May 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released a statement of congratulations to Jacob Fitisemanu Jr., who has been nominated by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, known as the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).

“I am thrilled to welcome Jake to the President’s Advisory Commission,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “The commission will undoubtedly benefit from Jake’s experience and dedication to increasing health equity in under-served communities.” Ko Chin currently serves on the commission.

Fitisemanu Jr. is a member of APIAHF’s Board of Directors and is the Outreach Coordinator for the Utah Department of Health, Office of Health Disparities. He has served as chair of the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition and has chaired the annual statewide Pacific Islander Health Week since 2012. He organized the MAHINA (Maternal Health and Infant Advocates) program to address maternal health and infant mortality and also co-founded the Movement, Awareness, Nutrition, Action (MANA) Challenge to promote community fitness. Fitisemanu Jr. was appointed to the US Census National Advisory Council on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations in 2014 and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mana Academy Charter School.

APIAHF played an integral role in supporting the establishment of the initial WHIAAPI in June 1999. APIAHF’s founding CEO, Tessie Guillermo, served on the commission under President Clinton. The WHIAAPI has included leading Asian American and Pacific Islander policy and community leaders as well as luminaries such as Hines Ward.

To learn more about the WHIAAPI visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/aapi.