Dear Chairman Cochran and Vice-Chair Leahy:
We are writing to expressed our deep concern that funding for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program has been eliminated in the Senate Fiscal Year 2018 Health and Human Services appropriations bill. For nearly 20 years, REACH grantees have worked to improve public health and end disparities in health care. REACH is unique in being the only federal program to fund population
health programs specifically targeted to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives and Latinos. If REACH is eliminated, communities across the country would lose access to programs that are actively ending chronic illness and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
REACH has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives across the country. For example, over the course of 15 months, a REACH funded Asian American and Pacific Islander cohort of 15 community organizations across the country reached 1.4 million people with nutrition and physical activity improvement. At a time when our country is working through rising health costs, this programs operated at a cost of $2.04 per person reached.
We urge you to restore funding for REACH to its full $50.9 million level.
Kathy Ko Chin
President and CEO, APIAHF