I have been volunteering with AMPHS as a board member for three years, since its inception. The organization has truly redefined the healthcare landscape of the underserved communities in which it operates, and I am glad to have been a part of it. Though it is young, it is growing at an exponential pace, and everyone at AMPHS is always interested in building a compassionate environment for its clients and improving the organization. This makes AMPHS a welcoming and encouraging place to work.
I have been volunteering with the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services for three years now, and in my time here, I have seen the organization grow both internally, in terms of the the volunteer base, and externally, in terms of the programs and services that the organization offers. As a grassroots organization rooted in the Sunset Park community, I am often impressed by the way that the organization ingrains itself into the community it serves through community engagement, outreach, interviews, community mapping, and networking with other organizations. The organization also conducts public health research through data collection, which is really unique compared to other health organizations in this community. I have also had the pleasure of participating in AMPHS' health screenings and teaching their CPR and First Aid classes, and have really been able to see the impact the organization makes in the lives of others. There have been cases where AMPHS has been able to provide free glasses to people who have suffered from poor vision for years and those where AMPHS has been able to save the lives of those who were at high risks for heart attacks and had to be sent to the emergency room on the spot.
I wish the organization could obtain more funding to support its goals and increase its outreach because it is really making a visible difference in our communities, and while the organization struggles to make ends meet, it still strives to deliver to the best of its abilities with its available resources. As a volunteer, I am happy to see my efforts turn into something bigger, so to that end, I do not mind spending hours on projects , especially when I am able to utilize my skills from school and prior work experiences. At the same time, I have also learned a lot from AMPHS--from interacting with other volunteers, to grant writing, to using databases like Salesforce, to conducting interviews, and even practicing my Spanish! The volunteers are also great to work with--everyone is passionate about what they do and their compassion shines through when you see them interacting with community members during our events. Volunteers will sometimes spend even an hour with a community member during a screening just to ensure that they receive the appropriate care and counseling. Moreover, because the organization is such a young and entrepreneurial entity, there is always a lot to learn--sometimes, I find it frustrating, but in the end, it helps me build a lot of project management, administrative, technological, and social skills I don't think I would be able to get elsewhere. Through AMPHS, I've learned many crucial lessons from the challenges and failures that we've had, along with our successes. I love volunteering with AMPHS and growing along with the organization, and will definitely continue my time here.
I volunteered for AMPHS for a couple of months doing legal work for them in a general counsel capacity. The organization serves a great purpose, and Hewett and Mon Yuck are both wonderful people to work with. Unfortunately it did not work out for me to continue volunteering for AMPHS due to personal reasons, but I have every hope that AMPHS will continue to grow in the future and help more people in Brooklyn and beyond. I encourage others to volunteer their time and efforts with this organization as well.
I was a summer intern for AMPHS and had a wonderful and interesting experience. As a community engagement associate I worked on community mapping as well as collecting information about the health profile of Sunset Park. I also worked on an independent project developing a plan to effectively and efficiently use social media for marketing and outreach. Finally, I volunteered as a translator and survey assistant at several health fairs and screening events in Sunset Park and Brooklyn. These were fun and a great way to learn more about the challenges of public health care.
I learned quite a bit and developed both qualitative and quantitative skills. AMPHS is a small but highly motivated and ambitious organization. Their breadth of services and outreach is impressive considering how young the organization is.
I was a summer intern for two months. AMPHS is an ambitious non-profit and had me working on improving their health screening surveys, organizing their huge clinical resource library (with hundreds of information sheets, brochures, and booklets on diseases from Alzheimer's to foot problems), and doing independent research on air pollution in Sunset Park. I learned a lot through the program which also included a conference on Alzheimer's and Dementia in Times Square, workshops from doing qualitative research to taking blood pressure to learning about health care policy reform.
I also had the chance to help out at their free in-house screenings and pass out flyers to community members about the screening. The best part of that was seeing people you talked to on the streets come to the office for the screening. It made me feel small things do make a difference. I learned research skills, communication skills, time management, and self-motivation during this very busy summer.
