Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022

Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to advancing health equity and improving health outcomes of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. An estimated 24 million Asian Americans and 1.6 million Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders currently live in the U.S. The Asian American community is the fastest growing demographic group in the country, increasing by more than 35% over the last decade. Meanwhile, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the third fastest growing population. [Census, Pew]

The following is a snapshot of various efforts made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Providing Leadership on AA and NHPI Civil Rights

  • In May 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14031 establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) within HHS – returning the initiative to the Department where it first launched under the Clinton Administration in 1999. WHIAANHPI is co-chaired by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and housed within HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. [OCR]

Making Health Care Accessible and Affordable

  • During the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period and the 2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted two week-long campaigns targeting the AA and NHPI population emphasizing the availability and importance of quality, affordable healthcare through HealthCare.gov. [CMS]
  • CMS issued a letter with information on the American Rescue Plan’s temporary increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid services received through certain Native Hawaiian Health Centers and Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems. [CMS]
  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation published a report entitled, “Health Insurance Coverage Changes: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” with an overview of the effects of the Affordable Care Act and American Rescue Plan on AA and NHPI communities. [ASPE]

Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported health centers have administered COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doses to millions of AA and NHPI patients and community members nationwide since vaccines first became available in early 2021. [HRSA]
    • To date HRSA-supported health centers have provided over 1.7 million COVID-19 doses to patients of Asian descent and over 200,000 COVID-19 doses to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients.
    • Health centers have provided over 319,000 additional or booster COVID-19 doses to patients of Asian descent, and nearly 27,000 additional or booster COVID-19 doses Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients.
  • At the height of pandemic, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, in collaboration with Rural Health Clinics and state governments, reached Native Hawaiians in rural communities to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. HRSA programs also support health centers that offer quality, comprehensive, and integrated health care services to medically underserved communities, including health centers in communities that serve uninsured Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. [HRSA]
  • HRSA’s Provider Relief Bureau issued nearly $607 million in Provider Relief Fund and American Rescue Plan rural payments to providers in Hawaii and Pacific Jurisdictions (American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, and Republic of Palau). The payments give financial support to providers who experienced lost revenues and increased expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. [HRSA]
  • HRSA’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program has paid more than $53.5 million in claims to providers in Hawaii and Pacific Jurisdictions for testing, treatment, and vaccine administration for uninsured individuals. In addition, HRSA’s COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund has paid about $91,600 in claims to providers in Hawaii and Pacific Jurisdictions for costs associated with administering vaccines to underinsured individuals. [HRSA]
  • In August 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration provided $20 million to Native Hawaiian health care entities to aid their response to COVID-19. This funding was distributed through the Health Resources and Services Administration. [HRSA]
  • HRSA awarded approximately $121 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) emergency home visiting funds to support children and families impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, including $2 million for Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program awardees in Hawaii and Pacific Basin territories that primarily serve AA and NHPIs. [HRSA]
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has produced or translated COVID-19-related articles, social media toolkits, and vaccine safety and diversity videos in various Asian languages, including Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Hmong. [FDA, FDA]
  • HRSA shared COVID-19-related patient education resources, including vaccine facts in 40+ languages and multilingual COVID-19 testing resources relevant to AA and NHPI communities. [HRSA]
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a $589,981 grant to the University of California, San Francisco to identify and address sociocultural, ethical, and behavioral barriers related to COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccination to enable Asian Americans to make well-informed decisions about getting tested for COVID-19. [NIH]
  • NIH funded investigators, who conducted focus groups on vaccine hesitancy in Los Angeles, including focus group participants who self-identified as American Indian, African American, Filipino, Latino, or Pacific Islander. The focus groups led to new insights and recommendations to address vaccine hesitancy in multiethnic communities. [NIH]
  • NIH awarded a $717,689 grant to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to study ethnic differences in the effects of COVID-19 on the substance use behavior of emerging adults. [NIH]
  • The Administration for Community Living (ACL) funds the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), which launched a national COVID-19 vaccine resource map and multilingual helpline in February 2021 to help older AA and NHPI adults and caregivers set up vaccine appointments and navigate state public health information. [ACL]
  • ACL continues to support community-based organizations to develop culturally specific responses to longstanding health disparities in AA and NHPI communities, especially for survivors of gender-based violence. [ACL]
  • The National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) Initiative, a consortium of more than 125 research projects studying COVID-19 testing patterns, is involved in several AA and NHPI-related projects such as COVID-19 and Southeast Asian Americans and Getting Asian Americans INFORMED to facilitate COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination. [NIH, NIH]
  • RADx has provided over $50 million on research to develop COVID-19 diagnostic testing approaches to safely return children and staff to the in-person school setting in underserved and vulnerable communities, including empowering schools as community assets to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 in the Hawaiian Islands. [NIH]
  • Since August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) has funded the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) to take meaningful action to reduce COVID-19 related disparities in AA and NHPI communities. Through the National AA and NH/PI Health Response Partnership, APIAHF has helped build the capacity of AA and NHPI communities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and future health issues with community-informed and culturally responsive communication products in 20 AA and NHPI languages. [CDC]
  • In December 2021, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued Guidance on Federal Legal Standards Prohibiting Race, Color and National Origin Discrimination in COVID-19 Vaccination Programs. [OCR]
  • OCR sent a civil rights analyst to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Annual Conference to participate in a December 2021 panel discussion on legal issues facing the AA and NHPI community as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. [OCR]

