If you have never heard of Dr. Vivek Murthy, it’s time for an introduction. Dr. Murthy was nominated by President Obama on January 6, 2014 to serve as Surgeon General. He is the son of immigrants from India and he knows all too well the importance of bringing diversity to our highest levels of government. With two decades of experience improving health, Dr. Murthy has the skills and dedication needed to act as the country’s face of health and prevention. If confirmed, Dr. Murthy would be the nation’s doctor.
We at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum are proud to support Dr. Murthy. As Surgeon General, he would focus on key issues that deeply impact Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities: obesity, tackling tobacco related deaths and chronic conditions and reducing the stigma around mental illness and improving access to care.
Why does this matter?
Obesity rates are increasing across the board for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders along with high rates of heart disease and diabetes. NHPIs are 3.7 times more likely to be obese than AAs and Filipinos are 70 percent more likely to be obese compared to other Asian subgroups.
One in five Asian American male teens have considered suicide and AAPI young women have some of the highest rates of depression. As a whole, Asian Americans have some of the lowest rates of utilizing mental health services among all population groups.
The leading causes of death for Asian Americans are cancer, heart disease and stroke — all impacted by smoking and tobacco use.
Dr. Murthy can help address these health issues and ensure that AA and NHPI communities are part of the solution. AAs and NHPIs have struggled to maintain adequate representation at our highest tiers of government, and Dr. Murthy would be the first Indian American Surgeon General. As Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy would use his position as the face of our nation’s health to raise awareness about issues impacting AAs and NHPIs.
But we need your help. The Senate needs to know that we stand with Dr. Murthy and want him to be confirmed. Sign our letter to Senate leadership and ask that they confirm Dr. Murthy today.