A conversation with Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
May was AAPI Heritage Month and this year’s theme was “I Am Beyond.” It is a phrase meant to evoke the rich and complex diversity of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. What does AAPI Heritage mean to you personally and as the ED of SEARAC?
I grew up in Orange County, California, and San Jose, California, homes to two of the largest Vietnamese American communities in the nation. Growing up in these communities to me meant seeing a lot of Asian faces.... Read More
Hepatitis, HIV and Older Americans: Get the Facts and Take Action
World Hepatitis Day is one of four official disease-specific world health days
While viral hepatitis is the 8th leading cause of death in the world, it is a largely silent killer. Each year, the disease kills approximately 1.5 million people worldwide. In the United States, the CDC estimates 4.4 million people live with chronic hepatitis. However, most are unaware they are infected. Four years ago the World Health Organization designated July 28 as World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness and encourage action, especially among vulnerable and high-risk populations, including older Americans. Viral hepatitis is a life-threatening disease on.... Read More
NHCOA Regional Meetings: Leveraging the Power of Stories and Grassroots Leadership
Access to health care, Medicare fraud, poverty, and hunger were the most pressing issues discussed at the Miami and Dallas Open Forums, which are part of the National Hispanic Council on Aging’s 2014 Promoting Communities of Success Regional Meeting series.
The data speaks for itself:
Over one-quarter of the Hispanic population is in poverty. There are about 750,000 older adults nationwide experiencing hunger and 5 million facing food insecurity. Of these, Hispanic older adults are 20% more likely to be hungry. Latino seniors and diverse elders are more likely to suffer specific chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and.... Read More
Vietnamese Poetry: Reflections on the sweetness and bitterness of growing older
Ngô Văn Diệm came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1981. In these poems, Mr. Ngô reflects beautifully on the sweetness and bitterness of growing older, and the ephemeral qualities of memory and of life itself.
Mr. Ngô is also the father of Ivy Ngo, a former SEARAC aging policy associate who was instrumental in developing the early work of the Diverse Elders Coalition. Today, Ivy continues her path as an aging advocate at the Columbia School of Social Work. Ivy translated her father’s poems into.... Read More
Senior Wellness Fairs: Bringing Health Education and Screening to a Vulnerable Population
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults are often in vulnerable positions when it comes to taking care of their health. AAPI seniors face many barriers including: a lack of adequate health insurance, language barriers, cultural beliefs, changes in their diet after immigration, and a lack of resources and information. Many older AAPI adults have less access to health screening opportunities compared to the general population. In order to help address these issues, senior health fairs can be a good way for AAPI seniors to check their health status.
Think about the last time you had to call your credit card company to dispute a charge: navigating complex menus, explaining the problem multiple times, answering the customer representative’s questions, providing information to the representative from your nearly indecipherable credit card statement . . . now imagine if the representative spoke a language you didn’t understand and the phone menus and credit card statement were both in that.... Read More
In the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, most people diagnosed faced death within a few years, if not sooner. Thirty years on, much has changed; HIV has become a more manageable chronic illness and many people are aging with the disease.
The proof is in these startling statistics: it’s predicted that 50 percent of people with HIV in the U.S. will be age 50+ by 2015—and by 2020, more than 70 percent of Americans with HIV are expected to 50+.
With that in mind, SAGE, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) and ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America) have created a report outlining eight recommendations to address the needs of a growing.... Read More
Enthusiasm and Partnerships Overcome the Vastness of Alaska for Healthcare Enrollment (National Minority Health Month)
In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Diverse Elders Coalition is featuring stories relevant to the health disparities and health issues affecting diverse older adults during April. A new story will be shared every Wednesday with additional posts shared throughout the month. Be sure to visit diverseelders.org regularly during the month of April.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) has a bold vision: to ensure that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world. By working to ensure that all Alaska Native and American Indians in Alaska have health insurance, the ANTHC is helping to eliminate long entrenched health disparities. ANTHC was formed almost 20 years ago as a nonprofit health organization.... Read More
March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). NNHAAD is a national effort to raise awareness about how HIV/AIDS affects American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and Native Hawaiian people and to promote testing.
HIV infection affects AI/AN in ways that are not always apparent because of their small population size. The rate of HIV infection is 30 percent higher and the rate of AIDS is 50 percent higher among AI/AN compared with white Americans, according to HHS’ Office of Minority Health. Compared with other races/ethnicities, AI/AN have poorer survival rates after an HIV diagnosis. AI/AN face special HIV prevention challenges, including poverty and culturally based stigma.
The following five videos give us a window.... Read More
Creative Approach Leads to Success in Enrolling American Indians and Alaska Natives in the New Mexico Health Insurance Marketplace
Recently, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) spoke with Roxane Spruce Bly, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, who has been leading the ACA outreach and enrollment effort for American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in New Mexico. Ms. Spruce Bly brings invaluable experience in the field of health policy research, analysis, and development. She is the Director of Healthcare Education and Outreach for Native American Professional Parent Resources (NAPPR), Inc. NAPPR is one of two navigator entities in New Mexico.
She reflects that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) got off to a rocky start but her team turned that barrier into an opportunity to focus on outreach and education. The older Indians they target are those in the 55–64.... Read More
As Parents Age, Asian-Americans Struggle to Obey a Cultural Code
This article by Tanzina Vega originally appeared in the New York Times
SOUDERTON, Pa. — Two thick blankets wrapped in a cloth tie lay near a pillow on the red leather sofa in Phuong Lu’s living room. Doanh Nguyen, Ms. Lu’s 81-year-old mother, had prepared the blankets for a trip she wanted to take. “She’s ready to go to Vietnam,” Ms. Lu said.
But Ms. Nguyen would not be leaving. The doors were locked from the inside to prevent her from going anywhere — not into the snow that had coated the ground that day outside Ms. Lu’s suburban Philadelphia home, and certainly not to her home country,.... Read More
ACA: Vital to Diverse Older Adults – Don’t Be Left Out
With the start of the New Year, people across the country started coverage on insurance plans selected through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For racially and ethnically diverse and LGBT older adults, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Marketplace pose both the opportunity for better health and the challenge of possibly being left behind by a new program. The Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) is now working to improve the health of the populations that it serves and to empower them to fully participate in the ACA.
A recent article by Kaiser Health News identifies some of the opportunities and challenges California’s Hispanic population face. The article highlights the tremendous help the Health Insurance Marketplace has been.... Read More