Asian Avenue Magazine - May 2015

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asian avenue


Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

May 2015 Volume 10 Issue 5

Asian American Heroes of Colorado

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


A Healthy Baby is Worth the Weight: Why are Asian Pacific Islander babies born with low birth weight?

Denver Buddhist Cultural Society welcomes all ages to learn kung fu

We celebrate this year’s heroes in the month of May

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Dear Asian Avenue readers, Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! We are pleased to announce the 2015 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. We applaud each of them for their contributions and achievements not only in the Asian-American community, but in their professions and lines of work. A hero is defined as a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities and this year’s honorees truly exude such a definition. We invite you to join us on Saturday, May 30 at Empress Seafood for a dim sum brunch and to honor the recipients at our seventh annual award ceremony. Congratulations to Suzuho Shimasaki (young hero awardee), Director At-Large of Colorado Public Health Association and Health Equity Committee Chair of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League; Soyon Bueno, Director of Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver and Commissioner for Denver Asian Pacific American Commission; Fran Campbell, Commissioner for Denver Asian Pacific American Commission and Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission and Founder of “This is Me” Program for Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families; Yang Chee, leader, advocate and spokesperson for the Hmong community and founder of Lao-Hmong American Coalition; Howie Solow, Founder of Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association and Academy of Chinese Cultural and Martial Arts and Co-Founder of Colorado Dragon Boat Festival; Gloria Williams, Treasurer of National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 5 and Former President of Filipino American Community of Colorado. Celebrate this month by attending a community event! There are many in May, which include the annual Asian Pacific Heritage Month Community Celebration hosted by the Asian Roundtable of Colorado, Executive Leadership Panel: Ignite Your Leadership event hosted by National Association of Asian American Professionals and the Business After Hours hosted by Asian Chamber of Commerce. Lastly, I would like to thank Alexa Cares, Rita Beam and Emily Love for contributing this month’s health article on the issue of low birth weight for Asian newborns in Colorado. The research, in addition to tips on how to stay healthy during pregnancy, is significant and relevant to our community! Be sure to share this important information with moms and future moms (and dads)! Annie Guo, President Asian Avenue magazine

asian avenue magazine

staff & support

Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo Editorial and Marketing Manager: Sarah Shirazi Marketing Coordinator: Chun Guo Senior Designer: C.G. Yao Designer: Jonathan Nguyen Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Staff Writer: Mary Jeneverre Schultz Staff Writer: Brenda Velasquez Photographer: Trang Luong Photographer: Monica Lin Intern: Akemi Tsutsui

advisors group

General Counsel: Michael C. Song Patty Coutts, Donna LaVigne, Nestor J. Mercado, Sum C. Nguyen, Alok Sarwal, Tom Shieh, John Yee, Nai-Li Yee, George N. Yoshida

contributing writers

Rita Beam, Alexa Cares, Maria Cheng, Aurelia Grinstead, Naomi Lahiri, Emily Love, White-Eagle Perry

contributing photographer Trang Luong

on the cover

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this cover story recognizes the 2015 Asian American Heroes of Colorado: Fran Campbell, Yang Chee, Suzuho Shimasaki, Howie Solow, Gloria Williams. The awards ceremony will be held on May 30, 2015 at Empress Seafood Restaurant. Photo by Trang Luong


To subscribe, e-mail marketing@asianavenuemag A one-year subscription is $25 for 12 issues, a two-year subscription is 40 for 24 issues. Please make checks or money orders payable to Asian Avenue magazine. For details about special corporate or group rates, please call during business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Shipping and handling included.



Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call during business hours or e-mail us at for our media kit and ad rates.


To submit story ideas, letters to the editor or event calendar listings, e-mail Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 | Fax: 303.750.8488 Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

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May 2015 | President’s Note

Golden Shanghai Asian Restaurant

● The Best Chinese Restaurant by 710 AM Restaurant Show ● The Best Chinese Restaurant by the 1430 KEZW Restaurant Show ● Voted 2007 Top 100 Chinese Restaurant in the US

1412 S. Parker Rd. A-134 Denver, CO 80231 (303) 743-7666 (303)743-9079 (303)743-8210




Find Inside >> Table of Contents EVENTS

6 7

Upcoming Event Theatre Espirit Asia presents Fermata



Chinese Calligrapher TieMei Yang has art exhibited all around the world, while she is based here in Colorado



Denver Buddhist Cultural Society teaches children and adults of all ages the martial arts of Shaolin kung fu


May 2015 | Table of Contents

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, May, we feature the stories of the 2015 Asian American Heroes of Colorado



Denver Health breaks ground for new Southwest health clinic

Columbia College-Denver celebrates 40th anniversary





Restaurant Peek Uncle Joe’s A Hong Kong Bistro Chef’s Recipe Coconut cream flan and crème caramel



A Healthy Baby is Worth the Weight: Asian Pacific Islander babies are being born with low birth weight



Philippine America Chamber of Commerce holds first educational workshop



COVER STORY Event Calendar


Self defense seminar teaches vital skills


Goa, India See the appeal of its sandy beaches and the influence of Portuguese culture









Weekend Markets Start First Weekend of May Weekday Markets Start June 17



MAY 2 - OCTOBER 31 SE Parking Lot Wadsworth & Bowles 8am-2pm or Sellout

Wednesdays LITTLETON

JUNE 17 - OCTOBER 28 Aspen Grove Lifestyle Ctr. 7301 S. Santa Fe Dr. 10am-2pm or Sellout



MAY 3 - NOVEMBER 1 Highlands Ranch Town Ctr. 9288 Dorchester St. 10am-2pm or Sellout



JUNE 18 - OCTOBER 29 4252 Wadsworth Blvd. 10am-2pm or Sellout

For more information call the Metro Denver Farmers’ Market Hotline


events upcoming Emily Griffith Career Fair

For more info, contact: Gloria Williams at 303-870-3209 or or Peggy Yujiri at 303-931-2034 or

Thursday, May 7, 9 AM - 12 PM

Emily Griffith Technical College 1860 Lincoln St. Denver, CO 80203—14th Floor Cost: Free For more info, visit

Arapahoe/Douglas WORKS! Workforce Center is partnering with Emily Griffith Technical College for the Emily Griffith Technical College 2015 Career Fair, which will feature 25+ employers hiring for a variety of industries. Please bring 30 copies of your resume, dress for success, and be ready to have your elevator speech ready to go!

Music and Dance of Bali

Saturday, May 9, Begins at 7:30 PM

Denver School of the Arts 7111 Montview Blvd Denver, CO 80220 Cost: $20 Adult | $10 Senior, Student & Child For more info, call 720-456-7467 or visit Gamelan Tunas Mekar, Under the Direction of I Made Lasmawan Presents Music and Dance of Bali with special guest artist I Made Bandem. Tickets available at the door.

