Media Partnerships for Community Engagement in Southeast Asian Immigrant Health
(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / Benton Foundation – New Routes to Community Health)
  • This project aims to engage immigrant Laotian and Vietnamese seniors in the process of health needs identification, first-person storytelling, video production, and community discussion about health (hypertension, language access, and doctor-patient communication). By building on existing partnerships we will create short videos using recorded narratives of immigrant health experiences, design workshops using the videos to engage communities in discussions led by immigrant seniors, and educate health professionals and the general public about health disparities and barriers faced by immigrant seniors. This will be accomplished through a partnership with the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC) and WHYY Studios to address health disparities affecting Southeast Asian immigrants in the Philadelphia area.  After formative research and community participatory direction-setting, short videos will be created by and for immigrants to address key health topics chosen by community members.  These videos will be used in community workshops to encourage discussion and interpersonal exchange of information about health.
  • Partners: SEAMAAC, WHYY, Thomas Jefferson University, Temple Project SHINE
Community Connectedness and Depression among Southeast Asian Immigrants in Late Life (Institute on Aging, University of Pennsylvania).
  • The proposed study uses a Community-Based Participatory Research approach by partnering with a local community-based organization serving (and run by) Southeast Asians. We will assess depressive symptoms and relate these with measures of social connectedness and other demographic characteristics in the underserved and understudied population of Southeast Asian immigrants in late life, focusing on linguistically isolated Vietnamese and Laotian elders. The preliminary data to be obtained will aid in development of larger studies and interventions to address depression among older Southeast Asian immigrants.
  • Partners: SEAMAAC, Penn Behavioral Health’s Hall Mercer SE Asian Mental Health Program
Research recruitment, HPV, and cervical cancer prevention in Asian American women (Abramson Cancer Center).
  • Cervical cancer is an important public health concern, among minority populations, including Asian American women, who are disproportionately affected by this disease. At the same time, participation by Asian Americans in clinical trials and other biomedical research is low. In this three-step project, we propose to: (Step 1) assess barriers and promoters to research participation among Chinese- and Vietnamese- American women; (Step 2) test different communication and outreach strategies to maximize recruitment of these women into a study using two methods of data collection: a self-administered questionnaire and biosampling; and (Step 3) perform a preliminary study of the epidemiology of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among these women.
  • Partner: Philadelphia Dept of Public Health

Past Funded Projects

Cancer-Related Information Seeking and Scanning Behaviors among Vietnamese Immigrants
(Penn Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research; Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics; and Temple Center for Asian Health).
  • The major goal of this project is to initiate a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews conducted in the native language of 20-30 Vietnamese immigrants (age 50-70) to describe information seeking and scanning behaviors with respect to general health as well as screening and prevention of breast and colon cancer.
Cancer Information Seeking Among Older Vietnamese Immigrants
(American Cancer Society Cancer Control Career Development Award for Primary Care Physicians and Pfizer Fellowship in Health Literacy/Clear Health Communication).
  • Continuation of the pilot project: “Cancer-Related Information Seeking and Scanning Behaviors among Vietnamese Immigrants”.

Please see our publications page for a listing of articles in the scientific literature and lay press