January 19, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) welcomed Debbie I. Chang, Oliver J. Kim, Dianne Yamashiro-Omi, and Minh T. Nguyen to the organization’s board of directors.

“I am pleased that Debbie, Oliver, Dianne, and Minh will serve on our board of directors,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “We are fortunate to have a board with deep knowledge and expertise across the health policy spectrum, and look forward to working with our new members in the coming year.”

Chang is the vice president of policy and prevention for Nemours Children’s Health System with more than 28 years of federal and state government and private sector experience in the health field. She is active in promoting children’s health in Delaware, including her role as the founding executive director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services. She is also a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership.

Previously serving as the deputy staff director on the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, Kim uses his legislative experience to advise organizations on health policy issues. As the legislative director for Planned Parenthood, he developed an extensive legislative agenda that promoted and protected federal reimbursement for health services, including Medicaid. Kim received the 2015 Hartford Foundation Change AGEnt Communications Institute Award for efforts to improve the health of older Americans.

Yamashiro-Omi is a recognized leader in California, with more than 30 years of community health experience. As a knowledgeable grant maker, she is currently with the San Francisco Foundation and continues to assist foundations in grant development. She is an appointed member of the California State Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs.

As the founder of VAYLA New Orleans, Nguyen promotes youth and community empowerment and capacity building for multi-racial efforts throughout the city. He is active in local initiatives, including serving as second vice chair of the Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans and as a board member of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian.

After 9 years of distinguished service on the Board, two years as Chair, outgoing board Chair Rea Pañares is passing the leadership mantle to incoming Chair Gail Mukaihata Hannemann.

“As APIAHF celebrates its 30th anniversary, it’s an honor and privilege to be part of an organization that has a longstanding record of advocating on behalf of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities throughout the United States and its affiliated Pacific insular areas,” said Gail Mukaihata Hannemann, APIAHF incoming board chair. “Given groundbreaking medical advances, industry-wide systemic changes and the on-going political debate regarding health care, APIAHF’s mission is relevant now more than ever. Together with our communities and others we must raise the stakes to ensure that every individual has access to affordable, equitable and quality health care services and products.”

Mukaihata Hannemann oversees a consulting practice that advances causes that result in bettering the quality of life of individuals and communities. She resumed her practice after 12 years as chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Hawaii. Committed to ensuring that nonprofit organizations strengthen their communities, in addition to APIAHF, she is vice-chair of Hawaii Medical Assurance Association and former chair and current member of the Hawai`i Arts Alliance, an educational program of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1986, APIAHF is a champion for health equity. By serving as a bridge between influencers and communities across the nation and the Pacific, APIAHF lifts up organizations and advances health policy for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.