Invitation to Join Our Workforce to Improve the Health of Our Community

Published on
Fri Jun 10 2022
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In 2014, I had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Howard Koh, who was the 14th assistant secretary for health and the highest ranking Asian American leading the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A group of Asian and Pacific Islander activists and local leaders from around the country, including me, met with the Assistant Secretary to ensure that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be shaped to serve our AA and NHPI communities and would be implemented fairly and not leave us out. 

As we discussed how institutional discrimination and how outdated rules prevented many in our communities from getting basic health care and coverage, Dr. Koh listened patiently and directed his team to document our concerns and to address them. In fact, our efforts paid off. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsurance rate for AA and NHPIs dropped by over half across the nation. This is a cause to celebrate – it means that more families don’t have to rely on the emergency room for basic primary care issues; it means that children get well-child visits regularly; and it means that our parents and siblings don’t have to wait until they lose their eyesight before being diagnosed with diabetes. 

However, health insurance doesn’t automatically translate into good health, many barriers still exist. Covid took advantage of the many disparities we knew existed in AA and NHPI health causing a level of suffering we will not soon forget. Groups on the ground, like APCA and our coalition of partners, have been working to fill the gaps in our state’s public health response to the pandemic and address the root causes that led to the suffering of the last few years. 
Today, we invite more community members to join our workforce to improve the health of our community and to bring the resources and care our families need to thrive. Send a message to and let us know if you want to join a growing corp of multilingual community health workers improving our community’s health and well-being.

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