Tina Shaw - Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs

iowa department of human rights

March 2020


  • Public Forum: Aging & Medicare Basics for Elders & Caregivers

  • English Learners: Des Moines Classes at Lutheran Services of Iowa
  • Aging: Social Isolation 
  • Health: Addiction & Suicide Prevention Resources
  • US Census 2020: Non-English Supports 
  • Health: API Access to Mental Health Services
  • US Census 2020: Hard-to-Count Map
  • Healthcare Data: Disaggregated Disparities Study
  • US Census 2020: API Mapping Tool 
  • Notable & Quotable: Ryan Nguyen, From Vietnam to the United States 
  • Education: Leadership Academy
  • Workforce: Career & Technical Fair - DSM


Public Education Forum presented by CAPI:

Aging & Medicare Basics

Ames_Aging Forum

Please contact DHR - Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs for additional information:    tina.shaw@iowa.gov or 515-281-4219

AGING: Social Isolation

New report explores how social isolation and loneliness affect health care access and utilization

"Seniors who are experiencing social isolation or loneliness may face a higher risk of mortality, heart disease, and depression, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Despite the profound health consequences — and the associated costs — the health care system remains an underused partner in preventing, identifying, and intervening for social isolation and loneliness among adults over age 50."

"The report outlines five goals that the health care system should adopt to help address the health impacts of social isolation and loneliness. It also offers recommendations for strengthening health workforce education and training, leveraging digital health and health technology, improving community partnerships, and funding research in understudied areas."

Consensus Study Report (paywall): Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults
Opportunities for the Health Care System (2020),  National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

US Census 2020

Census language and mode

Source: US Census 2020 Presentation Online  (slide 5)

CENSUS: Hard to Count Map

A nationwide map created by the City University of New York (CUNY) visualizes how neighborhoods will be counted. CUNY's Center for Urban Research first created the maps for the 2010 census to help philanthropic foundations and civil rights organizations target census awareness campaigns in hard-to-count areas.

HTC Census Map_IA

Source: CUNY Center for Urban Research   Hard to Count Map

Resource: US Census Survey Assistance by Phone - languages available 

CENSUS: API Mapping Tool

AAPI Data and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) released a mapping tool to better educate and help the public understand the diversity and geographic settlement patterns of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The online tool (http://aapidata.com/censusmaps/) provides detailed census-tract level maps for the 20 largest metropolitan areas for Asian Americans in the United States. For each tract, the largest Asian American or Pacific Islander resident group is noted, as well as the population size and share of 21 Asian American and 6 Pacific Islander detailed origin groups.

Source: AAPI Data: Census & Beyond - Mapping the AAPI Community

EDUCATION: Leadership Academy 

The APAICS Youth Leadership Academy program, in partnership with the Close Up Foundation, is a week-long leadership development and enrichment program geared towards high school students. The purpose of the program is to provide students of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage the unique opportunity to learn more about government and public policy issues impacting the AAPI community and how they can be more involved in the political process. The program will include interactive leadership development sessions, guest speakers, and networking opportunities to meet with other successful Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders and a visit to Capitol Hill.

PROGRAM DATES: June 14 – 19, 2020

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 2, 2020


Source: Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)

ENGLISH LEARNERS: Des Moines Classes

Lutheran Services of Iowa's (LSI) Community-Based ESL Program is enrolling new students for the upcoming term (Spring Session #2: March 23 – May 17). Course listing and locations, below. Classes are free, and registration is required. Registration and placement testing usually take about 45 minutes. New students accepted until April 30.


Weekly walk-in registration hours at LSI - no appointment necessary:

Mondays and Wednesday: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

If these hours do not work for potential students, please call LSI's Masoka Mkombozi at 515-271-7418 to make an appointment.


LSI ESL Spring 2020 pg1

LSI ESL classes Spring 2020 pg2

HEALTH: Addiction & Suicide

Your Life Iowa (IDPH) Resource Portal


Challenges in seeking treatment for addiction, mental health or wellness within the Asian & Pacific Islander Community include: spiritual & cultural beliefs; personal & family reputations; shame; language; financial challenges; lack of culturally knowledgeable medical professionals and counselors; and skepticism of Western medical norms. Less discussed within API circles is the topic of suicide.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has created YourLifeIowa.org so Iowans can chat live, text, or call and get reliable information and treatment options, and find nearby help.

Your Life Iowa_capture


Suicide Prevention Resources

Every 20 hours, a person dies by suicide in Iowa. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25- to 44-year-olds exceeded only by unintentional injury. Iowa has taken steps to implement effective suicide prevention strategies through existing partnerships like the Iowa Suicide Prevention Planning Group.

