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FilAms- lost in the frontlines, lost in the data, and lost in policy priorities


January 6, 2021


(610) 888-6905

UCLA researcher to discuss COVID-19 vaccine distribution and lack of data on hard-hit Filipino population

Online streaming event on January 13 will cover overall impact of pandemic on Filipino American community

Lost in the Frontlines, Lost in the Data, and Lost in the Policy Priorities

Philadelphia, PA ─ COVID-19 continues to take a tremendous toll on our health care and frontline workers, and members of the Filipino working-age community, about 1 in 4 of whom are health care workers, have been among the hardest hit. Nearly one-third of the registered nurses in the United States who have died from COVID-19 are Filipinos, despite making up just 4% of RNs. An alarming 8 in 10 Asian health worker deaths are Filipinos, according to California data. In addition, Filipinos, regardless of occupation, top the list of Asian COVID-19 deaths.

The numbers are devastating, stories heartbreaking, and while the Filipino community continues to be disproportionately impacted, national public health data does not reveal the full picture of their risk of infection and death. Lack of data, including aggregating Filipinos under the large Asian umbrella, overlooks this community as a priority population for targeted government investments in outreach, education, and vaccine allocation.

Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, will be the featured speaker at the online Filipino American Health Forum on COVID-19, hosted by the Association of Philippine Physicians in America (APPA), in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY), Philippine Nurses Association of New York, Kalusugan Coalition, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations NY, and the Philippine Medical Society of Greater Philadelphia. She will discuss the severe impact of COVID-19 on this overlooked population.

As more news stories, tributes, and social media posts begin to dive into the gravity of COVID-19 on the overlooked group, one thing is certain ─ more public health data is needed to understand the full picture on infection and death rates among Filipinos, which would ultimately inform the needs of the community as a whole for government investments in outreach, education, and vaccine distribution.

“My goal is to discuss what data are available, including the current research and insights on the Filipino community’s risks, as well as policy recommendations to appropriately allocate the vaccine to this high-need community,” said Ponce. “Researchers and advocates will continue to identify opportunities to build evidence to stop the pandemic’s devastation, and to create a data system to ensure the recovery of Filipinos in the US.”

The online streaming event will take place on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. PT.

Please see flyer below.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2021 Contact: Association of Philippine Physicians in America 610-888-6905 Philadelphia, PA - The Association of Philippine Physicians in America (


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