About Us

Culturally-Attuned Services For Seniors

Penn Asian Senior Services is the largest provider of linguistically-attuned senior services for Asian and other limited English proficient (LEP) older adults in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Since our founding in 2004, PASSi has been committed to ensuring that seniors receive the care and support they need to live independently in the community in their chosen language. 

Penn Asian Senior Services
Penn Asian Senior Services

Our Mission

To promote the well-being of Asian-American seniors and other adults who are disadvantaged by their language and cultural barriers.

Our History

2004 – 2005

Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi) was founded in 2004 by CEO Emeritus Im Ja Choi to help her mother, who was recovering from stomach cancer. Initially called the Korean American Senior Services of Pennsylvania (KASSP), it was the first Asian-focused home care agency in Pennsylvania.

KASSP’s work began in January 2005 inside a 500-sq. ft., rent-free space in Abington that was provided by Abington Memorial Hospital. Towards the end of the first year, KASSP was able to expand its operation to a larger 3,500-sq. ft. facility in Jenkintown.

Ms. Choi came to learn that seniors and aging adults within other Asian communities (such as the Chinese and Vietnamese populations) had limited access to culturally and linguistically appropriate long-term aging services. In September 2005, she requested the Board’s approval to change KASSP to PASSi to be inclusive of all Asian seniors in Southeast Pennsylvania who need culturally and linguistically appropriate services to comfortably age at home. Her request was granted in December 2005.

2006 – 2008

PASSi established a state-licensed vocational school, the Penn Asian Vocational Institute (PAVI) in 2006. It provides quality training for our home health aides (HHA) and also produces bilingual certified nursing assistants (CNA) for local health institutions.

PAVI’s training courses are all conducted by bilingual registered nurses (RNs) with certified HHA training offered in several Asian languages (Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, and Khmer), Haitian Creole, and English. PAVI has produced 877 home health aides and 388 certified nurse aides as of 2019.

In 2008, we surpassed 100 clients with increased funding and staff support. Our organization received $850,000 over three years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substantially boosting our financial capacity to produce more qualified entry-level home and health care workers.

2011 – 2014

PASSi’s story received national exposure when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recognized Ms. Choi with the Community Health Leader Award in 2011. She gave $105,000 of the $125,000 award to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. This was to support statistical research for Asian seniors in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

In 2014, PASSi purchased a two-building property and moved its headquarter to Philadelphia. The added space allowed us to establish an adult day center, the Penn Asian Jubilee Center (PAJC). With the capacity to serve 100 clients daily, PAJC offers culturally and linguistically respectful center-based programming for Asian seniors to continuously live within the community of their choice.

2017 – 2019

In January 2017, PASSi opened the PACE Center under the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) Program from the State Department of Aging. PACE Center provides education and application assistance for public benefit programs to limited-English proficient Asian seniors, aging adults, and families. In 2018 alone, our PACE Center assisted over 200 households to help them better afford their prescription, food, heat, and more.

PASSi’s committed work and achievement for underserved Asian seniors received international recognition from the Global Ageing Network (GAN) in September 2017. Our organization was selected as that year’s recipient of the “Excellence in Aging Service Award” at GAN’s bi-annual conference in Montreux, Switzerland.

We opened Evergreen Center, a culturally appropriate senior community center for active Asian retirees in April 2019. Evergreen Center brings together isolated seniors to its state-of-the-art facility featuring a commercial kitchen equipped to prepare Asian-ethnic meals, heated therapeutic swimming pool and sauna, auditorium, garden café, fitness room, and other activity rooms to accommodate a wide array of physically and mentally engaging programs.

2020 – Present

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn Asian Senior Services launched PASSi Kitchen Xpress in April 2020. It is the first culturally attuned meal delivery service providing freshly prepared meals to Asian-American seniors.

PASSi was recognized for its industry-leading safety record and was selected to receive the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence (GASE) in December 2020. We were one of three employers in the state to receive this award, out of 78 companies that were nominated.

Currently, PASSi is one of the most renowned homecare agencies in Southeast Pennsylvania. It is also the largest among Asian-serving agencies, providing care to more than 600 seniors and homebound adults annually.

We match clients with home health aide(s) who share their language and culture, effectively providing homecare services in 19 languages. Our over 600 well-trained home health aide caregivers serve clients every day (including weekends and holidays) in the five-county region of Greater Philadelphia.