Students Vaccinate Against Hepatitis B in Chinatown

On the morning of July 9th, Maggie Wong sat in an exam room at the Chinatown Public Health Center listening to UCSF student David Ouyang talk about the Hepatitus B (Hep B) virus. Wong heard about the clinic from a friend and decided to get tested because of the virus' prevalence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. “I just want to learn more,” she said, “I hear about it all the time.”

"The Hepatitis B virus is a one of only a few clinical diseases that disproportionately affects Asian and Pacific Islander communities," said Albert Yu, MD, a clinical professor at UCSF, “It’s one of the few true diseases that has population selection.”

Seven years ago, a first-year medical student at UCSF noticed a lack of Hep B-related community health services in the city and approached Yu about the need to raise awareness of and help reduce the disease.

In 2004, his idea grew into a community outreach project called the San Francisco Hepatitis B Collaborative that educates, screens and vaccinates against the virus, placing particular emphasis on those who have chronic Hep B.

Bi-monthly clinics are held at the Chinatown Public Health Center. Hailing from a range of medical fields and backgrounds, UCSF students, faculty and UC Berkeley translators pool their skills to fill this need in the Chinatown community.

“I think it’s a great thing that UCSF provides the resources and the students. We’re one of the few community partners that screens and vaccinates in San Francisco,” said David Ouyang, the clinic coordinator. Not only does Ouyang see the clinic as a vital resource for the community but also as a great learning opportunity for UCSF students. “As a clinic coordinator, it helps me learn about patient flow, practice phlebotomy and vaccinations, and it’s a good opportunity to meet people from other schools.”