HAWAIIANS, PACIFIC ISLANDERS TO HOST HEALTH SUMMIT

News Release

Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Alliance Sept. 28, 2007

Over one hundred indigenous Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders throughout the continental U.S. and the Pacific Basin will gather in Washington, D.C., on October 10 and11 to develop a Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander National Health Agenda to mobilize a Call for Action to improve the health status specifically for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

The 2007 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health Summit: "Navigating Towards Health & Well Being" will, for the first time, bring together health care professionals and advocates, researchers, policy makers and government representatives to address the need for capacity building, address overall health disparities and other unmet health needs of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities on the continental U.S., Hawai’i and the Pacific Basin, and develop strategies and solutions to improve the access to, and quality of, health care.

Representing just 0.3 percent of the total U.S. population, NH&PIs have one of the highest rates of uninsured, diabetes and other chronic diseases; among the lowest representation in health professions; and poorest outcome of cancer detection and treatment.

Available research and studies continue to lump Hawaiians and Pacific islanders with the "Asian American" or "Other" categories, thus masking the true health status of this population.

NH&PI community-based organizations need to have funding provided directly to them to increase their organizational capacity to better and more effectively address these critical issues themselves within their own communities.

On October 30, 1997, The Revisions of the Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting separated the API category into "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander." The new standards were used in the 2000 decennial and mandated that "all federal programs adopt the standards as soon as possible, but not later than January 1, 2003, for use in household surveys, administrative forms and records, and other data collections." "Despite the Revisions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Directive 15, the government has been slow to correspond in the collection and reporting of disaggregated data that will ultimately provide a more accurate assessment of our communities’ health needs.

The Health Summit will engage the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities as one voice in advancing a NH&PI national health agenda for community and public action for the next decade," declared Mr. Vaka Faletau, co-chair of the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Alliance, a collaborative of NHOPI community leaders.

The summit is sponsored by the U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Papa Ola Lokahi, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and Weaving an Islander network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (WINCART), and will be held at the Academy for Educational Development Technology Center at 1825 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC on October 10-11, 2007.

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