by Pamela Young, Published June 25, 2014
YPSILANTI – Tsu-Yin Wu, professor of nursing at Eastern Michigan University, will be honored by the American Academy of Nursing for leadership as a professor and researcher, and her community outreach and advocacy activities in healthcare.
The Ann Arbor resident will be one of only six Michigan nurses to be inducted at the Academy’s fall policy conference in October. A total of 168 nurse leaders from around the country and 24 countries will be honored. New fellows will be eligible to use the credentials FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing) after their names.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected as part of this prestigious group,” said Wu, an expert in health disparities in underserved populations. “I’m really grateful for all the support from Eastern Michigan, which enables me to make meaningful contributions to the underserved populations among Asian Pacific Americans in reducing health disparities and achieving health equity.”
With her induction, Wu will join a select group of only 2,200 nurse leaders among the 2.7 million nurses in the United States. Nominees must be sponsored by two current academy members and are then judged on their contributions to nursing and health care.
Academy president Diana Mason said, “The American Academy of Nursing welcomes this stellar cohort of new fellows. As clinicians, researchers, educators, executives and leaders in all sectors of our society, they are joining the nation’s thought leaders in nursing and health care.”
“This honor is very impressive,” said Michael Williams, director of the School of Nursing at EMU. “Being elected to the Academy is one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on a nurse
Wu is also director of the Healthy Asian Americans Project (HAAP), an innovative program established in 1996 with its mission to promote health and well-being of Asian Americans. She is an expert on complex issues faced by Asian American women in cancer control and health promotion.
In 2013, Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder reappointed Wu to the state’s Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), which provides a voice for underserved Asian Americans, and utilizes evidence from her research to bridge the gap between the Asian Pacific American (APA) community and the government.
The HAAP program has been in the forefront in promoting health and access among Asian Pacific American communities. It provides evidence-based strategies to empower the APA community to be in charge of their health, including bilingual lay advisors trained as community advocates, in an effort to encourage Asian American women to be proactive about their health, especially when it comes to breast cancer.
“The idea of going to a doctor and facing cultural obstacles and language barriers seems exhausting,” said Wu, a native of Taiwan, who is bilingual. “Many Asian Americans wait until it is absolutely necessary, which is too often too late.”
This year, HAAP educated more than 1,500 individuals and families about the Affordable Care Act. The program also provided in-person bilingual assistance to get more than 500 families and individuals to enroll in health care plans.
Wu has also taken her expertise overseas by reaching out to women in China who face the same issues as Asian Americans. In 2012, HAPP received funding support from the Susan G. Komen for The Cure to begin an international initiative in China and Taiwan.
“Using the framework similar to the HAAP program, more than 300 physicians were trained to perform breast cancer screenings in the more rural regions, which benefits more than 13,000 women in China and Taiwan,” Wu said. “The program also trains local women, usually cancer survivors, to become lay health advisors who promote education and advocate early detection.”