AMA: REACH Vietnamese


Here is a recap from one of the radio talk show done by Asian Media Access. This time around it is focused on the Vietnamese community with issues that arises in health care, culture, and community. It is great way to get direct insights on how these problems can be discussed, addressed, and shared with others.

Asian Media Access: Radio Talk Show

February 14, 2012 9:30am

14443 Armstrong Boulevard Northeast

Ramsey, MN 55303

Radio Talk Show Summary

Guests: Kieu Anh (KA), Anh Ha (AH), Amy Yen (AY), Thiep Nguyen (TN), Nancy Le (NL), Thinh Nguyen (THN)

Host: Phuoc Tran (PT), librarian at Hennnepin County Library

PT: Welcoming guests. Introduced self and the topic of discussion: A look at health disparities in the Vietnamese community in Minnesota as part of the Health Disparities project of Asian Media Access

KA: Introduced self- happy to be part of the project

AH: Introduced self- had been in Minnesota more than 4 years, happy to share her experiences on health care issues

AY: Introduced self-very happy to join the group in discussing health disparities and services of the Vietnamese community in the Twin Cities

TH: Introduced self-had been in Minneapolis, Minnesota more than 30 year, retired

NL: Introduced self- had been in Minnesota for a long time and so happy to discuss about health disparities in the Vietnamese community

THN: Introduced self-happy to be part of the discussion

PT: A recent survey of 103 Vietnamese people over 40 years showed that only 70% had an annual check-up. Why?

  • NL: No health insurance coverage; language barrier (Many immigrants and seniors have low educational level in addition to the language barrier they face when trying to communicate with doctors and health care providers); habit of avoiding doctors in fear of finding out that they might have a serious illness
  • KA: Co-Payments and health insurance premiums are high and expensive; no health insurance coverage from employer; language barrier; the lack of transportation hinders Vietnamese seniors from accessing their health care provider even if they have health care coverage
  • AY: Main reasons for not having annual check-up: having health insurance coverage, but people were busy and ignored it; lack of health coverage; tend to view health care as necessary only when they’re sick.
  • NL: Raise questions about patients were kept in the waiting room for too long before they see the doctor/ urgent care
  • PT: Co-Payments and health insurance premiums are high and expensive.
  • TN: – paid $500 for health insurance after his retirement and it was too much with today’s economy and decided not to buy it if having a good health.

– Medicine prices were often high and not affordable in America, so it was           common to see people buy medicine in Vietnam at a much lower price

– Language barrier: Many immigrants and seniors have low educational level in addition to the language barrier they face when trying to communicate with doctors and health care providers

PT: Questions on health disparities in the Vietnamese Community in Minnesota?

  • NL: Feel unreasonable to pay high cost of health insurance while they may not be utilizing it. Why they need to pay more co-payment in addition to high premium cost; rather pay for daily expenses to their children than pay high cost insurance. Co-Payments and health insurance premiums were high and expensive; the cumbersome paperwork required to take part in government insurance programs has also contributed to the lack of health care coverage for many Vietnamese people.
  • AH: Not happy to pay high cost health insurance, but get limited services and high co-payment. Rather not having health insurance and buy medicine over the counter and have free mammogram services. Co-Payments and health insurance premiums are high and expensive. Couldn’t afford to buy health insurance
  • NL: Sorry for jumping to the discussion:

Medicare health insurance VS employee health insurance: limited services and doctor’s appointment in Government health insurance.

  • PT: Time for advertisement. We’ll come back to our next question.