Supporting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities

  • The CDC provides free in-language resources for Asian American audiences in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean languages through CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers ® Campaign and awards the University of California, San Diego $700,000 in annual funding for the National Asian Language Tobacco Use and Dependence Treatment Support System, which supports the operation and promotion of a linguistically and culturally appropriate nationwide quitline service for individuals who use tobacco products and who predominantly speak Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean, and Vietnamese (CKV) languages. [CDC]
  • The CDC awards $850,000 annually to the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Network to Reach Equity in Tobacco Control and Cancer (ASPIRE Network) to support and advance the prevention of commercial tobacco use and cancer in populations experiencing tobacco- and cancer-related health disparities. [CDC]
  • The CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Program (REACH) funds communities to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest burden of chronic disease (i.e., hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity) through culturally tailored interventions to address preventable risk behaviors (i.e., tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity). Six communities are focusing their efforts on improving health among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. [CDC]
  • The National Institutes of Health awarded a $241,942 grant to researchers at the University of California, Riverside for an intervention development and pilot study to prevent untreated opioid use disorders among NHPI populations [NIH]
  • The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) awarded approximately $20 million in American Rescue Plan funding to over 200 Native American Emergency Language Preservation and Maintenance Grant recipients, including many from NHPI communities. [ACF]
  • HRSA administered the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Jurisdictional Survey to provide localized estimates on key indicators of maternal and child health in the Pacific Basin jurisdictions, conducting a second round of data collection for American Samoa, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Republic of Palau which included new questions related to COVID-19. [HRSA].
  • The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth funds Telehealth Resource Centers that provide technical assistance to AA and NHPI communities. For the past 11 years, the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has provided vital telehealth assistance to meet the health needs of underserved populations throughout Hawaii and the Pacific. [HRSA]
  • The Administration for Community Living recently announced availability of funding to provide $159,762 to establish a Center for Independent Living (CIL) in American Samoa and $110,326 to establish a CIL in Guam. The CILs will support core services in the disability community, including roughly 1 in 3 adults in Guam. [ACL]
  • NIH awarded a $3 million grant for a project addressing disparities associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Natives Engaged in Alzheimer’s Research (NEAR) brings together several tribes, five NHPI community organizations, six academic and research institutions, and 28 urban and rural Native-serving clinics. It will also engage a nationwide network of eight satellite centers directed by researchers who are members of these communities. [NIH]
  • HRSA awarded $130,000 per award in discretionary grant funds per year to six Pacific Island state governments including American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia to improve and expand emergency medical services for children who need care for trauma or critical illness, through the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program. As a result, award recipients have formed the Pacific Island EMSC Regional (PIER) Pediatric Network, developed Basic Life Support Transport Guidelines, and trained emergency medical technicians. [HRSA]
  • HRSA awarded $387,000 in grants to four Family to Family Health Information Centers that serve NHPIs in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. [HRSA]
  • HRSA provided $550,000 in annual funding and $137,500 in American Rescue Plan funding to the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to provide training and technical assistance to health centers, which provide care to over 1.2 million AA and NHPI patients nationwide. [HRSA]
  • HRSA provided nearly $1.8 million to the Hawaii Primary Care Association and Pacific Islands Primary Care Association, which work to address health disparities and improve access to high quality primary care to improve health equity for AA and NHPI communities across the state and Pacific Basin. [HRSA]
  • HRSA provided $607 million in Provider Relief Fund payments to Hawaii and Pacific Jurisdictions (American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, and Republic of Palau). [HRSA]
  • In February 2022, OCR Director Lisa Pino participated in the WHAANHPI Inaugural Advisory Committee Meeting. Director Pino’s presentation focused on OCR’s efforts to increase language access services in federally conducted and federally assisted programs. [OCR]
  • The CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control shares the stories of diverse young women with breast cancer through its Bring Your Brave campaign to educate and empower young women, including those who are Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. [CDC]

