B. A. (1999) Brown University
MSW (2006) Boston College
Ph. D. (2013) Boston College
Acculturation, Immigrant Health, Asian Elderly, Racism, Food Insecurity, Community Organizing
Keith Chan is Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at University at Albany SUNY, a Hartford Geriatric Doctoral Fellow, and an alumnus from the CSWE Minority Fellowship Program. The primary focus of his research is on health disparities for vulnerable populations, particularly with Asian elderly. He studies Asians because despite being the largest immigrant group since 2009, they are usually left out of discussions regarding social justice. He studies elderly because disadvantages accumulate over the life course. His research projects have examined how Asians "acculturate to racism" as they take on the identity of being a minority person in the US, along with differences in health outcomes such as disability, mental health, chronic illnesses and health care utilization as they become older.
Dr. Chan grew up in New York City, where his father worked in a Chinese bakery, and his mother was a garment worker in Chinatown. He has personally experienced poverty and homelessness, and is a first generation elementary school graduate. He speaks fluent Chinese (Cantonese and Toishanese), and has over 15 years of direct practice experience as a social worker working with minority and immigrant populations. He publishes prolifically in scientific journals across multiple disciplines, and has examined health disparities using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Dr. Chan's research aims to identify social problems with vulnerable populations, and provide elegant solutions which can empower all stakeholders from a systems perspective. Dr. Chan also works actively with Food Not Bombs Albany, a grassroots, community activist organization that addresses food insecurity by disrupting capitalist systems in food distribution (https://www.facebook.com/groups/146855777272/). In his spare time, Dr. Chan also volunteers and teaches martial arts to young children, adults, and elders in the Albany community.