Asian American and Pacific Islander Outreach at Health Fairs and Community Events

Objective: To engage community members and share information about services and health issues at cultural and community events

Description: Asian Pacific Family Center (APFC): General outreach includes disseminating information about their programs at health fairs and other community events that have a high concentration of AANHPIs as well as through the use of ethnic media. They use community members to do outreach and provide follow up with any inquiries about services. They insure that all messages are culturally appropriate and are responsive to the needs of the community. They work collaboratively with many other agencies in their area to insure the clients receive the care they need. This collaborative effort will also help in outreach and engagement efforts by getting the message to a broad audience.

APFC also has a long history of implementing successful youth programs. APFC recognizes the value of youth and provides opportunities for them to feel a part of the community. Collaboration between generations can be an effective way to einsure the entire community is invested in having a healthy community at all ages.

Mary Queen of Viet Nam Community Development Corporation, Inc. (MQVN): MQVN hosts a number of health fairs where they conduct hepatitis screening, give flu shots, and educate participants on various health issues. MQVN continues its outreach and engagement efforts by also hosting cultural events, transportation assistance, and other events in the community. These activities are carried out by MQVN’s bi-lingual staff, family members, volunteers, and youth groups. MQVN feels its most effective strategy to reach the community is through personal contact and word of mouth and the least effective strategy is posters or materials that are not in appropriate languages.

MQVN also received a small grant from the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum to do community outreach related to healthcare reform. While the resources were limited, they were able to hold five community forums that were attended by approximately 10 people each. They recognize the important of having their staff encourage clients to enroll in health insurance and Medicaid. One of the biggest challenges they face is lack of in-language materials on ACA and Medicaid information and lack of familiarity with all the provisions and requirements for enrollment.

Vietnamese Youth Development Center (VYDC): VYDC uses its bi-lingual staff to conduct outreach and engagement efforts through its direct service programs, hosting of cultural events, providing behavioral health awareness activities, and collaborating with other organizations. The staff works with the community at multiple sites including the VYDC office, local schools, community centers, and playgrounds. A key strategy is to provide services where the communities naturally congregate. The staff feel the most effective outreach strategies involve cultural events. The least effective strategy is relying solely on printed materials and promotional items.

One of the most important outcomes of hosting cultural events is the strengthening of VYDC’s relationship with the community. They provide an opportunity for the community of all ages to come together to celebrate their culture. The biggest cultural event they hold every year is the Autumn Moon festival around October. Last year they were able to attract 450 community members. VYDC also hosts a series of activities throughout the year including the Lunar New Year, Halloween, and other celebrations that usually attract between 10 to 100 people. Most of these are the youth, young adults, and their families.

The combination of providing direct services and providing cultural events results in stronger relationship with community members. Once the relationship has been established, it becomes easier for VYDC to engage the community around critical issues impacting them such as the need for mental health services, health care, enrolling in health insurance and Medicaid. They can provide basic information at their cultural events with follow up discussions incorporated into their individual or group programs. Like many other agencies, a major challenge facing VYDC is the lack of general information on the Affordable Care Act as well as the availability of information in the appropriate languages.

Population of Focus: Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Immigrant, Limited English Proficient, Adults, Children, Transition aged youth, Elderly

Setting: Community center, Parks and recreation, Community health center, mental health clinic, School

Level of Intervention: Individual, Family, Community

Background: Asian Pacific Family Center: Asian Pacific Family Center is located in Rosemead, California and was established in 1985. They provide a wide array of mental health services to children/youth and families; adults and elders. Each year they see 2,300 individuals in their mental health programs and another 2,400 children, youth and families in their youth prevention programs. They have an active clinical case load of 1800 – 1900 at any given time. These services and programs are designed to reach individuals who are frequently difficult to access which requires more individualized effort and time. They provide services in Khmer, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Vietnamese.

Mary Queen of Viet Nam Community Development Corporation, Inc.: The mission of MQVN is to preserve and promote the unique diversity and quality of life for the residents in the Greater New Orleans area with a focus on improving the overall health and mental health of their community. Together with community partners, they address health care, environmental and agricultural concerns, education, housing, social services, economic development, culture and arts. MQVN provides services to families, adults, and the elderly. The primary languages for services include Vietnamese, Spanish, and English. The health center associated with MQVN served about 6000 clients in 2012. Of the 6000, approximately 728 were Medicaid eligible. The majority of individuals were Vietnamese, Latino, African American, and a few Caucasian. 45% of MQVN’s population are Medicaid eligible. 9% have health insurance and 40%  are not covered.

Vietnamese Youth Development Center: The mission of the VYDC is to empower underserved Asian-Pacific Islander and urban youth with the knowledge and confidence to define their future and reach their full potential. VYDC accomplish the mission by developing leadership skills, supporting academics, providing job opportunities, and strengthening relationships with family and community. VYDC is located in San Francisco and has 14 staff and 15 volunteers. Consumers and family members are involved in VYDC’s activities and outreach efforts. Primary funding for VYDC is from local governmental agencies.

VYDC provides services in the area of mental health, youth development, advocacy, and translation assistance. VYDC offers languages in Cambodian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian, and Vietnamese. 90% of VYDC cliental is Medicaid eligible. Most of them live at or below the poverty level.


Diem Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer
MQVN Community Development Corp. dba NOELA Community Health Center
4626 Alcee Fortier Blvd., Suite E, New Orleans, LA 70129