American Airlines joins the Asian American Federation in extending friendship and support to the people of Japan

On December 3rd, 2011, American Airlines will be flying a team of medical professionals involved in the March 11th earthquake disaster in Tohoku, Japan to come to New York and Boston for a week long professional exchange and mental health training. This program has been arranged in response to the expressed learning interests of the Japanese colleagues, and the Asian American Federation is pleased to offer our gesture of friendship and support. "Through our own experiences of community re-building in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy in New York, the Federation would like to be helpful in any ways we can and to be supportive of Japan's long-term recovery efforts," stated Cao O, the Federation's executive director.

A total of eighteen professionals will participate in the program, and they are affiliated with Miyagi Comprehensive Children's Center, Department of Children and Families of the Miyagi Prefecture, Tokushukai Medical Assistance Team (TMAT), and Kesennuma City Public Health Division. The program will cover a range of topics, including disaster mental health, psychological first aid in emergency preparedness, assisting children with disabilities, as well as play therapy and psychological trauma treatment with children after a disaster. Collaborating institutions include Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Simmons College School of Social Work, Life is Good Kids Foundation, and Children's Hospital Boston. "We have a long term commitment to Japan and its people," said Bernie Willett, American Airlines' Director of Corporate Citizenship. "This initiative is part of our worldwide citizenship efforts and reflects American's commitment to corporate responsibility in the communities we serve around the globe."

The Federation greatly appreciates the good will and generosity of the collaborating institutions. Special thanks go to American Airlines for generously providing roundtrip tickets from Tokyo and New York to ten of the team members and to the Prospect-Hill Foundation for partial funding support of this program.