FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dr. Hong Liu
(773) 878-8969 (tel)
Charting New Territory
Chicago, IL – On Wednesday, November 9, 2005, the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois (AHCI), a 501(c)(3) community-based organization, presents its Fifth Annual Benefit: “Charting New Territory” at the Newberry Library. This year’s honorees include Eric E. Whitaker, M.D., Director, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Sommala Vilaysane, Community Activist.
Founded in 1996, AHCI recognizes that despite recent medical advances, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) continue to experience serious barriers to health care: Nearly two million AAPIs are uninsured; AAPI women have the lowest cancer screening rates and are usually diagnosed at later stages; and AAPI youth smoking rates increased by seven-fold between seventh and twelfth grades, the highest increase among any racial group. The coalition brings together an array of community-based organizations, health care providers, and public health officials committed to improving the delivery of health care and developing an AAPI health agenda. Current initiatives include policy advocacy, cultural competence training for health care providers, HIV/AIDS prevention, tobacco cessation and prevention, increasing language access to health care, and community outreach education for cancer prevention.
The event will raise funds in support of its mission: to improve the health and well-being of AAPIs in Illinois through advocacy, technical assistance, public education and community-based research and education. The benefit will include musical selections by Kirk Brown and Jeff Chan and a silent auction.
|WHAT: Asian Health Coalition of Illinois 5th Annual Benefit Reception
WHERE: Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton Street, Chicago
WHEN: November 9 (Wednesday) at 5:30 – 8:30 pm
WHY: To support the Coalition’s ongoing work to improve the health and well-being of AAPIs in Illinois.
Asian Americans in Illinois Lack access to Basic Health Care
The Asian Health Coalition of Illinois is holding a Health Access Community Forum to present the results of the Health Access Disparities Project on Thursday, November 3, 2005 between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. in the first floor conference room (4753 N. Broadway, Chicago)
The Health Access Disparities Project seeks to understand the needs and the disparities to accessing health care among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in Illinois and make recommendations for overcoming these barriers. Ethnically diverse key informants from twenty hospitals, county health departments, clinics and community based organizations throughout Illinois provided input for the project through surveys and in-depth interviews. The results are captured in a report which will be presented at the forum.
The overwhelming majority of the key informants interviewed mentioned language and cultural competence as the primary barriers to accessing health care. These were followed closely by lack of insurance, cost of medication, limited clinic hours, long waits, and transportation.
Recommendations for overcoming these barriers are made in four key areas: Access, Quality of services, Consumer Participation and Affordable Options for small businesses. Among the top recommendations in each category are universal health coverage including mental health coverage, better and more comprehensive cultural competency training for healthcare professionals, more translation and interpreting services, more fund allocation for preventive and screening services, and mandated inclusion of Asian Americans in medical programs and services.
The project is funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health in collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and conducted by the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois. The South Asian American Policy and Research Institute is coordinating this project under the guidance of the AAPI Health Access Policy Committee. The broader goal of this initiative is to reduce AAPI health access disparities in Illinois through the implementation of the Health Care Justice Act.
The Health Access Disparities Project was funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health in 2005 in collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and conducted by the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois. The South Asian American Policy and Research Institute was coordinating this project under the guidance of the AAPI Health Access Policy Committee. The broader goal of this initiative is to reduce AAPI health access disparities in Illinois through the implementation of the Health Care Justice Act. The “Health Care for All” report presents the survey results and makes the policy recommendations to the State on reducing health disparities for Asian American community through an improved access to health care. Please click here to access the "Health Care for All" document.