Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog

  • Building Coalitions to Promote a Healthier Seattle AAPI Community

    Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett meets with AAPI community leaders at the International Community Health Services Clinic in Seattle, WA

    Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett meets with AAPI community leaders at the International Community Health Services Clinic in Seattle, WA September 4, 2013. (by ICHS)

    As a Member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), I have the privilege to work on connecting the country’s AAPI communities with their Federal government. Yesterday, I was honored to facilitate a roundtable conversation with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and a small group of AAPI health, business, and civic leaders from around the Seattle area.

    The roundtable was hosted at the International Community Health Services (ICHS) International District medical and dental clinic.  We began with a tour of the facility hosted by Teresita Batayola, CEO of ICHS, and senior members of her staff.   The ICHS team highlighted for Ms. Jarrett the wonderful work being done from their facility to provide access to high quality and culturally sensitive health care, to address the challenges facing many in Seattle’s AAPI community.

     Following the tour, there was a vibrant discussion on the need for culturally sensitive outreach services under the Affordable Care Act, the importance of disaggregating data for AAPI communities to address health disparities, ways to promote more venture capital investments in AAPI entrepreneurship, and the critical need for a balanced approach to comprehensive immigration reform that embraces family unification as well as the needs in high-tech or high-demand industries.

     As Ms. Jarrett noted at the close of the roundtable, all of these issues – from health care to community development to small business – are fundamentally interconnected, and our success depends on us all working together. With the continued support and collaboration of partners throughout the Northwest, of President Obama and his team across the federal government, and with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, I am optimistic about the future and the health of our AAPI community.

    Hyeok Kim is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Executive Director of InterIm Community Development Association, a Seattle-based nonprofit.

  • Learning about the Health Insurance Marketplace in Korean

    Learning about the Health Insurance Marketplace in Korean

    Jennifer Yoo, HHS’ Anne Avery, and FDA’s Hyun Son host a Google Hangout in Korean on the Health Insurance Marketplace September 27, 2013. (by Maria Pastrana Lujan)

    Jennifer Yoo, HHS’ Anne Avery, and FDA’s Hyun Son host a Google Hangout in Korean on the Health Insurance Marketplace on August 27, 2013 (Photo courtesy Maria Pastrana Lujan)

    On August 27, 2013, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders held a Google Hangout in Korean to discuss the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Viewers tuned in from around the country, and Korean American community groups gathered in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington to participate in the discussion.

    The Department of Health and Human Services’ Anne Avery and Hyun Son responded to a broad array of questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, which will be open on October 1, including eligibility requirements, enrollment start dates, authorized navigators, and resources for in-language assistance. 

    Nearly 1 in 5 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) do not have health insurance. Two million AAPIs are projected to become insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the law’s benefits will help reduce disparities in both health care and health outcomes through expanded insurance coverage and better access to high-quality health care services.

    The turnout at the Korean-language Google Hangout and the enthusiasm of the participants shows the importance of engaging with the AAPI limited English proficient community on the Affordable Care Act in the languages they speak. WHIAAPI plans to hold further Google Hangouts on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Chinese and Vietnamese in the near future.

    Maria Pastrana Lujan is an Advisor on Community Engagement at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

     

     

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  • Chicago Regional Interagency Working Group: Continuing the Dialogue with the AAPI Community

    Chicago Regional Interagency Working Group Members

    August 23, 2013. (by Doug Nguyen, Social Security Administration, Chicago Region, Regional Interagency Group Member)

    On Friday, August 23, 2013, the Regional Interagency Working Group (RIWG) of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted its second community forum in Illinois.  The event – which drew over 50 community members – was hosted by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, the first Asian American elected to Congress from Illinois, and took place at Northern Illinois University in DuPage County, where Asian Americans represent more than 11% of the county’s population.  Representatives from the Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, and General Services Administration participated in the event.

    Participants had the opportunity to hear from RIWG members about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses; the way in which the federal government is leveraging technology to meet the growing needs of the American public; the importance of safeguarding workers; and information on how to do business with the federal government.  The RIWG members also provided resources for participants to access additional information about federal government programs. 

     The event is part of our ongoing conversations with the AAPI community in the Chicago region.  The RIWG’s mission is to provide information about the various federal government resources available to the AAPI community and to hear about specific community concerns and issues.  Sign up to receive the Initiative’s weekly highlights for more information on upcoming events in your area. 

    Ann Kalayil is the Regional Administrator of the Great Lakes Region at the U.S. General Services Administration and a Regional Interagency Working Group Member.

          

     

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  • Today: Learn About the Health Insurance Marketplace in Korean

    Our Korean in-language Hangout will take place today, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (EST). We hope you will join the conversation – in Korean! Our goal is to bring greater awareness of health care to the AAPI population, so that all people achieve their full potential for health. Join our Google hangout here.

