The National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) submitted this statement
to the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Included in the letter were data that showcased the COVID-19 disparities in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as the lack of demographic data collection in many states. The letter also included a multitude of recommendations around culturally competent, linguistically appropriate contact tracing, workforce diversity, and COVID-19 in-language messaging.
The CDC’s interim guidance on COVID-19 contact tracing, issued on May 15, 2020, states:
Culturally and linguistically diverse minority populations are growing in the United States. These populations include racial and ethnic minorities, members of tribal nations, immigrants (i.e., those born outside the United States) and refugees. They may be at higher risk for COVID-19 or worse health outcomes due to a number of reasons including living conditions, work circumstances, underlying health conditions, and limited access to care.
It is important that case investigations and contact tracing are conducted in a culturally appropriate manner, which includes meaningfully engaging community representatives from affected communities, collaborating with community-serving organizations, respecting the cultural practices in the community, and taking into consideration the social, economic and immigration contexts in which these communities live and work.
Currently, CDC contact tracing information is only available in English.
The statement notes that physicians from racial and ethnic and other medically underserved communities can be credible and trusted spokespersons to help educate communities about COVID-19 contact tracing. NCAPIP recommends health departments partner with local medical societies, state medical associations, and racial and ethnic physician organizations to conduct community education about COVID-19 contact tracing.
With the majority of ambulatory care visits being made to small and solo physician practices coupled with their value to vulnerable communities, small practices lack the type of federal support that benefits hospitals, large mainstream practices, and health systems. NCAPIP calls for funding and technical support to be more targeted towards these essential community providers, particularly in response to COVID-19 disparities.
To read the statement: Click Here