By Kevin Chen
On October 14th, 2014, our Hep B volunteers had a chilling experience during the ice-skating social at Oakland Ice Centre! It was a great bonding experience with many laughs, low temperatures, and hopefully not too many falls! Socials are great events when our volunteers can take a break from their busy lives and to have fun and bond with each other. If you are looking to get to know the other volunteers, I highly suggest coming to one of the socials, or to all of them!
On October 4th, 2014, a few of our volunteers, most of whom were fluent in Korean, attended the Korean Health Conference in Oakland to help with Hepatitis B education, screening and vaccination. It was a very fruitful event and our hard-working volunteers were rewarded with great food. Thanks guys!
Hi! My name is Julie. I'm a second year and MCB major. I'm from the beautiful bay. I love to eat, sleep, and watch movies. My favorite place in the entire world is tied between my bed and the kitchen. I have a soft spot in my heart for little kids, a strong sense of justice, and an addiction to boba.
I look forward to the next two years of my undergrad at Berkeley and hope to attend medical school soon after. I would like to be a pediatric oncologist who loves her patients and can help bring joy and laughter to patients regardless of their health. I aspire to be a doctor who helps patients get quality medical care and not let socioeconomic status be a barrier to what the services they are entitled to. I want to be a person who is not passive about problems especially in her community, but someone who will go out and make a difference and share laughs along the way.
Hi! I am Michelle, and this is going to be my very first year here at UC Berkeley. I’m super excited to experience all this place has to offer, and also to discover what I could offer to this amazing institute. I am an intended Environmental Economics and Policy major, but who knows, that may change anytime. However, that being said, I like thinking outside of the box, and I am interested in learning about how the business world intertwines with the environment. I love nature and all the wonders that come with it. If you’ve come to know me better, you would also find out that I have an uncanny obsession with sunrises, sunsets and the sky (but I just told you that).
I remember the excitement I felt when I first heard about the Hep B project. Volunteering has always been a core part of my life, and I have always been fascinated by the medical world. Being able to take part in the Hep B project was like killing two birds with one stone. I am looking forward to learning more about Hep B and lending a hand to people in need. I hope to be able to contribute to the project while also gaining hands-on experiences working with patients. I cannot wait to start working with everyone on the team and getting to know all of you more! :)
Hi my name is Vongphachanh Mymala, but I go by Lynn (it's a Lao/Thai cultural thing for your nickname to be other than a shortened first name). I am a 4th year Integrative Biology major. I like to play console series-type games like Megaman, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Final Fantasy. However because I'm so busy with school and family (I'm local), I usually don't have time anymore to immerse myself in games. Hep B is one of the things I chose to do in my free time. As a Southeast Asian I understand the struggle of not being able to afford health care and get flu shots and vaccinations. My hope is that by being a part of Hep B project, I can help outreach and education SEA folks about Hepatitis B and help them gain better access to care. In the future, I hope to be a health professional but right now I'm unsure in what.
Hello! My name is Jesse and I am a first year intended computer science/molecular cell biology major. I enjoy playing tennis, learning, biking, hiking, and eating. I learned about Hepatitis B from the last two years in high school in China. I became increasingly curious about the disease that was extremely prevalent throughout the country I lived in and also originated from. After coming to Cal, I joined the Hepatitis B Project because I want to learn more about Hepatitis B as well as play an active role in helping to prevent it. Furthermore, by being a part of this organization, I aspire to grow as a person as well as contribute to the community that played a fundamental part in giving us all the opportunities we have as Asians in America.
After being in the emergency room of a hospital and having seen first hand the impact a doctor can have on someone’s life, I realized that I wanted to become a doctor. In those situations, people have to be willing to trust others with their lives. In the Hepatitis B Project, people trust us to take care of them and keep them safe. I hope to begin this effort at the Hep B Project and to continue doing so throughout my life.
Hello! My name is Alex An, and I am a current junior studying MCB at Cal. I am also a San Diegan native that naturally appreciates warm weather, the beach, and TRUE Mexican food (none of that La Burrita business…). I decided to join The Hep B Project because I wanted to know what I would look like in the clinical setting. When all the exams and textbooks are pushed aside, it’s actually the quality of one’s application of this knowledge that makes a great doctor—not to mention all the entailing social skills that just can’t be learned in a classroom. If I may draw an analogy to soccer, I would say that I’ve spent a good amount of time in the locker room learning about the playbook and what to do on the field, but no matter how much I learn, I’m not a soccer player until I spend time working and playing on the field. I feel like that’s where I am in terms of joining The Hep B Project for the first time and actuating the start of my clinical career. And I’m very thrilled about it!
