Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities and the Affordable Care Act

The White House Office of Public Engagement, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Department of Health and Human Services invite you to join a conference call on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its impact on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:30 PM ET.

AAPIs represent many ethnicities and languages and both spectrums of socioeconomic status and health indices. Recognizing disparities in health outcomes experienced by AAPIs and their unique barriers in accessing health care, this call will focus on ACA issues of most relevance to AAPI communities.

Please join senior Administration officials for an overview of the Affordable Care Act including preventive health benefits, minority health and health disparities provisions, and resources most relevant to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

WHEN: Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:30 PM ET

DIAL-IN: Dial (800) 230-1096 and ask for the Asian American & Pacific Islander Healthcare Call (be sure to dial in 5-10 minutes early).

Please feel free to distribute this invitation widely.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

AAHI at CASSA Health Fair

On Saturday, July 10th, AAHI staff and Health Promoters attended a health fair at the MobileMed Clinic in Germantown. The event was sponsored by the Chinese American Senior Services Association (CASSA). Majority of the planning and organization for this event was completed by AAHI’s summer interns, Arina, Deborah, and Shazra. AAHI provided comprehensive bone density screenings along with culturally tailored osteoporosis education. AAHI’s Senior Program Coordinator Perry Chan, along with health promoters Leigh and Lily were the main source of communication for this event, since participants primarily spoke Mandarin and Cantonese. The MobileMed Clinic staff was very helpful in setting up and organizing the room. The participants entered the room with their Risk Assessment forms completed, which they had filled out in the lobby. While waiting in the lobby, participants received the different AAHI educational materials on cancer, Hepatitis B, and H1N1. Since CASSA and AAHI have a strong relationship and have worked together numerous times, many participants knew what to expect and were eager to see if their bone density scores had improved. Leigh and Lily were experts in explaining the bone density results while handing out additional osteoporosis information. The overall health check-up was very efficiently organized and it was a pleasure to work alongside the staff at CASSA and the MobileMed Clinic. Thank you very much to CASSA for allowing us to be a part of this successful event! Also, thank you to our health promoters, Lily and Leigh, who helped make this event as successful as it was.

Summer inters, Deborah, Arina, and Shazra were excited for their first outreach event.

AAHI provided the very popular bone density screening.

The interns had a wonderful experience administering the bone density screening.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farewell Julie Bawa, AAHI Program Manager

Last week, the Asian American Health Initiative said goodbye to Program Manager, Julie Bawa. Julie has left AAHI to embark on an exciting opportunity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As one of AAHI’s founding members with a six year tenure at AAHI, Julie is credited for many of AAHI’s successes. AAHI wants to take this opportunity to thank Julie for her dedication and passion to serving the Asian American community. Last week, before her departure, AAHI’s summer interns had the opportunity to interview Julie and gather her last thoughts before she left.


Q: As the founder of AAHI, what are your thoughts on the eve of your departure?

A: Leaving AAHI was very difficult decision for me. AAHI has grown tremendously since it started and although I am leaving behind a great foundation, it still needs a lot of work. The voice of the Asian American Health Initiative needs to be louder. Nonetheless, it is a very exciting time for AAHI with all the new programs in action and the strategic plan coming out. For me, this decision personally was very emotional but professionally it is time to move on.

Q: During your time here, what impact, if any, do you think AAHI has made on the community?

A: Prior to AAHI, there were minimal efforts made to target Asian American communities at a county level since the growth and diversity of these communities were viewed as challenges. Through the efforts of AAHI, however, the community was able to become actively involved with the concerns of many Asian Americans. AAHI is able to stand due to its unique abstracts that captured the attention of not just local, but county and state officials as well. In addition, the opportunities that AAHI has had to expand at a higher level is a great accomplishment on its own.

Q: Are there any parting words of wisdom that you would like to leave for your staff?

A: Because most of the staff that starts out at AAHI is young, I would say take in as much as you can while you are here. There are several opportunities to create for yourselves at this age here. At AAHI there is so much freedom to develop interventions, start your own initiatives, and network professionally. Through working here you get a chance not only to participate in hands-on, grassroots work, but also sit in on business meetings and play an active role in developing strategies. As young people coming here right out of college, it’s the perfect place to apply what you learn in the classroom to an actual community. You can experience health education, outreach and meet board members, and run an initiative yourself all in one place. Experience and take advantage, with the guidance of the wonderful staff already here, of all that there is to offer.

Q: As you leave AAHI, a new chapter in your career begins. What are some insights that you can give us about your new position?

A: I will still be working for the Department of Health and Human Services for the agency of Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) specifically in the Bureau of Primary Health Care of the Western Pacific Division. Specifically, I will serve under income and under privileged communities in areas such as California, Guam, and the Pacific Islands.