On Saturday, August 23, APAAC, in partnership with the University of Connecticut Urban Service Track (UConn UST), United Auto Workers Local 2121 (UAW), and Foxwoods Resort Casino (Foxwoods), organized its second medical workshop for the Asian Pacific American (APA) community!
Though not very highly attended, the workshop gave APA Foxwoods staff, as well as the general public, an opportunity to engage UConn UST pharmacy students on various health issues. The students set up interactive informational booths that informed the community about diabetes, hypertension, the flu, asthma, and smoking cessation.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes represents one of the 10 leading causes of death among Asian Americans. In engaging the community on diabetes, the UConn UST students presented a board featuring facts about the disease and effective means of controlling it. While traditional Asian cooking utilizes fresh vegetables and other low-fat foods, these ingredients may not be so easily available for APAs living in urban areas, which lie in food deserts. Unable to afford fresh foods, many lower income APA families resort to canned or processed foods, which typically contain higher fat content, sodium, and other risky traits. UConn UST suggests numerous healthy lifestyle choices to prevent and control diabetes, such as some form of exercise on a consistent basis, portion-controlled meals, and cooking with as many fresh ingredients as possible.
Tobacco smoking among APAs, like many life quality aspects, varies greatly among different ethnic groups. The American Lung Association (ALA) reports that Southeast Asian immigrants who have lived for longer periods United States, as well as higher levels of English proficiency, less likely to smoke tobacco. Furthermore, according to the CDC, APAs in the aggregate have lower rates of tobacco smoking than other ethnic minorities. However, the ALA also observes that tobacco smoke among Chinese men increases the longer they live in the United States. Despite relatively low rates of tobacco use among APAs, the DCD also identifies Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a prominent consequence of tobacco use, as one of Asian Americans' leading causes of death. Ultimately, as with all health equity or awareness initiatives, smoking cessation programs targeting the APA community must accommodate the multiple differences in behaviors and symptoms of each ethnic group.
The Commission expresses great appreciation for UConn UST, UAW Local 2121, Foxwoods, our community volunteers, and all who made our medical workshop work! We look forward to further collaboraiton with our gracious partners, and bringing critical information and services to the APA community all across Connecticut. All APAAC activities are open to the general public. We hope to see you at the next APA Medical Workshop!