Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog
- Posted byon November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM EDT
As a physician for more than 30 years, I have seen the tremendous burden that diabetes places on patients and their loved ones. As November marks National Diabetes Month, let us recommit to educating ourselves and our communities about how to prevent, manage, and treat diabetes.
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, but the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community is at particular risk. In fact, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are more than three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, compared to non-Hispanic whites. This is due to higher rates of risk factors such as being overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Within the U.S. Pacific Islands themselves, the prevalence of overweight and obesity exceeds 90 percent and diabetes approaches 50 percent in some areas.
I encourage all Americans, including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, to take advantage of preventive care, which is critical to improving health and outcomes and identifying early signs of disease or risk factors. The Affordable Care Act offers quality health insurance to uninsured Americans, including nearly 240,000 uninsured Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
The law ensures that Americans at higher risk for developing type-2 diabetes can receive diabetes screenings, diet counseling, and obesity screenings with no out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, screening for gestational diabetes is available with no co-payment for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. Beginning in 2014, Americans cannot be denied health coverage because they have diabetes or any other pre-existing health condition.
Additional initiatives, such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, and the National Diabetes Education Program (a partnership of the National Institutes of Health and the CDC) are helping Americans of all ages take action to improve their health and that of the nation. Help spread the word on the importance of preventing and managing diabetes, so that all Americans can live their full potential for health.
Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, is the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Webinar on December 19th: Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission -An Overview and Discussion of New ToolsPosted byon November 18, 2013 at 9:04 PM EDT
Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and Hep B United on Thursday, December 19th, from 2:30-4:00 PM EDT for a webinar on Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission featuring speakers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Hep B United.
Mother to child transmission, also known as perinatal transmission, of hepatitis B is still a public health issue in the U.S. Approximately 800 newborns in the U.S. are chronically infected each year through perinatal exposure. Half of all hepatitis B-infected individuals—or 1 in 12—are from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations, and the most common form of transmission is from mother to child.
Join us for this interactive session to discuss new tools and best practices toward reducing hepatitis B health disparities in AAPI communities, including potential interventions in prenatal care, information about gaps in reporting and a new resource from the Immunization Action Coalition entitled, Give Birth to the End of Hep B.
Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission: An Overview and Discussion of New Tools
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
2:30-4:00 pm EDT
Register at: http://bit.ly/17E5MsJ
A confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar will be sent to you after you register.
Chari Cohen, MPH, DrPH(c), Director of Public Health, Hepatitis B Foundation
- A. Seiji Hayashi, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS
- Trudy Murphy, MD, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC
- Su Wang, MD, MPH, former Assistant Director of Medical Affairs, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center; Medical Director, Center for Asian Health Chinese Health Initiative: Medical Care for the Chinese Community, Saint Barnabas Medical Center
- Deborah Wexler, MD, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition
Note: This call is off the record and not for press purposes.
Juliet Bui is a Policy Advisor on Health with the White House Initiative on AAPIs.
- Posted byon November 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM EDT
Department of Education’s Kim Oanh Nguyen and Department of Health and Human Services’ Kimquy Kieu, and Minh Wendt hosted a Google+ Hangout in Vietnamese on the Health Insurance Marketplace on November 6, 2013 (Photo courtesy of Jason Tengco)
On November 6, 2013, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) held a Google+ Hangout in Vietnamese to discuss the Health Insurance Marketplace, a whole new way to shop for affordable, quality health coverage. Vietnamese American communities from around the country tuned in. In addition, Vietnamese American community groups gathered at local community centers in California, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas to participate in the discussion.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Kimquy Kieu, MD, MPH and Minh Wendt, Ph.D., responded to a broad array of questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, Topics included eligibility requirements, financial assistance, enrollment dates, consumer assistance programs in local communities, and resources for in-language assistance.
Open enrollment in the Marketplace runs through the end of March 2014. Individuals have until December 15, 2013 to sign up for coverage starting on January 1, 2014. There are a number of ways to shop for coverage in the Marketplace. Individuals can visit HealthCare.gov, call the call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325), or use the Find Local Help feature on the website to find people in local communities who are trained to help them understand their coverage options and enroll in a plan.
Two million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are projected to become insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Affordable Care Act will help reduce disparities in both health care and health outcomes through expanded insurance coverage and better access to quality health care services. Two million uninsured Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have new opportunities for coverage through the Marketplace.
The turnout at the Vietnamese-language Hangout and the enthusiasm of the participants highlight the need to engage the Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ limited English proficient community on the Affordable Care Act in the languages they speak. In addition to the Hangout that we held in Korean in August, WHIAAPI plans to hold another Google+ Hangout on the Marketplace in Chinese.
