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History | Health Concerns | Affordable Care Act | Our Work | Ways to Commemorate

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2014 – “I am Beyond”

During May, we honor the heritage of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians and celebrate their many contributions to our nation.

The 2014 theme “I am Beyond” captures the aspirations of the American spirit, how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America. More from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Presidential Proclamation — Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2014


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1992. But the origins of this commemoration began with Asian-Pacific Heritage Week in 1977. Learn about the history of AAPI Heritage Month from the Library of Congress. 

Did you know? May was chosen as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants (Source: Library of Congress)

Health Concerns

According to the U.S. Census, there are 18.5 million Americans who identify as Asian, Pacific Islander and/or Native Hawaiian. They represent many diverse cultures, languages and customs that are unique to each community.

Asian Americans have a high prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, smoking, tuberculosis and liver disease. Some health conditions and risk factors that are prevalent among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Asian American Health Profile and Statistics by Disease
Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian Health Profile and Statistics by Disease
Leading Causes of Death for Asian Americans
Leading Causes of Death for Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians 
Journals and Publications on AA and NHPI Health
Census Data

Did you know? Asian Americans are 5.5 times more likely to develop chronic Hepatitis B.

Affordable Care Act andAsian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care law, was created to expand access to coverage, control health care costs and improve health care quality and coordination. Historically, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians were among the racial and ethnic minority groups more likely to be uninsured.
Fact sheet: The ACA and Asian American and Pacific Islander Populations

Our Work

Office of Minority Health programs and partnerships to improve the health of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians include:

HHS Plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health

White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Pacific Project

HIV/AIDS Digital Storytelling Project

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services 

Increasing Access to Quality Health Care for Underserved Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders through Health Information Technology Innovations (Grant)

Health Equity through Enhanced Data (Grant)

All grants and cooperative agreements

More projects and partnerships

Ways to Commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  1. Educate yourself. Read up on the rich history of Asian, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian Americans and the creation of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
  2. Raise awareness. Organize a community event to raise awareness about the health disparities that exist among Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian communities.
  3. Get covered. Learn more about affordable health care options available to you and your family through the healthcare law and spread the word (open enrollment begins November 1, 2014).
  4. Share your story. How are you celebrating AAPI Heritage Month? What’s happening in your organization or community? Share your story or tweet with us throughout the month.
  5. Chart your family health history. Knowing your family history is important to understanding your risk for disease and helping your clinicians provide the best care. The “My Family Health Portrait Tool” from the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office provides a private and easy-to-use web-based resource to organize family health history information.

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Last Modified: 05/02/2014 10:09:00 AM
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