Rutgers-NYU Center for Asian Health Promotion and Equity Hosts Retreat

Date: February 15, 2024
Media Contact: Nicole Swenarton

The Rutgers-NYU Center for Asian Health Promotion and Equity (CAHPE) hosted its annual retreat in January in New Brunswick, NJ. Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, in close collaboration with New York University, received $11.6 million in funding from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to develop the center. It aims to serve as a regional hub for researchers to conduct studies on cardiometabolic disease and mental health issues in Asians throughout the New Jersey-New York area.

Click to view photos from the retreat.

The event featured the following programs:

Pre-retreat webinar on “Adapting Research Literacy Tool for Asians” by Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH, Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) – Center for Health Equity Transformation at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

The webinar was moderated by CAHPE Lead Multiple Principal Investigator, Soko Setoguchi, MD, DrPH, Professor of Medicine, Director of Clinical Research Education, Director of Clinician Researcher Track, Medicine Residency Program, Department of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and Professor of Epidemiology at Rutgers School of Public Health, and CAHPE Multiple Principal Investigator, Bei Wu, PhD, Vice Dean for Research and a Dean’s Professor in Global Health at Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University.

Keynote speech on “Cultural Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Dementia Caregiver Intervention for Immigrants with Limited English Proficiency” by Yuri Jang, PhD, Professor, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Senior Scientist, USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging.

Focus group sessions on Asian Community and Research Engagement moderated by Emerson Ea, DNP, PhD, Clinical Professor, Associate Dean, Clinical and Adjunct Faculty Affairs, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and Keith Chan, PhD, LMSW, Associate Professor, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

The focus groups were led by Vasudev Makhija, MD, Founder and President, South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN), Emerson Ea, Isabel Ching, LMSW, Executive Director, Hamilton Madison House, Keith Chan, Varsha Singh, DNP, Manager, Neuroscience/Stroke Program, St. Joseph Health System, and Anita Gundanna, PhD, Co-Executive Director, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF)​.

Yoga session focused on chair yoga, breathing, mindfulness and meditation hosted by Poonam Gupta, MS, Yoga Instructor, Thrive Wellness and Meditation, RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center and Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center. The session was moderated by Aparna Kalbag, PhD, Research Scientist II, CAHPE.

Lunch session on “Medically Tailored Meals for Asian Populations” featuring speakers, Kelly Naranjo, MS, Manager of Research and Evaluation at God’s Love We Deliver, and Leslie Puebla, BS, Community Outreach Associate at God’s Love We Deliver. The session was moderated by Soko Setoguchi.

Pilot scientist presentations moderated by Sunanda Gaur, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Co-Investigator, Community Engagement Core, CAHPE, Soko Setoguchi and Bei Wu.

Year 1:

  • “Characterizing mental health status and service utilization in Chinese immigrants with type 2 diabetes”​ by Lu Hu, PhD, Assistant Professor NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • “Aging in a foreign land: social isolation, depression, and cardiovascular health among older Chinese immigrants​” by Yanping Jiang, PhD, Instructor, Rutgers University
  • “Timely initiation of home health care among Asian Americans with and without dementia​” by Chenjuan Ma, PhD, MSN, Assistant Professor, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • “Unmet needs of mental health care among older Asian Americans with cardiometabolic diseases” by Chien-Ching Li, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Rush University
  • “Neighborhood socio-economic status and its association with mental and physical well-being among Asian American residents of New York City​​” by Tali Elfassy, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Miami

Year 2:

  • “Multilevel factors of mental health service utilization among Asian Americans with comorbid cardiometabolic diseases and mental health disorders: a mixed-methods study​” by Jiepin Cao, PhD, MS, RN, Postdoctoral Fellow, NYU School of Medicine
  • “24-Hour Activity and cardiometabolic health in Chinese immigrant women with history of gestational diabetes​” by Shuyuan Huang, PhD, RN, MPH, Postdoctoral fellow, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • “Associations between psychosocial health, lifestyle behaviors and cardiometabolic health among first – and second-generation Asian Americans” by Aayush Visaria, MD, MPH, Internal Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • “Chasing the American dream: Acculturation stress, truncal obesity and cardiovascular risk among first-generation Asian Indian immigrants in New Jersey” by Karen D’Alonzo, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Rutgers University and Shailja Mathur, MS, MEd, RDN, Family & Community Health Sciences Educator II, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County
  • “Ethnic Enclaves, mental health, and cardiometabolic risk in Asian Americans” by Eunyoung Choi, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, NYU School of Global Public Health

Year 3:

  • “Assessing differences in cardiometabolic diseases, mental health, and health care utilization: A comparative analysis across Asian American subgroups and other racial/ethnic adult caregivers​” by Xiang Qi, PhD, Research Scientist, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • “Increasing civic engagement among Asian American communities​” by Lan Doan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • “Domains of caregiving support accessed by South Asians in faith-based settings​” by Komal Patel Murali, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • “Cardiovascular health and anxiety among Chinese American families in NYC​” by Madison LeCroy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • “Food is Medicine” by Nurgul Fitzgerald, PhD, MS, RDN, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Invited speaker session on “Hypertension in Asian Populations: COMMUNITY” by Daichi Shimbo, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine and Associate Dean of Research and Career Development, and Director, Columbia Hypertension Center. The session was moderated by Bei Wu.

R01 Scientist Presentations moderated by Emerson Ea and Keith Chan:

  • “NYUCI-ES: Behavioral Intervention to Improve Health Outcomes of Chinese and Korean Dementia Caregivers” by Bei Wu and Mary Mittelman, DrPH, Research Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University
  • “HomeStyles: Shaping HOME Environments and LifeSTYLE Practices to Reduce Cardiometabolic Disease Risk” by Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, FAND, PhD, RD

CAHPE Community Advisory Board Members include: