ASIA receives REACH US PATH for Women CEED Grant to address breast and cervical cancer among SE Asian women

Cleveland, Ohio – Asian Services In Action was awarded a grant from The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) to increase breast and cervical cancer screenings for Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese women in northeastern Ohio.

The Asian-American Women Empowered (AWE) project will:
• Build capacity in each targeted community by training key women, who will serve as natural helpers and will be the source of information about breast and cervical health for other women;
• Increase awareness of and engagement with key underserved Asian ethnic communities;
• Engage and heighten awareness among funders, policymakers, and providers to reduce barriers to breast and cervical screenings for Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese women.

The project will serve over 230 women in the next 12 months, with assistance to access low-cost or free screenings, education and outreach.

“This national level funding will certainly prove to be a catalyst for systems change at the local and regional levels to improve access for Asian women who face language and cultural barriers when it comes to valuable breast and cervical cancer screenings,” said Michael Byun, ASIA Executive Director.

The issues of breast/cervical cancers are great:
• Asian American women have the third highest incidence of cervical cancer, higher than Whites and similar to Blacks (National Cancer Institute, 2001); one alarming report found that only 28% of women from one Asian ethnic group surveyed had heard of a Pap test (Kim et al., 1999).
• Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese are considered poorer, less educated, and more isolated than other Asian ethnic groups such as Korean, Filipino, Asian Indian, and Chinese (including Taiwanese).
• 39% of the Asian American population are limited English proficient (LEP) compared to 8% of the total population; over 50% Vietnamese, Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, Taiwanese, Korean, Bangladeshi, and Chinese Americans in our region spoke less then “very well” English (U.S. Census, 2000).


ASIA, Inc.
Founded in 1995, Asian Services In Action’s mission is to empower Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Northeastern Ohio to access quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate information and services. ASIA serves over 4,000 people each year.

The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) is dedicated to enhancing the health, and social and economic well-being of Asians and Pacific Islanders in Orange County, California. Established in 1997, OCAPICA works to improve and expand the community’s opportunities through service, education, advocacy, organizing and research. These community-driven activities seek to empower Asians and Pacific Islanders to define and control their lives and the future of their community.

The PATH for Women CEED grant is part of the REACH US Initiative and one of 18 Centers of Excellence to Eliminate Disparities. Funding support for this project is provided by cooperative agreement number 5U58DP001006-03 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.