NYU CSAAH, Kalusugan Coalition and CDC meeting held at Payag restaurant in Woodside, N.Y. on June 26, 2015. In photo are Rachel Avendula (PAYAG), Tristan Vizconde (KC), Mary Joy Garcia-Dia (KC), May Mayor (KC), Cathy Choy (NYU), Shilpa Patel (NYU), Luis Pedron (KC), Catlin Rideout (NYU), Lily Ann Divino (KC), Janelle Gardner (CDC) and Nadia Islam (NYU).

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) performed a site visit at one of Kalusugan Coalition’s (KC) sub-partner Payag restaurant located at 5134 Roosevelt Woodside, NY 11377 on June 26, 2015, which is actively engaged in Project REACH FAR’s goal in promoting healthy eating.

KC, represented by Lily Divino, May Rosario and Tristan Visconde, presented its report to CDC through a power point presentation of its plans that were and will be implemented in the Filipino-American community for the Reach Far project.

In attendance were: Rachel Avendula (PAYAG), Tristan Vizconde (KC), Mary Joy Garcia-Dia (KC), May Mayor (KC), Cathy Choy (NYU), Shilpa Patel (NYU), Luis Pedron (KC), Catlin Rideout (NYU), Lily Ann Divino (KC), Janelle Gardner (CDC) and Nadia Islam (NYU).

According to Nadia Islam, Ph.D., Director, NYU Prevention Research Center and Principal Investigator of the REACH FAR Project, “Our colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were extremely impressed with the breadth and depth of work that is ongoing in the Bangladeshi, Filipino, Korean and Sikh communities by your organizations and businesses.”

Kalusugan Coalition was also recently at the Bayanihan Seventh Day Adventist 39-49 29th Long Island City, NY 11101 on June 27, 2015 to introduce the concepts of the Reach Far project and its objectives to the church members.

It was a day of working with this Faith Based Organization (FBO) in serving healthier foods and drinks to their congregants.

An organization survey and a baseline survey was also conducted regarding Healthy Food intake.

KC will also hold blood pressure screenings and help this FBO control high blood pressure within their community.

KC was able to complete about 60 individual surveys and for their survey completion efforts they were given a token Walgreens gift card.

KC board of directors would like to extend its gratitude to their partners in supporting this important Million Hearts Initiative through Project Reach grant.

Over the next several months, KC will be working closely with Bayanihan Seventh Day Adventist in LIC and NY Filipino Seventh Day Adventist in Woodside to ensure that healthy food and beverage options are available during communal meals.

KC will also work with Payag, Tito Rad’s and Engeline’s Restaurants to ensure that customers have the option to choose healthy dishes from their menus when dining out.

In addition, the Philippine Nurses Association of New York, Inc, a Filipino-American professional nursing organization, will also be a sub-partner with KC in this project.

Through the REACH FAR Grant Project, Kalusugan Coalition together with its sub-partners will implement several key strategies to fight high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in Filipino-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) Filipino-American restaurants to offer healthy menu options to its customers;

3) Filipino-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 Filipino-American congregants.

The scope of this particular project will be in the Filipino-American community in the Borough of Queens in New York City.

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Asian Americans (REACH FAR) is a program of the NYU CSAAH The Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH), located at NYU Langone Medical Center and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent cardiovascular disease in Asian-Americans living in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area by increasing access to healthy foods and culturally tailored health coaching efforts to improve high blood pressure management.


Visit-Assess-Survey Kalusugan Coalition/ReachFar Program Bayanihan Seventh Day Adventist in Long Island City, N.Y. on June 27, 2015.

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