Karen Ng, BA, Roberta Horton, LCSW, ACSW, and Arthur Yee, MD, PhD. Department of Patient Care & Quality Management, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th St., New York, NY 10021, 212-774-2508, firstname.lastname@example.org
SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), a potentially life-threatening multi-system, autoimmune disease, primarily affects women in their childbearing years. Although almost 2 million people in the U.S. have lupus, it is not widely known that lupus affects Asian women 2-4x more often than white women. This often “invisible” disease is particularly challenging to diagnose and live with in the context of cultural health beliefs. Hospital for Special Surgery's LANtern program is a unique health education, empowerment, and outreach initiative that strives to be the identified resource for lupus education and support in the Asian American community. This national program, made possible by funding from Rheuminations, Inc. utilizes trained bilingual Chinese peer health educators with lupus themselves to provide telephone support around individual and family-related concerns. Providing toll-free counseling and culturally appropriate educational materials to clients, LANtern helps to dispel misconceptions and fears related to talking about illness, and to overcome barriers to medical care. On multiple levels, LANtern raises awareness and understanding about the impact of lupus in the Chinese community and gives voice to those with the disease. Because lupus is underrecognized and not readily screened for, LANtern has struggled to bring lupus to the national forefront in the Asian American health community. Since 2003, LANtern has drawn its strength from community-based support, and has begun to put lupus on the radar screen. By targeting national health leaders, medical providers, and the media, LANtern hopes to create networks of hope and understanding to provide enlightenment concerning this complex illness.
Related Web page: www.hss.edu/Conditions/Systemic-Lupus-Erythematosus-(SLE)/Lantern-Lupus-Asian-Network
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA