Somang Society serves as a community partner for UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurologic Disorders (UCI MIND) and a California statewide research project entitled, “Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Research and Education (CARE)”. The registry will help research for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), and other aging-related topics such as mental health. Clinical research participation from the Asian American community including Korean Americans is extremely limited. Somang Society’s role as a community partner is to dispel the negative stigma about medical research via culturally competent education and is to facilitate Korean American older adults’ participation in federally funded clinical research such as UCI MIND C2C registry and CARE registry. This critical endeavor is led by Hye-Won (Grace) Shin, Ph.D., Advisory Board at Somang Society and Chief Scientific Officer at Chiron Total, working in partnership with many other professionals, and community-based organizations.
In 2018, the number of Koreans in Southern California participating in body donations was close to none. The reason for the low number of registrations was the lack of awareness of the importance of body donations. By partnering with UCI Willed Body Program, we educate and inform the Korean community on the importance of body donations for current and next generations. Every year more than 50% of donation registrations are committed by Koreans.
People who are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and their family members had a hard time receive resources, information, and support because of language barriers.
By partnering with Alzheimer’s OC and Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Somang Society was able to establish five Korean-speaking caregiver support groups (four in Orange County and one in Los Angeles) in the past three years. Somang Society also offers seminars and webinars and provides one on one consultation for caregivers.