2nd Annual Executive Panel: IGNITE YOUR LEADERSHIP

Charles Schwab 9800 Schwab Way Lone Tree, CO 80124 Cost: Free, registration required by May 8th Register at NAAAP Colorado – National Association of Asian American Professionals invites you to join the 2nd Annual Executive Panel: IGNITE YOUR LEADERSHIP. This is a premier panel of high-profile leaders from corporate, non-profit, and public sectors. Participants will engage with this distinguished panel to gain key insights into various forms of leadership. After the main event, attend the networking reception at John Holly’s Asian Bistro. This is an opportunity to connect with other fine professionals in a casual setting!

Annual Asian Pacific Heritage Month Community Celebration Saturday, May 16, 12 PM - 2 PM Colorado Family Church 3400 W. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80204 Cost: Free

Friday, May 15, 4 PM - 7 PM

dive into a deep sea special

Join the Asian Roundtable of Colorado on May 16th to experience the rich culture of the Asian Pacific Region for the 26th Annual Asian Pacific Heritage Month Community Celebration! Entertainment includes: PASCO Folk Arts Dance Repertoire, Thai dance, Vietnamese dance group. The event will include a complimentary Asian lunch buffet. The Program will include activities in support of the Sewol Ferry disaster and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Asian Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Wednesday, May 27, 5 PM - 7 PM Sports Authority Field at Mile High East Club Lounge Parking via Lot A/B, enter via Gate 7 Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members Register at

The Denver Broncos Football Club cordially invites members of the minority Chambers of Commerce to a Community Event. Enjoy forming bridges and connections with local community partners and members. Remarks from the Denver Broncos Football Club, Locker Room Tours and Raffle Prizes.

Asian American Heroes of Colorado Award Ceremony

Saturday, May 30, 10 AM - 12 PM

$ dinneR BUFFet: 16.99 $ cRaB Boil: onlY 5.99 MoRe

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$ 9 all-YoU-can-eat cRaB leGs: 24,9

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Empress Seafood Restaurant 2825 W. Alameda Avenue Denver, CO 80219 Cost: $30 Adult | $20 Student Register at

connect with us

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May 2015 | Event Calendar

The Asian American Heroes of Colorado Awards Ceremony was established in 2009 by olorado Asian Culture and Education Network to recognize unsung heroes that selflessly reach out to help those around them. At the annual ceremony, heroes will be honored and a dim sum brunch will be served. Come hear their inspiring stories of service, leadership and compassion!


Theatre Esprit Asia proudly presents another premiere by Maria Cheng


May 8–31, 2015

Fri & Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2:30pm; Sat May 30 2:30pm Aurora Cultural Arts District [ACAD] Gallery Theatre 1400 Dallas Street, Aurora, CO 80010 In Fermata, three generations of brilliant musicians meet to celebrate the matriarch’s 80th birthday. Secrets and jealousies, lost dreams and future hopes unfold with humor and grace in a lush villa, under-scored by strains of Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Johann Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Chinese folk and milonga – music of the barrios of Buenos Aires. Yes, the Argentine tango! What is Grandma’s secret? Can Da Jieh overcome her ghosts? Will Shiow May face the consequences of her own choices? Can Sabrina forgive her mother’s disapproval? In this dramedy, playwright Maria Cheng explores the burden of virtu-

osity, the politics of art making, the purpose of music and what price one pays when one doesn’t, or does, follow one’s authentic self. In less than two years of producing work, Theatre Esprit Asia (TEA) has won 13 awards from the theatre community and now has found a permanent home in which to office and perform. The space is actually an art gallery, which will be transformed into a fully equipped and intimate 48 seat theatre. This theatre became possible due to a model public/non-profit three-way partnership of the city of Aurora, the non-profit Aurora Cultural Arts District and TEA. Left to right:Tarika Cefkin, Maria Cheng, Meegan Annslee and Lori Hansen

Tickets at 303-333-1540

$26 at door; $23 general advance reservations, $20 advance for students/seniors 65+/groups of 6+ $2 fee per ticket for credit card purchases Contact: Maria Cheng at or visit

Upcoming Event | asian avenue magazine


Artist Spotlight:



riginally from China, TieMei Yang is a talented Chinese calligrapher who currently resides in Broomfield, Colo. Yang comes from a long line of artists. Prior to moving to Colorado, she practiced the art of calligraphy as young girl. She attended the Qingdao Craftwork Art School, Shandong Polytechnic University, and Academy of Art & Design TsingHua University. While her main mediums are calligraphy, drawing and painting, she also specializes in logo design and graphic design. Yang’s calligraphy has been exhibited at a variety of museums, including the Beijing National Art Museum of China; Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Of San Francisco; Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the World Association of Chinese Writers in Colorado. In her free time, Yang is often invited to participate in Asian cultural events. She enjoys teaching youth and the community at large about Chinese calligraphy and art. She has won numerous awards for her artistic achievements throughout the years and her book, The Zen in Hearts, includes 106 drawings of the disciples of Buddha.

Whispers among The Flowers


May 2015 | Spotlight

Butterflies Lingering over Flowers

Mei Yang Cool Moon

Chrysanthemum Flowers of Autumn

Poem about Ancient Music

Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice FREE and LOW-COST Health Care Quality medical examinations for diagnosis and treatment. Vaccinations, blood tests and annual exams. Dental and behavioral health care. Female provider for pap smear and birth control tests. Interpretation support for all our immigrant communities.

Women’s Wellness Services

We provide FREE breast and cervical cancer screenings to women who qualify: • Ages 40-64 • Lawfully present in the United States • Uninsured or Underinsured (cannot afford the deductible)

Next Women’s Mammography Van visit Wedneday, May 27

The Saint Joseph Mammography Van will be at CAHEP on Wed. May 27 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments are required. The examination fee can be supported by Women Wellness Connection and other types of insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. To schedule an appointment, call Jennifer Gross at (303) 954-0058 or email her at


Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Saturday by appointment 5250 Leetsdale Drive | Between Forest & Holly | Suite 110 | Denver 80246

Tel: 303-954-0058 | TieMei Yang | asian avenue magazine


A Happy Place Denver Buddhist Cultural Society offers more than a place of worship for practicing Buddhists


hey say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but you might just change your mind after spending an hour with Happy Hsu, volunteer instructor at Denver Buddhist Cultural Society. Happy has practiced Fo Guang Shan Buddhism and Shaolin kung fu for over thirty years, giving up a career in the computer science field, where she was making almost six figures so that she could return to her roots, and focus on her faith and passion for teaching youth Shaolin kung fu. Happy is a tall, fit woman with bright eyes and an even brighter smile. Originally from Hong Kong, Happy arrived in Denver in 2008. Shortly after, she started offering traditional Shaolin kung fu classes. Her years of experience make her the perfect instructor for anyone willing to take kung fu seriously. She is more than a kung fu instructor, she is a mentor to her students, and some even think of her as a mother. Shaolin kung fu classes are offered four times a week, every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Denver Buddhist Cultural Society off of West Alameda Avenue, for $40 per month.