2 minutes Break Time

  • PT:   Welcome back and discuss on co-payments and affordability on health insurance.
  • TN: Suggestions on health disparities: Vietnamese non-profit organization/ program, like First Call-United Way for free, updated information and referral program; free clinic or low cost clinic for new comers and low income families.
  • PT: Share info on Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, a free clinic operated by University of Minnesota health professional students. All students are supervised by licensed clinicians. No Appointments or Insurance Necessary. Spanish Interpreters are available at all times. No Appointments or Insurance Necessary; Give a Kid’s Smile (free dental exam for k-12);
  • KA: No one knew about these free clinic/services. Lack of resources /information in the Vietnamese community
  • PT: Great idea to have more resources published /advertised to the community via media outlets
  • AH: Why there was no interpreters in these free clinics while there was a interpretation phone line /interpreters in regular doctor office/clinic?
  • TH: Lack of sharing resources, no knowledge of such free clinic/services
  • AY: No knowledge of medical procedures/practices: thought they can see any doctor they wish or visit any hospital they choose; not happy to ask for a referral to see a specialist
  • NL: Not counting a lot of waiting time in the doctor’s office/ emergency room. Most people didn’t see the importance of preventive health services. They were unaware of what their health status was due to a habit of avoiding doctors in fear of finding out that they might have a serious illness
  • PT: Too much paperwork, no knowledge of medical procedures/practices shine people away from the doctor’s office
  • TN: It depended on health care policy some didn’t require a referral to see a specialist

2 minutes Break

  • PT: Welcome back. A need of resources and free clinic, free medicine and how to do it in the Vietnamese Community.
  • THN: We should have different media sources, local magazines, newspapers for seminating health information and resources
  • KA: In addition, information should be shared and brought to social and community gatherings every week
  • PT: Great idea to come to the weekly elderly gathering to share these resources
  • TN: A need of tailoring programs that fit both the audience’s need and the community’s resources.
  • NL : Development of health education, such as flyers, brochures and media materials in Vietnamese
  • AH: A need of developing a health issues website to cover all counties so everyone, including patients, new comers, health care providers, can use it as first resource.
  • PT: Significant use of traditional health practices VS Western Medicine. Why?
  • KA: Tendency to use herbal and traditional medicine among the elders. Use it as alternative or complementary medicine. Herbal treatments are the most popular form of traditional medicine and safe or carry no risk for harm. They are easy to buy and affordable, 10 times cheaper than medicine.
  • TN: Ensure the use of safe, effective and quality products and practices and watch for side effects
  • PT: Language barrier, no knowledge of medical terminology, cultural differences between patients and doctors are among the health disparities in the Vietnamese community
  • AY: Most of the clinics and hospitals have interpretation services while one might not find this service in a private doctor’s office.
  • THN: There were some complaints on interpretation services that weren’t good enough, lack of efficiency/ accuracy. All educational interpreters should have training, certification, and basic qualifications as required by the regulations of the state and by the interpreting industry

Solutions suggested by participants

  1. Free clinic low cost coverage
  2. Community physician who worked for a non-profit clinic that served low income, uninsured and underserved families
  3. Increase interpretation services
  4. Development of health education, such as flyers, brochures and media material in Vietnamese
  5. Reaching out to seniors through various venues, including weekly meetings, community gatherings/events, ethnic media (radio ,T.V, newspaper)
  6. Create a newsletter or website in Vietnamese that list updated resource/ news on health issues
  7. Getting the word out locally “word of mouth”
  8. Recruit community volunteers from within the Vietnamese community to be day doctors or health providers

PT: Thanks to everyone for their participation.

What Causes Cancer? A shocking truth..

What Causes Cancer? A shocking truth..

written by Beatrice

I was shocked the first time I heard how and WHY cancer happened. I was also surprised that the medical doctors I have met throughout this journey never explained to me WHY cancer happens at the first place, because we need to know the WHY to get to the prevention/improvement.

This 8 minute video by Shafin de Zane explains well the cancer happens at the first place because our cells are trying to protect itself by mutating, otherwise it would die because it is swimming in a sea of toxins. And also, it shares how cancer can be prevented quite easily. Please do watch this and share with others!

Today is Earth Day!



“April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, CA. in 1969.” – (

Time to show the Earth a little appreciation and do something good for the Earth. The more we can help out with out environment, the more it will help us back in return. Here are 10 facts to know about how people are trying to conserve resources, how energy is consumed, and how people help the Earth:

1. 5,456 = The number of employees in wind electric power generation, the most among the industries using renewable energy in 2012.

2. 56.8 million = Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2013, which is 49.1 percent of all homes.

3. 4,000,459 = Estimated number of people who walked to work in 2013. This comes out to about 2.8 percent of the American workforce.

4.  52,906 = Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) across the U.S. in 2012.


