with the promo code, please go to for other easy ways to register for free. Joining is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, in good general health, and are willing to donate to any patient in need.


Ethnicity is the KEY FACTOR

Ethnic Minority Individuals are particularly encouraged and needed to join the registry. As it stands, only 30% of patients of Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, Black/African American and Multi-Racial descent are able to find a match on the current database.


Donation is Simple

The majority of donations do not involve surgery. The patient’s doctor most commonly requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical, similar to platelet donation, and does not require a stay in the hospital.


Natasha Collins is an outstanding 26-year-old Yale medical student who is battling leukemia for the second time. At the age of 23, Natasha was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. After two years of treatment, followed by a cord blood transplant, Natasha came to the Yale School of Medicine to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, during her first year as a medical student Natasha was re-diagnosed with leukemia. For questions and to offer support to Natasha and her family, please e-mail


Matthew Nguyen was like any other healthy vibrant 25 year-old, full of life and ready to take on the world, until he was unexpectedly diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in June 2007. He underwent chemotherapy for sixteen months, overcoming one complication after another, fighting for his life and ultimately reaching remission. Unfortunately, six months after his last round of chemotherapy, 3 days after he finished a 100-mile bicycling marathon, Matthew learned that he had relapsed. Everything is now put on hold again for Matthew, including school and marriage.

Natasha, Matthew, and many people like them are waiting to find a match on the Registry.  We are asking you to be a match for patients like them.

Register to gain the power to save a life.

By joining the Registry, you give hope to patients everywhere with leukemia, lymphoma and a variety of other diseases. When you register as a bone marrow donor, you join a global movement of more than 12 million donors who stand ready to give someone a future. You may never be called upon to donate, but if you are, you and perhaps only you will have the power to save a life.


Registering is simple and takes as little as five minutes, and our online drive will allow you to register for free. You will be asked to fill out a basic form with your contact information and medical history (which remains protected), and then you will swab the insides of your cheeks with a kit that is mailed to your home. No blood draw is required. Cheek swabs are all that’s needed to register. Five minutes of your time today could mean a lifetime for someone in need.


Additional ways you can help

Share Natasha and Matthew’s stories with your friends and family, especially those of minority background. With a few e-mail and phone calls, you can get the word out about the importance of registering.

Myths and Facts about Bone Marrow Donation

(Courtesy of

MYTH: The bone marrow donation procedure is painful.
FACT: General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure. Donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation.


MYTH: All bone marrow donations involve surgery.
FACT: The majority of donations do not involve surgery. The patient’s doctor most commonly requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical and does not require a stay in the hospital. If marrow is requested, it is a surgical procedure, but there is still usually no stay in the hospital.


MYTH: Pieces of bone are removed from the donor.
FACT: Pieces of bone are not removed from the donor in either type of donation. A PBSC donation involves taking the drug filgrastim for five days leading up to donation in order to increase the donor’s needed blood-forming cells. On the fifth day, blood is taken from the donor through one arm, passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells, and returned through the donor’s other arm. In marrow donation, no pieces of bone are taken; only the liquid marrow found inside the bones is needed to save the patient’s life.


MYTH: Donating bone marrow is dangerous and weakens the donor.
FACT: Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term effects from donating. Only five percent or less of a donor’s marrow is needed to save a life. After donation, the body replaces the donated marrow within four to six weeks. The NMDP screens all donors carefully to ensure they are healthy and that the procedure is safe. The NMDP also educates donors, answers questions at every step, and follows up after donation.


MYTH: Donors have to pay for the donation procedure.

FACT: Donors never pay for donating. All medical costs are paid by the patient’s medical insurance or by the patient, sometimes with NMDP assistance. The NMDP reimburses donors for travel costs, and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.
Become an APAMSA Golden Crane for Hope.

You can save a life. Take the first step at
Be The Match Registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

Debunking the “Model Minority Myth” and other issues

Debunking the “Model Minority Myth” and other issues:

Many Asian medical students are not only unaware of health concerns of underserved Asian populations, but also of other important racial issues ranging beyond medicine as well. One of primary goals of APAMSA is to empower YOU with the facts and knowing about the true state of affairs of Asians in America. Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you can help put an end to the myth that “Asian-Americans are doing just fine and even better-off than caucasians and other minorities, so there’s no need for organizations like APAMSA!”


