Specialized PAMF Program Helps Keep South Asians Healthy
When it comes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, South Asians are one of the highest risk groups, and they also die from heart disease at a much younger age. To ensure that South Asian patients can live longer, healthier lives, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has created a South Asian Health Program that provides services and resources tailored to South Asian patients’ specific health needs.
“Our South Asian patients not only comprise 12 percent – the largest ethnic minority group – of all our patients, they are also three times more likely to get diabetes and twice as likely to have low levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol that protects against heart disease as any other ethnic group,” says Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S. , a PAMF Research Institute investigator who together with Ronesh Sinha, M.D. , leads PAMF’s South Asian Health Program.
Originally, the program provided resources to help educate South Asians specifically on the risks of diabetes and heart disease, but it has since expanded to include services and resources that cover all aspects of health and wellness.
“Our program is a wonderful one-stop-shop resource for all South Asian health needs,” says Dr. Sinha. “We know that to truly improve the health of our South Asian patients we need to involve and educate the whole family – including mom, grandma and the children – and motivate them to make good health choices.”
Some of the highlights of the PAMF South Asian Health Program include:
- A dedicated South Asian Health website that offers a full range of health resources with special sections on heart health and women’s and children’s health, online tools such as South Asian body mass index (BMI) and diabetes risk calculators, a library of videos in English and Hindi, and much more.
- A special South Asian physician consultation service where the patient spends 60 minutes with a physician who has extensive experience with South Asian health issues. Patients can ask their physician to submit a referral, or they can schedule a consultation.
- Employer services that provide a range of resources and programs to assist employers in improving the health of their South Asian employees. Read about how PAMF recently partnered with Cisco to create a unique health program for their employees.
- A quarterly South Asian Health electronic newsletter keeps PAMF patients up-to-date on the latest health articles and news. Sign up by going to the website.
- A new South Asian Health Facebook page was launched in February 2011 to help people connect with other South Asians and find the latest South Asian health news, articles and wellness tips from PAMF doctors and health experts.
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