The COPs aim to (i) provide healthcare awareness through seminars, workshops and training, (ii) offer free healthcare screening for early diagnosis and treatment, and (iii) collect data to determine the prevalence and comorbidities of various risk factors that cause CVDs in people of South Asian ancestry (Figure). Such COPs will first be implemented in seven Midwestern states, with plans for subsequent expansion to other regions. Red Saree will work with various local organizations, including churches, Islamic centers and temples. Red Saree also will work with university communities, such as the University of Cincinnati and Loyola University Chicago, to implement studies, analyze data, and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Figure. Summary of COPs, seasons and activities.

Your health is your wealth

A healthy diet is critical to a healthy lifestyle.  Many vegetarians assume that simply eating a plant-based diet is sufficient to guarantee good health.  However, nothing could be farther from the truth.  The goal of this project is to educate a sample of South Asians on what constitutes a healthy diet by inviting them to email or mail their everyday recipes in various food categories (fresh salads, vegetable dishes, curries, dals, meat dishes, dessert, etc.) to a registered dietician who will evaluate these recipes and provide feedback on their nutritional content and value and suggest appropriate healthier recipe substitutions, portion resizing, calorie reduction strategies, etc.  A prototypical healthy eating weekly menu will be created and shared via the Red Saree website and disseminated at community events.

Raising health care awareness amongst South Asians through social media

Participants will also be asked to share their family health history, known genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, and profiles for follow-up with a cardiologist who will suggest follow-up screening or testing protocols to further assess and establish each participant’s risk of these diseases.  As part of this project, we will create a screening questionnaire for use at outreach events and on our website and also produce short professional videos, banners, flyers and newsletters.  The goal is to increase awareness of risk factors for these diseases and educate participants necessary regarding lifestyle changes in order to help them better manage their health risks and improve their overall health and well-being.

Workshops

The proposed activities will bring new energy, awareness, education, confidence, knowledge, training and competence to South Asian participants regarding their healthcare awareness. We intend to help bridge the knowledge gap between physicians and South Asian communities in the United States.

Healthcare screening

Community outreach programs will conduct a healthcare screening camp on a yearly basis at major cities within the seven Midwestern states to assess each participant's body mass index, age, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, blood pressure, as well as document cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and family history. Cardiac function will be monitored by electrocardiogram. In addition, community outreach programs can also provide genetic screening for major hereditary changes known to cause cardiovascular diseases.