Van Han Temple

The End of Summer outreaches

September 20, 2015


Dear Participants at today’s outreach,

We survived another outreach event conducted at Van Hanh Temple where the thermometer hits 98 degrees F. This was the 3rd and last event for the SSPPS Summer research students, during a record hot summer for our screening activities over the years.

we were gratefujl for the kindest welcome from the Temple leaders and organizers and the sharing of good thoughts from the participants, who came from Carlsbad, Santa Ana and as far as Pennsylvania.  Our students and volunteers did a creative job in the set-up of the event, and everyone cheerfully helped the attendees fill out the registration and consent forms. Blood samples were processed in due time, and quickly stored in the cooler box.


We thank the following for their long standing commitment:

  • Rev. Thich Phuoc Thuan, one of the founders of the Van Hanh temple and Special Guest at the Temple today, Rev. Thich Thien Ngo, Mr. Nam and Mrs. Bich Thuy from Van Hanh Temple
  • Dr. Ton Tran
  • Anh Phuong, phlebotomist
  • SSPPS students: Tuan Phan, Michael Pham, Shareen Faltas, Quang Tran, Esther Park,
  • and UCSD volunteers: Lisa Vuong, Karla Jorgensen Ponce

Early in the day, we learned that Dr. Gish had a bad bronchitis, so was not able to make to the event. Dr. Gish has attended nearly all the events this summer.

Gary Tang spoke to all over Skype, as he is ready to start Pharmacy School at the University of Washington.

Best wishes to all,

Binh Tran

Bright Horizons for Hepatitis Collaborative Work!

Wesley Church

Sovannkiry Temple

Health Screenings at Sovannkiry Temple

August 9, 2015

Dear all,

Thank you for participating at the very special health event at Sovannkiry Temple on August 9, 2015. Two years ago, we came to this Temple on an ordinary Sunday to provide hepatitis B screening using Point of care approach. This year, it was on a very special occasion: the birthday of three Head monks of renowned stature, two of whom were from the US and one from France.  All the Cambodian, Laotian, Thai, Indian of the sub-continent, and other Asian groups were represented.
The location was in the East San Diego, yet gave us the flavor of a temple in Cambodia or Indonesia with all the bustling activities in the surroundings.

The program began with chanting, monks walking for alms, then lunch for all attendees. Dr. Gish spoke on the microphone to the audience, calling for hepatitis B and C testing. Samrang Schimelpfenig, nurse practitioner working at Dr. Tuan Nguyen’s office, and well-known at the temple explained in Cambodian to the fellow attendees. Dr. Gish’s remarks were much appreciated by the monk from France, a doctor in herbal medicines, who engaged in congenial sharing of experiences across the continents. This results in several other monks being tested on the spot.

Mr. Yen, an out-of-town guest, asked if the APHF can do a similar outreach at the Cambodian Temple in Riverside. Dr. Gish will contact Hepatitis B Foundation for a suitable approach to this need.

We screened 21 persons for hepatitis B and C. The number of bone densitometry measurements was comparable, as most attendees went through this popular test. Both projects were approved by the Institutional Review Board at UCSD.

The following members were present:

From UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy: 
Tuan Phan, Michael Pham, Shareen Faltas, Khushi Gill, Quang Tran, Karen Yu,

UCSD undergraduate: Karla Jorgensen Ponce

From Asian Pacific Health Foundation:

Dr. Robert Gish, Binh Tran, Thuy Huong Nguyen, Lisa Vuong

Samrang Schimelpfenig, NP


Binh Tran
Asian Pacific Health Foundation
New Horizons for Hepatitis Work

Lady of Sacred Heart

Outreach at Our Lady of Sacred Heart

August 16, 2015

We survived the heat today, at the extraordinary outreach at Our Lady of Sacred Heart in East San Diego. In the past month, we have experienced heavy rain at Tramy Beauty School, the rain was pouring so hard it kept the Tramy students from coming to the screening event. Last week at Sovannkiry Cambodian temple, we screened 21 festival attendees, including monks coming from far away. We were so lucky to have avoided the fire that spread to the outside walls of the temple 3 days later.

Thank you for your perseverance in volunteering at the outreach events during this summer despite the changes in weather. There were times when the outreaches went smoothly within nice surroundings, as at Royal Hall on 7/12/15.

Please see some pictures at today’s event. We screened 21 persons for hepatitis B and C. Most underwent bone densitometry, hypertension  screening and blood glucose testings also.

The following members were present:

From Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences:
Tuan Phan, Michael Pharm, Shareen Faltas, Quang Tran, Esther Park , Khushi Gill

From Asian Pacific Health Foundation:
Robert Gish, MD coming with his daughter Chantal visiting from Boston University, Viet Truong, PharmD, Sandy Chong, PharmD, Binh Tran, PharmD, Kristiana Nguyen, Randy Jimenez, PharmD., Thuy Huong Nguyen, Karla Jorgensen Ponce, Anh Nguyen


New volunteer:
Tu Uyen Tran, USC PA student recruited by Tuan Phan.

Nhu Lai Temple

Tramy Beauty School

Health Outreach at Tramy Beauty School

July 18, 2015

San Diego is experiencing a notorious drought season this year, so rain is greatly welcomed, even on July 18, 2015, for the health outreach day at Tramy Beauty School on University Square in East San Diego.

We tried our best, but the students from the school who have signed up before could not come due to the weather, said Kelly, the assistant director.

The massage section of the school, where we held our services, provided an interesting setting for hypertension and blood glucose screening.

Hepatitis B and C education and cervical cancer awareness were done in the spacious classroom.

Dr. Gish came, and recommended to have some students distribute flyers in the neighborhood. Dr. Viet Truong made signs pointing to the site of free screening. He and Sandy Chong manned the hypertension and diabetes stations with the participation of Phuong Thoi and Quyen Nguyen.

Tuan Phan, Michael Pham, Shareen Faltas, Karen Yu worked at the registration, consenting and survey station for Hepatitis B and C tests. Binh Tran did the lecture slides in Vietnamese.  The lecture room was shared with Tuyet Phan, Brittney Choi and Quang Tran who presented on cervical cancer awareness to the patients. 

Thuy Huong Nguyen drew the blood samples, assisted by Lani Chau, and Lisa Vuong and Annaliza did the centrifugation part.

Khushi Gill and Karla J Ponce measured patients’ BMI and bone density to assess their bone health status.

Gary Tang handled the logistics, bringing the equipment and supplies to the site.

Dr. Ton Tran spoke to some of his former patients.

At 12:30PM, everyone had lunch with carne asada, fish or vegetarian burritos from the Gualberto store situated next to the former Asian Pacific Health Foundation office.

Binh Tran

Royal Hall