Executive Director, Michael Byun RAISE blog post

ASIA, Inc. Executive Director, Michael Byun was featured on APPEAL’s website on his blog post for project RAISE.


Jade Ribbon Campaign (September 2014)

By Michael Byun

Hello RAISE Friends!

It is exciting for me to be the inaugural guest blogger on the Reaching Asian Americans Pacific Islanders through Innovative Strategies to Achieve Equity in Tobacco Control, and Cancer Prevention blog. That is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Let’s just agree to call it the RAISE Blog!

RAISE is special to me, because I got my start in the public health arena doing tobacco control work in Ohio. Life has a way of coming full circle like this and I’m especially pleased that RAISE weaves together the decades-long campaigns for tobacco control and cancer prevention for our community.

In fact, my amazing colleagues here at Asia Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA)¬–we are now a FQHC by the way!–recently worked on raising awareness around Hepatitis B and liver cancer. On World Hepatitis B Day (July 28), our Community Health Promotion Department hosted a Hep B Awareness Workshop in collaboration with the Case Western University Asian Pacific American Medical Association. The workshop was a great hit with our community members! In addition, ASIA introduced the Jade Ribbon campaign during the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio. In case you don’t know much about the Jade Ribbon Campaign, here are some highlights: Launched by the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University in May 2001, the Jade Ribbon Campaign seeks to eradicate Hepatitis B (HBV) worldwide and reduce the incidence and mortality associated with liver disease.

cropped ribon

As many as 1 out of 10 Asian Americans have chronic Hepatitis B, and most do not know that they are infected. Sadly, 1 out of every 4 Hepatitis B carrier will eventually die of liver cancer and liver failure.

Considered to be the essence of heaven an earth, Jade is believed in Asian cultures to bring luck and longevity while deflecting negativity. Folded like the Chinese character [ren] meaning “person or people,” the Jade Ribbon also symbolizes the effort of the people in an unprecedented nationwide health campaign of Asians helping Asians.

Want more information about the Campaign? Please contact Cathy Vue at cvue@asiaohio.org.

As you can see, here at ASIA, we take the best ideas and practices from across the country (and the world) and make them available to our neighbors in Northeast Ohio. Working with our partners in RAISE, we hope to continue this healthy exchange of ideas, so that all AAPIs can live healthy productive lives.

I’d like to end by giving a shout-out to our very own Cathy Vue, who was named a White House “Champions of Change” for Affordable Care Act Outreach to the AAPI Community early this year. Cathy is my partner in crime with RAISE and manages public health programs for ASIA. Congrats Cathy!

Michael Byun is the Executive Director of Asian Services in Action, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving the Northeast Ohio region. Michael is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the Ohio Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Council. With over 15 years experience in health disparities, social justice, and immigrant and refugee issues, Michael is a frequent speaker on AAPI public policy issues. Michael received his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.