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AAPI Highlights, January 28, 2013
Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the President’s statement on the departure of Chris Lu, Assistant to the President and WHIAAPI Co-chair; a “Fireside Hangout” with the Vice President on reducing gun violence; an upcoming WHIAAPI Twitter town hall on federal student internships; the AAPI Texas Regional Conference; and agency announcements and grant opportunities.
Statement from the President on the Departure of Chris Lu
On January 25, 2013, the White House announced the departure of Chris Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary.
President Obama said, “Chris Lu is one of my longest-serving and closest advisors, first crafting my legislative agenda in the Senate, then leading my Presidential transition, and most recently, managing my relations with the Cabinet. Through his dedication and tireless efforts, Chris has overseen one of the most stable and effective Cabinets in history – a Cabinet that has produced extraordinary accomplishments over the past four years. For that reason, I have asked Chris to consider other opportunities to serve in my Administration, and after he enjoys some time off, I hope he will consider those opportunities. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Cabinet in thanking Chris for his friendship and exceptional service to our nation.”
Read the full statement here.
“Fireside Hangout” with Vice President Biden on Reducing Gun Violence
On January 24, 2013, Vice President Biden sat down with Americans from around the country to talk about proposals to reduce gun violence in a live Google+ Hangout. During the virtual roundtable, participants from all different backgrounds asked the Vice President about topics ranging from an assault weapons ban to the Second Amendment and from mental health checks to making our schools safer.
Twitter Town Hall on Internship Opportunities at Federal Agencies
On January 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm EST, please join us for a Twitter Town Hall chat, where you can:
· learn about the new Pathways Internship Program, which allows students to work in paid internships at federal agencies that can potentially lead to permanent jobs upon graduation;
· talk directly with several federal agencies about their specific internship programs;
· To participate, follow @WhiteHouseAAPI on Twitter and use the hashtag #AAPIFederalIntern.
You can send your questions about federal agency internships before or during the event via Twitter to @WhiteHouseAAPI using the hashtag #AAPIFederalIntern or by emailing WhitehouseAAPI@ed.gov.
FEMA Webinar: Meeting the Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities in Emergency Management
On January 30th, 2013, at 3:00 pm EST, the Department of Homeland Security will host a webinar on proper practices in emergency management when engaging linguistically and culturally diverse populations within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Presenters will give examples of best practices and explain how organizations that support diverse populations can get connected now to their state, territory and local governments and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), so when a disaster strikes, communities are better prepared at all levels. For more information on this webinar and to register, click here.
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Application Webinar and Audio Conference Call
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program helps alleviate the shortage of nurses across the country by offering loan repayment assistance to registered nurses and advance practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners, working at Critical Shortage facilities and nurse faculty employed at accredited schools of nursing. Program participants receive up to 60 percent of their qualifying student loans in exchange for a 2-year service commitment – and an additional 25 percent of their original loan balance for an optional third year. The application cycle is now open through Thursday, February 28, 7:30 pm EST. HRSA will host an application information webinar and audio conference call-in line on January 29, 2013, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm EST. The audio conference call in line is 888-942-9043 with passcode 7925982. To login into the webinar, enter your name and click here. To learn more about the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program click here.
Secretary Duncan Addresses Gun Violence in New “Ask Arne” Video Series
On January 22nd, 2013, the Department of Education launched a new #AskArne video interview series, where the Secretary addresses the hot topics and burning questions in education. The first episode, titled “Free from Fear,” focuses on gun violence, school safety, and out of school factors influencing student achievement. For the #AskArne videos, the questions for the Secretary are from feedback the Department receives via social media and through the outreach of the Department of Education’s Teaching Ambassador Fellows. To read the entire article and to see the video, click here.
High School Graduation Rate at Highest Level in Three Decades
A new report from the Department of Education shows that high school graduation rates are at their highest level since 1974. According to the report, during the 2009-10 school year, 78.2 percent of high school students nationwide graduated on time, which is a substantial increase from the 73.4 percent recorded in 2005-6. The report shows that graduation rates were up for all ethnic groups in 2010, and that the rate for Hispanic students has jumped almost 10 points since 2006. To read the entire article, click here, and for the entire report, click here.
Helping Small Business Owners and Home-Based Employees Claim the Home Office Tax Deduction
As part of ongoing efforts by the Department of the Treasury to reduce paperwork burdens, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on January 15th, 2013 that it is providing a new, simpler option for calculating the home office tax deduction, allowing small business owners and employees who work from home and who maintain a qualifying home office to deduct up to $1,500 per year.
The IRS also expects taxpayers to save more than 1.6 million hours per year in tax preparation time from this simpler calculation method. This option allows qualified taxpayers to deduct annually $5 per square foot of home office space on up to 300 square feet, for as much as $1,500 in deductions. To take advantage of the new option, taxpayers will complete a much simpler version of the current 43-line form. For more information, click here.
