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Mapping medically underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander communities

Rosy Chang Weir, PhD1, Linda Tran, BA1, and Winston Tseng, PhD2. (1) Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, 439 23rd Street, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-272-9536, rcweir@aapcho.org, (2) School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 140 Warren Hall #7360, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing minority group in the nation, increasing 48% between 1990 and 2000 and expected to reach 41 million or 11% of the U.S. population by 2050. With 14% poverty, 17% uninsured, and 50% limited English proficient rates, AAPIs are socioeconomically disadvantaged compared to non-Hispanic Whites. In addition, AAPIs experience health disparities, with higher prevalence rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis B than other racial groups.

Despite their underprivileged status, health data on AAPIs is limited and often represents the group as a whole, masking the large heterogeneity of the population. Their growing population, poverty, and poor health status combined with scarcity of data are an increasing public health concern. More research is needed to provide a better understanding of the health needs of AAPIs and thus help government agencies and public health workers effectively address their needs.

Using geographical information systems technology, we will identify AAPI communities considered medically underserved in the nation. Key elements in the analysis include AAPI population and growth, poverty rates, community health center location, and providers per area. The proposed presentation will provide an overview of the project including a description of the medically underserved communities as well as the projectís purpose, significance, and methods. Overall, the project aims to provide an initial awareness of areas where AAPIs lack access to health care, and to guide effective resource allocation. The analysis also supports the Presidentís Executive Order to improve the participation of underserved AAPIs in federal programs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Geographic Information Systems

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.

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