May 2015 | Inside Story

Classes are open to all ages and levels of experience. From ages 4 to 40 and above, Happy structures each class to cater to her diverse students.

Denver Buddhist Cultural Society Fo Guang Shan Temple of Colorado 2530 West Alameda Avenue Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303.935.3889 Students are mostly taught forms, with roughly 200 hand forms alone. To mix things up, Happy started integrating different exercises into their regular

weekly routine, such as sparring, yoga, sitting meditation, qinna (grappling), tumbling, and fitness training. “This generation is too used to finger exercises,” Happy says. “My main goal is to get kids off of the couch and get them up and moving.” Happy’s students recently participated in the Colorado Karate Association Open tournament, winning several medals. As they prepare for another competition in Vancouver, you will not hear Happy boast or brag about their accomplishments, as it’s important that she and her students remain humble. As one student put it, “It’s not about competing but instead its about using the competition as an opportunity to see where you are, and from there, assessing how you can improve.” Denver Buddhist Cultural Society has provided Buddhists a home for cultivation and has promoted spiritual development of overseas Asians since its inauguration in October 1993. At the same time, the temple is also dedicated to the propagation of the Chinese culture and the fostering of cultural exchange between the East and the West. For more information, visit www.fgsdbcs. org or e-mail


Colorado’s Asian American 2015 In its seventh year, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network proudly announces the 2015 Asian American Heroes of Colorado:

Soyon Bueno

Director of Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver Commissioner for Denver Asian Pacific American Commission

Fran Campbell

Founder of “This is Me” Program for Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families Commissioner for Denver Asian Pacific American Commission and Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission

Yang Chee

Founder of Lao-Hmong American Coalition Leader, advocate and spokesperson for Hmong community

Howie Solow

Founder of Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association and Academy of Chinese Cultural and Martial Arts Co-Founder of Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Gloria Williams

Treasurer of National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 5 Former President of Filipino American Community of Colorado

Story by Patricia


Heroes were selected by a committee comprised of members from Asian Pacific Development Center, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Avenue magazine, Mile-High Japanese American Citizens League, Mile High Asian Media, OCA Colorado, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, and National Association of Asian American Professionals.

Photos by Trang Luong

YOUNG HERO Suzuho Shimasaki

Director At-Large of Colorado Public Health Association Health Equity Commissioner for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

7th annual Asian American Heroes of Colorado Award Ceremony and Brunch Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015 Time: 10 a.m. to noon Location: Empress Seafood Restaurant | 2825 W. Alameda Ave, Denver Tickets: $30 each | $20 for students To purchase tickets: Checks made payable to CACEN can be sent to: CACEN, P.O. Box 221748, Denver, CO 80222 Or purchase at: The award ceremony includes a dim sum brunch, recognition of the 2015 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. Heroes will give an acceptance speech and share their unique stories of service. Come and be inspired! For questions, call 303-937-6888 or email Cover Story | asian avenue magazine



Director At-Large of Colorado Public Health Association and Health Equity Commissioner for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

9Health Fair Volunteers

Census 2010 Field Work

Mile-High Japanese Citizens League and OCA Colorado Lunar New Year

Performing Japanese Taiko


May 2015 | Cover Story

Serving her community has been one of Suzuho Shimasaki’s core values since childhood. After being introduced to public health in high school, Suzuho decided to build a career in the field. A native of Okayama, Japan, Suzuho’s family immigrated to California when she was an infant. There, she earned a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles. After completing her graduate studies, she moved to Colorado in 2008. “I think it is important to give back to demonstrate our gratitude for the people and circumstances that have allowed us to experience the life we live every day,” she says. “Giving back symbolizes an understanding of and appreciation for the efforts and sacrifices of those who have lived and led before us. With this same sentiment, I also believe that it is important to give forward to invest in future generations and to give without expectations for any reciprocation.” Some of her accomplishments include helping develop cancer-education materials for the Deaf community, serving as a co-director for a statewide racial health equity initiative, and founding her own consulting company, Catalysts for Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity (CARE Equity). Suzuho’s current roles include member of the Health Equity Commission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; member of the board of directors for the Colorado Public Health Association; member of the board of directors for the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League, and member of the Inclusiveness Project and Basic Human Needs Committees of The Denver Foundation. In the past, she also served on the board of directors for the Asian Pacific Development Center. “Suzuho has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the disenfranchised; Suzuho has worked tirelessly to advocate she works with multiple corporations and community organizations to improve on behalf of the disenfranchised. She works health services for underserved communiwith multiple corporations and community ties,” says Harry Budisidharta, who nominated her for the award. “When she was organizations to improve health services for the co-director of The Colorado Trust’s underserved communities.ommunities. Equality in Health Initiative, she provided guidance to 26 health service organizations across Colorado, so they could provide more inclusive services to racially and ethnically diverse populations.” Suzuho says her greatest achievement is discovering her true self and becoming comfortable with her identity. “This has led me to achieve a greater level of happiness that has then allowed me to more effectively live my values and to be of service in a more meaningful way,” she says. Suzuho’s advice to younger generations is to live every day with great intention, which is also one of her most important values. “While it’s important to set larger life goals, don’t lose sight of how your everyday choices and actions lead you closer or further away from the life you desire to live,” she says. “During my youth and as a young professional, I am often asked where I want to be in five or 10 years. My response is that I hope to find myself staying true to who I am, making meaningful contributions to society, taking the time to cherish my friends and family, appreciating the balance of choice and destiny, and never forgetting the value of enjoying each and every moment of my life.”


Founder of Lao-Hmong American Coalition Advocate and spokesperson for Hmong community

