223890 Healing the Health Care System: Asian American Voices for Health Reform

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Noilyn Abesamis-Mendoza, MPH , Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: With rising numbers of uninsured and skyrocketing costs of care, the nation is working on passing comprehensive health reform. 47 million people lack health insurance in America. In NYC, 1 in 8 Asian Americans are uninsured with 83% of them being foreign born. OBJECTIVE: To understand Asian Americans' unique challenges, their concerns about health reform, and to provide a space where they could offer recommendations, Project CHARGE, a 14-member health collaborative in NYC part of the Health Through Action Initiative, hosted community health care discussions in 2009. METHODS: 15 discussions and 11 interviews with 128 participants were conducted. Surveys were also administered to each participant for demographic information. RESULTS: Participants represented 9 Asian ethnic groups, had an average age of 43 years, 83% were foreign-born, 42% were employed, 42% lived in the U.S. for 11 years or more, 21% were uninsured, and 87% had visited a doctor in the last year. The top 3 concerns expressed were costs, language barriers, and lack of education and outreach. Based on these findings, recommendations to increase health access are offered in 7 areas: affordability, immigrant inclusion, language access, consumer assistance/health education/outreach, disparities, safety net, and state commitment. CONCLUSIONS: The community health discussions demonstrated that Asian Americans are eager to share their stories and suggestions to improve our healthcare system. Policymakers must prioritize engaging LEP, newly arrived immigrants, and low-income communities. The costs of not doing so are enormous, and all of us will lose out in building a healthy, productive country together.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the results of a series of community health care discussions on health reform among Asian Americans in NYC

Keywords: Access to Care, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee and coordinate the health access collaborative and have experience in health policy and advocacy.
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.