  • As of July 1999, there were 10.9 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or 4.0% of the U.S. population.
  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain the fastest growing racial/ethnic population in the U.S., increasing 95% from 1980 to 1990 and another 43% from 1990 to July 1999.
  • The Asian American and Pacific Islander population in the U.S. is expected to continue to grow, to 37.6 million persons, or 9% of the U.S. population, by the year 2050.
  • 35% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live in linguistically isolated households, where no one aged 14 or older speaks English “very well.”  61% of Hmong American households,   56% of Cambodian American households, 52% of Laotian American households, 44% of Vietnamese American households, 41% of Korean American households and 40% of Chinese American households are linguistically isolated.
  • 1.4 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or 13% of the Asian population, were at or below the Federal poverty level in 1998; the 1989 poverty rates for Hmong Americans was 66%, 43% for Cambodian Americans and 35% for Laotian Americans.
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander children living in Minnesota were three times as likely to live in poverty (37%), compared to all children in Minnesota.  Asian American and Pacific Islander children in Massachusetts were twice as likely to live in poverty (24%) compared to all children in Massachusetts.
  • Self-employed Vietnamese Americans only earned an average of $14,000 a year.
  • Less than 6% of Tongan Americans, Cambodian Americans, Laotian Americans and Hmong Americans have completed college.
  • “Minority faculty [Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians] at medical institutions were less likely than white faculty to hold senior academic rank.  This finding was not explained by potential confounders such as years as a faculty member or measures of academic productivity.”  Palepu A et al.  JAMA 1998 Sep 2;280(9):767-71


  • Asian Indians have the highest rates of coronary artery disease (CAD) of any ethnic group studied; this particular CAD occurs early in age and its predilection for accelerated atherosclerosis results in a unusually high premature morbidity & mortality for young Asian Indians.  Clinical Cardiology 18, 131-135 (1995)
  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have some of the highest rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis B in the U.S.
  • The cervical cancer rate for Vietnamese American women is nearly five times higher than that of White women.
  • The rate of liver cancer among Vietnamese Americans is eleven times higher than for Whites.
  • Two million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do not have health insurance, with Korean Americans have the highest rate of uninsurance among all racial/ethnic groups (40%).
  • 30% of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in New York City live in overcrowded housing.
  • The age-adjusted death rate for Native Hawaiians is 901 per 100,000, compared to 524 per 100,000 for the total U.S. population.
  • Asian American / Pacific Islanders show higher levels of depressive symptoms than caucasian Americans.
  • Older Asian-American women have the highest risk of suicide rate of women over 65 in the U.S..
  • Nearly half of this population has difficulty accessing mental health treatment because they do not speak English or cannot find services to meet their needs.
  • One study found that 70% of Southeast Asian refugees receiving mental health care met diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Filipino youth have one of the highest high school dropout rates and one of the highest rates of teen suicide ideation and attempts.

Other Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 1999 and 2000; Department of Health and Human Services, 1999; Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center, 2000.

Past Speaker List

The following list of people have all given workshops or keynote addresses to APAMSA conferences in the past. They have all generously agreed to put their contact information as a resource for all APAMSA members. Please feel free to contact them if you have a particular concern or question in their field!

William B. Bateman, MD
Workshop Topic: Chinese Community Health Elective
Mailing Address:
Bellevue Hospital, Rm 17W-1
462 First Ave.
New York, NY 10016
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 212.562.4541
Fax Number: 212.562.4622

Josephine T. Gin
Workshop Topic: “The Path to Medicine: Preparing and Presenting Myself”
Mailing Address:
Dr. Martin Luther King Bldg., Room 320,
Tucson, Arizona 85721
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 520.621.3481
Fax Number: 520.621.7574

Anu Gupta
Workshop Topic: Incorporating Service into Your Life as API Professional
E-mail Address:

Shuk-mei Ho, Ph.D.
Workshop Topic: “Opportunities and Challenges for Asian and Pacific American Medical Student Career Advancement”
Mailing Address:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Department of Surgery, Division of Urology
55 Lake Avenue North, Room S4-746
Worcester, MA 01655
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 508.856.8695
Fax Number: 508.856.8699

David Inoue
Workshop Topic: The Unequal Burden of Cancer
Mailing Address:
5427 B St. SE
Washington, DC 20019
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: Home: 202.582.7273, Work: 202.585.0112
Fax Number: Work: 202.585.0101

Christina Nguyen
Workshop Topic: API Community Activism Track “Stem cells: Current use and controversies”
Mailing Address:
7910 Woodmont Ave, Ste. 1103
Gaithersburg, MD 208014
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 800.573.6667, ext. 24
Fax Number: 301.951.5512

Levon O. Parker
Workshop Topic: Research Training and Funding Opportunities at the NIH for Premed and Medical Students
Mailing Address:
31 Center Dr., Bldg. 31, Room 8A-21,
Bethesda, MD 20892-2540
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 301.496.5332
Fax Number: 301.402.9438

Joana Rosario, MD, MPH
Workshop Topic: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Mailing Address:
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Blvd, Suite 106
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
For courier use: 20817
E-mail Address:
Phone Number: 301.594.9986
Fax Number: 301.480.3621

Roman Snihurowych
Workshop Topic: NYU Free Clinic
E-mail Address:

Event Ideas

APAMSA is a “living archive” of projects that can help your chapter become more involved. The following section is constantly changing as chapters like you develop new innovative projects. Please contact the membership vice-president to add to this list.