To Yang Chee, what was achieved for his people is well worth the time and energy he’s spent volunteering on a local and national level for more than 40 years. A fervent spokesperson for the Lao and Hmong cultures, Yang founded the Lao-Hmong American Coalition, a national nonprofit dedicated to help bring awareness and unity to the people and educate the public about the group’s historical contributions to the U.S. during the Vietnam War. He also established the Lao-Hmong Friendship Association of Colorado and served as president and CEO for the organization until 1985. “Yang Chee is a long-time leader within the Hmong community, not just in Colorado, but in various parts of the U.S. where the Hmong have settled, including Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and California,” says Frankie Anderson, his nominator. Prior to moving to Colorado in 1976, Yang worked with the U.S. Indochinese Refugee Program under the direction of Jerry Daniels from the CIA headquarters in Udorn, Thailand, where he laid the groundwork for and processed more than 9,600 Lao-Hmong eligible cases for immigration to America. While he began a career with IBM in 1977, Yang’s job gave way to the demands of community service. When the Hmong and Laotian people first came to the U.S. in the late 1970s as refugees, they were faced with language barriers, job skills and social-cultural adjustments, which made life initially difficult for them, Yang says. By conducting meetings, reaching out to community organizations, and sharing the stories, culture and initiatives of the Lao-Hmong people, he raised awareness in the Colorado community and beyond. “Neighbors were often unfair and disrespectful, not understanding their language or customs,” Anderson says. “Yang personally interviewed the families who were in need, spending hundreds of hours helping as he was able. This was an invaluable contribution to society.” “When we first came here, the public didn’t know us,” Yang says. “They thought we were strangers and illegal aliens. It was a big misunderstanding. I wanted the American people to understand our status and why we’re here.” In addition to founding the Lao-Hmong American Coalition, Yang pushed for a Congressional Proclamation recognizing the Lao-Hmong Special Guerrilla Units (SGU) veterans and their respective families as America’s most loyal allies along with their valiant service and sacrifices to the nation during the Vietnam War, where more than 35,000 of Lao-Hmong servicemen’s lives were lost. His efforts were accomplished when House Concurrent Resolution 88 was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate in 2011 recognizing July 22 as “National LaoHmong Recognition Day.” Yang eventually received his master’s in communications from the University of Denver in 1989 and served as a consultant on refugee issues through 2007. The same year, Yang successfully advocated for certain provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act and the Real ID Act with Congressman Ed Perlmutter and other Congressional members to waive the Hmong people from being falsely and wrongfully categorized as “terrorists.” As a direct result of Yang’s noble stance on his people, President George W. Bush signed H.R.2764 into law, providing automatic relief for the Hmong and other groups who do not pose a threat to the U.S. “I’m proud that we can now all share who we are with each other and have a respect for each other,” he says. “No matter what nationality you are, you must have respect for others despite cultural differences.”

Yang Chee is a long-time leader within the Hmong community, not just in Colorado, but in various parts of the U.S. where the Hmong have settled.

National Lao-Hmong Recognition Day

Congressman Tom Tancredo signs proclamation of July 22 as National Lao-Hmong Recognition Day while Yang Chee gives thank you speech

Hmong Universal Peace Commission Delegation

Dedication of Forward Air Control Memorial

Asian American Heroes of CO | asian avenue magazine



Founder of Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association and Academy of Chinese Cultural and Martial Arts and Co-Founder of Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Boulder Asian Festival

Teaching kids at Chinese Heritage Camp

SHMKF’s Dragon leading the parade of teams at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Performing at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival


May 2015 | Cover Story

For more than 20 years, Howie Solow’s passion for authentic Chinese martial studies and other Chinese traditions has fueled his commitment to teach and raise awareness for these arts. When Howie moved to Colorado from Long Island, New York, 23 years ago, there were few Kung Fu schools in the Denver metro area. After having taught Hung Mei at the East Boulder Community Center, he founded one of the first nonprofit and totally volunteer-based martial arts organization in the state: the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association (SHMKF). Then in 2002, he and several associates founded the Academy of Chinese Martial and Cultural Arts in Boulder. “For over 20 years, Howie has been a mainstay in Colorado’s Asian American communities,” says John Chin, who nominated him for the award. “Not only have Howie and his group performed before over 500,000 spectators, but he has also been a sought-after lecturer about Chinese history, culture and traditions to a wide audience from preschoolers to university students and the general public.” Shifu Howie Solow credits his Kung TeachHowie has been a sought-after lecturer er of more than 40 years, Tai ShiFu Tonny Kho, for his knowledge and success. His ShiFu about Chinese history, culture and traditions (Teacher) taught him that traditional Chinese to a wide audience from preschoolers to martial arts practices are an integral part of university students and the general public. China’s heritage. And in an effort to bring the cherished traditions taught to him to the present, Howie dedicated himself to Colorado’s Asian American and martial arts communities. “While I truly appreciate the honor, the recognition should go to my ShiFu, Tai Shifu Tonny Kho,” he says. “Receiving this award is really a reflection of everything he has taught me and is a sign that much of the community recognizes that true martial studies are much more than the ‘punches and kicks’ and often fantastical practices depicted in the movies and other media.” Howie’s greatest achievements include finding his Teacher and founding the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association — a feat he couldn’t have accomplished without the urging of his soon-tobe student, Lance Melting, and the help of Shifu Rama Kho, Shifu James Mascarelli and many others, he says. The Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association began demonstrating traditional Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese Lion and Dragon Dance in 1995 and has performed at more than 1,000 events. Howie says some of the most rewarding moments have come from working with children at various Chinese Heritage Camps, WOW Children’s Museum, and local schools, including Primrose Preschool, Montessori Preschool, Casey Middle School and Bohua Chinese School. Additionally, the Academy of Chinese Martial and Cultural Arts hosts regularly scheduled cultural programs such as Tai Chi and Chinese folk dance, as well as a great variety of singular lectures and workshops related to traditional Chinese or Asian culture. Howie’s other roles include past board member of the Denver Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, and co-founder, past board member and operations committee member of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. He was a member of the planning committees for events such as the Asian Performing Arts Exhibition and Millennium Chinese New Year Celebration. Howie, also a biomechanical engineer who designs devices used for human performance testing, diagnostics, rehabilitation and fitness, says integrity is his most important value. “Each of us needs to define what our personal values — compassion, honesty, loyalty, and so on — mean, and then have the integrity, even in the face of significant difficulties, to live up to those definitions,” he says.


Founder of “This is Me” Program for Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families and Commissioner for Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission

Giving back to the community has always been tradition in Fran Campbell’s family, and she is proud to carry on a legacy of making the world better for future generations. A Denver native born to Filipino immigrants, Fran has been an active volunteer, advisor and leader in the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community for more than 30 years. She has dedicated her life to developing programs for Filipino and other AAPI youth; removing the stigma of mental health and acting as a voice for the community to municipal and state agencies. She is currently senior clinical support at Jefferson Center for Mental Health, serving on the Cultural Competency Task Force as AAPI community liaison, and is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Her present volunteer endeavors include commissioner and commissioner co-chair at the Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission; facilitator and cultural advisory board member for Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families (HCAF); first vice president of Filipino-American Community of Colorado (FACC); member of the board of directors for the Asian Chamber of Commerce and member of the Governor’s Asian Advisory Council. “Fran gives and gives of herself without ever expecting anything in return, except the satisfaction of knowing she has helped others, especially those in the Asian community who may not have a voice or who may need help using the voice,” says Pam Sweetser, who nominated her for the award. “She works tirelessly to make Colorado a better place for the Asian community and certainly for the adopted kids who attend our Heritage Camps.” Some of her past roles include commissioner and commission chair for the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission and member of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations Advisory Board. Fran is also a frequent speaker on important issues regarding the AAPI community at institutions and organizations, including Emily Griffith Technical College, Youth Partnership for Health (CDPHE), Colorado Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of the Interior. In 2011, she received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, and in 2014, she was honored with the Martin Luther King Business & Social Responsibility Award. Fran says her greatest achievements are her daughter Taryn and son Griffin. “I have many achievements but being their mother has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done or will ever do,” Fran says. “Affecting positive changes in my corner of the world has always been for their benefit.” Fran calls herself a product of Asian values, including respecting one’s elders and holding one’s family dear and above all. She was also shaped by her parents, who inspired her to advocate for those who have limited choices. “Whenever I said I wanted to do something, have something or go somewhere, my parents said, ‘It’s your choice,’” Fran says. “It’s not a simple statement; it is exasperating, deceptive and infinitely wise. It means that they had faith enough to allow me the freedom to make my own choice. My choices have put tough challenges in my path, and it has opened up great opportunities. I’ve been fortunate that, all along the way, my family — especially my loving husband Greg — has supported my choices. Having the freedom to choose my own path — whether it is good or bad—is my most important value.” Fran’s advice to younger generations is: “It’s your choice. I am extremely privileged to work with enthusiastic young adults at the FACC, at all of the Heritage Camps and on the Denver Commissions. They have all made the choice to advocate for those whose freedom to choose is less than what it should be. Their energy and passion rub off on me, and I am grateful!”

