Wellness for Asian Pacific American Project

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS)

Description: WAPA (Wellness for Asian Pacific American Project) is a person-centered, collaborative, culturally competent, community-based care system of primary health services, wellness education and activities for underserved, at-risk, limited English proficient (LEP) Asian Pacific American immigrants and refugees with a serious mental illness.

The programs goals include:

  • To increase access to primary care services at ACRS’s outpatient mental health setting.
  • To promote healthy living through an array of culturally competent wellness-education and support services.

Onsite primary care services are provided by an external International Community Health Services (ICHS), a primary care provider and Federally Qualified Health Center, team. Services include preventive care, health screenings, treatment, EKG, blood draws, and specialty care referrals.

Culturally relevant wellness activities include health and wellness education and support activities. These include nutrition, diet, and exercise programs. There are 15 different Wellness groups with more than 500 clients participating in Tai Chi, Yoga, Asian Zumba, Ethnic Wellness groups (Mien, Lao, Samoan, Cambodian, Vietnamese), Cambodian Elders group, two gardening groups, walking, Healthy Cooking, ping pong, traditional dance, and a Karaoke group.

Clients receive integrated care by bilingual Behavioral Health Care Managers, Psychiatric staff and the Primary Care Physician. Care Managers act as interpreters, cultural brokers, consultants and health educators. They provide follow-up, promote coordination among involved parties, and lead the development of an integrated person-centered wellness plan.

Population of focus: Asian Pacific American immigrants and refugees with a serious mental illness

Setting: Community health center

Level of focus: Individual

Background: The program is offered by ACRS in partnership with International Community Health Services, a primary care provider and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Onsite primary care services were started in October 2010.