AAP staff report
St. Paul, Minn. (April 18, 2011) – The Minnesota Asian American Health Coalition (MA/AHC) announced last week the appointment of its new Interim Executive Director, Jennifer Houston.
Houston replaces outgoing director, Nancy Pomplun, who served for several years before accepting a position as a Health Improvement Project Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Houstong has been involved with MA/AHC for several years, including previous Data Summits, taking a more active role since 2010, when she joined as a board member. Over the past year she has served on the advisory committee of the Minnesota Community Blueprint for Asian American and Pacific Islander Health Equity.
“Jennifer is excited about this new position as it is returning her to her roots,” said Gilbert Achay, MA/AHC Board Member and acting chair. “We are excited to her leading MA/AHC into its next chapter.”
Houston is a member of the Korean American community, and brings to MA/AHC a wealth and diversity of health related professional experiences, including serving as the Manager of Community Health Programs at West Side Community Health Services, a federally qualified community health center in St. Paul. Prior to that she was the Multicultural Outreach Manager at the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota.
Houston received her B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and is scheduled to complete her MPA from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School in Non-profit Management and Public Policy.
MA/AHC was established in 1999 is the first health research and advocacy organization specifically for the Asian/American and Pacific Islander community in Minnesota. MA/AHC is committed to advocate for the health and well-being of the Asian/American and Pacific Islander community of Minnesota.
Last December 17, 2010, MA/AHC released its “Minnesota Community Blueprint: To Asian/American & Pacific Islander Health Equity.”
In July 2009, MA/ACH joined the State Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans in releasing a compilation report from a year of surveys on, “Health Disparities: An Asian Pacific & Pacific Islander Community Response,” in part to disaggregate and disseminate ethnic API health data, which is often lumped to create disparities in government and institutional reports.
The report listed six recommendations based on input from the forum. They range from addressing disparities and developing good data sources, to increasing the number of AAPI healthcare professionals, to improving social and economic determinants of health issues, and moving towards universal healthcare to eliminate health disparities.
The recommendations also called for an emergency preparedness plan for limited English proficiency populations. It detailed needs in health awareness and prevention from diabetes, obesity and nutrition, to other areas that impact across community boundaries, to physiological differences among the various ethnic groups that need to be accounted in health outreach planning.
Past MA/ACH Data Summits served to bring together API health workers with community partners and mainstream agencies to update on recently compiled data into reports. They goals of the data distribution are to increase health access and quality health care for Minnesota’s API community.
According to MA/AHC, with 2011 the next stage will have board members looking at how to restructure to continue its vital community role and to be engaged in a mission for its members and partnering organizations.
For more information on MA/AHC projects and accomplishments, go to www.maahc.org.