Oakland, Calif. (July 10, 2014) — Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy &Leadership (APPEAL) recognizes the tireless work and tremendous impact of Dr. Howard Koh as he departs his post as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
“We will always be indebted to Dr. Koh for his efforts to curb tobacco use in our communities,” said Rod Lew, executive director of the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy & Leadership (APPEAL). “He has been one of our greatest champions for the past 20 years in the fight for a tobacco-free society.”
Across an impressive spectrum of roles from primary-care physician to academic researcher to his tenure as a diligent public servant, Dr. Koh has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving public health. APPEAL is particularly appreciative of Dr. Koh’s efforts as a strong ally in our efforts to curb the impacts of tobacco and cancer in underserved communities, including Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
His tireless work was behind the Obama administration’s efforts to accelerate progress against tobacco usage, including the first-ever, federal Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan and the National Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative, which promotes and supports tobacco-free policies at universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning across the U.S. Dr. Koh has also been the driving force to ensure that the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid provide coverage for tobacco cessation.
“Dr. Koh’s efforts on addressing the tobacco epidemic are unmatched and he will be greatly missed at HHS,” Lew continued. “But, his work has paved the way to end tobacco use for the next generation and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”
Dr. Koh will continue his remarkable career and his decades of work toward improving public health as Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
It is with a deep sense of gratitude that APPEAL joins the many communities touched by Dr. Koh in wishing him well in his new role.
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy & Leadership is a national organization working towards social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community. Founded in 1994, it has since established itself an important national network providing key technical assistance and resources on health justice.