With hopes to keep members of the Filipino community healthy, the Filipino American Community Council (FILAMCCO) took the initiative to form a focus group of 20 people who met and discussed ways to improve adult immunization.
The meeting took place at the Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM) on May 20, 2018
Dr. Janilla Lee, executive director of the Asian Center, was requested by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to represent the State of Michigan in a national task force organized by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) to work on an adult immunization program.
Michigan is in Region 6 which includes six other states tasked with improving adult immunization. Doctor Lee has the responsibility to facilitate the development of an action plan for Michigan. She has asked FILAMCCO to take the lead in the Filipino community and generate inputs to make the task more inclusive. Thus, a focus group of 20 was created.
In attendance at the meeting were Dr. Ernie Mac, Becky Tungol, Tony Kho, FILAMCCO President Wilmar Suan, Maria Wolfinbarger, Alex Sitchon, Flor Sitchon, Dr. Tab Inez, Fe Inez, June Juco, Cesar Gemino, Loida Moses, Mercy Kho, Marilee Kho, Carmen Villanueva, June Estrada, Dr. Jojo Estrada, William Gin, Karen Gin and this writer.
The discussion was led by Maria Wolfinbarger, immediate past president of PNAM (Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan. She was assisted by Wilmar Suan and this writer who teamed up to get the project underway.
The group started the session by filling in survey forms to help develop the action plan to improve immunization in Michigan.
Some of the survey questions were: How do you get your immunization information?; How would you like to get your immunization information?; Have you been taking your recommended vaccines?; What incentive would encourage you to take a vaccine?; What kind of support system would encourage you to take a vaccine?
The inputs from the discussions were recorded and will be incorporated into the report on outcomes from the various focus group dialogues and will be presented to a Michigan Department of Health conference set in June.