Southern New Hampshire University

From inside the busy waiting room of Asian Health Service (AHS) in Oakland, CA’s Chinatown one can view a sign on the bathroom door that stated not to flush towels down the toilet. The sign is written in six different languages. AHS defines itself as a clinic that serves the low-income, mostly immigrant and non-English speaking population. AHS, like most community clinics are not glamorous. They provide the community access to foot checks for the patient with diabetes, the ability for individuals to have their bp monitored closely, dependable translators, and assistance with navigating the world of healthcare.

Beneath what is viewed on the surface every day, the hum drum and mundane live a dynamic history of the dreams of youth who fought for social evolution and reform.

AHS did not accidently become an organization that is accountable to the community, taking issues by the horns. They got there from their strategic planning that was guided by their mission since the beginning.

All countries grapple with healthcare. The industry is mullite faceted and ever changing, demanding copious amounts of HR resources, complicated technologies, and confronting ever emerging ethical issues. However, there is a rich history in America of overcoming social misjustices and realizing dreams. Starting in the 1960s the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) was something being dreamt of and now is a model drawling attention as healthcare reform is making the future uncertain.

In 1973 the East Bay Asians for Community Action went throughout the community questioning the residents regarding their healthcare needs.

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What they realized was the Chinatown community member only utilized half of the services as composed to that of their neighbors because of language barriers and cost. This was the beginning of AHS. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has policies that will affect how hospitals deliver their services to patients. This includes the inflation of individuals who will now be insured that will have options as where they accept care. ACA is encouraging health organization to join organized networks with special reimbursement offerings. This process will hopefully increase the care an individual receives and allows for a smoother transition back into the community.

In Alameda County, home of Asian Health Services, as a joint effort they are prioritizing the prevention of disease. Part of their plans in tackling is leveraging grants to enhance the alliance of physical, mental, and substance abuse services. According to Dharushana Muthulingam, in the article From Panthers to Patients, published on the online magazine Hyphen (2012) The combined organizations are also: “Retooling emergency medical services to focus on prevention and avoidance of the hospital and emergency department are major opportunities for expanding access to care and saving public dollars. Alameda County is at the forefront of this arena. This session will provide a summary of innovations in EMS occurring nationally and locally”.

Managements Role

Asian Health Services formed an Oversite Review Committee which manages funds that support Asian Heath Services throughout the year. Part of the funding was used to launch the use of Electronic Heath Records at their newest clinic. Managers at AHS were utilized to document “the workflow of clinicians, created electronic interfaces, and developed a training curriculum and schedules for the clinical teams to phase in the adoption of the HER”. AHS’s department managers and staff worked tirelessly to complete “the conversion of the former Silver Dragon Restaurant in Oakland into a comprehensive health center with 20 exam rooms and a staffing model designed to provide a patient-centered health home”.


AHS announced they would appoint a committee in response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to establish the criteria that qualifies areas as underserved by the medical community and in need of professional healthcare support. The committee has 24 stakeholders who are representatives for established community programs most likely to be impacted by ACA. These include: “Community Health Centers, Rural health clinics and health care practitioners, Special populations with unique health care needs, Technical experts in the area of research in health care access and statistical methods” (AHS). “I am pleased to announce this committee of distinguished experts,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The purpose of this committee is to examine current methods for identifying areas of need and underservice and propose revisions if they deem that appropriate” (AHS).


  1. Muthulingam, D. (2012). From Panthers to Patients. Hyphen.
  2. Measure A. (2013).
  3. AHS.

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Southern New Hampshire University. (2022, Apr 30). Retrieved from

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