SAPHA - South Asian Public Health Association - logo
SAPHA - South Asian Public Health Association - logo

SAPHA's Active Engagement in National Health Policy Discussions During AANHPI Month

During AANHPI Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, SAPHA was prominently involved in several high-level discussions, reinforcing our commitment to advocating for South Asian health priorities. On April 23, Vice President Ayesha Azam represented SAPHA at the White House for the unveiling of the 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The event featured keynotes from figures like US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and advocates Ashley Judd and Aloe Blacc. Just a week later, Ayesha brought her insights to the “Diabetes & Cardiovascular Health Equity Data Dilemma” panel at the National Minority Quality Forum Leadership Summit, addressing significant data gaps in healthcare affecting our community. On May 6, SAPHA President Samira Khan engaged in a critical roundtable with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, discussing a spectrum of issues from mental health equity to language access and data disaggregation. Ayesha Azam continued our advocacy at a White House briefing for AANHPI leaders on May 10, discussing administrative priorities and community concerns with senior officials. Further emphasizing mental health, Samira participated as a panelist at the APAICS Legislative Leadership Summit, focusing on the need for dismantling linguistic barriers, enhancing cultural competency, and addressing mental health stigmas within the AA & NH/PI community. These engagements underscore SAPHA’s active role in shaping health policy and ensuring our community’s needs are prioritized at the federal level.

White House 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and Federal Action Plan Event - Shelby Rowe,  Executive Director for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and Ayesha Azam, Vice President for SAPHA

HHS Roundtable. Pictured Left to Right: Juliet Choi (APIAHF); Clayton Fong (NAPCA); Krystle Canare (NAAPIMHA); Marielle Reataza (NAPAFASA); Samira Khan (SAPHA); Nia Aitaoto (NAOPO); Sung Yeon Choimorrow (NAPAWF); Secretary Becerra (HHS); Rod Lew (APPEAL); Quyen Dinh (SEARAC); Sheri Daniels (POL); Gloria Lamela Beriones (PNAA) ; Karla Thomas (EPIC); Martina Kamaka (NCAPIP); Jeff Caballero (AAPCHO); Krystal Ka’ai (WHIAANHPI) 

APAICS Legislative Leadership Summit, Mental Health Panel: Pictured left to right: Kimmy Yam (NBC Asian American); Pearl Pugh (Johnson and Johnson); Samira Khan (SAPHA); Krystle Canare (NAAPIMHA); Myron Dean Quon (Pacific Asian Counseling Services)
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