Chien-Chi Huang is the founder of Asian Breast Cancer Project and is presently the Executive Director of Asian Women for Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health and wellness through education, advocacy and support.
Was there a moment in your life when you knew you needed to become a social innovator? Tell us about it. What led you to the work you’re doing now?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago. My cancer journey made me realize that many Asian-American women have difficulties accessing important information, support and care due to cultural and language barriers. I founded the Asian Breast Cancer Project in 2010 to provide peer health education and training. Later, the program expanded in 2012 to become Asian Women for Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health and wellness through education, advocacy and support.
Tell us about the community you serve/problem you solve
Data indicates that there are gaps in preventive care among Asian-American women in Massachusetts, especially for low income, recent immigrant, and certain ethnic groups. Due to cultural and language barriers, many Asian-American women fail to access the critical care and support that every woman deserves. They tend to dismiss, deny, or neglect their symptoms because of fear to bring burden and shame to the family. Asian American women also exhibit high rate of depression, anxiety and PTSD from negative life experiences, acculturation stress and lack emotional support.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you started your organization, what would that be?
- Assemble the “A” team.
- Have a sustainable business model.
- Self-care takes priority.
How has Impact Hub impacted your business? What energizes you at the Hub?
I have made some great connections with like-minded individuals and social enterprises serving underserved populations such as women, immigrants/refugees, or organizations with a health-focused mission. The Hub is not just a coworking space, it’s a community – people here are so generous about sharing their expertise and knowledge, and I’m constantly inspired by and in awe of the amazing talents we have here. I will check out Impact Hub Taipei and Tokyo in late January and will send pictures from Asia.