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Santa Clara County to assess health of Asian residents

In-depth study designed to provide insights into behavioral health risks, disparities, chronic diseases affecting group

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday, May 10, a new health assessment of the county's Asian residents to guide future health programs.

The Asian Health Assessment, an in-depth study of the behavioral health risks, disparities, and chronic diseases that affect the major Asian subgroups in the county, is "an investment in the health of Santa Clara County's Asian residents," Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a press release.

"It's also an investment in our own public health programs. The data we get from this process will help the County Public Health Department do its job more effectively," added Simitian, who co-authored the board's action with Supervisor Dave Cortese.

The data from the new assessment will help the county and nonprofit partners target the highest-priority health issues facing Asian residents and design more effective ways to reach those residents, according to the press release.

"The Asian community in Santa Clara County is rich in its diversity," said Michele Lew, president and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement, a nonprofit health and social services provider based in San Jose. "The County's assessment of the different needs of Asian subgroups will help us target our services, make more efficient use of our resources, and improve the health and wellness of County residents."

The Asian Health Assessment will start this year with a review of existing health data by the Public Health Department's Epidemiology and Data Management Unit. The department will then supplement existing data with a phone survey scheduled to start next winter.

"The more we understand about the diverse public health needs of our diverse population, the better we'll do at addressing them. I'm looking forward to having the results of this Assessment to guide our work," Simitian said.

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