As for the foreseeable future, I plan on going down the physician route and going through the whole package: medical school, residency/fellowship, and marriage (most of all!). Although I have a desire to go into pediatrics and family practice to see the institution of family revived and taken care of, I understand that my will is flexible and is subject to change down the road. In other words, I want to be a pediatrician, but we’ll see once I get into medical school! Apart from my professional life as a doctor, I see myself also being a professional father and taking excellent care of my wife and kids!!
On August 23rd, Hep B volunteers met in Oakland Chinatown in anticipation for an on-site screening event. For those of you who don't know, an on-site screening event tries to bridge the gap between the outreach of at-risk individuals and the screening of said individuals. Usually, efforts are focused towards only one or the other process, and it is logistically difficult to facilitate both effectively at the same time. When many potentially at-risk individuals come together, which is the case in Streetfest, the time is ripe to combine these two processes and put efforts towards expediting the overall process of outreach, screening, and subsequent vaccination.
Overall, volunteers had a great time and screened 7 individuals while referring 8 to other medical practitioners.
The outreach team and all volunteers who attended would like to give a big shout-out to Michelle from Alta Bates and Dr. Luong for facilitating the event!
by Stephanie Nguyen
The Affordable Care Act can be interpreted in many different lights and targeted from many different angles. Francis Kong from Insight@Berkeley and EdgeInterns came in to Hep B Project on April 23rd speak about his own perspective of the Affordable Care Act.
Francis Kong holds a medical degree from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, although he does not currently practice. Instead, he works in healthcare and mentorship develop for students, with a specific chapter here at Berkeley. Despite not working directly in the medical field, Francis is extremely knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act and holds his own opinion on how it will affect physicians and their patients.
His main argument against the Affordable Care Act is the issue of the allocation of resources, namely the number of physicians that will not change even with the expected influx of insured patients. To Francis, this means that there will be shorter appointment times, already at an all-time low of around 10 minutes, to accommodate for the number of new clients that physicians will take on. Shorter appointments thus mean shorter times for physicians to diagnose a problem, which in itself leads to more problems. If the physician makes an incorrect diagnosis and neglects the actual condition or prescribes a harmful treatment, in a trigger-happy country full of lawyers, lawsuits ensue. Insurance of physicians now take a hit and the next part of this snowball effect is that physicians must seek out more patients to cover their insurance premium. Again, more patients now means even shorter appointment times and shorter diagnoses times, and on and on. This thus becomes a cycle incurred by the initiation of the Affordable Care Act.
There are plenty of better and worse enactments that can be made in terms of health care, but what would be most suitable for the United States is a topic of heated debate. We must consider if what is best is very good health care for some people, or less than good health care for all. It’s an interesting idea to consider, and Francis Kong sparked that thought in us during our meeting. There is much to see and look forward to with the Affordable Care Act, and Francis Kong’s perspective is certainly something to consider in what the future holds in medicine.
By Rebecca Phuong
Have you met the man behind the website? I was fortunate enough to have Warren be one of the LC’s that interviewed me during my application process and now he is my committee leader! (Wahoo! Tech Team!)If you don’t know this Warren likes to eat, so much so that he gets super cranky if he doesn't get any food in him. So before we had our PH150A Epidemiology class (you should take it!) we walked down to Shattuck to grab some lunch. And here are some things I found out about Warren:
• His real name is Wentai (but he legally changed it to Warren this past year!)
• He is a third year MCB major
• He is from China! (What? Jason Derulo gonna talk dirty to ya)
• He lived in San Francisco, CA until his parents uprooted him to Walnut Creek, CA
• But now his family is residing in Concord, CA
• He has never been to SkyHigh (social anyone?)
• He joined Hep B Freshmen year and has never looked back (look at the dedication!)
• He doesn’t go home often but when he does he brings his laundry (Thanks Momma and Papa Li)
• He thinks he is the most intimidating and most sexy LC members (date auction anyone? Ehh ehh?)
• If he doesn’t answer his phone it is because he is at Main Stacks being super studious!
• He enjoys going to clinic!
• And is currently taking Spanish 1 making him trilingual!
As Warren finished his chicken sliders and tater tots, I was glad to learn so much about him. Not many people join an organization their freshmen year and continue to be as dedicated and as motivated like Warren. His involvement in Hep B has made a huge difference! Not many people are able to be as tech savvy as our tech coordinator. So if you haven’t had a chance, take some time out to check out all the hard work Warren does with the website (it’ll make our stat-counter higher and him happier).