It was a busy few days with the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders visiting Minnesota this past week. You can see a few pictures at this link.
On Saturday, the Hmong National Development Conference took place in Minneapolis and the public was invited to attend a panel discussion on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act on the Asian Pacific American community. (Click the link here to see notes from the panel discussion.)
On Monday, the Lao Assistance Center hosted a community roundtable on Asian Pacific health. (Click here to see notes from the roundtable discussion).
While there was a lot of information, data, and comments given during both event, there was many common messages from both events.
1.) Many of the health needs of the AAPI community were the same issues captured in a 2009 CAPM report. Two years since the report was published, the community is still struggling with the same issues: health disparities, barriers to health care due to lack of insurance, cultural and linguistic barriers, and poor data that is not disaggregated from race into ethnicity.
2.) The message from the local, state, and federal government is encouragement to communicate, partner, and interact with their offices.
We, as the community, must “sit at the table” for decision making and help implement the policies
- Citizens need to organize for the purpose of advising our government offices
- Tune in and participate with the national plan on ending health disparities
- Identify goals and issues and partner with organizations that share those commonalities
Advocate for our needs
Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, from the MN Dept. of Health, asked the community to remember how our communities are currently impacting the planning for light-rail transit on University Ave. Our voices do make a difference.
“Your voice is important. Work happens due to your community engagement”
In response to these recent events, CAPM is reaching out to community based organizations and individuals to support the work to advocate for our health and overall well-being.
But we also want to ask the community to be pro-active as well. Please do not hesitate to contact our Research Analyst at brian.kao [at] state.mn.us or to get in touch with the MN Dept. of Health or other government offices.