Fran works tirelessly to make Colorado a better place for the Asian community and certainly for the adopted kids who attend our Heritage Camps.

Filipino-American Community of Colorado’s Philippine Festival

HCAF Filipino, Indonesian, Pacific Islander Camp 2014

Discussing small business issues with Denver Mayor Hancock

Keynote speaker at the Next Generation Voices Conference

Asian American Heroes of CO | asian avenue magazine



Director of Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver Commissioner for Denver Asian Pacific American Commission

Soyon with her husband and son

CU Denver faculty and staff

JACL volunteering with students

Asian Avenue magazine Lunar New Year Banquet


May 2015 | Cover Story

Soyon Bueno’s position as the director of Asian American Student Services at the University of Colorado Denver enables her to make a difference in the lives of students, but her work is certainly both a passion and a career. “I think of my day as an accomplishment if I helped one student make a meaningful connection with a person, campus or community resource,” she says. “I feel a sense of accomplishment when I helped a student secure a scholarship, internship, job, leadership position, or just talk through his or her frustrations.” Soyon’s priorities at CU Denver are to help with the retention of Asian American students, build a stronger the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and debunk the myth of the model minority. “In her brief time at CU Denver, Soyon has built up an amazing culture of community and leadership that has empowered collaboration among the different Asian student organizations,” says Soyon has built up an amazing culture Bryan Yee, who nominated her for the award. of community and leadership that has “She has managed to unite the diversity of the Asian student population at the university and empowered collaboration among the bring out the best of everybody by forming a different Asian student organizations. welcoming, inclusive community.” A native of South Korea, Soyon immigrated to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. While she was not born in Colorado, Soyon is a proud product of Denver Public Schools. During her college years, she studied abroad in Japan and South Korea, which helped her rekindle a thirst to learn more about her Asian roots. “This was a powerful experience that shaped me, and I encourage students to study or revisit their ancestral roots,” she says. “It will give you insights about your parents’ upbringing and values, and you will have a greater understanding of the sacrifices they made for you.” In college, Soyon was active in many student organizations and served on several campus committees to voice her concerns and issues as a student of color. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in Asian studies from Colorado College and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Colorado State University. With 14 years of experience specializing in recruitment, retention, advising and student-support services, Soyon enjoys providing cultural programming that raises awareness about the diversity and richness of the AAPI community. She currently serves on the board for the Asian Education Advisory Council for Denver Public Schools and the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission. While Soyon says she hasn’t yet achieved her greatest accomplishment, she strives to make a positive difference every day. “I hope my greatest accomplishment will be raising my son to be respectful, kind-hearted and well-rounded and to follow his dreams and make a positive difference in the world,” she says. “We can all be an agent of change,” she says. “We need to remember we are part of a wider community, and we need to support each other. I think of it not as giving back, but sharing responsibility in making our world a better place. We can each have a sphere of influence, be it our family, church or professional organizations; we all need to think of this as an opportunity to mentor, be a positive role model and always be an advocate for positive change.” Her advice for younger generations is: “Be proactive, resourceful and be your own best advocate. These are important skills in life, to ask for what you need in a respectful way, take initiative and find solutions.”


Treasurer of National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 5 and Former President of Filipino American Community of Colorado

While Gloria Williams has a very long list of achievements, she insists that her greatest is yet to come. “I am a work in progress,” says Gloria, a retired accountant and native of Cebu, the Philippines. Gloria has been married to her husband, who she met in the Philippines, for 49 years. After getting married and living in Texas for a few years, Gloria and her husband moved to Colorado in 1984. She began her service by volunteering at her children’s schools and became heavily involved in her church, as well as in Metro Denver’s Filipino-American and Asian-Pacific communities. Gloria is currently treasurer of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 5 and secretary to its Finance, Funding and Development Directorate; and secretary of The Asian Roundtable of Colorado. She is also the president of the Bayanihan Society, a Filipino organization at Queen of Peace Church in Aurora. “Gloria’s volunteerism crosses over racial and culture lines,” says Aurelia J. Grinstead, who nominated her for the award. “She exemplifies the character and behaviors of a well-respected community leader. If she can, she does not say no to any assignment and when she accepts, you can rely on her without any question of her dedication and commitment.” Some of her past roles include president, vice president and secretary of the Asian Roundtable of Colorado; president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and auditor of the Filipino-American Community of Colorado; co-chair of the Aurora Asian Pacific Community Partnership; board member for the Asian Pacific Development Center; and member of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s steering committee (merchandise chair and community liaison). In 2004, Gloria was honored with the Minuro Yasui Community Volunteer Award for her contributions. John Hickenlooper, former mayor of Denver (now governor), declared May 27, 2004 as “Gloria Williams Day in Denver.” As a breast-cancer survivor, Gloria’s work with the Asian Pacific Development Center’s Asian Health Alliance of Colorado, is very close to her heart. She admires how the center offers breast-cancer screenings for women, particularly those of Asian American Pacific Islander descent. Gloria is truly honored to receive recognition as an Asian American Hero of Colorado. “I am humbled because I have met so many great, sincere, hard working and passionate Asian American Heroes in my 30 years of volunteering here in Colorado,” she says. “To be recognized as a hero is beyond my imagination. I just did what needed to be done in our communities, to share our culture and heritage to the greater communities and to learn from each other and to understand each other better within and without our Asian Pacific community realms.” Because she has learned so much from other community members herself, Gloria loves to see younger generations get involved and learn about other ethnicities. I am very blessed as a retiree to have more time to spend with my husband, son, daughter and granddaughter. “I remember a time, decades ago, when we Asians didn’t even know or weren’t aware of the other Asian Pacific Islanders in our community,” she says. “We are grateful for the pioneering spirits of the community leaders past and present to break the barrier between our ethnicities.” Gloria’s most important values are to be honorable, honest, reliable and to have passion in what you believe in. Her advice to younger generations is: “No matter what ethnicity you are, be true to yourself. Be authentic, and have the audacity to make a difference in your community or the community at large. And always, always, always be proud of who you are.”

