New Program Launched to Fight High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease in Asian Americans

A program in partnership with New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health aims to improve health and reduce health disparities in New York and New Jersey.

NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY - UNITED SIKHS, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH), and other Asian American community based organizations is launching a new program to prevent cardiovascular disease in Asian Americans living in the New York/ New Jersey metropolitan area. The program aims to increase access to healthy foods and culturally tailored health coaching efforts to improve high blood pressure management. CSAAH, located in the Langone Medical Center, has been awarded a grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is funded as a comprehensive site.

The program is titled Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Asian Americans (REACH FAR). REACH FAR partners implement several key strategies to fight high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in Asian 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. Asian American restaurants to offer healthy menu options to its customers; 3. Asian American grocery and corner stores to ensure the availability of healthy foods; and 4. The NYC Department of Health to offer health coaching efforts in faith-based organizations to improve high blood pressure management among its Asian American congregants.

"Our project will advance the Million HeartsĀ® initiative in Asian American communities by promoting culturally and linguistically meaningful ways of increasing access to healthy foods and beverages and health care services."

"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," said Dr. Nadia Islam, Principal Investigator of the REACH FAR Project.

CEED Project Manager Dr. Rucha Kaur is thrilled to be bringing this program to the community. "For a few years now we've been expanding our health projects to address chronic disease at a community level, in addition to our one-on-one education programs."

She added, "REACH FAR will engage our community members in a variety of ways and will provide resources that are in language and culturally relevant. As our past projects have shown, this is one of the most effective ways for our community members to get engaged in their own health."

REACH FAR will be led by an established multi-sector partnership coalition including community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses, health care professionals, health care institutions, and local and state governmental agencies. Key partners include: Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc., a voluntary, non-profit, community service agency in the Korean community; Kalusugan Coalition, 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; the Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Coalition, a diverse group of community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and academic researchers working to improve diabetes control and diabetes-related health complications in the Bangladeshi community; the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national advocacy organization aimed at improving the health and well-being of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; APartnership, one of the country's leading full-service Asian American ad agencies; and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control healthcare 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. 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 them on Facebook, and Twitter.

For more information on health projects at UNITED SIKHS, please contact us at

Issued By:
Rucha Kaur
Project Manager
Community Education and Empowerment Directorate (CEED)

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