Tuyet Duong is a Senior Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Tìm Hiểu Về Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khoẻ bằng Tiếng Việt
Tác giả Tuyet Duong
Nguyễn Kim Oanh thuộc Bộ Giáo Dục và Kiều Kim Quy thuộc Bộ Y Tế và Nhân Sinh, và Minh Wendt đã chủ trì một buổi Google+ Hangout bằng tiếng Việt về Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khỏe vào ngày 6 Tháng Mười Một, 2013 (Hình Ảnh Jason Tengco)
Vào Ngày 6 Tháng Mười Một, 2013, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Sáng Kiến của Toà Bạch Ốc về Người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và Đảo Thái Bình Dương - WHIAAPI) đã tổ chức một buổi Google+ Hangout bằng tiếng Việt để bàn về Health Insurance Marketplace (Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khỏe), một phương cách hoàn toàn mới để mua bảo hiểm sức khỏe có phẩm chất, hợp túi tiền. Các cộng đồng người Mỹ gốc Việt từ khắp nơi trên toàn quốc đã lắng nghe cuộc thảo luận này. Ngoài ra, các nhóm cộng đồng người Mỹ gốc Việt đã quy tụ tại các trung tâm cộng đồng địa phương ở California, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, và Texas để tham gia trong cuộc bàn luận.
Kiều Kim Quy, MD, MPH thuộc Ban Dịch Vụ Y Tế và Nhân Sinh và Minh Wendt, Ph.D., đã trả lời nhiều câu hỏi về Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khỏe, các đề tài bao gồm quy định để hội đủ điều kiện, trợ giúp tài chánh, các ngày ghi danh, các chương trình trợ giúp khách hàng tại các cộng đồng địa phương, và các nguồn trợ giúp ngôn ngữ .
Thời gian ghi danh với Thị Trường diễn ra cho tới cuối tháng Ba 2014. Các cá nhân có đến ngày 15 Tháng Mười Hai, 2013 để ghi danh mua bảo hiểm có hiệu lựcvào ngày 1 Tháng Giêng, 2014. Có một số cách để mua bảo hiểm trên Thị Trường. Các cá nhân có thể vào trang mạng HealthCare.gov, gọi trung tâm trợ giúp ở số 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325), hoặc dùng tính năng Find Local Help (Tìm Sự Giúp Đỡ Tại Địa Phương) trên trang mạng để tìm những người ở các cộng đồng địa phương được huấn luyện để giúp họ hiểu các lựa chọn bảo hiểm và ghi danh vào một chương trình.
Hai triệu người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và Đảo Thái Bình Dương theo dự kiến sẽ được bảo hiểm nhờ Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Phù Hợp Túi Tiền. Đối với Người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và người Đảo Thái Bình Dương, Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Phù Hợp Túi Tiền sẽ giúp giảm thiểu sự chênh lệch luôn cả về chăm sóc sức khỏe và các kết quả sức khỏe qua bảo hiểm được mở rộng và sự tiếp cận tốt hơn với các dịch vụ chăm sóc sức khỏe phẩm chất. Hai triệu người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và người Đảo Thái Bình Dương không có bảo hiểm sẽ có các cơ hội mới để có bảo hiểm qua Thị Trường.
Thành phần tham gia và sự nhiệt thành của những người tham gia buổi Hangout bằng tiếng Việt đã nhấn mạnh nhu cầu tham gia cần thiết của cộng đồng người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và người Đảo Thái Bình Dương kém tiếng Anh vào Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Phù Hợp Túi Tiền bằng ngôn ngữ bản xứ . Ngoài Hangout mà chúng tôi tổ chức bằng tiếng Hàn vào tháng Tám, WHIAAPI dự định tổ chức một buổi Google+ Hangout nữa trên Thị Trường bằng tiếng Trung Hoa.
Tuyết Dương là một Cố Vấn Cấp Cao thuộc Sáng Kiến của Toà Bạch Ốc về người Mỹ gốc Á Châu và người Đảo Thái Bình Dương.
- Posted byon November 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM EDT
“We need to have our voices heard. We need to have a place at the table.”
Federal leaders from Kansas and Missouri overwhelmingly heard this sentiment repeated by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members last Thursday, November 7, at the White House Initiative on AAPIs Regional Interagency Work Group community convening in Overland, Kansas.
Hosted at the 30-year old Filipino Cultural Center, the roundtable gathered over 40 individuals representing immigrant communities from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Participants discussed critical community issues with federal representatives from the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
According to the U.S. Census, there are 77,900 AAPIs in Kansas, and 114,400 in Missouri. Together, the AAPI population comprises a small yet significant force in our region. For many of these local AAPI leaders, our roundtable was the first time they had come together for a substantive discussion with federal government leaders.
