Hypertension Awareness Programs Launched to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease Among Sikh Americans

CEED1“Keep on Track” team members: Gurdwara Baba Majha Singh Karamjot Sikh Center volunteers, New York University Staff, and UNITED SIKHS staff.

New Jersey/New York – To increase awareness of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in the Sikh American community, UNITED SIKHS organized events at two Gurdwaras, or Sikh places of worship. These awareness events took place in September of this year in partnership with Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Carteret, NJ, and Gurdwara Baba Majha Singh Karamjot Sikh Center in South Ozone Park, NY. The events were organized as part of REACH FAR, a 3-year program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a REACH grant awarded to New York University’s Center for the Study of Asian American Health (NYU CSAAH).

EXPERTS SUGGEST THAT 1 IN 5 ASIAN INDIANS IN THE USA HAS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.

REACH FAR stands for Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Asian Americans. The goal of the program is to prevent cardiovascular disease in Asian Americans living in New York and New Jersey by increasing access to healthy foods and culturally tailored health coaching to improve high blood pressure management. Core partners include: UNITED SIKHS; Korean Community Services; Kalusugan Coalition; the Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Coalition; and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

CEED2UNITED SIKHS Community Education and Empowerment Directorate (CEED) Project Manager Rucha Kaur and Project Coordinator Gagandeep Kaur engaged community members in discussion and demonstrations

The event at Gurdwara Singh Sabha was organized on September 20, 2015. Sangat members participated in discussions on healthy lifestyles, sodium intake, and food label information, as well as food demonstrations on full fat versus low fat yogurt and a tasty brown rice option. Khalsa Sweet House, a Carteret-based restaurant and REACH FAR partner, provided a brown rice biryani for sangat members to try.

Keep on Track, a hypertension awareness program supported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was launched at Gurdwara Baba Majha Singh Karamjot Sikh Center on September 27, 2015. The goal of Keep on Track is to offer blood pressure monitoring at community-based organizations to help community members prevent and control high blood pressure. Sangat members at the Gurdwara sahib participated in a survey, received blood pressure readings from trained community members, and were given information that will assist them in making healthy lifestyle choices.

The Gurdwara committees and local volunteers are taking the lead on encouraging sangat members to make healthy lifestyle choices in their homes and at the Gurdwara. These Gurdwaras and UNITED SIKHS have previously partnered on other community-focused health initiatives including an oral health promotion project, diabetes prevention intervention, and in-language health insurance access services. Committee and community members will continue to work to improve health outcomes by bringing additional aspects of the REACH FAR program to the Gurdwara sahib. With your support, UNITED SIKHS strives to continue promoting health education and nutritious eating habits within local communities.

For more information on REACH FAR, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Baba Majha Singh Karamjot Sikh Center, UNITED SIKHS or our other health initiatives, please contact us at ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

To volunteer for UNITED SIKHS, click here. Keep up to date on this initiative and other UNTIED SIKHS projects by following our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Blog.

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