About Our Services
For over a year, A&PI Wellness Center has been preparing for the opening of the Wellness Clinic. This painstaking process has us poised to serve the needs of the A&PI and LGBT communities with an expert staff, expanded treatment capabilities, and cutting-edge recordkeeping technology.
Initially, our core staff will provide basic primary care services. This highly diverse team of four physicians, five nurses and three clinic receptionists are committed stalwarts to the Wellness Clinic vision. With expertise in both LGBT and A&PI health, as well as experience abroad, The Wellness Clinic can ensure that clients receive both culturally and linguistically competent care. Clients will experience not only the best care possible, but also improved overall health and wellness.
The Wellness Clinic will serve to bolster our already innovative model of HIV care. By expanding the portfolio of chronic disease treatment and management to include diabetes, asthma, hypertension and more, the clinic will be able to contribute to the overall well-being of our local community.
Technology will also play a key role at the Wellness Clinic. Electronic Medical Records will enable clinic staff to pull charts, records and information quickly without the possibility of being lost, misplaced, or destroyed. Another advantage to storing records electronically is the ease with which records can be transferred. This capability is especially important in cases where clients require hospitalization or specialized care, or move to another city or state.
Visit us in March to meet our staff and find out more about our services. We look forward to serving your needs in the years to come!
Meet Emiko Kamitani, Our Nursing Director!
Emiko Kamitani is no stranger to A&PI Wellness Center, having worked with the organization on many important projects, but none so important as the free medical clinic scheduled to open its doors in March 2011. She's excited about the Wellness Clinic and she wants everyone to know why. "There are several free clinics in the Tenderloin focusing on primary medical care, substance use or HIV, but the Wellness Clinic is the perfect combination of all these services--wrapped up in a package made by, and for, the Asian and Pacific Islander community." A warm smile spreads across her face as she goes on to say, "A&PI Wellness Center has a strong, trusted relationship with the community. Our Wellness Clinic staff are very diverse, with a variety of linguistic, ethnic, and medical backgrounds. We're highly motivated to improve healthcare in the Tenderloin."
The Wellness Clinic will provide free primary medical care to San Francisco's diverse population, with special expertise in A&PI and LGBT health. The Wellness Clinic will also offer prevention and testing services for HIV, Hepatitis B, and other diseases affecting the A&PI community. As Nursing Director, Emiko works with Dr. Jason Tokumoto to oversee all the clinical care services at the Wellness Clinic. She manages a diverse and dedicated team of nurses who work with physicians and clients in improving their health and wellness.
Emiko is passionate about decreasing health disparities, especially those due to race, sexual preference, gender, and substance use. "A&PIs don't always get the same quality health care as other groups, mainly due to language barriers and health care provider biases and cultural insensitivity." Her brow furrows, "We've all heard A&PIs are less likely to get HIV or STD tests, but what we don't always hear is that this is often because physicians do not offer them to A&PIs, thinking we are ‘low risk, low priority' populations. The Wellness Clinic will change that."
Asked how the Wellness Clinic will face such a significant challenge, Emiko eagerly responds that "the patient and provider relationship is essential. Healthcare providers need to assess patients without prejudice or bias and patients should be able to express their feelings and concerns without fear. We're creating a safe environment where patients can trust their providers to listen and understand." She flashes another kind smile, "we understand the unique needs of the A&PI and LGBT community. We welcome everybody--if you haven't found a doctor who makes you feel comfortable and safe, come to us. We will take care of you."
A Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public Health, Emiko is currently a Doctoral Nursing Student and Graduate Student Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. She also holds a Master's Degree in Advanced Community Health and International Nursing, with a minor in HIV/AIDS. Emiko is currently researching HIV and hepatitis-related health care issues in A&PI communities, the transgender community, inmates and substance users. Born and raised in Japan, she's been in the US since 1999. In her precious free time, Emiko likes to run, go to the gym, travel and chat with friends.
This is one of an ongoing series of articles introducing our Wellness Clinic staff. Last month we featured Dr. Jason Tokumoto, our Wellness Clinic Medical Director.