U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Minority Health
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Contact: Office of Minority Health
HHS Releases New Plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced its plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health (AANHPI), which outlines the department’s top priorities and strategies for improved health in these communities.
"This plan focuses on critical improvements for data, workforce development, treatment and prevention," said Assistant Secretary for Health, Howard K. Koh, MD MPH. "We need better systems of care and wellness that will elevate the public health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and move the country toward true health equity."
The plan was developed as part of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which aims to improve quality of life and opportunities for Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in federal programs.
"Regular and ongoing dialogue between HHS and community leaders effectively increases access for our communities into the decision-making processes that will make a positive impact on the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders," said Kiran Ahuja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "HHS is truly capturing the spirit of Executive Order 13515 that created the initiative, which strives to increase our communities’ access to, and participation in federal policy and programs in which they may be underserved."
The plan includes four priorities and more than 40 strategies addressing significant health issues for AANHPI populations. The four priorities are:
- Improve prevention, treatment and control of Hepatitis B (HBV) infections. AANHPI persons represent nearly half of the 1.25 million Americans with chronic HBV-infections.
- Improve reporting of data. The lack of group or ethnicity-specific data available on these heterogeneous populations hinders understanding of their health needs.
- Foster workforce diversity. Resolving the current shortage of AANHPI physicians in key health leadership roles would bring more attention to removing cultural and linguistic barriers in health care, resulting in better clinical outcomes.
- Address critical health issues that impact Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. Health problems for these populations are compounded by obesity, unhealthy lifestyles, lack of extended family support systems, and the lack of culturally competent health professionals with knowledge of Hawaiian or Pacific Islander culture.
For more about the new HHS Plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health, go to http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=573.