Gloria’s volunteerism crosses over racial and culture lines. She exemplifies the character and behaviors of a well-respected community leader.

Gloria serves at the secretary of the Asian Roundtable of Colorado

Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award recipient

Gloria receives the Ambassadors for Peace Award

Gloria with the women of Filipino-American Community of Colorado

Asian American Heroes of CO | asian avenue magazine


Denver Health’s newest Health Care Center will open in 2016 Denver Health broke ground on its newest family health center, the Southwest Family Health & Urgent Care Center on Thursday, April 2. The event was held in a tent near the construction site for the new building, 1339 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, CO 80219, and was attended by over 60 people. Scheduled to open in 2016, the new Southwest Family Health & Urgent Care Center will be home to a 45,000 square foot clinic that will feature the first Urgent Care location outside Denver Health’s main campus, along with primary care for patients of all ages, a full service pharmacy and health insurance enrollment services. Co-Chairs of the capital campaign, former Denver mayor Federico Peña and his wife, Cindy Peña each spoke about their personal connections to Denver Health at the ceremony. The committee will continue fundraising until it raises an additional ten million dollars for the building. Other speakers included: Mayor Mi-

chael B. Hancock, Dr. Art Gonzalez, CEO, Denver Health, Dr. Simon Hambidge, Director of Community Health Services, Denver Health, Councilman Paul D. Lopez of Denver District 3, Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz of Denver District 2, Carol Lewis, Chair, Community Health Services Board of Directors, and John Niemann, Chair, Southwest Family Health Center Board of Directors. The project is being funded from investments by the City and County of Denver, Denver Health, Denver Health Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Urban Research Park CDE LLC, Community Hospitality Healthcare Services, LLC, Primary Care Development Corporation and Health Opportunities Fund. It is an example of private not-for-profit and for-profit as well as public entities working together to ensure adequate capacity to serve the growing numbers of patients who seek care at Den-

ver Health, including the newly insured through the Affordable Care Act.

Rendering for the new Southwest Family Health Center

Seminar teaches vital self-defense skills During April 10-12, individuals took the time out of their lives to learn some simple and straight forward self-defense skills from Dan Reiher, an instructor of Personal Protective Measures (PPM). Bujinkan Shiro Washi Dojo hosted this seminar which is based on traditional Japanese bujutsu, however, the creator of this system (Phil Legare) designed it for foreign workers that would need no-nonsense skills when deployed in areas of the world that the likelihood of them needing such skills were higher than on the streets of the U.S. Participants first learned about how to assess a situation before going on to learn more physical skills, such as how to fall


May 2015 | On Scene

and what to do if you’re on the ground. Then they were taught basic responses like being grabbed in various ways, including being in a chokehold. From there, the focus was on weapons: what if a person is approaching you with a weapon or what if they have the weapon against you already. These weapons included blunt weapons, edged weapons, and pistols. Also in consideration were (long staves, shovels, etc), medium-ranged weapons (machete, canes, etc.), and short-ranged weapons (knives, sticks etc.) as well. One participant said, “This is for everybody. There is nobody that can’t take something away from this [seminar], nobody.” PPM is a comprehensive form of mod-

By White-Eagle Perry ern combatives for defense and offense. This program focuses on the fundamentals to effectively deal with the weapons and dangerous situations that you may face in today’s modern context. If you’re interested in attending a future seminar, visit

Columbia College-Denver celebrates its 40th anniversary On Tuesday, April 14, campus administrators, professors, and students gathered to celebrate Columbia College-Denver’s 40th Anniversary! Director Lisa Kochevar welcomed speakers and guests for a short ceremony. Dr. Jeff Musgrove, Vice President of Adult Higher Education took everyone back to 1975, the year Columbia College was established in Denver. The college relocated to their current space in 2013. Previous Colorado Director, Jesse Arman, talked about the amazing growth the college has undergone

throughout the years. Student Praveen Samuel Thapa talked about his experience obtaining two degrees from Columbia College and also about his experience working at the school as a student employee. “I could not imagine where I would be today without Columbia College,” said Thapa. The Denver campus provides a unique educational opportunity to working adults through its degree offerings and eightweek course format. As part of a network of campuses across the country and a robust online program, the college offers

convenient courses to civilians as well as military adult learners. More than 500 students each year take a mix of in-seat and online classes to enhance the available options to students. Columbia College-Denver is located in the Denver Technological Center and has agreements with Community College of Aurora and Front Range Community College to allow students a seamless transition from an associate degree through a bachelor’s degree, and beyond, at Columbia College. For more information, visit

Praveen Samuel Thapa, Columbia CollegeDenver student

Lisa Kochevar, Director of Columbia CollegeDenver

Dr. Jeff Musgrove,Vice President of Adult Higher Education

Forum empowers minority entrepreneurs The Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Colorado held its first education workshop on April 9 at Crosswind Community Church in Aurora. The forum was the first major outreach program the organization has held since its inception in November 2014 through the leadership of former State Representative Dennis Apuan. The organization aims to strengthen and empower not only Filipino American entrepreneurs but also other Minority Business Entrepreneurs (MBE) and promote trade in the United States and abroad. The event was attended by a range of business owners from different business industries including legal, health care, business finance, airline, and banking. Olivia Mendoza, Director of Business Minority Economic Development and International Trade, conducted the workshop. She shared about the increase of resources, opportunities and capital available for minority business owners.

By Aurelia Grinstead

The organization is focused on helping small business owners grow and succeed with the help of Business Advancement Series. It gives business owners access to technology tools, procurement processes, business plans, business patenting, and also connects MBE’s to advance industries and extending access to the international market and business development center.

