Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observed
An HHS Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month Observance was held May 9 in Wilson Hall. The cross-HHS collaborative effort recognized Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made significant contributions in the federal government.
The event highlighted the 2018 theme “Unite Our Vision by Working Together” with NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak providing opening remarks. Keynote speaker Dr. Matthew Y.C. Lin, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of HHS’s Office of Minority Health, inspired attendees by sharing his public health journey and enduring commitment to serve underserved populations around the world.
Plenary speakers included Holly Ham, executive director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Olivia Adrian, president of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. A panel discussion on Envisioning Careers Toward Science and Public Health, AAPI’s Role in Public Service was conducted by HHS AAPI leaders from different agencies.
Panelists Dr. M. Chris Langub (CDC), Sally Lee (NIH), Dr. Herb Wong (AHRQ) and Dr. Lei Zhang (FDA) led a discussion with attendees on a variety of topics on career development and effective collaboration. Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, provided closing remarks.
On May 23, the NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization (APAO) organized the 46th Asian American Heritage Month celebration on the Bldg. 31A patio. This year’s festivities included a fashion show of traditional clothing from different Asian cultures. Participants were from NIH and the Agency for Health Research and Quality. Students from the Dunhuang Guzheng Academy, an area-based music school, performed on the guzheng (harp) and Arpita Sabud shared a classical Indian dance. In addition, event attendees were encouraged to learn tai chi, Japanese origami and Chinese calligraphy. Eurest Food Services offered Filipino cuisine.
NIH deputy director for intramural research Dr. Michael Gottesman provided opening remarks on the many contributions of Asian American/Pacific Islanders in science and medicine. The PHS Asian Pacific American officers committee, the NIH Employee Assistance Program, NIAMS, the NIH Federal Credit Union and area community groups also participated by providing information tables and displays.
APAO is an independent organization sanctioned by the NIH director’s office. It was formed in October 1996 to represent the Asian and Pacific Islander American employees of NIH.