Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES)

Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES)

The Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES), founded in 2001 by a group of undergraduate and medical students from UC Davis, was a direct response to alarming statistics reported by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results. The data highlighted that Vietnamese American women faced

Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES)

The Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES), founded in 2001 by a group of undergraduate and medical students from UC Davis, was a direct response to alarming statistics reported by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results. The data highlighted that Vietnamese American women faced a five times greater incidence rate of cervical cancer. In an effort to address the disparities within the Vietnamese community, VN CARES focuses its efforts on the Sacramento area, aiming to accomplish three primary missions. Firstly, VN CARES provides free primary care services and routine cancer screenings at our clinic in Sacramento. Additionally, in order to bridge cultural and language barriers prevalent in health care, we also provide translation services at all our patient visits. Secondly, VN CARES strives to bridge the gap between the Vietnamese community and prevalent health education. We perform secondary research to analyze scientific journals and share their findings and knowledge with the greater Sacramento community. Finally, we strive to enroll patients for essential cancer screening services to promote preventative care. Overall, our long-term goals include reducing the prevalence of cancer in our community, identifying the healthcare needs of our community, striving to become a hub of valuable resources, and collaborating with other organizations to achieve common goals.

About the Organization:

The Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education Society (VN CARES), founded in 2001 by a group of undergraduate and medical students from UC Davis, was a direct response to alarming statistics reported by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results. The data highlighted that Vietnamese American women faced a five times greater incidence rate of cervical cancer. In an effort to address the disparities within the Vietnamese community, VN CARES focuses its efforts on the Sacramento area, aiming to accomplish three primary missions. Firstly, VN CARES provides free primary care services and routine cancer screenings at our clinic in Sacramento. Additionally, in order to bridge cultural and language barriers prevalent in health care, we also provide translation services at all our patient visits. Secondly, VN CARES strives to bridge the gap between the Vietnamese community and prevalent health education. We perform secondary research to analyze scientific journals and share their findings and knowledge with the greater Sacramento community. Finally, we strive to enroll patients for essential cancer screening services to promote preventative care. Overall, our long-term goals include reducing the prevalence of cancer in our community, identifying the healthcare needs of our community, striving to become a hub of valuable resources, and collaborating with other organizations to achieve common goals.

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Puerto Rico • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Puerto Rico • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

The Issue:

VN CARES aims to address the disproportionate prevalence of cancer in the Vietnamese community and barriers to health care and health education. These barriers to care include language, financial limitations, and cultural differences. Vietnamese individuals experience one of the highest rates for the Hepatitis B virus which can lead to the development of liver cancer. In order to address this disparity, our clinic screens every new patient for Hepatitis B. We then follow up with Hepatitis B positive patients routinely with liver ultrasounds, blood work, and check ups to ensure that patients are receiving the care they need. We also push to vaccinate patients who are not yet immune to the virus to reduce its transmission. There is also a linguistic barrier that many Vietnamese Americans face when trying to access healthcare. Our undergraduate volunteers commit themselves to reduce this barrier by serving as translators and acting as patient advocates to ensure that they are receiving the quality healthcare they deserve. This includes ensuring that the patients feel comfortable during exams and that all concerns are thoroughly addressed and patients are informed on their health and included in their healthcare decisions. In addition, to combat financial barriers, VN CARES helps our underinsured/uninsured patients sign up for health insurance and receive free or reduced-priced medications through our Patient Assistance Program. It is crucial to address and work towards mitigating the barriers to healthcare that many Vietnamese Americans face in order to improve healthcare access, enhance patient-provider communication, promote health equity, and empower individuals in their healthcare decisions.

The Solution:

VN CARES shares a clinic in Sacramento with the Paul Hom Asian Clinic where we primarily offer services to the underserved Southeast and Eastern Asian community. Our clinic is supported by medical professionals, professional students, and undergraduates who volunteer their time to serve our patients. Within the clinic, we also have 8 different committees that focus on a specific health related concern and assist patients to receive services including the Hepatitis, Diabetes, Women’s Health, Cardiopulmonary, Covered California (insurance), Ophthalmology, Neurology, and Patient Assistance Program (free medications) committees. Every Saturday, our clinic provides primary health care services to patients of all backgrounds including but not limited to Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Hmong, Pacific Islander, and Russian. In addition, VN CARES runs a cancer screening clinic once a month where patients can be screened for cervical, breast, colorectal, prostate, and liver cancer. During this time, we also provide consultations for reproductive health concerns. In addition, we have a Research and Education program that focuses on community outreach and educating the community on relevant health topics. Our goal is to use secondary research to bridge the gaps between health literate education and vulnerable communities - particularly analyzing adversities that disproportionately affect the Asian American community. The program also hosts education events for children and high school students to learn more about their health and what they can do now to prevent the onset of disease in the future.

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