Many of us came away from the discussion with a significant list of follow up activities, ideas, and the promise of fruitful partnerships in our region. Everyone at the table wanted to ensure that Kansas and Missouri AAPI communities and small businesses can learn more about the Affordable Care Act. SBA and HHS committed to doing more hands-on outreach and education about the health insurance marketplace in the AAPI community. USCIS discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and how to involve AAPI community leaders into its current engagements.
I have worked at SSA for over 25 years, and I have not been this inspired by a community roundtable for a long time. This roundtable motivated and moved everyone in the room to commit to working in coalition with the AAPI community for years to come.
Jewell Colbert is the Regional Communications Director of the Kansas City Region for the Social Security Administration.
- Posted byon November 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM EDT
Earlier this month, I had the distinct privilege to speak about the importance of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) at a convening organized by the newly established Center on Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania. College presidents and administrators, foundation leaders, advocates, practitioners and researchers came together to learn and share best practices. What was unique about this convening was having a diverse set of MSIs in one room together -- learning from and about each other, sharing best practices on a range of critical education issues, and promoting collaboration.
At the convening, I reiterated the numbers we know too well: By the end of this decade, our nation will need an additional 1.5 million college graduates to meet the demands of our economy, and yet, the reality is we will have 6 million workers without a high school degree who will be unable to find jobs.
MSIs play an important role in achieving President Obama’s goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. They enroll more than 2.3 million students and a significant proportion of minority students in this country, and are also responsible for more than 20 perecent of all degrees needed to meet the President’s 2020 goal. Some MSIs hold a unique status in the U.S. -- like HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) or Tribal Colleges and Universities -- while others must meet specific percentages of minority and low-income students enrolled in their institutions. These types of MSI institutions include Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, among others.
MSIs are educating the fastest growing student populations in the country, and are accomplishing this goal through culturally sensitive and relevant curricula and environments that encourage students to develop a sense of identity and self-worth. They prioritize students in need and are developing innovative programs focused on remediation, first year and transfer students, retention and much more. I learned about many of these initiatives at the MSI Convening.
The convening was a reminder of the important role MSIs play in our higher education system, both in meeting President Obama’s goal for college attainment and in educating diverse students across the country.
Kiran Ahuja is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on AAPIs.
- Posted byon November 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM EDT
On a recent trip to California, as part of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Strong Start, Bright Future back-to-school bus tour, I had the opportunity to visit Operation Samahan (Tagalog for “working together”), a community health center located in National City, CA that predominantly serves the Filipino American community and low-income, uninsured families and individuals.
During my visit, I learned about the organization’s humble beginnings forty years ago, when a group of volunteer doctors and nurses met in a barber shop in downtown San Diego. Frustrated by the lack of culturally and linguistically competent health care services available to their own families and communities, they began seeing Filipino American and Latino patients, focused on providing primary and preventive care. The demand for their services rapidly grew, and Operation Samahan was born. The health clinic has since grown to six sites throughout the County of San Diego and provides a comprehensive spectrum of health care and preventive services.
Community health centers such as Operation Samahan play a vital role in delivering health care services in communities with historically high rates of uninsured Americans – and are equipped to do so in a culturally and linguistically competent manner. These health centers are also on the front lines of helping uninsured residents enroll in new health insurance options available in the Health Insurance Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. And because of the Affordable Care Act, many uninsured Americans are gaining coverage through Medicaid and the Marketplaces. A number of these newly insured individuals will be turning to community health centers for health care – especially culturally and linguistically competent services. Increasing the capacity of community health centers across the country to meet these new demands is critical.
Just last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new $150 million investment under the Affordable Care Act to help health centers provide more individuals and families across the country with access to quality health care services. This investment will help support a total of 236 new community health center sites nationwide that provide essential health care services, such as primary and dental care, to approximately 1.25 million additional patients.
Several health centers that are focused on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, including Operation Samahan, will receive these new investments:
- Korean Health Education, Information and Research Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Asian Americans for Community Involvement of Santa Clara, San Jose, CA
- Operation Samahan, National City, CA
- Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic, Garden Grove, CA
- Hamdard Center for Health & Human Services, Addison, IL
- Asian Human Service Family Health Center, Chicago, IL
- MQVN Community Development Corp., New Orleans, LA
- Asian Service Action, Akron, OH
- Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Atlanta, GA
- American Samoa Government Department of Health, Pago Pago, AS
These funds will be important to help improve access to quality health care services for all Americans.
Maria Pastrana Lujan is an Advisor on Community Engagement at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
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