5. 2,598 square feet = The average size of a single-family home completed in 2013; 59,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 251,000 had four bedrooms or more.

6. 8.4 billion = Product shipments value for recycled paperboard in 2013.

7. 1.5 billion = Estimated revenue for “waste collection – hazardous waste management collection services” in 2013 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was up 16.4 percent from 2012.

8. -32% = The drop in the consumption of coal in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 2002 to 2010, going from 1,956 trillion Btu in 2002 down to 1,328 trillion Btu consumed in 2010.

9. 25.8 minutes = Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2013, up from 25.7 minutes in 2012 and 25.5 minutes in 2011.


10. 9.8 billion = Revenues in 2012 for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources, such as hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation. This figure is up 49.0 percent from $6.6 billion in 2007.



National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness


On April 10th, it was the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. Social media, news, and all sorts of media posted about how it is “an opportunity to learn about HIV & AIDS and how young people are affected” ( But it is still great to pass on knowledge about these issues and to learn more about current updates and research. Here are some links to more information about HIV & AIDS.

Blog posts:
Additional resources include:

Take Advantage of Beautiful Spring – Go Out for a Walk


Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of our experience while walking, and try to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking. Actually, there are several different kinds of walking meditation. –

  • Meditate is defined by to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. –
  • It is best done outside where you can fully pay attention to yourself. Do it without worrying about other things. A good walk would be from 15-20 minutes. But even if it’s just 5-10 minutes that you have to yourself each day, it can help you meditate.
  • Meditate while you are walking. It’s about walking without worry, time, and space. Take as much as you need for yourself to meditate while walking.
  • It helps you to slow down, think about yourself, and reflect on a deeper level. It can help decrease stress, improve your mental health, and at the same time allow you to be physically active.

So while the weather is getting warm, take advantage of it and try practicing walking meditation. It may take some time getting used to, but it can help with practice or even naturally. But remember that any form of meditation is always helpful for your mental health.


Season Change – the things you need to watch for


Spring is quickly arriving and with the new season, there are some things to do. For every season, we all need to prepare for it. Here are some ways that you can help prep yourself for the new season:

  • More cleaning? Sadly, yes we all need to clean our yard every year. Whether it is pulling out weeds, raking leaves, picking up pine seeds, planting new garden plants, or trimming the grass, it can help prep the yard to allow new things to grow. Also, it’ll help make the yard look cleaner.
  • How to properly dispose garbage and recycle? Depending on where you live, the city will tell you how to organize your recyclables and dispose garbages based on the city rules. It will help make it easier for the waste service to handle them and prevent you from paying any fees.
  • Experiencing warmer (or colder) weather? Time to put away your clothes that are not suited to the weather. Whether it is warm or cold weather, dress accordingly so that you can fully enjoy the warm weather (or protect yourself from the cold).
  • Food is a major part of the seasonal change! Check out your local farmer’s market and groceries to get fruits and veggies that are in season. As a bonus, having a garden can help you get outside, stay active, and grow your own produces!
  • There are many activities that you can do each season. Spring and summer is great for fishing, camping, walking, running, bicycling, swimming, and more. Fall and winter is great for harvesting, skiing, sledding, walking, and more. So it really depends on what you want to do during the season.
  • New season means other holidays are coming near! Usually, people get work off as well as students. It is a great way for families to celebrate with great food, entertainment, and bonding with others.
  • Season positions? Summer is the prime time for internships, summer jobs, and youth employment programs. It is a great way for many youths to earn a few buck while having time to spare for personal fun.

There are many things to do each season so make sure you enjoy each of them while they are still here! Have fun, stay active, and experience new things.

Bicultural Birthday Party Ideas

A Bicultural Birthday Party Ideas copy

There are fun ways to make parties multicultural. It allows adults and kids to share experiences from different aspects of other kinds of cultures. Also, it is one of the best ways to introduce others to new kinds of things. Here are a few how-to:

  • Cater different kinds of food. Whether it is American, Asian, French, Indian, or Spanish food, everyone will enjoy it. The best part is that everyone will get a taste of something that is not usually from their own culture. Variety is the key to allow other to discover what they may or may not like.
  • Incorporate different fun activities! For example, a piñata is very popular in the U.S. for birthday parties. This type of activity can be found among many Hispanic cultures and has been adopted into other cultures as well. Other games and activities are pin the donkey tail, musical chairs, charades, bingo, thumbs up, and more, etc.
  • Dress up parties are another way for people to physically experience a culture. Whether it is formal, traditional, or a theme color, it can allow creativity and participation from all the guests.
  • Music is a big part of all cultures and usually, parties have a playlist, a dj, a live band, or some form of music to entertain the guests. Some of them is to allow just for hearing, entertainment, and group dances.

