May Chin

Nominations from Director of Community Health Improvement Programs Sherry Dong and Community Health Improvement Programs Asthma Project Manager Ana Cambonchi:

Excerpts from Sherry Dong’s Nomination:

“May Chin has been with Tufts MC for over seven years, leading our Asthma Prevention and Management Initiative (APMI) as Program Director, a community outreach and education initiative of the Community Health Improvement Programs Department. This program is funded primarily through various grant support, received in large part through May’s persistence, and partners with Chinatown’s elementary and upper schools. She made a concerted effort to involve Pediatrics, understanding that collaborating with them and providing their clinical expertise would certainly strengthen the program. Because of May’s background as an RN and prior management experience in hospital administration, she quickly started building relationships with the general pediatric and Asian pediatric teams; she developed a not-previously-conceived-of clinical component to APMI that I am certain would not otherwise have become such a strong and integral part of the program as it operates today.

“[After May conducted focus groups with parents of asthmatics,] she developed two DVDs: the first one on asthma management and control; the second about environmental asthma triggers in the home. Emerson College students did this on a shoestring budget, May drafted her husband to narrate it in three languages, Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Hundreds of DVDs have been distributed at community outreach events and health fairs in Chinatown, Quincy and beyond; hospitalists and the clinic also have found this an invaluable resource to provide their patients. May helped us obtain a grant from the Boston Public Health Commission to work with them on a home visiting program to reduce environmental triggers. The home visits and education have successfully improved asthma among patients.”

Excerpts from Ana Cambonchi’s Nomination:

“Being of Chinese descent, May understood that language is a vital component of patient compliance. Under her leadership, APMI developed and produced bilingual (Chinese/English) educational materials, including two DVDs, a storybook, handouts specific to fever control, allergy and environmental management, etc.

“One of our pediatricians shared a story of May’s commitment to her patients: a child was returning to the clinic with nose bleeds; they were not able to find the source. His symptoms seemed to direct to an asthma diagnosis, but were unsure why the child kept returning to the clinic when they were compliant with medication and had no apparent concerns. May did a home evaluation and found there was mold in the home. May was persistent in her efforts to advocate with the housing management company and requested relocation of housing due to several environmental factors. After several attempts, the patient was moved to a trigger-free environment. ‘She made an impact in his life,’ Sue Ponte, MD said. ‘The parent still talks about it. The child is healthy now.’

“Another definite contribution May has provided Tufts MC is APMI's partnership with Josiah Quincy Elementary school. Teaching in the school was a basic premise of the program; however, May has grown and strengthened the relationship between the school and APMI by bringing in General Pediatrics residents and guest speakers. May created and incorporated an asthma curriculum-based program, which standardized how children are able to self-manage their asthma symptoms and environmental triggers by also giving them awareness of prevention methods and knowledge of asthma. Children engage and ask questions and learn more about their health in an interactive manner. Workshops are also provided to teachers and parents as requested on a variety of health topics.”