AMPHS is still a young organization, testing many different ways of helping the Sunset Park community members get better health care. The non-profit has a lot of potential and when they find some specific project to focus on in a specific community, they will be able to make a big difference. Keep up your hard work!
AMPHS was super! Kudos for amphs! They came to our Men's Shelter Health Fair on June 21, 2013 and did a fantastic job. They were supportive an very cordial. They served the clients and staff of the Renaissance. They were truly professionals.
i volunteered at AMPHS for about a year. They have a great cause and an awesome enthusiasm to work for that cause. As a volunteer I was able to aid in the production of programs and carrying out of services that related to the health of the community the organization targeted, which is the non or under insured of the NYC area. Everyone who volunteers for AMPHS believes in the organization and the dedication of senior staff rubs off on you.
I have had a unique experience with this organization that I will not soon forget.
I've been with AMPHS for two years and I had a wonderful experience working with them. AMPHS has gone through quite a few changes throughout the two years and it was great to have been there to see it all happen. I started out as Research & Development Associate and was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Development within the year. I managed all of AMPHS' fundraising events, campaigns, and marketing efforts.
Since AMPHS was a start-up nonprofit, all the volunteers got to dabble in a little of everything from health screenings to grantwriting. The sky was the limit. So not only did I managed the Corporate & Business Development teams, I was also a clinical volunteer performing various screenings on community members in Sunset Park every third Saturday of the month. We also started up a medical arts & humanities e-journal/magazine and I had the pleasure of being the editor. Since my passion was writing as well as medicine it just worked really well for me. You truly have to be a multitasker when you're at AMPHS, but it has been wonderful experience working at AMPHS and I will miss everyone.
I am currently volunteer at AMPHS. It has been an unique and amazing experience. When I first applied to be part of the organization I was full of joy and hope to be part of a big change, thankfully I was chosen to be a Community Engagement Associate. It was a great experience which allowed me to learn and get involved into american culture while I was helping people in need. Helping is the most heartwarming feeling I have experienced so far. I am truly thankful to be part of AMPHS family and help as much as can.
Since July I changed my role within the organization. I am currently Marketing and Outreach Associate, as a volunteer I am truly happy to keep helping members of the community and at the same time writing for the newsletter. I really believe in AMPHS mission and its commitment to the community.
I had a rather unique and beneficial experience at AMPHS. I had an interest in HR and was looking for an internship and my sister found this organization. Thankfully I was chosen to intern and it was a great experience, First and foremost I must say they staff at AMPHS is first class. Whenever I needed assistance all of the Senior Staff members who were in the office were more than willing to lend a helping hand. The work that AMPHS does in the community is amazing. I was present at one of the health screenings at a church and it was heart warming. The fact that everyone who was participating was there out of the goodness of their heart was commendable. The community members who attended all left satisfied and their needs were all met. I was able to acquire many skill including operating the SalesForce database among other skills. I truly had a unique experience at AMPHS and I believe this experience can get my foot in the door if i chose to pursue HR upon graduation
The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free/low cost health services for community members that would otherwise have no access to these services. This organization holds monthly health screenings free of charge at their sunset park office. They have participated in many health screenings around their neighborhood, in churches and senior centers to name a few. Beyond the background information, the experience I have gained from this organization has been insurmountable. Volunteers have firsthand experiences that are rare in other health based organizations. I personally interact with the community members and I feel like I have an active part in helping these community members change their lives. I have learned so much from AMPHS. The volunteers have opportunities that are hard to come by, especially if you have no formally training in the medical field. But the CEO Hewett Chui makes sure his staff is fully competent in dealing with community members. This includes surprise reviews of the skills we’ve learned in one of the many courses AMPHS conducts like the HeartSaver First aid class. I’ve learned the basic fundamentals of providing health care in terms of measuring blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, etc. My proudest moment was practicing those skills on my family members and friends with the confidence of someone who has been doing this for a while. I can say that volunteering with AMPHS has helped me to understand the importance of health care in America or lack thereof. The time I spent volunteering with AMPHS cemented my desire to go into the medical field but has also kept me grounded knowing that the road won’t be easy, but it will sure be worth it. AMPHS has grown a lot since I began my internship in July 2011, and this organization will only get better.
