ASU works to improve community health

The Center for Health Information &amp; Research (CHIR) at Arizona State University is now part of a coalition organized to improve the health of the Asian/Pacific Islander community in Maricopa County.<br /><br />There are more than 120,000 Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans residing in the county, according to 2007 estimates by the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Department of Health Services.<br /><br />CHIR has been awarded a subcontract to work with the Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA) group through a grant from the Asian &amp; Pacific Islander American Health Forum and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.<br /><br />The grant, titled Health Through Action for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, represents the first time that a private national foundation has partnered with a national Asian and Pacific Islander organization to address health disparities.<br />  <br />APCA, the only nonprofit agency established to improve the health and well-being of the Asian/Pacific Islander community in Maricopa County, is one of eight community organizations in the United States to be awarded a Health Through Action grant of $600,000 each over four years.<br /><br />APCA will use the funding to collaborate with CHIR, the Arizona Cancer Registry of the Arizona Department of Health Services and other partners to develop a data system to track the health status and needs of the Asian/Pacific Islander community and the utilization of health services. APCA also will develop and implement a cancer screening and prevention plan.<br /><br />CHIR is a research group in the Department of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Computing and Informatics, a part of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.<br /><br />The center, which focuses on studies of health and health care in Arizona, is the home of Arizona HealthQuery, a large database containing health information on millions of individuals who have received health care in Arizona.<br /><br />By partnering with APCA, CHIR expands its mission of providing community-wide health information to assist efforts to improve the health of ethnic minorities.<br /><br />“This effort is one of several CHIR projects devoted to the examination of disparities in health care,” says Bill Johnson, director of CHIR. “It also is one of many examples of the community-university partnerships forged by CHIR.”<br /><br />“We are extremely fortunate to have CHIR as a partner in this project,” said Doug Hirano, APCA executive director. “One of the key components of our initiative is to build a solid understanding of the health behaviors and health care utilization patterns of the local Asian and Pacific Islander residents. With its massive database, CHIR will be a key source of this information.”<br /> <br />A full report on the health of Asian/Pacific Islanders in the county will be issued in the second year of the project.<br /><br />For more information about the partnership or about CHIR and Arizona HealthQuery, contact the center at <a href=""></a>.</p&gt;