Suicidal thoughts, attempts and completion affect many Iowans. Suicide does not discriminate and can affect anyone. When someone says he or she is thinking about suicide, or says things that sound as if the person is considering suicide, it can be very upsetting. You may not be sure what to do to help, whether you should take talk of suicide seriously, or if your intervention might make the situation worse.

Taking action is always the best choice. Get help from a trained professional as quickly as possible. 

Support and assistance is available through Live Chat, by calling or by texting .  

Find help now: https://yourlifeiowa.org/suicide/find-help-now

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides the Tele-Interpreters service to its crisis centers which supports over 150 languages. Call 1-800-273-8255 - all hours, everyday.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Zero Suicide

HEALTH: API Access to Mental Health Services


Disparities in mental health care access between Asian American and white patients are not completely accounted for by lower rates of perceived need among Asian American patients, according to results published in Psychiatry Services.  

The research objective was to examine mental health treatment access disparities between Asians and whites in the United States, as well as the role of perceived and objective need and barriers to treatment in these disparities. The findings demonstrate significant disparities in mental health care between Asian and white patients, even when adjusting for lower rates of self-perceived need for care among Asian respondents.

Related Article: Psychiatry Advisor

Research Abstract: Yang KG, Rodgers CRR, Lee E, Lê Cook B. Disparities in mental health care utilization and perceived need among Asian Americans: 2012-2016. Psychiatr Serv. 2020;71(1):21-27  (paywall)

HEALTHCARE DATA: New Disaggregated Study

Asian Americans may have health conditions that are hidden by the way data is collected, researchers at UCLA and Brown University found. Researchers from both universities analyzed data of the Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean subgroups of the Asian American population - groups with highest survey response rates.

The resulting study, published in the American Journal of Public Health on Feb. 20, found that Asian American subgroups may have disproportionately more health problems and less access to care when compared to non-Hispanic white adults. These conditions otherwise would be masked when health data is aggregated, according to the study.

Study (paywall): Health Conditions, Outcomes, and Service Access Among Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Adults in California (2011–2017)

Source: Brown University and UCLA

Related Article: NBC News 

"Notable & Quotable"


Ryan Nguyen headshot

From Vietnam

to the United States

About seven years ago, Ryan Nguyen moved to the United States from Vietnam. While oceans apart, Ryan had deep roots in America. His grandfather had been a US-allied South Vietnamese solider who was captured during the war, “…and it was the United States who helped free him. They brought him to the U.S., and he has lived here ever since,” says Nguyen. Ryan and the rest of his family were able to join his grandfather in the U.S. after going through a 12-year process.

Since Ryan’s move right after high school, he has learned English, become a U.S. citizen, graduated college and has worked at Bankers Trust for nearly two years. Ryan is excited to teach his colleagues about his culture and is also eager to learn about others. Ryan has done this by being a member of the bank’s Next Gen Committee and by forming many relationships at Bankers Trust. Ryan and a colleague go out to lunch regularly, choosing a new restaurant each time so they can learn about other cultures because Ryan says, “We do not only like to think outside of the box, but also like to eat outside of the box.”

In addition to teaching others about his culture, respect, gratitude and family are Vietnamese values Ryan still appreciates. Ryan says, “Gratitude is a big part of the Vietnamese culture. I have deep gratitude for those who have supported me along the way. I still get together regularly with mentors and friends who helped me get to where I am today.” A few of those mentors and friends to note are Bankers Trust leaders Randy Bergman, Travis Etchison and Mary Simon.

One way Ryan carries out these values is by annually celebrating Lunar New Year. His celebration starts by visiting extended families to wish them a happy new year, always starting with the elders first. While visiting family, the children receive lucky money – which must be new money – and Ryan says, “It’s not about the amount of money received, it’s about the well wishes that go along with it.” Traditional Lunar New Year celebrations also include going to church or temple and, of course, food. Ryan’s family celebrates with square sticky rice cakes filled with mung beans and pork. Eating this at the beginning of the year is believed to bring families health, luck and happiness.

One thing that stands out to Ryan about his workplace is its inclusive culture. He sees first-hand how Bankers Trust embraces people and other cultures through the East Branch cultural celebrations. Ryan also enjoys serving a diverse customer base; he’s happy to be able to talk about and celebrate some of his traditions, such as Lunar New Year, with customers, colleagues and friends.

WORKFORCE: Career Fair - Des Moines

career fair