She also mentioned that research and data analysis is in progress in identifying Colorado’s 14 key industries that contribute to the state’s growing business economy. To learn more about PhilippineAmerican Chamber of Commerce of Colorado, visit www.advancecolorado. com/mbo or contact Dennis Apuan at

Mile-High Events| asian avenue magazine



891 14th Street Denver, CO 80202 Tel: 720-330-8487

Monday: 11am- 9pm Tuesday - Thursday: 11am- 10pm Friday: 11am- 11pm Saturday: 11am- 11pm Sunday: 11am- 9pm 20

May 2015 | Restaurant Peek

ncle Joe’s has made it to Denver to make a name for itself. This modern Hong Kong Bistro opened earlier this year in Downtown Denver, across from the Convention Center and Denver Performing Arts Complex. Its sister restaurant opened in Hong Kong over a year ago. These new restaurants are off to a great start, offering a modern dining experience with Hong Kong style inspired food that caters to busy patrons. Uncle Joe’s has captured the essence of American contemporary dining with its modern atmosphere of purple and bright green hues and large murals of Hong Kong’s city view at night and colorful mural of a traditional Asian women, and dark wood elements—never boastful and always with a restrained sense of style. The menu offers something for everyone at more than affordable prices. Signature items include Uncle Joe’s Hot Wife’s Kick Ass Tofu and the Cha Shao, a Hong Kong style BBQ Pork, both which are customer favorites. For the diet conscious, Uncle Joe’s offers satisfying salads like the mango noodle salad, which comes with wheat noodles, mango, avocado, charred peanuts, herbs, and chili lime vinaigrette. Order a side of protein to accompany your salad, the ginger shrimp and the jumping chicken (on the spicy side) are both great choices. The coalescing of ingredients seems to be where most of the dishes shine. Rather than a hodge-podge of ingredients that amount to little identifiable flavor, Uncle Joe’s dishes retain depth. The crispy tofu, for example, is a simple fried tofu with garlic and sea salt, and a dipping sauce that consists mostly of soy sauce, but in its entirety, the tofu has a complexity of flavor similar to wine: it starts with an initial burst then goes into nuanced spice. Nuance is the key to Uncle Joe’s. It doesn’t throw Asian in your face like P.F. Chang’s, but it’s certainly not embarrassed by its traditionally inspired fare. There are aspects of adventure to its character, but it also offers comforting renditions of classics. Even if the downtown location has only been open for less than a year, it has the potential to stay around for the long haul—and better for us that it does.

By Sarah Shirazi Asian Avenue magazine

menu highlights Entrees $13 Choose one: Cha Shao– Hong Kong Style BBQ Pork Devil Cha Shao – An Uncle Joe’s Special BBQ Beef – An Uncle Joe’s Special Jumping Chicken – Sichuan Style (spicy) Choose one: Jasmine Rice, Brown Rice Cantonese Wheat Noodle, Rice Noodle Add one side dish: Sweet Potato Tots – plum salt Crispy Pepper Sea Salt Tofu – with garlic Green Beans – sauté Sichuan style

Small Plates Kai Lan, $7 Steamed Chinese broccoli topped with scallions, ginger, light soy sauce and sesame oil Crispy Pepper Sea Salt Tofu, $6 Fried tofu with sea salt crust, laced with garlic and pepper Pork Dumpling Soup with Shaved Scallions, $6 Uncle Joe’s “wonton soup” with shaved scallions

Specials Hot Wife’s “Kick Ass” Tofu, $9 Spicy tofu with minced pork, classic Sichuan dish Chinese Scallion Pancake Wraps, $10 Cha Shao, Devil Cha Shao, BBQ Beef or Jumping Chicken with cucumbers, cilantro, napa slaw, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce Uncle Joe’s | asian avenue magazine


Coconut Flan with Crème Caramel


lan dates back to Ancient Rome when eggs were plentiful and when custard was considered a healthy dish. Today nearly every culinary tradition has its own version of flan, not to mention pronunciation, though each adaptation masters a cool, smooth and creamy concoction that will leave your tummy happy. Try this Filipino version of flan with coconut cream and crème caramel.

Custard Ingredients

To prepare the custard

(serves 10)

Caramel Ingredients (serves 10)

To prepare the caramel

• 1 (14-oz) can

sweetened condensed milk • 2 (12-oz) cans evaporated milk • ¼ cup coconut cream • 12 egg yolks • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract


May 2015 | Chef’s Recipe

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut cream, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Whisk until mixture is smooth. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 3. Pour custard mix slowly into caramel-lined baking dish. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with aluminum foil. Place the baking dish in a large tray filled with hot water. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until mixture is firm. Refrigerate overnight. 4. To un-mold, run a sharp knife around the edge of the custard. Place a serving dish over the mold and quickly invert.

• 1 ¼ cups brown

sugar • ¼ cup water

1. In a saucepan combine sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boiling point, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low until sugar is caramelized. (Be careful not to burn). 2. Quickly pour caramelized sugar into an ungreased 2-qt. round baking or soufflé dish, tilting to coat the bottom.

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Did you know?

A Healthy Baby is Worth the WEIGHT By Alexa Cares, Emily Love, and Rita Beam “Low birth weight” is a medical term used to describe babies born weighing 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) or less. Babies born with low birth weights may be more likely to have health problems during infancy and even into adulthood. Eating well, staying active, and seeing your doctor regularly can improve your chances of having a normal weight baby. Among Colorado babies, there are differences in birth weights by racial and ethnic groups. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that over the past seven years, Asian/Pacific Islander women have had the second highest rates of low birth weight babies in Colorado; the highest rates have been among Black/African American babies. From 2007-2013, more than 1 in 10 births among Asian/Pacific Islander babies were low birth weight. Dr. Leo Han, an OB/GYN at the University of Oregon Health and Sciences Center, says, “While a low birth weight can be ‘normal,’ especially for certain ethnicities, it can also be a reflection of health risk factors and practices that need to be recognized and addressed during pregnancy. It is important to find a medical home or begin seeing a healthcare provider before pregnancy so that those risk factors can be addressed when you are pregnant.”

during pregnancy. As Dr. Han says, “Not every woman should be trying to gain the same amount of weight during pregnancy. Intuitively, underweight women should aim to gain more weight and overweight women can plan on gaining less weight in pregnancy. This should be a discussion with your provider about what’s right for you.” The amount of weight that you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI). You can use an online BMI calculator ( weight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_ calculator.html) to calculate your BMI. The table below displays the recommended amount of weight to gain during pregnancy based on your pre-pregnancy BMI.

Make sure you gain enough weight during pregnancy

Many women worry that they will not lose the weight gained during pregnancy after they deliver their baby. However, the majority of women lose half of the weight they gained during pregnancy by the time their baby is six weeks old, and they lose the rest over the next few months. Breastfeeding your baby can also help you to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, make sure that you gain the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2013, almost 1 in 3 Asian/ Pacific Islander women in Colorado did not gain enough weight


May 2015 | Health

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Category

Body Mass Index

Recommended Weight Gain Range


Less than 18.5

28-40 lbs

Normal weight

18.5 - 24.9

25-35 lbs


25 – 29.9

15-25 lbs


30 and greater

11-20 lbs

Other considerations when you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy Most research indicates that women who receive prenatal care have fewer low birth weight babies. In 2013, almost 1 in 5 Asian/ Pacific Islander women in Colorado did not access first trimester prenatal care. If you intend to become pregnant – or think that you are pregnant – schedule an appointment with your medical provider immediately and continue regular prenatal visits during your whole pregnancy. Establishing care with a medical provider before becoming pregnant can provide important health care guidance to assure you are as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. Community resources, such as those found at Connect for Health Colorado (, can help you to learn about access to medical coverage.

