On April 8, 2011 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS) issued an action plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. As part of its ongoing commitment to enhance health equity and eliminate disparities in behavioral health for racial and ethnic minority populations, the US DHHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) partnered with the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) to convene an historic summit titled Integrated Care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities: A Blueprint for Action. The August 15-16, 2011 meeting in San Francisco, California brought together more than 40 key stakeholders— all committed to improving the quality of life for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. For the first time, providers, consumers, policy makers, evaluators and administrators from the areas of primary healthcare, integrated care, mental health, substance use and disabilities came together to develop a national agenda to examine the benefits integrated care for AANHPIs. Participants identified core components most relevant to AANHPI overall health and healthcare. Recommendations were designed to inform both governmental and non-governmental partners on best approaches and models of care that take into account the unique cultural and language needs of this diverse AANHPI population.
The four break-out sessions were designed to work as think tanks and were selected based on best evidence and practices available; and resulted in the following: 1) develop strategies to implement integrated care; 2) workforce training and development; 3) use of health information technology; and 4) community based participatory research and evaluation. Although each group made independent recommendations, they collectively agreed to the following:
- Disparities exist in quality of care for AANHPIs that is a detriment to the overall health and mental health of AANHPI communities.
- Integrated care must take a public health approach, be holistic, work across the life span, include prevention and early intervention, and be person-centered, strength-based and recovery-focused.
- AANHPI leadership must be represented at OMH, SAMHSA along with other federal partners to provide oversight to implementing the recommendations outlined in this Blueprint for Action.
- There is a need to expand the current workforce; focusing on who and how we train providers to work in integrated care. Workforce must include consumers and para-professionals in addition traditional health and behavioral health practitioners.
- Research and data collection must include AANHPIs; including granular data to reflect the diversity within and between various AANHPI populations.
- All services and research must reflect the culture and language of AANHPI communities.
Population of focus: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
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