WASHINGTON – Tonight, the American Public Health Association (APHA) will award the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award to Kathy Ko Chin, executive counselor to the board of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), for her leadership in social justice for underserved and disadvantaged populations. Earlier this month, Ko Chin retired as the president and CEO of APIAHF after a decade of service.
“Throughout her tenure at APIAHF, Kathy Ko Chin has been an advocate in eliminating health inequities and injustices for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, while strengthening our partnerships with leaders and stakeholders representing other diverse communities of color,” said Dr. Diane Paloma, APIAHF board chair. “The board and I offer our sincere congratulations to Kathy for being recognized by APHA for her outstanding work in promoting health equity and disparity elimination. Kathy’s community organizing acumen and unbound passion have ensured a national focus that no one in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community is forgotten or left behind.”
The award honors the late Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, the first Latina president of APHA and a pediatrician, who strove to meet the needs of underserved and disadvantaged populations, especially women and children. The award recognizes individuals whose work focuses on improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and includes the activities of leading, advocating and mentoring.
“Kathy Ko Chin retires from APIAHF with a life-long legacy as a champion for the underserved, disadvantaged and those most vulnerable,” said Juliet K. Choi, chief executive officer of APIAHF. “I can think of no better way to acknowledge her contribution in improving public health and racial equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities than the American Public Health Association’s Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award.”
“Kathy is the first Asian American to receive the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award. This award is a fitting recognition for her more than forty-year career devoted to improving health equity in our community,” said Dr. Walter Tsou, APIAHF’s immediate past board chair and APHA past president. “The Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community is far-reaching and diverse, and it is no easy feat to effectively advocate for its health interests. Despite the enormity of these challenges, Kathy has always demonstrated tremendous leadership and care for every corner of our community. Congratulations, Kathy on receiving this award.”
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.