In 2015, several Pacific Islander (PI) community leaders took the initiative to engage with directors of local public health departments of Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties to address the lack of data and reporting on PI health disparities and established the first tri-county Regional Pacific Islander Taskforce. The Taskforce is regional in focus, and the goal is to raise awareness and increase the visibility of PI health disparities, advocating for data equity in the collection, and reporting on health issues impacting Pacific Islanders in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The Taskforce serves as an advisory council for each of the three county directors of public health departments and their leadership to address Pacific Islander health and social disparities.
Within the Pacific Islander community, health disparities are so prevalent that they have created a lifecycle of issues, as shown by this framework above. These are both ongoing and emerging needs of our community. Key to addressing these needs is data disaggregation and analysis to help break this ongoing lifecycle of disparities. Our approach is innovative in that we have focused on making inroads with county officials to influence change.
The Taskforce is a highly collaborative coalition of leaders from over 20-organizations who volunteer their time to serve their PI community in the Bay Area. They are professors, clinicians, executive directors and directors, managers, faith leaders, and community advocates. This effort is entirely led and driven by local community champions and community-based organizations (CBOs) in partnership with tri-county health departments and agencies. The purpose of the Taskforce is to ensure that county agencies consider alignment/regional approach model for PI communities in operations, funding priorities, program development, and health services delivery to improve their health outcomes. Today, the Pacific Islanders are still invisible and underserved and it is vital to being able to clearly see the issues confronting this community.