Clinicians at El Camino Health realized that their patients of South Asian heritage had a high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions. They needed culturally competent care for prevention and management of these conditions — and in 2006, the South Asian Heart Center was born.
Now in Washington, D.C., members of Congress are recognizing that South Asians have specific health risks and need care specifically designed to prevent and manage their risks and conditions.
A bill introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal would provide states up to $5 million over five years to develop culturally appropriate educational materials and promote awareness of heart health among high-risk communities, including South Asian Americans. The bill also authorizes funding for research into risk factors and establishes an internet clearinghouse for evidence-based research and treatment options.
The South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2022 (H.R. 3771) passed the House on July 27. President Joe Biden has expressed support for the bill but it has to also pass the Senate before it can be sent to him. Dan Woods, chief executive officer of El Camino Health, also wrote a letter to Rep. Jayapal in May, describing the South Asian Heart Center’s work and offering help and support for the bill.
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