Growing and Diversifying the Health Workforce

  • HRSA awarded more than $82 million in American Rescue Plan funding to organizations serving AA and NHPIs to expand their workforce to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others to increase COVID-19 vaccine access through tailored outreach. [HRSA]
  • HRSA’s Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program offers scholarships to Native Hawaiian health professions students in return for an agreement to provide health services to the Native Hawaiian population in Hawaii for a period of two to four years. Since 1991, approximately $24 million has been awarded in almost 300 scholarships to Native Hawaiians across 20 health and allied health professions. This program continues to grow, with obligated $1.7 million to this program in FY21. [HRSA]
  • The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology distributed $73 million to minority-serving institutions (MSIs), including Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), and other and other institutions of higher education to strengthen public health information technology (IT) efforts, improve COVID-19 data collection, and grow the public health IT workforce, including by increasing minority representation in the public health IT workforce. [ONC]
  • NIH formed the “Federation of AANHPI Network” (FAN) to address issues and policies impacting the AA and NHPI workforce across NIH, making up a coalition of ten NIH AA and NHPI-focused Employee Resource Groups initially formed in response to the increase in anti-Asian hate. The network represents the interests and priorities of NIH’s AA and NHPI workforce in topics such as the AA and NHPI leadership disparity gap. [NIH]

Improving Language Access, Cultural Competency, and Outreach

  • The OCR website posts civil rights and health information privacy consumer information in the 15 most frequently spoken languages in the United States. As a result, consumers whose primary language is not English can more easily learn about their rights and exercise them through OCR’s complaint portal. [OCR]
  • NIH has translated its “Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder” factsheet into Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. [NIH]
  • An NIH project aims to develop an oral health education and navigation intervention for older Korean immigrants with limited English proficiency and then pilot test its feasibility and acceptability. [NIH]
  • NIH is funding research that follows 400 dual language learning children from low-income Spanish-speaking Mexican American families and Cantonese-speaking Chinese American families for three years, to learn how early English and a heritage language contribute to dual language learners’ socio-emotional development. [NIH]
  • HRSA’s Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) Region 5 hosted a webinar focused on providing cultural competency and effective communication for the Hmong community, which included representatives from the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Community Care, and HealthPartners Comprehensive Care Advocacy. [HRSA]
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made its “Medicare & You” handbook available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. [CMS]
  • NIH has developed the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement (ADORE) platform that offers hundreds of materials to support the recruitment of underrepresented groups in Alzheimer’s and related dementias research, including materials focused on AA and NHPI communities. [NIH]
  • NIH supports the Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research and Education (CARE) Registry, a culturally tailored registry to educate AA and NHPIs about research participation in five languages across four locations in California. [NIH]

Advancing Health Equity for AA and NHPIs

  • HHS released its Equity Action Plan in April 2022, which focuses on five areas: acquisitions; grants; capacity building; maternal mortality; and civil rights and language access, as they affect AA and NHPIs and other underserved communities. [HHS]
  • In February 2022, the HRSA-supported Federal Cervical Cancer Collaborative hosted a two-day roundtable with providers, health system leaders, and government officials from across the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands to discuss the unique cervical cancer prevention, screening, and management needs of Pacific islanders. HRSA will publish findings from the meeting as part of a federal opportunities report and a provider toolkit in late 2022. [HRSA]
  • NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health has funded 28 research projects addressing AA and NHPI populations in a dozen states to expand the knowledge base and reduce the health equity gap amongst women who have been historically understudied, underrepresented and underreported (U3) through the ORWH U3 Interdisciplinary Research Program. [NIH]
  • Nine NIH institutes have convened a workshop to review current research and identify knowledge gaps, potential barriers, and opportunities for prevention research to improve health equity for AA and NHPI populations. [NIH]
  • HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) is committed to helping AA and NHPIs diagnosed with HIV get the care, treatment, medication, and support services they need. In 2020, 94.6% of AA and NHPIs clients receiving RWHAP HIV medical care were virally suppressed, which is a significant increase compared to 2010 when 77.5% of AA an NHPI clients receiving RWHAP medical care were virally suppressed. [HRSA]

