Barriers to Accessing Health Care for Asians: From the Bronx to Cuba

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For 20 years Joyce Wong, a friend and colleague, has worked as a licensed clinical social worker  with the Cambodian and Vietnamese refugee community in the Bronx.  We wanted to share with readers of the Portal some of her recent work examining immigrant health care both in the Bronx and in Cuba.

Throughout the years she has been involved in training medical residents and students on refugee mental health in addition to organizing with the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (now called Organizing Asian Communities)  in the area of language rights for the Southeast Asian community. She contributed a chapter, on the mental health and resiliency of elderly Chinese  men in Cuba, to the book Community Health Care in Cuba. She is a native New Yorker who grew up in Washington Heights to parents from Puerto Rico and China.

Accessing Health Care: From the Bronx to Cuba

In 2010, Ms. Wong was interviewed for Asia-Pacific Forum, a program on New York radio  station WBAI.  The interview (available at this link) examined barriers to health care access for two different Asian immigrant communities. The first was the Southeast Asian refugee community in the Bronx who have faced challenges to obtaining language access and quality health/mental health care.  (See our prior posts on the Justice is Healing campaign). She then turned to Cuba where she shared her research on health access for the Chinese-Cuban elderly male population in Havana.

La Magia de Cuba

During her visits to Cuba for the book chapter, Ms. Wong produced a short photo-video documentary entitled La Magia de Cuba, for a course on global mental health at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma on healing environments. It needs no commentary or introduction. Enjoy:

Ms. Wong is planning to return to Cuba this year to expand her research on elderly Chinese men with a plan to publish a book with Professor Eric Tang, University of Texas.  A fundraising event will take place  later this spring and we will keep readers informed.  She can be reached via email.

posted by Matt Anderson

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1 Response to “Barriers to Accessing Health Care for Asians: From the Bronx to Cuba”


  1. […] her research on elderly Chinese men living in El Barrio Chino de la Habana en Calle Zanja  (See SMP 2/9/2011).  She is preparing a book on this community in collaboration with Professor Eric Tang, […]

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