HHS awards funds for ASIA to become a health center

For immediate release
September 20, 2011
Press contact: Robin Nau (440) 554-6253; robin@asiaohio.org

HHS awards Affordable Care Act funds for ASIA to become a community health center

CLEVELAND – Asian Services In Action is pleased to announce a grant award of $80,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to plan to become a community health center.  This funding, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will support ASIA’s planning efforts to develop a future health center in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood.

The proposed health center will serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and other low-income, underserved minorities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Ohio who are uninsured or have Medicaid and who face language and cultural barriers to health care services.

Access to health care is a serious concern among Cuyahoga County’s growing AAPI population, highlighted by AAPI residents who regularly take buses to New York City for culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services. The health center planning grant will provide ASIA the funding to focus on a comprehensive community planning process for the future creation of a community health center.

“The Health Center Planning Grants help organizations plan to become health centers,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.  “These awards demonstrate HRSA’s commitment to expanding access to quality preventive and primary health care in high need areas across the country.”

The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), a national primary care association, will provide technical assistance to ASIA for this grant project.  “AAPCHO is pleased to have the opportunity to continue working with Michael Byun, Executive Director and ASIA Board and staff in addressing the language and cultural needs of our medically underserved Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the Midwest region,” said AAPCHO’s Executive Director, Jeffrey Caballero.

Asian Services In Action’s mission is to empower Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Northeastern Ohio to access quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate information and services.  ASIA serves over 8,000 people annually in 30 languages.

The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.

The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) is a national association representing community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration, and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans & Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.