In response to the increasing disparity in health outcomes within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Minnesota, especially among the newly arrived Asian immigrants and refugees, the bicultural healthy living concept was conceived. This concept emerged from work initiated by the Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet), a collaborative group led by Asian Media Access (AMA). In 2010, AMA and APA ComMNet received a prestigious grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to participate in the REACH CORE program (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, Communities Organized to Respond and Evaluate) that seeks to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in the U.S.
As a member of the National REACH Coalition, AMA and APA ComMNet conducted outreach and engagement with Minnesota’s eight largest AAPI communities and collected qualitative and quantitative data to understand the systematic, environmental, cultural and social factors influencing the health of AAPIs in the state. Guided by the MAPP process (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership), AMA and APA ComMNet found that by moving beyond the aggregated data used for AAPI communities, various cultural, historical, institutional and societal factors emerged deeply impacting the overall health of AAPIs in the state.
Along with its partners, AMA and APA ComMNet have devised a strategy that will allow the Asian/Pacific Islander culture as well as the American culture of AAPIs to co-exist with the ability to use one or both cultural protective factors when needed. The bi-cultural healthy lifestyle supports Asian diets and exercise options that can be integrated with the American lifestyle.
To learn more about living a bi-cultural lifestyle, check out our blog posts. More to come soon!
About Asian Media Access (AMA)
Incorporated in 1992, Asian Media Access is a comprehensive media based community advocacy organization. AMA is dedicated to using multimedia arts and technology as tools for social betterment. AMA seeks to find creative solutions, through education, media advocacy, information technology and community organizing, to problems that exist in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. To learn more about Asian Media Access – visit its website at www.amamedia.org.
About Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet)
Led by Asian Media Access, APA ComMNet is a coalition composed of AAPI community partners in Minnesota. APA ComMNet was established to actively challenge the existing cultural and linguistic barriers that prevent AAPI communities from accessing health, substance abuse, violence intervention and mental health services in the state.
APAComMNet serves as a catalyst to develop and support the innovative use of network technology for the relevant needs and perspectives of AAPIs. APAComMNet coalition utilizes online, interactive, digital network technology to expand the reach, and improve health, civic and social service delivery for AAPIs. This mission is accomplished through education, community organizing, radio broadcasting and an interactive audio/video streaming website – www.apacommnet.com.
REACH supports the CDC’s strategic goals by addressing health disparities in the critical life stages from infancy to adulthood and by developing new approaches to improve health in numerous settings. The National REACH Coalition (NRC) is a nation-wide network of community-based organizations. The NRC has a specific charge from its board to operate nationally within the United States and its Territories and to address racial/ethnic health disparities. To learn more about the National Reach Coalition – visit its website at www.reachcoalition.org.
About Raiza Beltran, MPH (Blogger)
Raiza Beltran is currently a health disparities coordinator for Asian Media Access. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota – School of Public Health. Raiza worked as a project coordinator for ECHO – Emergency and Community Health Outreach to ensure that all Limited English Proficiency populations in Minnesota are prepared for an emergency. Raiza also worked at the Minnesota Department of Health in the Cancer Control Section to educate women from under-served communities about breast and cervical cancer and provide access to cancer screening tests and other health services. Raiza has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities and has worked in various public health communication projects with a special focus on working with immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota.
E-mail Raiza at firstname.lastname@example.org