Take Vitamin B and eat healthy foods The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women should take 0.4 mg of folic acid (vitamin B) supplements daily before becoming pregnant or immediately after learning that they are pregnant. Taking folic acid can reduce your risk of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. In addition, make sure that you eat a well-balanced diet rich with Vitamin B, protein, iron, and calcium, such as broccoli, bok choy, fish, tofu, beans, oranges, lentils, seeds, and nuts. If you have specific questions related to nutrition or your diet, email

ly, classmates, or neighbors. You can also ask for help from a health professional. A new mental health access line is available 24/7/365 at 1-844-493-TALK (8255). Also, if you know someone who is pregnant, try to offer your support.

Do not smoke cigarettes or use marijuana, alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy Smoking cigarettes is one of the greatest risks to having a low birth weight baby. Dr. Han says, “Smoking leads to damage in the circulation system so that oxygen and nutrition to the growing fetus can be compromised leading to smaller birth weight babies. One of the most important interventions women can take to prevent low birth weight infants is to quit smoking.” The Colorado Quitline ( offers information and support on how to effectively quit smoking. If you experience nausea, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Some home remedies may not be safe to use during pregnancy.

Wait for labor to begin on its own If there are problems with your pregnancy or the health of your baby, you may give birth before your baby reaches 39 of 40 weeks gestation. However, if you have a choice and are planning to schedule your baby’s birth, it is best to wait until you are at least 39 weeks pregnant. Babies at 39 weeks gestation are able to gain more weight in the womb; they have a better chance of fully developing their organs, such as their lungs, brain, and liver; and they are less likely to have hearing and vision problems after birth.

Exercise regularly and focus on self-care Maintain regular physical activity before and during pregnancy. Aim to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes on six or seven days each week. Emotional support can help improve your mental and overall well-being. Try to find time to spend with your friends, fami-

To find out more about planning for a healthy baby, please go to the following websites: • Beforeplay: • Healthy Baby Campaign: • Asian Pacific Development Center: • March of Dimes: • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Health: For more information, please contact: Alexa Cares at OMNI Institute ( or Rita Beam at Tri-County Health Department ( A dditional sources referenced for this article included the National Institutes of Health and March of Dimes. Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Suzuho Shimasaki, MPH, DrPH Candidate, Melanie Tran, MHPA, PhD Student, Callie Preheim, MSPH, and Dr. Leo Han, MD, for contributing to this article.

Low Birth Weight Babies | asian avenue magazine


Going to


Sun, sand and sea — India’s haven for relaxation and culture.


ith its 131 km coastline stretching along the belt of Konkan, Goa has been an essential travel destination since the sixties. Especially during the holidays, the state is packed with travelers ready to unwind and enjoy the glorious sun and food. Tourist season tends to be from late September to early March, with mostly cool and dry weather, though temperatures reach the highest in May and often catches the Indian monsoon at the end of June. Why Goa? Goa’s abundance of culture combines Portuguese era cathedrals with ancient Goan temples, Western influenced cuisine with the spices of the East, Christianity with Hinduism, and two widely spoken languages, English and Hindi. The diverse sate cultivates a distinct lifestyle compared to the rest of India, as many different races and religions coexist in peace. The Goan people, for example, celebrate festivals such as Diwali, Christmas, and Eid (an islamic Holiday) with equal cheer. Aside from their festivities, the Goan people are known for being warm, laid-back and peaceful.

By Naomi Lahiri Shopping is a large attraction, particularly at street stalls and market places, where prices remain cheap. One of the tangible (and most interesting) experiences of shopping in India is bargaining, which is commonplace in shops and stalls. Two of the most famous market places are the Friday Market at Mapusa and the Wednesday Market at Anjuna, which carry an incredible range of brassware, teracota, shell work, carvings and bamboo handicrafts—all of these products speak of the aesthetic traditions Goan craftsmen have honored over centuries. Indeed, the history of Goa is an important attraction, and any visitor would do well to visit Old Goa. This city plays host to impressive monasteries and churches like the Basilica de Born Jesus, which contains the body of Saint Francis Xavier, a pioneering Christian missionary. Tourists take a close look at the fortress walls and administrative buildings in Old Goa, both of which provide a significant cross-section of Christian history in Goa. Although the 450-year Portuguese reign

Resorts & Luxury Hotels Aashyana Lakhanpal

Candolim - North Goa Set amidst beautiful green landscapes and scenic beaches of Goa, the hotel is a perfect blend of elegance and grace.


May 2015 | Travel

Bogmallo Beach Resort

Bogmalo - South Goa Luxurious resort amidst white sands of Bogmallo Beach. Get a plush stay in its lavish accommodation in rooms, suites, cottages and chalet.

Devaaya Ayurveda & Nature Cure Centre

Divar Island - North Goa Devaaya Ayurveda & Nature Cure Centre, Goa is a five star resort that rests among the greenery of the Mandovi river bank.


in Goa (until 1961) introduced Portuguese culture to the state, the people still embrace their rich Southeastern culture. The Museum of Goa Daman and Dui depicts the history of Hinduism in the state and displays pieces from the various Hindu dynasties that ruled Goa in the past. Hindu festivals are still celebrated with great enthusiasm, the biggest being Ganesh Chathurti, when Goans return to their ancestral house to join their families. In Goa, a day of history and culture is usually followed by an evening of food. Portuguese influence in Goan-style cooking has resulted in a tasty and spicy cuisine that uses fish, curry, and rice as basic staples. The distinct spices, which often include cumin, coriander, garlic, and tur-

Fast Facts

meric, have greatly contributed to Goa’s cuisine, particularly in dishes like the famous ambot tik, a curry-based plate of fish. Much of Goan cooking retains the same exotic flavors found in their most popular dishes, and its hard to choose something that’s not tasty. While Goa may initially attract visitors for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, and sunny weather, its ancient ruins and soaring churches captivate visitors to learn more about the history of this culturally diverse state. The scenic beauty of the landscape mingles with the richness of its ancient architecture, a combination that offers something for everyone, and gives travelers to Goa the same mixture of relaxation and culture.

Capital City of Panaji Major Cities Vasco, Margo, Mapusa, Ponda Major Religions Hinduism and Catholicism, while Islam and other religions are represented as minorities. Language Konkai and Marathi are the state languages. English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood all over Goa. Currency Unit Indian rupees. Each rupee is equivalent to 100 paise. Getting There Travelers most often fly in through the international airport at Dabolim in Goa. Upon arrival, the most convenient way to get around is by an intra- and inter-state bus network that transports the locals and tourists. The best currency exchange rates are at the airport and hotels. For more information, visit

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