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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Asian Pacific Islander Americans Discuss Health Inequity During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic poses immense challenges to the Asian Pacific Islander American community, including the large health inequity that impedes their livelihood during this pandemic. To better understand the issue, the NIH chapter of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council recently held an online webinar titled “United to Fight Health Inequity During the Pandemic: What Can the AAPI Community Do?”

The event opened with remarks from Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan, followed by a panel discussion on health inequity. Panelists included Dr. Yvonne Maddox, former NIH acting deputy director, Maryland State Delegate Lily Qi, Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner, and Dr. Howard Koh, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former HHS assistant secretary for health.

The discussion centered around the issue of grave health inequities presented by the pandemic, lack of data collection on how the pandemic affects select groups and the importance of public health. Panelists shared their own personal reflections and experiences, as well as possible solutions on how to resolve the multitude of issues posed by the pandemic.

In many cases, panelists agreed on the need for a robust national strategy that will be effective during the nation’s vaccination phase, reinvestment in our public health safety net and a unified community that is devoid of racial discrimination. Panelists made it clear that there is more work to be accomplished despite the progress the nation is making. However, they are optimistic that the nation is heading in the right direction—united to fight the pandemic together.

For more information about the event, visit

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