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Media Coverage

Health Disparities Seminar Series

July 2012 Seminar Series
The National Institutes of Health welcomes Dr. Grace X. Ma as the speaker for the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series on July 19, 2012.

Hepatitis B virus – which can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer – is a severe health problem among Asian Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders comprise approximately half of the one million Americans living with chronic hepatitis B virus. In the United States, Koreans have the second highest incidence rate of hepatitis B and liver cancer, with rates for Korean men at almost seven times those of white men. Despite these statistics, most Korean Americans are neither screened nor vaccinated for hepatitis B due to language barriers, cost, and lack of awareness.

Led by Dr. Ma, researchers at Temple University are collaborating with community and church partners in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to reduce these disparities. Nearly 80% of Korean Americans attend church regularly, making outreach through faith-based institutions a natural strategy for connecting with the community. Dr. Ma's team worked with 30 Korean churches to develop and test a culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention that provided group education, patient navigation resources, and referrals to bilingual physicians.

In advance of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, 2012, Dr. Ma will highlight recent progress, describe the process of engaging church partners, and discuss lessons learned for creating successful health promotion programs in Korean churches. She will also emphasize the ability of community-based participatory research to build trust and strengthen both participant communication and the sustainability of interventions. (Click here for abstract)

Dr. Ma is the director of the Center for Asian Health and professor in the Department of Public Health at Temple University in Philadelphia. A cofounder of the first Asian Community Health Coalition in the northeast, Dr. Ma has delivered over 450 presentations and contributed to five books and more than 110 peer-reviewed publications. She earned a B.A. from Xi'an International Studies University in China and both an M.S. in mental health and Ph.D. in community health from the University of Oklahoma.

An internationally recognized scholar, Dr. Ma's numerous awards include the 2010 Partnership Award from the Nanjing Cancer Survivors Association, the 2009 Outstanding Scientific Publication Award from the National Cancer Institute, the 2008 Distinguished Asian Health Leader Award from Penn Asian Senior Services, and the 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Award in Reducing Health Disparities from the National Institutes of Health.

Presentation Title: A Community-Based Participatory Approach to a Hepatitis B Intervention for Underserved Korean Americans

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Grace X. Ma (Click here for bio)
Professor of Public
Health Director of the Center for Asian Health
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thursday, July 19, 2012
2:00 - 3:30 P.M.

NIH Campus
Lister Hill Center Auditorium
Building 38A
Bethesda, MD

Additional Information: There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest Metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check. The seminar will be video cast and made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

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