CHICAGO (WLS) -- In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, ABC 7 Chicago presents ASIAN INFLUENCES: STANDING STRONG, a program that shines the spotlight on Chicago's Pan-Asian American community and the uplifting ways the community is leading the way during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
With Wuhan, China being the epicenter of COVID-19, some misguided people are 'scapegoating' Chinese Americans as the culprits of the virus. Nationally, there has been a spike in racially-charged incidents against Asian Americans. Locally, Naperville Police Department investigated a verbal altercation on a jogging trail involving two women and a Chinese American jogger. The President of Chicago's Asian American Bar Association, Gary Zhao, says even one of these incidents is too many and rallied his colleagues at other local legal organizations to call for action. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker swiftly denounced these acts.
Hosted by ABC 7 anchor Judy Hsu, with contributions by anchor Ravi Baichwal, reporters Eric Horng and Cate Cauguiran, the special aired Saturday, May 23 at 6:00 PM and Sunday, May 24 at 4:30 PM.
WATCH THE ENTIRE SHOW
This edition of ASIAN INFLUENCES focuses on the many positive stories in the time of COVID - Asian American heroes and organizations- stepping up and helping out during a crisis. With Wuhan China being the epicenter of the virus, the special also examines some of the racially charged incidents against Asian Americans, including an alleged racist act against a Chinese American jogger in Naperville. Featured are interviews with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Gary Zhao, President of the Asian American Bar Association.
Also featured, Dr. Shu B. Chan, an ER physician at AMITA Resurrection for 40 years. Along with footage of Dr. Chan working an intense ER shift, this respected physician talks about what it's like to be on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. He perseveres by putting his fears aside along with the knowledge he is saving lives. Dr. Chan also recounts how his wife and the Chinese community rallied to bring $80,000 of PPE to AMITA and other Chicago area hospitals.
Dr. Bhakti Patel, University of Chicago Pulmonologist and her mentor Dr. John Kress, were the first in the U.S. to study 'Space age-looking' ventilation helmets. Dr. Patel explains how their 2012 study on the effectiveness of the helmet in treating pneumonia patients helped improve their patients' survival rates. More comfortable and flexible than a ventilator, these helmets are now used to treat Chicago COVID-19 patients.
Parachute and Wherewithall Chef/Owner Beverly Kim has not let the devastating economic times dampen her giving spirit. Along with keeping up her carry-out business, she is regularly donating meals to health care workers at nearby Swedish Covenant Hospital. She also packs produce boxes for senior citizens at the Hanul Family Alliance. Kim shares how the regular drop-offs and little acts of kindness give her purpose.
Chicken Ati-Atihan, is a popular restaurant in Niles, Illinois, but also one of the businesses that is rolling up its sleeves to donate 1,000 meals to feed health care professionals and first responders.
The Chinese American Service League has long been an invaluable institution in Chinatown. In the midst of COVID-19, they are still operating their senior meal delivery program and making daily wellness checks at the doorstep of those who are vulnerable.
If you have witnessed such an incident or been the victim of one, you can contact:
Illinois Attorney General Hate Crime Reporting Hotline:
Or email the Illinois A. G.'s Civil Rights Bureau at:
Chicago Commission on Human Relations
Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
Dr. Shu B Chan/AMITA Resurrection Hospital
There is no question, our health care workers will long be remembered as real HEROES in this COVID crisis. They have been 'in the trenches' for months now. One of the doctors who knows this deadly virus all too well, is Dr. Shu B. Chan. Chan immigrated from China when he was 6.... And for the last 4 decades, he has helped to heal patients in the AMITA Resurrection E-R on the city's Northwest side. Dr. Chan says he will keep working because he loves his job and he feels he gets a chance to make a real difference in people's lives. During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Chan says he and his colleagues are doing what they are trained to do and for him, one of the key attributes helping him persevere, is the ability to put his fears aside.
For more information:
AMITA Health Resurrection Hospital
7435 W. Talcott Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
Dr. Bhakti Patel/Ventilation Helmets
University of Chicago Pulmonologist, Dr. Bhakti Patel, and her mentor Dr. John Kress were the first in the U-S to study those 'Space age-looking' ventilation helmets you've spotted in Italian hospitals. Their 2012 study on the effectiveness of the helmet in treating pneumonia patients... found they could prevent 40% of the patients from needing to be intubated. The helmets even helped to improve their patients' survival rates. Now, they are using the helmets to treat Chicago COVID-19 patients. Patients find them more comfortable than a ventilator and they are able to remain mobile, while using the helmet. This U of C duo is also fielding calls from hospitals all over the world, about how to implement the devices into their COVID-19 treatment programs.
For more information:
Parachute Chef/Owner, Beverly Kim
Parachute and Wherewithall Chef/Owner Beverly Kim may be weathering one of the toughest economic times in modern history but she hasn't let the downturn stifle her 'giving spirit. Along with keeping up her carry-out business, she is regularly donating meals to health care workers on the frontlines at nearby Swedish Covenant hospital. She also packs Produce boxes for Senior Citizens at the Hanul Family Alliance. Kim says these regular drop-offs and little acts of kindness, give her purpose.
3500 N. Elston
472 N. Elston
Chinese American Service League (CASL)
For over 40 years, the Chinese American Service League has been dedicated to serving the needs of Chinese Americans. Their programs include everything from employment and financial assistance, childhood and youth development, community and family events and senior wellness. CASL was prepared to work remotely when Covid-19 hit and a stay-at-home order was put into effect. When it came to assisting seniors, CASL implemented virtual wellness checks and a meal delivery service.
For more on CASL's services and ways to help during this time, visit their website: www.caslservice.org
Chicken Ati-Atihan Filipino Grill & Restaurant
During the Covid-19 pandemic, first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines are working long, hard hours, sometimes not even having time to stop for a bite to eat. But restaurants from around the city and suburbs are donating free meals to show their appreciation and say "thank you" to these heroes. In Niles, Chicken Ati-Atihan is using donations to deliver a taste of the Philippines to local hospitals and first responders.
Chicken Ati-Atihan Filipino Grill & Restaurant
9054 W Golf Rd
Niles, IL 60714
Lao Sze Chuan
2172 S Archer Ave
Chinese Kitchen and Sushi
420 W 31st St
Holly Grisham and Justyna Syska are the producers of Asian Influences.