Each year, the Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination Alliance (TEA) partners with organizations serving Asian American (AA), Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (NH/PI) communities that are disproportionately impacted by latent TB infection (LTBI) and/or TB through the Mini-Grant Program.

To commemorate World TB Day on March 24, 2023, get to know TEA’s 2022-2023 mini-grantees. Let’s celebrate the progress they’ve made towards TB elimination!

Todu Guam Foundation (TGF)

“With the implementation of TB education in our community outreach events and the strong support and partnership with the local government’s Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) TB/Hansen’s Disease Program, individuals in the community have increased their understanding of TB. With increased awareness and understanding of TB in a region endemic to TB, it is important for the community to know when to get tested, what signs to look for, and what protocols to follow for LTBI/TB positive patients. This makes testing, treatment, and contact tracing easier for DPHSS.” -Ashley Calvo-Rodriguez, Clinic Administrator

TGF is a locally and nationally recognized non-profit organization that provides health, education, and other support services to Guam’s uninsured and underinsured population. Through the Foundation’s Mobile Care Clinic, the organization brings no-cost medical services to the hard-to-reach areas of the island with over 20 medical outreaches throughout the year. With the TEA mini-grant, TGF integrates a heavy push of TB education at each medical outreach. To date, they have delivered TB education to over 470 new individuals from TB endemic regions to hard-to-reach rural areas.

For World TB Day, TGF will host an event on March 25th and several provider education workshops to local clinics that provide direct patient care to the underserved population in Guam.

TGF has also been named as one of the 2023 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. TB Elimination Champions! To learn more about TGF, please visit: https://toduguam.com/

Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese (ACOM)

“The main important positive impact has been the education piece and the community knowing there is help available. Before this project, TB was a topic that no one talked about, but there is an emergent of importance and now people are comfortably talking about it.” -Melisa Laelan, Chief Executive Officer

Through the TEA mini-grant, ACOM focuses on raising awareness of TB through outreach and online education sessions. They plan to continue hosting virtual education opportunities and use spaces that the community feel comfortable coming into, such as the Enrā Food pantry during weekly food distribution. They are looking forward to continue meeting the community at events, in particular, that community members will be more likely to attend.

On March 24th, ACOM will be hosting its 3rd Annual World TB Day event. At the event, ACOM will celebrate and recognize the women who are making a healthier community, particularly in TB elimination in their past and current capacity.

To learn more about ACOM, please visit: https://www.arkansasmarshallese.org/

Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation (VACF)

“VACF’s TB-Free OC initiative has improved the awareness of TB/LTBI among the Vietnamese American population in Orange County, who suffers from health disparities resulted from high rates of low-income and poverty, limited English proficiency, majority immigrant population, and exacerbated by cultural stigma of disease and illness. In addition, the program has provided navigation and facilitated screenings for many individuals in this community, thus increased the number of community members who know their TB status and are able to get timely and appropriate treatment, gearing toward the long-term goal of eliminating TB.” -Hailey Do, Programs Coordinator

Orange County, California is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam with an estimated population of over 220,000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). It also has been estimated that over 200,000 individuals in this county have LTBI, and Vietnam is the most common country of birth (44.9%) among the identified TB cases (Tuberculosis in Orange County, 2021). In recognizing the disproportionate burden among the Vietnamese community over the past few years, VACF has been providing linguistically appropriate services, support, and education to community members, with a focus on raising awareness of LTBI/TB and facilitating testing and treatment navigations for clients with LTBI/TB concerns.

In the upcoming months, VACF will be training community members to become community health ambassadors, who will serve as advocates to promote awareness, empower the community, especially their social groups, and provide linkage to LTBI/TB resources.

To learn more about VACF, please visit: https://www.vacf.org/

Healthy Asians & Pacific Islanders (HAPI) Medical Center

“In honor of World TB Day, we have a TB booth [at the March 25th community health event], which will provide us with the opportunity to engage the community with questionnaires and educate them. Dr. Alan Lin-Greenberg, Las Vegas TB specialist, will be there to help educate. We will take this opportunity to start screening TB for these patient populations.” -Mai Vi Hoang, Chief Medical Director

HAPI Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization offering comprehensive health care to the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Las Vegas, Nevada. They provide quality health services without language barriers and are committed to fulfilling the medical needs of the underserved API community.

On March 25th, HAPI Medical Center will host a free community health event, where they will provide free medical/dental/vision services, acupuncture, cardiac assessment, vaccination clinic, hepatitis B screening booth, and health navigators.

To learn more about HAPI Medical Center, please visit: https://www.hapimedical.org/

Polynesian Association of Alaska (PAOA)

“The TEA mini-grant program helps us by providing health information translated in our native PI language, offering a coloring book for our students, and hosting events to educate our PI communities through groups of churches, reaching families and children.” -Lucy Hansen, Chief Executive Officer

PAOA strives to honor their Pacific Islander (PI) culture and history by working together with their diverse community, volunteers, supporters and leaders to organize community events, cultural celebrations, educational opportunities, employment support, and services. PAOA recently hosted their 8th Annual Health Awareness Fair, which was open to the diverse community of Anchorage, Alaska. At this fair, they provided free health information from 37 health organizations in Anchorage as well as free health and testing services, including but not limited to: high blood pressure check, vision check, TB, HIV, COVID-19, and more. Through the TEA mini-grant program, they have served the PI, Asian, Alaska Native, African American, Spanish and more communities.

They are looking forward to Asian & Pacific Island Heritage Month this May as they will have an opportunity to provide more health education information to the community at large through cultural church halls and family homes along with education facilities.

To learn more about PAOA, please visit: https://www.paoaalaska.com/

Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice (CAHEP)

“Our organization has provided training to the providers and promoted TB testing at the Family Medicine Clinic. We have tested about 65 people and found 6 positive patients, who are being treated. The people of our communities are happy and appreciate this program because we offer testing and getting treatment too. We hope this program continues to serve the community.” -Suegie Park, Clinic Manager

CAHEP and the Family Medicine Clinic seek to improve the health of Colorado’s immigrant communities through culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention, health education, wellness activities, early detection, and self-management of disease. They have reached out to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and has also extended to African American and Latinx/Hispanic communities at their community health fairs this year. At the health fairs, they engage with attendees, raise awareness about their TB program, hand out brochures and flyers, and promote TB testing.

On March 23rd, CAHEP will hold a community health fair with a table for the TEA mini-grant program and display brochures and posters.

To learn more about CAHEP, please visit: https://cahep-denver.org/index.html

La Maestra Community Health Centers

“The La Maestra community has been impacted by the TB/LTBI work being done from the TEA Mini-Grant program so far by allowing the organization to not only help patients within the San Diego community, but also connect with other organization’s doing similar work. Staff have been able to participate in TB outreach events around the county, which have allowed for the organization to not only promote services, but share ideas and collaborate with others.” -Madison Coulter, Grant Specialist

La Maestra is currently raising awareness about the link between LTBI and TB disease, addressing misperceptions, decreasing stigma, and encouraging and facilitating testing and treatment for LTBI and TB. Staff are also actively increasing awareness of the recommended shorter treatment regimen for LTBI. They encourage providers to test and treat LTBI among at-risk populations. La Maestra screened a total of 259 patients (Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and African American individuals) for TB and hosted two “Lunch and Learn” didactic sessions for providers across all La Maestra sites. Hepatology specialist, Dr. Robert Gish, has worked with providers to develop systems and strategies to improve and implement policies and procedures to test and treat high risk LTBI/TB populations in the primary care setting.

To learn more about La Maestra, please visit: https://lamaestra.org/