Pictured are Michael Rieber, MD, Mayor, Township of Livingston, Rudy Fernandez, Councilman, Township of Livingston, Su Wang, MD, Medical Director, Center for Asian Health, Robert Parisi, Mayor, Township of West Orange and John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, President and CEO, Saint Barnabas Medical Center
On February 18th, 2014, the Center for Asian Health and the Chinese Health Initiative held a grand opening celebration. More than 70-people attended this post-Chinese New Year celebration, including Chinese community leaders, senior-administration members, physicians and staff. Mayor Robert Parisi of West Orange and Mayor Dr. Michael Rieber of Livingston, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, President and CEO of Saint Barnabas Medical Center, explained that this program was developed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Chinese-American population in this area. New Jersey has the 4th largest Asian population in the U.S, with a 34% increase in the past decade, and many of these individuals report cultural and language barriers as obstacles to getting good healthcare. “The goal of the Chinese Health Initiative is to offer culturally sensitive medical care, along with providing individualized support, translation and navigation for our patients,” he continued. “Saint Barnabas Medical Center is fortunate to have a number of Asian primary care physicians and specialists on the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Medical Staff. This program will work collaboratively with our community physicians to benefit all Chinese patients.”
Dr. Bonamo introduced Su Wang, MD MPH, medical director of the Center for Asian Health to discuss the program. Most recently, Dr. Wang was the Assistant Director of Medical Affairs at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC) which is nationally known for its work in Asian-American health in New York City. A practicing internist, Dr. Wang discussed the vision of this community-based initiative designed to create a bridge between patients and providers and improve health. “Our area boasts so many well-trained and high-quality physicians, yet people are travelling to New York to seek care. Our patient navigator, Chenxia Duan, is available to assist patients facing language and cultural barriers, find the care they need closer to home,” she continued.
Dr. Wang discussed the increased risk of certain diseases in Asians, such as stomach and liver cancer, hepatitis B, diabetes and osteoporosis. “Many of these diseases are preventable, yet Asians have low rates of getting preventative care. We are hosting health seminars and community events to mobilize the community to be proactive about their health and turn these statistics around,” she concluded.
For more information about the Center for Asian Health or to make an appointment with Dr. Wang, please call 973-322-6888.
CONTACT: Sally Malech, Director Marketing and Public Relations