Kalusugan Coalition Board Members at the Philippine Independence Day parade in New York on June 5.

The Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH), located at NYU Langone Medical Center, is now entering the second year grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent cardiovascular disease in Asian-Americans living in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area by increasing access to healthy foods and culturally tailored health coaching efforts to improve high blood pressure management.

CSAAH, funded as a comprehensive site, have launched the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Asian Americans (REACH FAR) program in March 2015.

Key partners include: UNITED SIKHS, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc.; Kalusugan Coalition, the Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Coalition; the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum; APartnership; and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

As part of the REACH FAR Grant, Kalusugan Coalition have sub-partnered with well established multi-sector, including the Philippine Nurses Association of New York, Inc, a Filipino-American professional nursing organization, faith-based organizations (Bayanihan Seventh Day Adventist, Elmhurst Baptist Church, Yeshua Worldwide Ministries), local restaurants (Payag Restaurant, Tito Rad’s Grill Restaurant and Kabayan Restaurant), and local and state governmental agencies.

Through the REACH FAR Grant Project, Kalusugan Coalition together with its sub-partners will implement several key strategies to fight high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in Filipino-American communities.

These strategies include working closely with:

1. Faith-based organizations to improve nutrition of its members by serving healthier foods during communal meals;

2. Filipino-American restaurants to offer healthy menu options to its customers;

3. Promoting million hearts initiative in partnership with community organization; and

4. The NYC Department of Health to offer health coaching efforts in faith-based organizations to improve high blood pressure management among its Filipino-American congregants.

The scope of this particular project will be in the Filipino-American community in the Borough of Queens in New York.

“This REACH FAR project will advance the Million Hearts® initiative in Asian-American communities particularly in the Filipino-American community by promoting culturally and linguistically meaningful ways of increasing access to healthy foods and beverages and healthcare services,” said Dr. Nadia Islam, Principal Investigator of the REACH FAR Project.

“Working with a diverse range of stakeholders — community partners, governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, and local businesses — will be crucial to ensuring the changes we implement are relevant and sustainable.”

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) award is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases to promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

Overall, HHS awarded $35 million in new grant awards to 49 local agencies and organizations.

REACH, a CDC program that began in 1999, focuses on racial and ethnic communities experiencing health disparities.

Seventeen organizations are receiving funds for basic implementation activities; 32 additional organizations are receiving funds as comprehensive sites to immediately expand their scope of work to improve health and reduce health disparities.

REACH is financed in part by the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act.

To learn more about the Center for the Study of Asian American Health’s prevention and wellness projects, visit, and interact with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Kalusugan Coalition is a multidisciplinary collaboration dedicated to creating a unified voice to improve the health of the Filipino-American community in the New York/New Jersey area.

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