1. Education: Pacific Islanders’ perception of health and health-seeking behavior is poorly understood by health and health care service providers. There is a critical need for health departments to understand this and to tailor education materials and information to Pacific Islanders about the importance of health promotion, prevention of disease, and early access and utilization of health care services and resources on a regular basis.
2. Training: Staff across organizations and agencies central to providing health and health care services need of cultural training to better understand the Pacific Islander community. There PI-identified health educators with graduate degrees to provide cultural trainings, as well as PI-tailored health education tools and curriculums that can be replicated.
3. Awareness of Resources: Pacific Islander community may not be aware of the services, programs of health and health care agencies and providers in the counties. To increase awareness, health and healthcare agencies should prepare and provide a directory of population health services to the Pacific Islander community in a clear way that can be easily understood by the community.
B. PACIFIC ISLANDER REPRESENTATION
1. Representation: There is severe lack of representation of Pacific Islanders (PIs) in leadership roles in organizations and agencies central to health, health care services, educational institutions, community-based organizations, financial institutions, and other key entities to influence decision and policy making. It is, thus, necessary to identify and recruit PI-identified leaders to represent the collective voice of PIs.
2. Employment: Anecdotally, there is a severe underrepresentation of Pacific Islanders (PIs) across the health, health services, and health research field. The number of Pacific Islanders employed by agencies that provide health and health-related services and resources are not sufficient to support the high number of PIs burdened by chronic health conditions. Though the PI community is relatively small, a significant portion of the PI population is impacted by chronic health conditions and programs and services offered are lacking. Health agencies should, therefore, prioritize staffing these agencies with PIs, in particular at every level of the healthcare system ensuring continuum of care from the womb to older years. We are therefore suggesting intentional outreach campaigns, targeted recruitment, employee and management development, and employee support programs for PIs. In addition, internal policy changes are required in the counties’ hiring processes to grant PIs with access, such the waiver assistance program used for African American, Chinese and Latino population recruitment. A mandatory hiring quota for PIs based on the percentage of populations served would also ensure that PIs will be employed in county positions to continually service our population.
3. Workforce development programs: A workforce development program for Pacific Islanders to interest them in exploring and entering the helping field. There should be collaboration with each county school district to commit to educating Pacific Islander youth on these three tracks: college, vocational trade, or employment.
4. Pacific Islander Task Force Role: The Pacific Islander Task Force could serve as the link we need to increase staffing across the counties, connect PIs to resources, and build the partnerships needed to help all PIs achieve optimal health outcomes and thus, quality of life. As suggested above, we need more employment opportunities for our PI community, to increase our representation in serving our own communities within these pivotal agencies. The members are community experts and advocates who could provide culturally and linguistically appropriate trainings to counties.
1. Alignment: Pacific Islander community is often connected to each other across county lines. Health and healthcare services and programs should therefore not be siloed – counties should align their services across the counties to better serve Pacific Islander populations.
2. Healthy Heart SF is a physical activity campaign for African Americans and Latinos in SF that was designed to be accessible, culturally relevant, and convenient. This campaign should be extended to and replicated in all three counties for the Pacific Islander community, as it provides exactly the type of education, services and community building that would be achieve optimal health outcomes and quality of life for Pacific Islanders.
3. Pacific Islander Clinic: The counties should create health clinics for the Pacific Islander community. In San Francisco, the HOPE-SF Wellness Centers and other MCAH providers should rely on Ravenswood Family Health Center as a model. For example, the wall posters and information is all translated into Pacific Islander languages, making it a welcoming and inviting space for the community.
4. Dedicate a community space to Pacific Islanders: San Francisco District 10 area is currently being revamped and it has also been a long standing community to the Pacific Islanders. Like many other communities, Pacific Islanders have an abundance of pride and would like a specific community space to host our events, bring in resources, work and serve our own community.
5. Translation: The Pacific Islander Task is an important advisory body for county governments and agencies. If there is a need for translation services, counties should contact the Task Force first to be referred to a reputable and trusted translation services for the community.
6. Cultural Humility Models: Health and healthcare services must integrate Pacific Islander cultural models of well-being into their population health programs and resources, including cultural protocols. Services should align in a culturally sensitive way to be most efficient and useful to the Pacific Islander community.
1. Demographic Template: Often times, health and healthcare provider locations do their own assessments or demographic data collection of a patient, which often leads to mischaracterization of race/ethnicity. It is important for agencies and providers to standardize the intake process with a template that relies on the self-identification of a client or patient.
2. Threshold Languages: Each county should investigate the proportions of Pacific Islanders in their counties and regularly translate government documents into the Pacific Islander languages that are represented.
E. FUNDING NEEDS
1. Funding Allocation: Data on Pacific Islanders is often unreported because of statistical unreliability to make meaningful interpretation. Thus, there is often a lack of meaningful justification for funding for Pacific Islander health concerns, even though PIs are burdened by disproportionately high rates of chronic health issues. Agencies should therefore allocate funds based on populations most impacted by health disparities, not by population volume.
2. Taskforce Investment Funding: The Pacific Islander Taskforce is meant to serve as a stand-alone advisory body for agencies and local governments. For the Pacific Islander Taskforce to sustain itself and remain an important community and agency resource, agencies and city/county governments should commit to the Taskforce’s continued involvement by allocating funding towards the Taskforce’s infrastructural goals and sustainability.
3. Pacific Islander Community-Based Organization Investment Funding: There are very few Pacific Islander-focused community-based organizations or programs. These existing organizations provide vital work within the community, and agencies and city/county governments should allocate further funding towards these organizations to ensure that they remain a vital community resource.
F. AGENCY ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
1. Agency interest: Organizations and agencies central to health, health care services, educational institutions, community-based organizations, financial institutions, and other key entities that influence decision and policy making should integrate Pacific Islander well-being into their internal thought processes about how and where their work should be done. Agencies should be proactive about investigating community needs, hiring more individuals from the community, effectively evaluating programming to ensure that it has a positive effect on the Pacific Islander population. Lastly, aforementioned organizations and agencies must strive to increase their knowledge about the Pacific Islander community on an ongoing basis and challenge themselves to improve their existing systems.