At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we recently issued our plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health (AANHPI) Health. Our plan outlines the Department’s top priorities and strategies for improved health by focusing on critical improvements in the areas of data collection, workforce development, treatment and prevention.
Our plan was developed as part of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, whose mission is to improve quality of life and opportunities for AANHPI participation in federal programs. Our plan has four priorities and more than 40 strategies, including:
In addition, we continue to work closely with Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander professional and advocacy groups to support health initiatives and research through agencies including NIH, CDC, SAMHSA, and HRSA. Our Office of Minority Health (OMH) has a long history of working with AANHPI organizations and works closely with Guam and other Pacific jurisdictions on prevention and testing for HIV, sexually transmitted infections and other co-morbidities. We helped to create and launch a Pacific Resource and Training Center and support community-based projects and social marketing campaigns including the San Francisco Hep B Free Campaign- a successful community-based prevention model. Through efforts like these, we hope to better understand and address the disparities AANHPI communities experience as we seek to achieve health equity.
As an Asian American son of immigrants, I am personally delighted to be part of this effort. And as a physician and Assistant Secretary for Health, I hope to be part of the solution. We need better systems of care and wellness that will elevate the public health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, so we can truly eliminate health disparities in this country.
Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, is the Assistant Secretary for Health, US Dept. of Health and Human Services