FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2017
Media Contact: Lina Park, Asian Health Services
Asian Health Services holds patient meeting in Oakland Chinatown
to discuss health care options and immigrant rights in 10 Asian languages
Oakland, Calif – On May 31, 2017, over 600 patients, staff and community members gathered at Oakland Asian Cultural Center to learn about health care updates and immigrant rights protections. In recent months, the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as anti-immigrant policies have created fear, and affected access to and utilization of health and other critical benefits and services; thus, undermining the health and well-being of AHS patients and the overall community.
“Asian Health Services is committed to addressing our patients’ health within and beyond the four walls of our clinics,” said Sherry Hirota, the CEO of the 43-year old community health center. “The ACA has allowed us to enroll nearly 9,000 of our patients onto an insurance. So when there are threats to our community’s health care and safety, we will work with our community to advocate for their health care rights.”
This year’s meeting focused on providing accurate information on health care options and rights in order to address misconceptions and mitigate unnecessary fear that can negatively impact patients’ health and safety.
Alameda County Board Supervisors Richard Valle and Wilma Chan spoke about the importance of defending immigrant and refugee rights and protecting MediCal. “With thirty percent of our residents being foreign born, we cannot achieve a healthy Alameda County if our community members are afraid to seek care due to anti-immigrant actions and rhetoric,” said Wilma Chan. “Fear among our patients is a public health issue that affects us all.”
Dr. Daveena Ma, physician at AHS, added, “While there are many efforts to repeal the ACA, it is still the current law. We want our patients to feel safe to use health care and services. There is no question that my patients’ lives have been immeasurably improved by this historic health law, and I hope we can take actions to preserve the benefits it has provided to our patients.”
As part of AHS’ mission to ensure the community has a voice in their own health and safety, postcards were provided and filled out by patients to be hand delivered to their elected officials.
About Asian Health Services
Asian Health Services is a federally qualified community health center located in the East Bay. Founded 43 years ago, we provide primary health care services—medical, dental, and behavioral health—to low-income families in Oakland and Alameda County. We operate clinics in multiple locations in Alameda County, with three of our large clinic sites at Asian Medical Center and Rolland and Kathryn Lowe Medical Center located in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown, and Frank Kiang Medical Center located by Lake Merritt. We serve over 28,000 patients. Our staff are fluent in English and 12 Asian languages: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean, Khmer (Cambodian), Mien, Mongolian, Tagalog, Lao, Burmese, Karen, and Karenni. Our mission is to serve and advocate for the medically underserved, including the immigrant and refugee Asian communities, regarding their health rights, and to ensure equal access to health care services regardless of income, insurance status, language, or culture. Our website is www.asianhealthservices.org.