Asian Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization. It was founded in 1994 by Dr. Douglas Chung in Grand Rapids to respond to culturally sensitive human services needs among Asian Americans in West Michigan. Grants have been received from local and state agencies for its operation.  In 2009, a second location was launched in Southfield,Michigan to respond to the needs of Asian Americans in Southeast Michigan.

The majority of the members at theSoutheastMichiganAsianCenter(referred to as AC-SE MI) are former members of the Healthy Asian Americans Project (HAAP) from theSchoolofNursingat the University of Michigan, including Lay Health Advisors. Since HAAP was closed down at UM after the State Department cut funding in September 2009, its members decided to move their programs to a community organization to continue serving the Asian American community. Their chronic disease self-management and hepatitis B programs have been continued at AC-SE MI. The Executive Director, Dr. Janilla Lee, of AC-SE MI was the former Associate Director at HAAP and now is a member of the Program for Multicultural Health (PMCH) at the University of Michigan Health System; therefore, PMCH is a strategic partner of AC-SE MI. The ample talent at UM is a great resource for AC-SE MI to continue its healthcare research and services.

AC-SE MI had its grand opening day on May 15, 2010 to officially introduce its services to Asian Americans in Michigan. Awarded a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health in 2010, AC-SE MI aligned its service with five Asian ethnic organizations, which are now its long term partners for projects in the Asian American communities. These five partner organizations represent the five Asian American groups with the highest populations inMichigan: Asian Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans and Vietnamese. The partner organizations are:

  • Michigan Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (MAPI)
  • Michigan Chinese Women Association (MCWA)
  • Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM)
  • Korean American Cultural Center of Michigan (KACCM)
  • Vietnamese American Association of Michigan (VAAM)

The American Cancer Society and PMCH are its two principal strategic partners since cancer is still the number one cause of death among Asian Americans.