On May 22, 2019, Dr. Trâm Nguyễn, Outreach Operations Manager from the Asian Pacific Health Foundation in San Diego, traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi on behalf of Dr. Kayla Giang, PharmD as part of the PRIME LLC Program to provide education on “Ending Hepatitis B Starts With You” to Vietnamese American populations. The venue was the landmark Maritime and Fish Industry Museum on the Bayfront in Biloxi. Dr. Binh Tran, APHF Program Director, traveled with her to assess the community needs as part of the Hepatitis B Foundation Peer-Mentoring Project.
On that day, Xuân Phan, Community Outreach Specialist from Mercy Housing and Human Development (MHHD) invited two local organizations to participate: Boat People SOS chapter in Mississippi, and the Department of Health Services in the MS County.
The program started with a knowledge assessment, in which attendees took a written pre-assessment test before the education. At 9:00 AM, Ms. Coi Nguyễn, Program Coordinator of the Health Department in Mississippi welcomed all attendees, mostly fishermen families from Vietnam who have settled in the area. Following the introduction was Dr. Trâm Nguyễn, PharmD’ s interactive educational program in Vietnamese. This education was well received by everyone and spurred many thoughtful questions from the attendees. After Dr. Nguyễn’s program, all of attendees took post-education knowledge assessment questions.
The eagerness and engagement of the 50 members in the audience made for an enriching experience. We learned that the 5-year program was originally developed from a proposal by Dr. Tanya Funchess, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, and previously serving various roles at the MS State Department of Health, with the first Health Disparities and Inequalities Report in 2015. Now in its 4th year, workers are in the process of cataloguing and analyzing the data for publication, and possibly replicating the program in other states.
We would like to express our appreciation to the following staff in Mississippi for inviting APHF to be part of this PRIME LLC program and for their hospitality:
- Xuân Phan, and staff of Mercy Housing and Human Development in Gulfport
- Daniel Le, Manager, Kiệt and staff from SOS Boat People Chapter in Biloxi
- Ms. Coi Nguyen and staff at the Department of Health of Southern Mississippi
Binh Tran, PharmD and Kayla Giang, PharmD
Asian Pacific Health Foundation