I used to volunteer at AMPHS, and although I'm young it was a very joyful experience for me. I got to work and help community members at their health screenings and events. Even though AMPHS is a small non profit, I hope it will continue to grow and help more people.
I worked as a summer intern for AMPHS and found it to be a valuable experience as an introduction to the nonprofit field. AMPHS is a small, relatively new nonprofit, but they are ambitious with their projects and where they see themselves in the future. Volunteering in their offices and in the community at health screenings was rewarding; I felt that I was making a direct impact on the organization and on community members.
I participated in the medical bootcamp program this past winter and it was a great experience. I learned so much in just one short, intense week. The program was very well organized. Now I am back at AMPHS working as a summer volunteer in Corporate Development. I am learning so many things about nonprofit business, such as ways to fundraise as well as keeping direct contact with people and helping out in our free health screenings. AMPHS has given me all the great qualities and knowledge that I would need to work in nonprofit.
I went to the 2012 Summer Session I Medical Bootcamp. The bootcamp fee I paid went fully into AMPHS programs, so I guess that makes me a "donor." The bootcamp was everything I wanted and more: many class subjects, hands-on learning, passionate teachers in different stages of their careers (MCAT tutor, law school professor, medical auditor, etc.), and a friendly staff who made me feel right at home. For example, when the program ended and I told the volunteers I had one day to explore New York before I went home, everyone took the time to help me figure out all of the great places I had to go to before I left. Even though my NY experience is a very small concern, that warmth was telling of the volunteers' instinct to help others any way they can. I saw the volunteers in their offices so often that I forgot that they have paying jobs outside of AMPHS. These committed people pour all of their free time into this great nonprofit, and I believe in their ability to improve community health. I'll miss being there a lot!
I attended the AMPHS Medical Bootcamp this summer and it was a great experience. The program really spoke to the depth and value of key aspects of medical school. It included courses that provided a plethora of knowledge that gave me a taste of the difficulty in learning and studying at the medical school level. The bootcamp definitely gave me a lot to think about in terms of commitment, general knowledge, ability to interpret quickly and others that I will need to develop to ensure my passion in becoming a doctor.
During my time here at AMPHS, I was able to work with very supportive peers. I originally had little recognition about public health and health disparities occurring in the community. Through this nonprofit organization, I learned that, as a collaborative group, we were able to address this issue by bringing health education and health screenings to many communities.
The AMPHS week long medical boot camp put me face to face with real life medical problems which they helped me to break down and deal with. I was given hands on experience under surgeons, doctors and medical professionals along with various certifications to make me better prepared for my future in the medical field. This week was difficult, don't get me wrong, but it was well worth the struggle to see and hear from medical professionals and their experiences in the medical world.
I attended AMPHS's week-long medical bootcamp. This intensive program's aim was to offer a comprehensive and accurate representation of a medical school experience with exposure to courses such as histology, cardiology, medical ethics, and pharmacology. This experience was EXTREMELY invaluable and eye-opening. The fast-paced program has helped me honestly assess whether I want to be a medical professional. The instructors were knowledgeable, and the courses taught practical medically-oriented skills. In all, I had a great time, and I would recommend this program to any person who is considering a medical career.
AMPHS Volunteer Experience
I started working at AMPHS while applying to residency. I had graduated medical school, but did not start my residency right away. I found AMPHS through their association with the Medical Reserve Corp of the United States and decided to help out in their broader mission of helping the underserved community. Their offices are in the heart of an underserved area in Brooklyn, where we serve the community in many ways.
