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The Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research and Education is an organization on UC Davis campus in which members are promoting cancer awareness to the Vietnamese community in Sacramento.

Our History UC Davis undergraduates and medical students initiated the Vietnamese Cancer Awareness, Research and Education Society (VN CARES) in response to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) report that revealed Vietnamese American women had the highest incidence rate of cervical cancer – five times greater than Caucasian women. To alleviate this alarming rate, VN CARES began working with the Vietnamese community of Sacramento in 2001 to implement three goals:

  1. Inform the community about the prevalent types of cancer that affect the target population – namely breast and cervical cancer.

  2. Educate the community about the benefits of performing regular cancer screenings and the available cancer treatments.

  3. Enroll women to receive free breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Payments for screenings and/or follow-up treatments are provided by the Cancer Detection Program (CDP), a program endorsed by the California Department of Health Services. Women meeting the requirements of this program – low-income individuals of appropriate age with high co-pay, Medicaid/Medicare or no health insurance – are eligible to receive free screenings and follow-up treatments at various CDP-certified Sacramento clinics. To seek out the target population, VN CARES has been holding monthly recruitments at local Vietnamese churches, temples, supermarkets, and hair salons in a grass-root effort to rapidly enroll these women for screening.

In a joint effort to increase the screening rate for Vietnamese women in the Sacramento area, VN CARES has been collaborating with Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS), a non-profit community-based organization that serves immigrants and refugees. BPSOS is currently in charge of scheduling appointments for the enrolled women while members of the VN CARES clinical team are responsible for attending the clinic with the women to offer translational services and emotional support. Through these efforts, we have been successful in alleviating the social barriers that may have had prevented these individuals from receiving their regular screening: language deficiency, cultural estrangement, high screening cost, and low accessibility.

Our Missions Short term objectives

  1. Recruit and admit individuals who exhibit the potential to benefit the Vietnamese community.

  2. Promote cancer awareness through outreaches and educational seminars in the Vietnamese community.

  3. Recruit, enroll, and assist Vietnamese individuals into cancer preventative care and cancer treatment programs.

  4. Conduct needs-assessments to improve the delivery of healthcare through literature review/research, and the gathering of qualitative and quantitative data.

Long term objectives

  • Reduce the cancer-related disparities in the Vietnamese community.
  • Ensure that all Vietnamese individuals obtain skills and knowledge to maintain a cancer-reducing lifestyle.
  • Network with other organizations at local and national levels to achieve common objectives.
  • Inspire future health professionals to continue to share the visions of VN CARES.
  • Participate in the planning and implementation of research activities designed to identify the health care needs of the Vietnamese community.

OUR TEAMS Clinical Team Clinical Team is one of the most important aspects of VN CARES because the team members actually work with physicians and medical students in providing cancer screening for Vietnamese individuals.

There are monthly cancer screenings for Vietnamese adults through the collaboration of VN CARES clinical team, Boat People SOS, and Paul Hom Asian Clinic (PHAC) members. This happens on the first Sunday of every month. In addition, we have a weekday clinic which currently opens to female interns only. Research Team Every quarter there will be presentations about health-related issues that are voted by the Research & Education team members. Members will be able to interact with each other to work on their presentations. This is a great chance to get to know someone who has the same interest as you, i.e. research & presentation.

Recruitment Team Every quarter there are various recruitments at local Vietnamese community hotspots in Sacramento (i.e. supermarkets, churches, & temples). We basically recruit and advocate these Vietnamese individuals about cancers. And for patients who fit in the criteria, we sign them up for our FREE cancer screening program.

Recruitment Team's mission is to recruit Vietnamese individuals into cancer preventative care and cancer treatment programs.

Members who participate in these recruitments have the chance to practice speaking Vietnamese. And best of all, members are able to visit Sacramento areas, restock on foods at the local supermarket, enjoy tasty Vietnamese meals, and of course have lots of fun with all the VN CARES-ers.

Publicity Team Publicity Team's main objective is to promote VN CARES organization's publicity through various means i.e. on campus through quarterly MU display case, networking with other organizations on campus, A signs, Clubs Fair... as well as off campus (local community) through publicizing in newspapers and/or magazines and handling out flyers during the patient recruitment events.

For more information about VN CARES, please visit us at http://www.vncares.org/.


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