President Biden names Teresita Batayola to Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
On December 20, President Joe Biden named International Community Health Services (ICHS) President and Chief Executive Officer Teresita Batayola as one of 25 leaders who will be appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
The 25-member commission’s focus is on advancing equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. The commission will advise President Biden on ways that public, private, and nonprofit organizations can work together to improve outcomes for these populations that have often been kept out of the halls of power.
ICHS is Washington state’s largest Asian and Pacific Islander non-profit health center providing comprehensive health care to all those who need affordable care, especially immigrants and refugees. Batayola is an advocate for health care access, equity, and addressing social determinants of health. ICHS has received awards for its high quality of care and Batayola has been recognized in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Award for Outstanding Business & Philanthropic Contributions, Woman of Courage Undaunted from the University of Washington Women’s Center, and the Filipino Women’s Network’s Most Influential Filipino Woman in the World.
“I am honored to be joining this commission of leaders from across the country to help advance equity, justice, and opportunity for our communities on a national level at a time when anti-Asian hate has been amplified by the pandemic,” Batayola said. “It is critical for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander voices to be represented in national policy discussions, particularly around important issues such as culturally competent health care and access.”
President Biden created the commission through an executive order signed in May 2021. It will assist in the developing policies to address and end anti-Asian bias, xenophobia, racism, and nativism as well as create opportunities for the executive branch to close gaps in health, socioeconomic, employment, and educational outcomes.
The commission will also monitor hate crimes against members of Asian communities which have significantly increased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the AAPI Equity Alliance.
“Their appointments are indicative of the administration’s commitment to improving health care access and delivery for AAs and NH/PIs and the important role of community health centers for communities that are underserved,” said Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) executive director Jeffrey Caballero in a statement.