For Immediate Release
October 22, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO – Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) president and CEO Kathy Lim Ko was today inducted into the Stanford University Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame, which was initiated in 1995 by former Trustee and Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree to recognize and honor alumni of color who have distinguished themselves through exceptional advancement and success in education or career and outstanding contributions to their community and to society as a whole.

“I have to dedicate today and this honor to my parents. They came to this country as many do, with little more than a great desire for a better life for themselves and their children. Their hard work and sacrifice allowed so many great opportunities and experiences that still remain out of reach for too many,” said Ko. “They also made contributions to their community and instilled in me the values that are the very foundation of my work. They taught me that with opportunity comes a responsibility to give back, to be of service to others, and to make sure that others are able to have the same chances to succeed. These values define my work as CEO of APIAHF, just as surely as they did when I was a student and community activist at Stanford.”

During the health care reform debate APIAHF worked towards including policies to improve the health of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, such as increased funding for qualified health interpreters and translators and the elimination of a five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to access Medicaid. APIAHF also worked to restore Medicaid coverage to all citizens of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau who are living in the United States.

“The health of our children, our families, and our communities is critical to the strength of our nation. And even though we made historic gains with the passage of health care reform, Congress missed the chance to remove barriers that impede access to care for our communities in harmful and unnecessary ways,” said Ko. “We hope that this legislation marks only the beginning of a series of improvements to advance the health of our nation. Our policies should reflect the basic American values of dignity, fairness, and equal opportunity; so that our children have the same opportunities to succeed that past generations have given us.”

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.