Community Service Events

Bone Marrow Registration Drives: This is a well-established APAMSA project. APA bone marrow registrants are severely underrepresented in the National Bone Marrow registry.  Join our national effort to save lives!!  Contact the APAMSA bone marrow chair at for more info.

Hepatitis B Immunizations: Hepatitis B Immunizations: Another signature APAMSA project.  Hepatitis B is a devastating illness that affects millions of APAs and is completely preventable with immunizations. Join us in our quest to eliminate this “silent killer.  Contact the APAMSA hepatitis chair at for more info.

APAMSA’s Fight to Break the Hep B Cycle: Hepatitis B is a devastating illness that affects millions of APAs.  Asians have the highest rate of hepatitis B infection of all ethnic groups.  One out of 4 people with chronic hepatitis B virus infection who became chronically infected during childhood will die of HBV-related liver cancer or cirrhosis.   That’s 100 million of the 400 million chronic HBV infected people in the world.  Hepatitis B is a completely preventable disease through vigorous education, screenings, and immunizations.  Join us in our quest to break the Hepatitis B Cycle by participating in APAMSA’s Fight in your community!  Contact the APAMSA Hepatitis B Chair for more information:

Community Health Fair: APAMSA health fairs are the trademark event at most of our local chapters.  This is where you can utilize your cultural understanding and medical knowledge to offer free cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, vision, hearing, and lead screening of the APA community.  Some schools also have assisted recent immigrants from Asian countries as well as other uninsured members of the community to find primary care physicians.   In addition, health fairs serve as an important mechanism to disseminate health information regarding cancer, smoking, domestic violence, and many more topics through brochures and counseling services, which we are able to offer in multiple different languages.  Take an active role in health care access in your community. Location is key so do some research about where you might be able to reach the most people.

Fundraisers: Organize a fundraiser to help an important cause. APAMSA chapters have been instrumental in raising money for the Tsunami victims, the Hurricane disasters, the South Asian earthquake victims, orphanages in China, and much more.

Be a kid: Children in the hospital need company, and maybe their parents need a break. It doesn’t have to be fancy: play a board game, play some cards, read a book to them. This is a great idea for those who don’t have a lot of time to commit.

Big Sib/Little Sib: You know more than you think. If youÂ’re a second year medical student, help out a first year. If youÂ’re a first year, help a pre-med fill out their applications. If youÂ’re a pre-med, help a high school student understand what it takes to go to college and open their eyes to many facets of health care.

Mentorship: Faculty-student dinners:  These are a great way to encourage interaction between APA students and physicians.  Have a series of dinners with different APA faculty members and ask them to speak about their experiences being Asian in medicine.Â

Academic Events

Organize a mock anatomy/histology/pathology practical exam.
Be a resource to your classmates with old exam questions, review books, texts, etc.

Boards and Wards: Pivotal transitions occur at the end of 2nd year when students begin to think about the national boards and adjusting to life in the hospital. Upper-class students, especially fourth years who have gone through the process including matching are invaluable resources.  Invite the upper-class students to your meetings to share their experiences.

Asian American Health Care: There are innumerable topics that can be addressed including hepatitis B, mental health, domestic violence, etc. within the Asian American community. Speakers can be local resources or from neighboring cities. Often these events can be cosponsored with other groups to ease the cost of funding.

Organize an APAMSA Regional or National Conference:
This is an ambitious project that can supplement your medical school’s training of future physicians. APAMSA conferences are some of the most effective mechanisms to bring together medical students, physicians, and health care professionals to learn about issues APA health.  This is an opportunity to really enhance your schoolÂ’s curriculum and further APAMSAÂ’s mission statement. Contact if your chapter is interested in hosting an APAMSA conference.  It is important to bid early for hosting the national or regional conferences.

Social Events

Pot Luck Dinner and a Movie: A cheap, easy, and fun opportunity to show off your culinary talents and to allow upper and lower-class students to know each other.  It’s best to host this event at an officer’s house that can hold a lot of members.

Inter-School Mixer: This brings together APA students from the other graduate schools (law, arts, management). It can be held at a local bar or at someone’s place. Usually the groups at the respective schools contribute monetarily.

Eating-Out: This activity works well for small and secluded schools. The organization arranges for a discounted price at a local Asian restaurant and provides transportation. Students are responsible for their own bills. Those who hate to cook or who have no food in the fridge are sure to come.

Night on the Town: This is a more elaborate event sponsored by a number of different APA medical school groups. It works well in the big cities or where there are a lot of different medical schools in a close proximity.

