186638 Health Policy Actions for the Minority Within and Beyond Minority Borders: Priorities and Action Plans for Improving Asian American Health in Maryland

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunmin Lee, ScD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Chiehwen Ed Hsu, PhD, MS, MPH , Preventive Health Informatics and SpaTial Analysis (PHISTA) Lab, UT School of Health Information Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Genevieve Martinez-Garcia, PhD , Healthy Teen Network, Baltimore, MD
Julie Bawa, MPH , Asian American Health Initiative, Rockville, MD
Lisa Canda, BS, CHES , Asian American Health Initiative, Rockville, MD
Ulder Tillman, MD, MPH , Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland, Rockville, MD
Grace X. Ma, PhD , Public Health, Temple University Center for Asian Health, Philadelphia, PA
Hee-Soon Juon, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Due to a lack of health advocacy, Asian Americans are confronting challenges characterized by a rapid population growth and widening health disparities owing to poor health awareness and excess healthcare access barriers.

Objective: Supported by the Asian American Health Initiative of Montgomery county, Maryland, this project aimed at developing practical action plans that include priorities for both short-term and long-term actions for this Asian community.

Methods: The research team led by UM-SPH researchers conducted 19 focus groups in 13 Asian American communities including 7 under-represented communities in year 2007. Open-ended questions were used to collect qualitative data on health needs, access, community health resources, and particular health programs for consideration.

Results: Three recurring themes emerging from across study groups: access to preventive and curative health services, knowledge and awareness of health and disease prevention, and expressed needs and interests of stronger partnerships. Short term action plans seek to: strengthen access to and utilization of health care services; improve access to health information; expand health promotion and prevention programs for the unique chronic illnesses to Asian Americans; and further county-community relationships to address health issues. Long term plans include: enhance health data collection, analysis, and dissemination; empower CBO/FBO to expand health programs and make health a priority with community; and develop policy by collaborating with Asian-American organizations nationwide.

Discussion: The results reflect a genuine collaborative effort among local public health agencies, thirteen Asian community, and academia. It affords opportunities for making health improvements and reducing health disparities for the populations.

Learning Objectives:
By attending this session, participants will be able to: Describe the health action plan for diverse Asian American communities. Explain the potential program priority, short-term and long-term program solutions for Asian Americans to access health care and preventive services. Discuss policy and program alternatives to strengthen the public health infrastructure that supports the needs of Asian American, particularly for under-served community health.

Keywords: Minority Health, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a co-investigator of this project and have several prior work in the field of health disparities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.