SBA Announces Changes to Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses to Increase Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities
Recent changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to the Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program has allowed women-owned small businesses to have greater access to federal contracting opportunities. The NDAA removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract. The law requires the SBA to conduct studies to identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned small businesses. As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts. For more information, click here.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to Provide Targeted Training to Behavioral Healthcare Providers
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is offering a new initiative, BHbusiness: Mastering Essential Business Operations, to provide targeted training to ensure that behavioral healthcare providers are ready to meet the demand for services in this new health reform environment. The BHbusiness Networks will work with behavioral health providers to enhance their capacities in the following critical areas: Strategic Business Planning, Practice Management/Billing, Third-Party Contract Negotiation, Eligibility and Enrollment, and Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology. Slots are reserved for National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) members. Behavioral health providers serving diverse populations can join the NNED at no cost prior to applying. Applications are due February 4. For more information on BHbusiness, click here.
EPA Releases New Report on Children's Health and the Environment in America
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on January 25, 2013, released “America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition,” a comprehensive compilation of information from a variety of sources on children’s health and the environment. The report shows trends for contaminants in air, water, food, and soil that may affect children; concentrations of contaminants in the bodies of children and women of child-bearing age; and childhood illnesses and health conditions. The report incorporates revisions to address peer review and public comments on draft materials released in 2011. To see the full report, click here.
Students with the International Studies Elementary Charter School lead the Pledge of Allegiance during Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany's 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance. (Photo by Mari Gatlin)
On January 15th, 2013, more than a dozen students from the International Studies Elementary Charter School, Albany, Ga., lead the Pledge of Allegiance in English and Spanish during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ceremony. Holding cardboard signs to remind the audience of King’s legacy, the children sang two songs to inspire the service members, Civilian-Marines, families and guests attending the observance at the Base Chapel.
Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, welcomed the attendees and encouraged them to be visionaries. He and guest speaker, Jennifer Robinson Watts, challenged the audience to continue King’s dream during the event. The last four letters of American are ‘I CAN’ and we can solve these problems,” Watts noted. “We are European-Amer-I-CANs, African-Amer-I-CANs, Asian-Amer-I-CANs, Latino-Amer-I-CANs, Hispanic-Amer-I-CANs. We are Amer-I-CANs, so we can solve this as Amer-I-CANs.” Click here to read the entire article.
Health Center Program’s New Access Point Grant
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) released a funding opportunity announcement for applications for the Health Center Program’s New Access Point (NAP) grants. The purpose of the Health Center Program New Access Point funding opportunity is to improve the health of the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations by increasing access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services. New Access Point grants awarded under the Health Center Program support new service delivery sites for the provision of comprehensive primary and preventive health care services. The application deadline is February 27, 2013. To learn more about this grant opportunity, click here.
Partnerships Building Capacity of the Public Health System to Improve Population Health through National, Nonprofit Organizations
This program by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is to ensure the provision of capacity-building assistance for governmental and nongovernmental components of the public health system to optimize the quality and performance of public health systems, the public health workforce, public health data and information systems, public health practice and services, public health partnerships, and public health resources. Letter of Intent is due by February 4, 2013 and the application is due by March 7, 2013. To learn more about the grant opportunity, click here.
CDC Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has announced an extramural violence prevention research program. The purpose of the program is to build the scientific base for the prevention of violence by helping to expand and advance our understanding of the primary prevention of interpersonal and self-directed violence; encourage professionals from a wide spectrum of disciplines of epidemiology, behavioral and social sciences, medicine, biostatistics, public health, health economics, law, and criminal justice to perform research in order to prevent violence more effectively; encourage investigators to propose research that involves the development and testing of primary prevention strategies as well as research on methods to enhance the adoption and maintenance of effective strategies among individuals, organizations, or communities. Letter of Intent is due by February 26, 2013 and the application is due by March 26, 2013. To learn more about the grant opportunity, click here.
The National Institutes of Health has announced the Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Development Program Grant. The purpose of this grant is to encourage behavioral intervention development research to test efficacy, conduct clinical trials, examine mechanisms of behavior change, determine dose-response, optimize combinations, and/or ascertain best sequencing of behavioral, combined, sequential, or integrated behavioral and pharmacological (1) drug abuse treatment interventions, including interventions for patients with comorbidities, in diverse settings; (2) drug abuse treatment and adherence interventions for use in primary care; (3) drug abuse treatment and adherence interventions that utilize technologies to boost effects and increase implementability; (4) interventions to prevent the acquisition or transmission of HIV infection among individuals in drug abuse treatment; (5) interventions to promote adherence to drug abuse treatment, HIV and addiction medications; and (6) interventions to treat chronic pain. Research of interest includes but is not limited to Stage II and Stage III efficacy research. The application deadline is February 5, 2013. To learn more about the grant opportunity, click here.