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Disconnection between Increasing Minority Representation in Health Professions and Reducing Health Disparities: Training and Research Gaps in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH1, Thomas Tsang, MD MPH2, Mariano Rey, MD1, Alan Tso, MD2, Henry Chung, MD2, and Noilyn Abesamis, MPH1. (1) Institute for Urban and Global Health, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (2) Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, 268 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013, 212.379-6999, ttsang@cbwchc.org

Shortages of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups in the health and medical careers in the 1970s prompted federal funding for the establishment of Project AHEAD (Asian Health Education and Development) and similar initiatives to encourage AAPI members to enter into the health field. These programs successfully engaged AAPI minorities to pursue careers in health and medicine. By the late 1990s, AAPIs were no longer considered underrepresented in these fields. Despite this success, there remains a dearth of AAPI health professionals who conduct community-based research and/or provide health services to low-income AAPI communities. Secondly, AAPIs are underrepresented in clinical trials and in national and local health data. Recently, the National Institute of Health has designated AAPIs as one of several health disparities populations. Apparently, there is gap between what is known and what is actually being done to address AAPI health disparities issues. There is a growing consensus among national AAPI experts and health providers that there is a “disconnection” between increasing minority representation in the health and medical professions and reducing health disparities in these same minority communities. This has great bearing not only for the AAPI community, but also has implications for other minority communities who are presently increasing the percentage of minority representation in health and medicine. This presentation discusses the need for new, innovative and interdisciplinary strategies for reducing health disparities in the AAPI community and recommendations made by a national panel of AAPI experts and leaders to address these challenges.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, the participant will learn about the following

Keywords: Health Disparities, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Contemporary Health Policy Challenges among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA