To commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are highlighting #AANHPIhealth Heroes — individuals who are committed to improving the health of Asian Americans (AAs), Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). These heroes have made great strides to ensure that AA and NHPI communities have better access to affordable, high quality, and culturally and linguistically proficient health care that they need and deserve.
Meet this year’s #AANHPIhealth Heroes! Last year’s heroes can be found here.
Teresita Batayola, MSUA
“Everything ICHS does to care for, support and uplift our communities is deeply embedded in our vision — Healthier People. Thriving Families. Empowered Communities. A Just Society.”
Teresita Batayola, MSUA is the President and Chief Executive Officer of International Community Health Services (ICHS). She has led ICHS for almost 15 years. Learn more about work and why she’s an #AANHPIhealth Hero at ichs.com.
“It is vital because chronic disease is prevalent among our community. We want to keep educating, guiding, encouraging, and coaching our community to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. It’s time to break the cycle of unhealthy choices and choose healthy lifestyle for our family. Together we can make this possible.”
Lucy Capelle is a Program Director of the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese. She is also a Pacific Islander Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach. Learn more about Lucy’s work and why she’s an #AANHPIhealth Hero at www.arkansasmarshallese.org.
Amy Shen Tang, MD
“AAPCHO community health centers, like North East Medical Services, are lifelines for the AANHPI community. During these challenging times when so many in our community are subject to the prejudice, fear, and isolation that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Public Charge rules that deter immigrant families from accessing needed health care, we are here providing reassurance and essential primary care services. Patients come to us because we speak their language, we are sensitive to their daily struggles, and we address, with cultural fluency, the issues such as hepatitis B, tuberculosis, smoking, and certain cancers that disproportionately impact our Asian American communities.”
Amy Shen Tang, MD is the Director of Immigrant Health at North East Medical Services. She oversees the hepatitis B and tuberculosis programs. Learn more about her work and why she’s an #AANHPIhealth Hero at nems.org.
Rhea Racho, MPAff
“Through my work with the Hepatitis B Foundation, I’ve learned that storytelling is one of the most powerful and effective tools we have to raise awareness about hepatitis B; combat hepatitis B related stigma, misconceptions, and discrimination; and engage with communities disproportionately impacted by the disease, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. By bringing people together who are directly affected and empowering them to share their personal stories, we’re able to strengthen hepatitis B education, outreach, and advocacy, while helping to build a grassroots movement in solidarity with the nearly 300 million people worldwide living with hepatitis B.”
Rhea Racho, MPAff is the Public Policy and Program Manager at the Hepatitis B Foundation and oversees the #justB Storytelling campaign. Learn more about her work and why she’s an #AANHPIhealth Hero at www.hepb.org/justb.
Stay tuned throughout the month of May to meet this year’s other #AANHPIhealth Heroes!