APAMSA’s Region VIII Conference was hosted by Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) on February 25, 2017 at OHSU’s Collaborative Life Sciences Building. The conference opened with an introduction from the 2016 – 2017 region VIII co-directors, KieuYen Luu, Phuong-Vy Le, and Quang Truong followed by a brief background about national APAMSA given by Michelle Chen, APAMSA’s External Vice President. The keynote address was given by Joe Enlet, the senior policy liaison for the Multnomah County Health Department. Speaking about the healthcare disparities that are present in underrepresented ethnic communities in the state of Oregon, Joe emphasized the disparities to the Pacific Islander communities.

The first breakout session followed the keynote address and attendees attended one of the three workshops offered: Kathy Wai representing the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and held a workshop on how to extend healthcare to Oregonians who were previously denied access; Dr. Lynne Shinto held a workshop speaking about the access and care of alternative medicine; Lahaina Maylani Phillip gave a talk about her experiences with accessing healthcare as a Micronesian American.

During lunch, there were posters being presented by Lee Nguyen, Karen Leung, and Tuong Pham from the University of California, Davis and Jonathan Sisley from Oregon State University. There was also a tabling event from the sponsors of this year’s region VIII conference, which included APANO, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), OHSU’s Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, Radiation Medicine, OHSU Center for Inclusion and Diversity, and the United States Navy.

The second breakout session began after lunch. Joe Enlet led a workshop on relational strategies for health advocacy and policy change where he gave an introduction on the advocacy work that is being done in Oregon to benefit the APIA community. Dr. Jessica Guh gave a lecture on the Asian Minority Myth Model and how it affects the advancement of Asian Americans in the workforce. Our final workshop was a panel from Dr. Jessica Guh, Joe Enlet, and Michelle Chen. The purpose of the panel was to provide an open discussion to attendees on the outlooks of the future of healthcare policies and how it will affect the APIA community. The conference concluded with special thanks to our sponsors and speakers.

Not only did the conference provided attendees a better understanding of the needs of the APIA community, it also connect providers, community members, medical, undergraduates, and high school students from across Region VIII to one another. Students from University of Washington, UC Davis, Lewis & Clark, Portland State University, OHSU and Century High School were represented. Many ideas were exchanged on how to better represent and serve our communities. Once again Region VIII would like to thank Oregon Health Science University along with the many donors previously mentioned for their support!

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