According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) represent one of the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the United States. Asian Americans have origins from several countries including: China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, to name a few. Pacific Islander Americans have origins from places like Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific islands (e.g. Tahiti, Tonga, Palau). The historical view on these communities has been that they are healthier when compared with other groups and the general US population. However, research from the American Heart Association shows they are disproportionately affected by heart disease and have unique risk factors that vary widely depending on their background. These disparities have been masked over the years because research studies often consider Asian American and Pacific Islanders as a monolithic group.
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander changemakers who are working to improve the health and well-being of their communities. In interviews on May 25, Sarah Wan, Executive Director of the Community Youth Center (CYC) and Kent Woo of the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, will discuss how community-led solutions can help close the health equity gaps for Asian American and Pacific Islanders and how the American Heart Association is supporting organizations working – like theirs – to combat these inequities.
CYC was recently selected to receive funding from the Association’s Social Impact Fund [heart.org] and NICOS was selected to receive funding from the Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund [heart.org] in 2020. The American Heart Association is committed to working with communities to break down social and economic barriers and generate positive, large-scale health outcomes. The Social Impact Fund and Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund fuels local efforts to break down social and economic barriers that prevent millions of people living in under-resourced communities from living a long, healthy life. The impact funds provide grants and low-interest loans to qualified organizations that support local solutions addressing areas such as healthy food access, housing, recidivism, economic empowerment and educational opportunities. The Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund honors the late Bernard J. Tyson, long-time American Heart Association volunteer and former Kaiser Permanente Chief Executive Officer. Tyson worked tirelessly to overcome structural and systemic barriers to support social justice and equitable health for all.
These interviews are provided by the American Heart Association