Cultural Events

Ring in the New Year: Both Diwali (the Indian New Year) and Lunar New Year can be celebrated by your organization. It can either be a small-scale event or a large school wide party (usually supported by funding from your schools governing council).  Both celebrations are often celebrated with food, ethnic dress, and music. It allows the community to not only take pride but to share its culture with others.

Alternative Medicine: All Asian ethnic groups have some history of alternative healing practices whether it be acupuncture, aryuvedic, herbalistic, or spiritual. Increasing numbers of non-Asians are interested in this topic as well. A speaker not only can educate APA students about their heritage and history of healing, it can also clarify widely held misconceptions as well. Some schools have also created displays on alternative healing methods (herbs, instruments, healers) in conjunction with the talk.

Talent Show: Your classmates are guaranteed to surprise you with their hidden talents for poetry, singing, dancing, comedy, etc. ThereÂ’s more to med students than just studying.

Political Events

Voter Registration Drives: There are numerous ways to obtain registration forms: volunteer services in the hospital, undergraduate political parties and local elections office (in the phone book).

Immigration Forums: Not since 1965 have there been such dramatic legislative change in the arena of immigration. Ranging from restrictions on social services to immigrants to financial aid for non-citizen students, these bills will have a significant impact on the US. These forums can be informative only or can serve as the basis for a debate on the issues immigration reform raises, especially the role of the physician-to-be in serving as the “gate-keeper” to access to health care.

Medical School Admissions/Affirmative Action Forum:
Perhaps no other issue divides APA medical students as much as affirmative action. For many years, APA students in all forums of higher education have felt a quota or glass ceiling placed on their admissions, especially in medicine. Some schools have successfully gathered information on admissions or have engaged their deans/directors of admissions on this issue. This forum can be an opportunity to present some of the data to the community and to raise some important issues such as admissions stereotypes of the APA applicant. It can also serve as a springboard for a broader discussion of Affirmative Action. (This can be a particularly divisive issue) Discrimination in Academic Medicine: As more and more APA medical students become interested in academic medicine as a career, the overt and subtle barriers to tenure are apparent. A panel of faculty members at various stages of the tenure track progress and in different fields (clinical vs. basic science) can address this issue.

Chapter Timeline

The following timeline of events will help guide you through the year.  Feel free to adapt it so it meets the needs of your chapter.

Late Spring/Summer Timeline

After being elected, make sure you speak to the old officers and get their old files and advice about how to be a good officer.

  1. Submit your Chapter Profile with the new officer contacts. Get the supplies, financial reports, and other contacts from previous officers.
  2. Register your new officers with your Student Activities office, if you can.
  3. Include a welcome letter from APAMSA in the new students packet mailer, if your school permits.
  4. Subscribe yourself to the chapter officers list serv.
  5. During the summer, prepare your recruitment supplies such as fliers and posters so you can post them when new students arrive.

Early Fall Semester

Everyone’s now back at school and things are moving fast.

  1. Plan on recruitment activities
  2. Hold your first general meeting.
  3. Prepare ahead to attend the national conference.
  4. Elect first year officers—UPDATE New officer information by submitting a chapter profile.
  5. Subscribe yourself to the list serv.
  6. Register with your group with Student Activities office if you haven’t already.
  7. Represent your chapter at your Student Activities Fair

Late Fall Semester

National Conference is usually in the Fall

  1. Announce if your chapter is going to National Conference this year, and solicit attendees.
  2. Get the Treasurer to file for Travel Funds with your school.
  3. Look for sample Fundraising Letters and Fundraising ideas.
  4. Book your flights, accommodations, and make sure your attendees have registered for the National Conference ahead of time.
  5. Submit proposed amendments to the Constitution, Letters of Intent, CV if you want to run for National Positions or change the Constitution.
  6. Turn in First Bi-Annual Chapter report to the MVP.

At National Conference:

  1. Attend the workshops and keynote talks, bond with your chapter, see the sights!
  2. Run for National or Regional Office, talk about APIA health, and have FUN!

Late Fall/ Winter

  1. Get in contact with your newly elected Regional Directors. Contact for their contact inf.
  2. Try and hold an observance for Diwali
  3. Start planning to participate in the National Hepatitis B campaign and Bone Marrow Drive.

Spring Semester

  1. Participate in the National Hepatitis B campaign and Bone marrow drive.
  2. Stay tuned for info from your regional directors to participate in regional conferences.
  3. Try and observe the Asian Lunar New Year, which is usually around January/February.
  4. REQUIRED Chapter Reports will be due early (February or March) this semester.

Late Spring

  1. Hold elections for new chapter officers and do your best to give them as much information as possible, so that your APAMSA chapter can remain active.