Preventing Violence and Supporting Survivor Safety and Healing

  • The HRSA Office of Health Equity is working with the HHS Office of Minority Health and AA and NHPI Working Group to develop communications guidance to ensure the Department’s official actions, documents, and statements – including those that pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic – do not exhibit or contribute to racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against AA and NHPI communities. [HRSA]
  • The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) awarded the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Gender Based Violence with a $800,000 American Rescue Plan supplemental grant award to ensure training, resource development, technical assistance, and advocacy support to strengthen the continuity of domestic violence programs, community-based organizations, and systems serving AA and NHPIs during the COVID-19 public health emergency. [ACF]
  • ACF awarded $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan in October 2021 to a new grant program for community based, culturally specific services and programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who face additional barriers to services and safety, such as language access barriers. This program expanded services to domestic violence survivors from AA and NHPI communities. [ACF]
  • ACF awarded $16.2 million in September 2021 for continuation grants for comprehensive case management services, prevention education, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Grantees support AA and NHPI survivors of trafficking and those at risk for trafficking. Grantees include Child and Family Service in Hawaii to use funds to build, expand, and sustain local capacity to identify and deliver services to Native Hawaiians and indigenous Pacific Islanders who have experienced human trafficking. In September 2021, ACF also published funding forecasts for the Victims of Human Trafficking Services and Outreach in the Pacific Region and Victims of Human Trafficking in Native Communities Demonstration Programs. [ACF]
  • ACF partnered with the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence and the Governor’s Office to host a four-day roundtable in March and April 2021. In 2022, ACF will publish information from the meeting proceedings to further the conversation on human trafficking within Pacific Islander communities. [ACF]

Creating Better Health Research and Data on AA and NHPIs

  • NIH has established the Asian American & Pacific Islander Health Interest Scientific Group (AANHPI-HSIG) to advance NIH’s mission and improve AA and NHPI health by stimulating research, fostering collaboration, mentoring junior scientists, and providing scientific input to NIH leadership. [NIH]
  • NIH has issued a notice of special interest in research to promote more epidemiologic studies in AA and NHPI communities. [NIH]
  • NIH has released a Request for Information (RFI) to seek information on opportunities and actionable recommendations for priorities that will help enhance research on the health of AA and NHPI populations. [NIH]
  • The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data representing 72.2% of Asian Americans and 73.5% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders – data that are used for federal, state, and nonprofit reports and policy changes. [NIH]
  • NIH has awarded a $807,573 grant to the University of California, San Francisco to support a genome-wide association study to address the gap in understanding the pathogenesis of hidradenitis suppurativa, a debilitating inflammatory skin disease that significantly affects ethnic and racial minority populations, including Asian Americans. [NIH]
  • NIH currently funds the Vietnamese Insights into Cognitive Aging Program to explore factors that affect thinking and memory, and risk for cognitive impairment and dementia in Vietnamese Americans. [NIH]
  • NIH funds the Asian Cohort for Alzheimer’s Disease (ACAD), a network for studying Alzheimer’s disease in Asian Americans in the U.S. and Canada. Successful completion will lead to new genetic and lifestyle screening markers for Asian Americans and insights about novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease. [NIH]
  • NIH is supporting a $694,848 study of 1.6 million mothers and newborns to understand disparities in care processes and outcomes for AA and NHPI mother and infants. [NIH]
  • NIH is funding research disaggregating Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to identify mechanisms of adolescent suicide risk. [NIH]
  • NIH has awarded $707,141 grant to the University of California, Irvine to study the roles of stressors and protective factors in sleep and health disparities among Asian Americans. [NIH]

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/570482321/fact-sheet-celebrating-asian-american-native-hawaiian-and-pacific-islander-heritage-month-2022

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