Meet Dr. Angela Chan, M.D., MPH

Meet Dr. Angela Chan, M.D., MPH

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, New York City

It has been a great privilege for me to come full circle and return to the place that inspired my work in public health.
Meet Dr. Angela Chan, M.D., MPH Meet Dr. Angela Chan, M.D., MPH  Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, New York City

For Dr. Angela Chan, the seed of motivation to help families and improve health care was planted during a college internship over 35 years ago at a health clinic in New York City’s Chinatown. Now known as the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC), the center provides high quality, affordable, and culturally competent health care services to the underserved with a focus on the Asian American community in the city.

As a developmental behavioral pediatrician, Dr. Chan recently returned to CBWCHC to care for children with special needs, including autism. As co-director of the Special Needs Program, Dr. Chan is particularly interested in empowering families and improving the systems of care that support children across the community.

“The majority of CBWCHC’s clients are low-income, uninsured or under-insured, with nowhere else to turn for their health care needs,” Chan says. “Chinese immigrant families of children with developmental disabilities, in particular, often face additional challenges, contributing to poorer outcomes, caregiver stress and isolation.”

In her search for data on autism in the Asian American community, Dr. Chan was connected to the Caregiver Skills Training program (CST), a World Health Organization program developed in partnership with Autism Speaks. In 2018, she secured funding to adapt and pilot the CST for the Chinese American community in NYC.  “Working on the CST project with Autism Speaks helped us empower caregivers of young children with developmental delays and share an evidence-based intervention with our community partners.”

After a successful initial pilot of the CST, an expansion of the CST is being planned for 2020 that will train more trainers and reach more caregivers in the community.  “The CST has provided a great opportunity to organize stakeholders to build community capacity and sustain an effective intervention that can change a young child’s developmental trajectory.”

“It has been a great privilege for me to come full circle and return to the place that inspired my work in public health,” Dr. Chan says. “The families in our community provide critical input that drives our activities in the Special Needs Program. With family support and feedback, we are more confident that we are addressing the needs that matter most to children and their families.”

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