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This week, I joined my colleagues, including White House Cabinet Secretary and Initiative Co-Chair Chris Lu, in Jacksonville, Florida to engage with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) business leaders about the Obama Administration’s policies and programs to support aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups, resources for small businesses wanting to go global, and innovation opportunities for entrepreneurs, including health IT.
Throughout American history, AAPI communities have played a pivotal role in helping to build the infrastructure that supports our great nation. As our economy continues to improve, the contributions of the AAPI community will lead the way in building and improving our health care infrastructure in An America Built to Last.
As a health care innovation professional at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I understand that the quality of the care received by our citizens is directly tied to their productivity. It is connected to industries that have the potential to drive growth and create jobs. Our nation is moving toward a high-performing, patient-centered health care system built on the latest evidence, the most advanced technology, the right incentives, and a focus on keeping people healthy. We are achieving better health, better care, and lower costs, and the AAPI community is playing a key part in building the infrastructure that ensures these positive changes.
At HHS, one of the first steps we’ve taken to support infrastructure development in healthcare is to make significant investments in health information technology (health IT). Health IT encompasses an array of technologies to store, share, and analyze health information, and it is bolstering a grand transformation in health care as we know it. Health care providers are using health IT to improve patient care. Patients are using health IT to better communicate with their doctors, learn and share information about their health, and take actions that will improve their quality of life. Until recently, relatively few Americans have had the opportunity to use this kind of technology to enhance important relationships related to their health – with doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals. That has all started to change since the launch of this Administration’s comprehensive effort to promote adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in 2009. Since then, the number of hospitals using EHRs has more than doubled, and the number of doctors is increasing rapidly.
For those interested in pursuing a career in health IT, health information technology professionals are in demand. As the nation moves toward a more technologically advanced health care system, providers need highly skilled health IT experts to support them in the adoption and use of electronic health records. The Obama Administration has launched four workforce training programs to meet the demand for workers with health IT experience and training.
To learn more about the growing health IT sector, I encourage you to visit healthIT.gov and healthIT.HHS.gov. Opportunities within health IT are emerging as technology and innovation improves our health care system and the health and well-being of all Americans.
Wil Yu is the Director of Innovations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As some of you know, I am extremely involved with the higher education campaign (especially in New York). The organizations I work with most, Save Our SUNY and New York Students Rising, focus on the public education systems in New York City and New York State. When I was at the White House AAPI Initiative briefing earlier this month, I asked the higher education panel about how the failures of America’s higher education institutes affect the APIA community. The response I mostly received was that “higher education is an American issue, not solely an Asian American issue”.
I don’t think that’s right. As I replied back to the panel, the issues of college affordability, program cuts, financial aid, and the quality of the education we receive is very much an APIA issue. By blanketing problems as “American problems”, the crucial factors of how race and ethnicity play into the situation are ignored.
Let’s think back on this year: we’ve had students deliberately not marking ‘Asian’ in order to get into college. We’ve had anti-affirmative action bake sales. We found out that Asians are statistically the most bullied in schools. Asian American studies programs are being cut nationwide.
Speaking on what I know best, the fight to preserve funding for New York’s state schools is just as much about preserving an accessible education for communities of color. By raising tuition in an institution (City Universities of New York for example), blocks out potential students from low income communities. CUNY, which used to be free, was and is sometimes the only chance for people to go to college. The same can be said for California’s CSU system.
Education is a right, not a privilege. It shouldn’t be something that we have to fight for, but reality shows that the road to education access is long and hard. We have great legislation like the DREAM Act that challenges existing notions of who “deserves” an education and fights for our people.
So now let me turn this question to you: do you think higher education is purely an American issue?
Open your eyes. Learn, get involved, and MOVE.
In the spirit of the President’s commitment to engaging the American public, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is proud to announce that we will be hosting a weekly web chat/conference call with the community every Wednesday from 3-4pm EST. This is your opportunity to interact with officials from across the Administration, ask questions, and share your concerns and ideas on how our government can effectively work with you. In addition, you will receive information on how to better access federal programs and services.
To kick off the series, please join a conference call/web chat on Obama Administration Efforts to Alleviate Student Debt on Wednesday, February 1 at 3 PM EST.Hear from officials from the White House, Department of Education, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn about federal income-based repayment programs, college cost comparisons, federal student financial aid, and other programs.
WHAT: Conference call/ Web chat on Initiatives to Alleviate Student Debt
WHO: Chris Lu, Assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Co-chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Zakiya Smith, White House Domestic Policy Council
Phil Martin, Department of Education
Rohit Chopra, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
WHEN: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 3PM EST
HOW: Email WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov with “RSVP for 2/1 Call” in the heading by Jan. 31 at 12PM EST. Call-in details will be emailed to registrants.
This call is hosted in partnership with the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Additional topics include but are not limited to the following:
February 1, 2012 Financial Literacy: Alleviating Student Debt
February 8, 2012 Immigrant Rights: How Federal Policies Impact the AAPI Immigrant and Refugee Community
February 15, 2012 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Listening Session: Tell Us Your Priorities
February 22, 2012 Small Business Administration Educational Series: Government Contracting
February 29, 2012 Youth Engagement: Internships
March 7, 2012 Financial Literacy: Making Home Affordable
March 14, 2012 Language Access: Updates, Tools, and Resources for the Community
March 21, 2012 Women’s Issues: Labor & Health
March 28, 2012 Small Business Administration Educational Series: Access to Capital
April 4, 2012 Civil Rights: Harassment and Discrimination
April 11, 2012 Civil Rights: Voting Rights for the AAPI community and LEP individuals
April 18, 2012 Financial Literacy: Social Security benefits
April 25, 2012 Health: Affordable Care Act
May 16, 2012 Education: Higher Education
May 23, 2012 Health: AAPIs and Diabetes
Information on how to join each week’s web chat will be provided in the Initiative’s Weekly Highlights. To join our distribution list and receive the Weekly Highlights, please email email@example.com.
Are there additional topics you would like to see? Post on the White House AAPI Facebook page or tweet us at @WhiteHouseAAPI with topic suggestions or issues you would like to discuss!
I’m exhausted, but it was a very fruitful day.
Good things are to come, and I hope to continue the discussion we began today. Don’t let the fire die out! We are the future!
For a recap on what happened today, you can check out my Twitter!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
New York City, New York
8:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Bullying affects too many of our Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The White House Initiative on AAPI’s Bullying Prevention Summit seeks to highlight the unique impact, prevalence and severity of bullying and harassment experienced by young AAPIs.
Join us at the WHIAAPI Bullying Prevention Summit to share your stories, experiences and strategies to combat bullying and harassment. Learn what the Administration is doing to address bullying and harassment and promote safe school environments. Find out how to access national and local programs to assist in bullying prevention, and obtain resources if you are a parent, student, teacher, administrator, or advocate. Panels include:
Stories from the AAPI and American Muslim Communities
How to Talk to your Child/Student about Bullying
Bullying Prevention Resources
Social Media and Bullying
Problem Solving and Youth Leadership Skills
Filing a Harassment/Bullying Claim with the Federal Government