ATLANTIC CITY — AtlantiCare honored Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Saturday with a community health and wellness fair.
The fair took place at the Atlantic City Vietnamese Community Center, which is in the Chelsea Heights neighborhood just off Albany Avenue. AtlantiCare staff offered blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol and diabetes assessments to those in attendance, according to a news release about the event. Nine physicians and an advanced-practice nurse held a panel discussion, giving out general health advice while answering questions.
The fair also celebrated AAPI culture, offering food, music and dance. Students from local high schools and colleges volunteered to do arts and crafts with children in attendance.
The city of Atlantic City, Vietnamese Community Center and Dynasty Alliance Inc. helped sponsor the event.
Ethan Nhan, AtlantiCare’s director of clinical and population health pharmacy, said the event was designed to be a fun way to connect members of the AAPI community with health resources.
“Culture is family, community, food and music,” said Nhan, who also is co-chair of the AtlantiCare Asian Pacific Employee Resource Group, or APEG. “Today we combined those with a dose of good health.”
Maria Victoria Roque, clinical director of oncology at the AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute and another APEG co-chair, emphasized the importance of teaching about common health needs, saying they could improve long-term health outcomes.
“The more our community members know about unique and common health issues they face, the more likely they are to access the care and services that are so important to their overall well-being,” Roque said.
COVID-19 vaccines were available at the event. After a springtime lull, coronavirus infections are beginning to increase again in New Jersey.
The pandemic has made the appreciation of AAPI cultures an especially important measure for public welfare. Yasna Babich, supervisor for Atlantic City Multicultural Affairs and Services, underscored how critical diversity was in promoting public health.
“Diversity brings a community together, Babich said in the news release. “As diverse as we are, we are united.”