n 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.  Hosted by ABC 7 anchor Judy Hsu, with contributions by anchor Ravi Baichwal, reporters Eric Horng and Cate Cauguiran, the special airs Saturday, May 23 at 6:00 PM and Sunday, May 24 at 4:30 PM. 

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.

ASIAN INFLUENCES: STANDING STRONG will be available on-demand at abc7chicago.com.


Holly Grisham and Justyna Syska are the producers of ASIAN INFLUENCES.

May 6, 2020

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