There were so many great experiences working for AMPHS that it’s hard to pick one to share, but here is one that happened recently that sort of exemplifies my experience with AMPHS:
We partnered with the Brooklyn Public Library and held a Teddy Bear Clinic in one of their Bay Ridge branches. A Teddy Bear Clinic is an activity for children where they bring their own teddy bear and our clinical staff shows them how to do a basic physical exam. The purpose for this is so the kids get used to seeing a doctor and functions to desensitize them if they are scared, plus it is a lot of fun for them. We show them how to do an exam and then let them perform this on their own teddy bear. So, at this event two brothers came to my station (eye exam, ear exam, mouth, heart and lungs). They didn’t have their own teddy bears, so they picked out a couple that the library had provided for kids who forgot (or don’t have). I like to start a patient encounter by finding out who I am talking to, so I asked, “what is your teddy bear’s name?” The first brother replied, “Max”. So I do the exam while teaching him proper “technique” and all goes great. The next brother is ready for his “teddy bear exam”. I ask him, “what is your teddy bear’s name?” He replies, “Alex”. I look at the mother and say, “wow, that is really coincidental, my nephews are named, Alex and Max! I wanted to share this story because it shows how you never know when a great/coincidental/ironic experience will come along. Working with AMPHS is such a great way to interact with the community, that I am confident something (if not many) interesting encounters will come up that have an impact on your life.
Here are some of things I have done with AMPHS:
Health Screenings: I participated in planning and executing health screenings both at our Brooklyn offices and with our partners at various community centers, for example, churches, public libraries, etc.
Teddy Bear Clinics: We have helped children desensitize their fear of physicians by showing them how a doctor examines a patient, using their teddy bears. We then showed them how to do simple exams on their own teddy bears. This was informative and a lot of fun for these kids.
Teaching: I was involved with planning and teaching pre-medical students medical school level courses with the goal of teaching these students some medicine, have them get an idea of what is taught in medical school, and they earned American Heart Association certifications as well.
Procurement of Grants: I participated in two grant proposals. One was the Reynolds Grant, where we presented a project we call the Center for Health and Wellness (CHAW). This is a combination of Pet CPR classes and recruitment for pet therapy for terminally ill patients. We won a $1,000 start up seed grant for this project. I also participated in planning for another grant proposal (although I did not “pitch” this one), called the Social Impact Business Challenge”, where we came up with a medical ethics “game” to be marketed to college level ethics professors. We won this very competitive grant of $20,000!
I have also participated in planning and executing many other projects with AMPHS. Because of their multi-disciplinary mission, there was never a shortage of projects to plan. Part of my job was to partner with other organizations who serve the community and help with planning health screening.
My advice for prospective volunteers:
High School students: College admissions definitely look at extra-curricular activities. If you intend to major in a life science or are really interested in medical school some day, this volunteer experience is a definite plus on your college application.
College/Pre-medical students: If you intend to apply for medical school you need volunteer experience. Everyone does hospital rotations (and you should too), so doing a volunteer rotation outside this will show some uniqueness. Plus you will be involved with a non-profit that deals with underserved populations in a “medical” way.
Medical Students: We realize the time demands do not allow for much outside volunteer work, however, volunteering for an occasional health screening, or teaching a class will look great on your residency application. Plus you can sharpen your skills talking to patients, doing screenings, etc.
Resident Physicians: Again, we realize the time constraints. However, having some volunteer experience will really make you stand out if you are planning on applying for any fellowships.
Attending Physicians: This is a great way to give back to community and get the underserved into the medical system. We have found that there are many barriers that lead to patients not seeking medical care. Financial obstacles are one, but many people think they are healthy and don’t realize they have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, some people have just procrastinated, some people are afraid of physicians, etc. When we partner with community organizations we have to opportunity to reach these people and recommend further screenings or other health care.
General volunteers: Perhaps you are just looking for a great way to give back to community. There are many opportunities that require not clinical experience, e.g. grant writing, business plan writing, marketing, etc.
Volunteering with AMPHS is a very rewarding way to serve the community and also improve your CV. The volunteers are great people to work with, who are very motivated from various background. You might work with other physicians, college students, business students, MBAs, etc. I highly recommend this experience.
Tony Schwartz, MD, MS
(former) Vice President,
Division of Medical & Public Health Services
AMPHS National Operations & Government Affairs
ACADEMY OF MEDICAL & PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES, INC.
5306 Third Avenue, Second Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220
Ph: (718) 765-4000 | Fax: (718) 765-4000 | Cell: (805) 404-2627