|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:||HHS Press|
|Monday, Sept. 27, 1999||Office|
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS BEGINS NEW DUTIES
Shamina Singh, a health and labor official in the Clinton administration, starts today at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the department announced. "We are pleased that HHS will play a leadership role in this important initiative and that Ms. Singh will head our effort," said HHS Deputy Secretary Kevin Thurm. "We are confident that she will work to ensure that the President's goals are met and the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islanders throughout this country are addressed thoroughly and with results."
The office was created by President Clinton when he signed an Executive Order in June creating an advisory commission and calling for a coordinated federal governmentwide effort to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in areas where they may be underserved. The initiative will address Asian American and Pacific Islander concerns in a variety of areas, from health to education, housing, labor, economic and community development.
"I'm thrilled to be part of the project that will fulfill the administration's goal of having all groups participate equally in the formation of the vision for American life in the 21st century," said Singh, who served for the last year as a special assistant to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to joining the Clinton administration, Singh specialized in health care issues for the Service Employees International Union.
As executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Singh will oversee a federal interagency working group and a presidential advisory commission. The federal working group will advise HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala on the implementation and coordination of federal programs and how they relate to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The commission will advise the President on: 1) how the federal government can better serve the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, 2) strategies for increasing public- and private-sector involvement in improving the health and well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and 3) better ways to foster research to gather public health data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including subgroups. The advisory commission will serve until June 7, 2001.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders supports the Clinton administration's 18-month-old efforts, through HHS, to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in six key areas of health for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other racial and ethnic minorities.
This White House initiative is one of several that address a variety of needs for minority populations. These other initiatives include the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, and the Hispanic Agenda for Action.
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