There are many other ways to make parties fun and innovative. The more ideas and activities that a party can have, it will encourage more participation and entertainment for the host(s) and the guests. The main part is to make sure everyone have a great time!

Quality of calories



Once you have learned your calories consumption every day, you may begin to notice your decreased weight, but it is only the beginning step of right step.

As the picture shows, the fuel produced to your body by 2000 calories of gingerbread cookies is not as same as 2000 calories of meat, vegetable, and fruit.

Your body digests different types of nutrients differently. There  are basic bodily functions of all sorts of nutrients: building muscle, transporting nutrients, storing energy as fat for later use, fueling various muscle. Below are how a person compose a basic meal:

Protein: When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and then use protein to rebuild themselves stronger while recovering. Protein absolutely NEEDS to be a main component of every meal.  Aim for one gram per pound (two grams per KG) of lean body weight, or just do one gram per pound of body weight if you don’t want to do the math – with an upper limit of 200 grams.  Sources of protein include chicken, eggs, beef, pork, fish, nuts, legumes, quinoa, and most dairy products.

Carbohydrates: When you eat carbohydrates, they get converted to glucose (sugar) in your system, which is then used to provide energy for all sorts of body functions to take place.  Vegetables and/or fresh fruit are quality sources of carbohydrates, with grains being less so in my opinion…but we’ll get to more grains later. There are certainly bad carbohydrates (processed carbs, refined grains, and more), and those are the ones we want to avoid.  Unless you’re a marathon runner, you can function with WAY less carbs than you’re probably consuming now.

Fat:  Fat is easily the most misunderstood macro-nutrient in your diet; long story short: fat is absolutely critical to your body and should make up a BIG portion of your daily calories.  Things like avocados, almonds, olive oil, walnuts, and almond butter are great sources of healthy fat (polyunsaturatured and monounsaturated).  If you would like to take saturated fat, then full fat milk, coconut milk, and fatty cuts of meat will provide you with sources of saturated fat.



Daily Health Tips



The start to a healthier lifestyle is starting out with small steps. These are the steps that can help gradually help you reach your goal. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your body weight, trying to eat healthier, or what you may want to achieve, it is better to set a plan with realistic approaches.

  • Switch out unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives. For example, do you have a sweet tooth for sugary drinks, snacks, deserts, and candies? It is better for you to switch it out with sweet fruits, organic juices, and have fruits become your snack.
  • Drinking too little of water? Maybe you don’t realize that you are not drinking enough water. Although there are tastier options out there, water is the best source of hydration for your body. After all, your body is made up about 65% of water! The recommended amount of water to drink is up to 2 liters a day.
  • An active lifestyle is always a plus and beneficial to your body, physically and emotionally. It helps reduce stress, burn extra calories, and maintain your body. It doesn’t mean that you have to work out according to a schedule. But trying to incorporate work out sessions (even if it it’s short or long) into your daily life is a great start.
  • Dieting isn’t always the answer to an healthier lifestyle. Everyone’s body are different biologically and sometimes, you lose or gain weight with a diet plan. Make sure to experiment and find out what works best for you.
  • Getting enough sleep is a very important part of the body regulation and recovery. If you find yourself being hunger many times, having mood swings, gaining weight, stressing out, and more, then maybe you need a break. Putting stress on your body by not getting enough sleep results in more stress. So make sure to sleep on a time schedule (if possible) and take naps whenever you are exhausted.

Remember, it’s not our external appearances that defines us, but what we think about ourselves internally. Don’t value yourself based upon what you see, it’s about how you respect and know that you’re worth. It is important to maintain one’s lifestyle physically and emotionally.