For Immediate Release
June 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for their commitment to improving the collection and reporting of data on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) and other minority communities.

The new draft standards for collecting and reporting on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status will add seven Asian subgroups (Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian) and four Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander subgroups (Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan and other Pacific Islander). The addition of these ethnic subgroups will reflect what is already being used in the American Community Survey (ACS) and in the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census.

“We are very pleased with the new draft standards for the collection of data because this will provide us with a better understanding of the health challenges faced by our communities,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF president and CEO. “This will make it easier to identify and address the health disparities of many communities that have been either excluded from the reporting of survey findings, or grouped as ‘other’ because of the small size of their population.”

“This announcement comes at a pivotal time as our federal and state governments continue the important work of implementing health care reform, and it is critical that federal surveys collect and report data on AAs and NHPIs,” said Priscilla Huang, APIAHF associate policy director. “This is a great step in providing policy makers, public health experts, service providers, and local leaders with the information they need to set priorities and allocate resources to address disparities that are particular to different communities.”

Under the plan announced today, HHS will also integrate questions on sexual orientation into national data collection efforts by 2013 and begin a process to collect information on gender identity. This plan includes the testing of questions on sexual orientation to potentially be incorporated into the National Health Interview Survey. The department also intends to convene a series of research roundtables with national experts to determine the best way to help the department collect data specific to gender identity.

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.