    Maria Pastrana Lujan is an Outreach Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

    오늘: 한국어로 안내되는 새의료보험 가입및 중요한 정보에 대해 알아보세요 (Korean Translation)

    한국어로 진행되는 행아웃은 오늘 2013년 8월 27일 화요일 동부표준시로 오후 3시~4시에 열릴 예정입니다. 한국어로 진행되는 본 행사에 많은 분들이 참석하시기를 기대하겠습니다! 이행사의 목표는 아-태 인들에게 의료보헙에 대한 경각심을 보다 더 일깨우는 데 있습니다. 그렇게 되면 모든 사람들이 최대한 건강을 누릴 수 있을 것입니다. 구글 행아웃에 같이 참여해주시고 트위터에 질문해주세요. 감사합니다.

    Maria Pastrana Lujan은 아시아 태평양계 미국인을 위한 백악관 행정명령의 (WHIAAPI) 아웃리치 담당 고문 입니다.

  • Citizenship and Our Global Competitive Advantage

    August 21, 1991 was a pivotal day—it was the day I boarded a plane in my native Lahore, Pakistan and traveled to the United States to pursue higher education and eventually build a career. Today, I am fortunate to be leading a global technology company based in Silicon Valley and having the honor of representing my community at the federal level as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

    My immigration story is not inherently about family or necessity— it is about the pursuit of opportunity. I was drawn to America’s innovative spirit and the possibility that I could do anything if I worked hard at it. The entrepreneurial spirit that drew me to this country is America’s core strength. And for America to inspire and attract future generations of the world’s finest talent, a fair and efficient immigration system is a must.

    My role in the private sector involves significant travel and work abroad. I see how emerging markets are fast catching up with the developed economies through investments in education, science and technology, and the adoption of dynamic economic policies. In an increasingly competitive global environment, immigration is critical to the United States' maintenance of its competitive advantage across the globe. Immigrants have built some of the most innovative companies in the world. They maintain critical networks in countries of origin which facilitate American exports. In Silicon Valley a significant number of founding teams of technology companies are comprised of immigrants from Asia. Across the country, immigrants improve the nation’s economic productivity and contribute immensely to sectors across our economy. A recent White House report has documented their economic impact.

    As an immigrant who came to this country as a college student, joined the high-tech industry as a professional, and is now serving as C.E.O of a technology venture managing a global team, I have experienced first-hand the challenges of our broken immigration system. Our broken immigration system hampers the flow of immigrant contributions to the country’s economy. Streamlining and improving immigration processes for future drivers of the U.S. economy––students who want to pursue careers in engineering, aspiring entrepreneurs who would create jobs for Americans, trained professionals who possess high-demand skills––would only enhance immigrants’ positive impact on the United States economy and society overall. I am proud to stand amongst “the Geeks” as the White House spotlights the best of those in the STEM field this week through the “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout series.

    Immigration reform, however, will not be whole and fair without a comprehensive approach. The economic imperative of drawing engineers and scientists to the United States is not at the expense of addressing the moral challenge posed by the presence of millions of undocumented immigrants in this country. Silicon Valley, where I work and live with my family, is also home to undocumented immigrants who play an important role in the region’s economic vitality, and who would significantly benefit the U.S. economy if they were brought out of the shadows. With the proposed commonsense reform that recently passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan majority, we have a historic opportunity to build a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders, requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules and provides an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Together we can build a fair immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

    Dilawar Syed, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley-based Yonja Media Group, is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

  • Coordinating Outreach to the AAPI Community: New York Regional AAPI Forum

    Health & Social Services Workshop

    New York Regional Interagency Workgroup AAPI Forum. August 15, 2013. (by Everett Lo, Social Security Administration, New York Regional Public Affairs Office)

    The Regional Interagency Workgroup (RIWG) of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders strives to share information and resources with AAPI communities in each region across the nation. Over 75 individuals from 17 agencies currently participate in the RIWG, and the New York RIWG is one of the largest ones, with 24 federal agencies participating.

    On Thursday, August 15, 2013, the New York RIWG hosted an AAPI forum.  The event drew over 150 participants from New York and New Jersey representing AAPI advocacy groups, community based organizations, employers, elected officials, and local state agencies.  Participants interacted with regional senior officials to learn about available federal resources, and they joined workshops to discuss issues of importance in their communities: workers’ rights, small businesses, health and social services and housing.  Feedback from participants and presenters was overwhelmingly positive, with one participant stating “Yesterday’s initiative contributed to the importance of the work that our organizations do for our residents as we face new and exciting challenges in the future. As I sat through three of the workshops, I saw that you successfully captured the essence and highlighted all the programs that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and so many more of our residents need to have a better quality of life”.

    Forums like this help us understand each community’s distinct needs so that we can better serve you, and we encourage you to participate in an upcoming forum in your region.  Sign up to receive the Initiative’s weekly highlights for more information on upcoming events in your area.

    Dr. Michelle S. Davis, Regional Health Administrator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Regional Interagency Working Group Member