WASHINGTON – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) announced Oliver J. Kim as its new board chair, succeeding Dr. Diane Paloma, who will remain on the board. Dr. Sheldon Riklon, a leading voice in the Marshallese community, was welcomed as the organization’s newest director.
“We look forward to Chair Kim’s leadership of the organization, and we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Riklon to serve on our board of directors,” said Juliet K. Choi, APIAHF president and CEO. “We thank our immediate past chair, Dr. Diane Paloma for her leadership and guidance, especially as our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities faced disparate effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fortunate to have such a passionate and engaged board with deep knowledge and expertise across the health policy spectrum, and I look forward to working with them to continue to advance the organization’s mission of health equity for underrepresented and underserved communities.”
In addition to Kim’s election, Neal Shah serves as vice chair, succeeding Marc Chow, who will remain on the board. Dr. Cheun L. Yee and Dr. Kealoha Fox, continue to serve as board secretary and treasurer respectively.
The 2021-22 board of directors coincides with additional senior staff leadership. Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe, former CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Dr. Max Niedzwiecki, former executive director of SEARAC and APIA Scholars, have joined to strengthen the organization.
Oliver Kim has nearly two decades of experience in law, health policy and policymaking as a former congressional advisor and a healthcare advocate. Kim is the federal policy director at Cambia Health Solutions, a technology and insurance company and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh. Earlier in his career, Kim was a senior advisor in the Senate during the historic debates over the Medicare Part D program and the Affordable Care Act. He has also served as the deputy staff director for the Special Committee on Aging and legislative director for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Dr. Sheldon Riklon, M.D. is a Marshallese family physician, born and raised in the Marshall Islands. He is one of only two Marshallese in the world who have completed medical school and residency training at an accredited program in the United States. He is the inaugural recipient of the Peter O. Kohler, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Health Disparities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Riklon is an active member of the Compact of Free Association – Community Leadership and Advocacy Network (COFA-CLAN).
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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.