Welcome to our blog series, “Meet the AAPCHO Team,” where you’ll have a chance to get to know our staff! Meet Marta Alvarez, Executive Assistant as she answers some questions.
What’s your role at AAPCHO?
Executive Assistant to Jen Lee, Deputy Director at AAPCHO.
What are three Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander health topics that you think people should know about?
I believe it’s important to recognize that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities often face significant mental health stigma. Seeking help for mental health issues is sometimes viewed as a sign of weakness in these cultures, and this can prevent individuals from accessing the support they need. Promoting mental health awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding it is essential for the well-being of these communities.
Asian Americans, especially those of South Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, face elevated risks for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease due to genetic, dietary, and lifestyle factors. To mitigate these risks, individuals should prioritize a healthy lifestyle, including balanced nutrition and regular exercise.
Hepatitis B is more common in Asian and Pacific Islander communities compared to the general population. Raising awareness about vaccination, regular screening, early treatment, and prevention methods is imperative in these communities to combat the virus effectively.
How would you describe what community health centers do and why they should support them to someone who may not be familiar with them?
Community health centers are local healthcare facilities that provide accessible and affordable medical services to underserved populations. They offer a wide range of healthcare services, including primary care, dental care, mental health services, and preventive care. Supporting community health centers is crucial because they bridge gaps in healthcare, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their income or insurance status, can receive essential medical care. They play a vital role in improving community well-being, reducing health disparities, and promoting overall public health.
What are you most looking forward to in this new year at AAPCHO?
I’m looking forward to continuing to learn more about AAPCHO and support this wonderful team.
What is your favorite or go-to childhood comfort food?
My favorite comfort food would have to be a delicious tamale from El Salvador.