Health and Aging


Limited English proficiency and poverty prevent too many Southeast Asian American community members from receiving the care that they need. The traumatic experiences of war, genocide, and displacement left many Southeast Asian Americans with physical and mental health conditions that have gone untreated. Certain Southeast Asian American groups suffer disproportionately from hepatitis B and cervical cancer. Unfortunately, most state and federal health systems fail to tease out data on Southeast Asian Americans from “Asian Americans” overall, making it difficult to understand and address these disparities.

SEARAC fights to protect access to affordable health care coverage and promotes culturally and linguistically appropriate health and mental health care to address health disparities for our Southeast Asian American immigrant and refugee communities. SEARAC also calls for the disaggregation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community data to equip communities and policymakers with accurate and targeted data-driven interventions. Our health work focuses on building the advocacy capacity of community-based organizations to advocate for systemic changes to deliver the health services our community needs.

Southeast Asian American elders have some of the highest rates of limited English proficiency of any ethnic group, and are more likely to live in poverty. SEARAC supports community-based organizations across the country who serve and support our elders. We also collaborate with the Diverse Elders Coalition to uplift the needs of diverse elders of color, native elders, and LGBTQ+ elders.


National health and aging news: READ MORE

California health and aging news: Read more


Key Resources

General health

  • California Cancer Facts & Figures 2016
    American Cancer Society. Includes disaggregated data showing the top five most common cancers for multiple Asian American sub-groups, plus Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.


  • Diverse Elders Coalition’s Resources for Providers: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers Toolkit
    This toolkit offers topline information on what providers need to know, and key pieces from our comprehensive training curriculum, Caring For Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers. Whether you’ve already attended one or more of our trainings, or this is your first time looking into what’s available to help you support diverse family caregivers, we think you’ll find these resources to be invaluable in building a more welcoming, supportive practice. *The Caring For Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers Curriculum, as well as this toolkit, were created by the 6 members of the Diverse Elders Coalition, with generous funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up
    In 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition partnered with Caring Across Generations to collect nearly 5,000 comments from our communities about what we need to age with health and dignity. Comments were collected in six languages from all 50 states and provided a snapshot of the challenges of aging in communities of color, LGBT communities, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
  • Southeast Asian American Elders #TellACL
    Infographic describing the socioeconomic and linguistic characteristics of the older Southeast Asian American population, along with quotes collected during the Diverse Elders Coalition’s #TellACL campaign.
  • Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders
    This report from the Diverse Elders Coalition, authored by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, describes the issues facing elders of color and LGBT elders, who together will represent a majority of older adults in the United States by 2050. The report also offers policy recommendations in several areas key to the well-being of older people, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, health care reform, and more.

Latest national health and aging news:

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (April 23)

April 30th marks the 100th day of the Biden-Harris Administration. While this will be the final edition of SEARAC's 100 ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (April 7)

We are drawing closer to the Biden Administration's 100th day in office, and SEARAC is committed to sharing updates on policies and ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (March 23)

We are drawing closer to the Biden Administration's 100th day in office, and SEARAC is committed to sharing updates on policies and ...
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/ Education, Health, Immigration, National

President Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill

For Immediate Release March 12, 2021 Media contact: Elaine Sanchez Wilson (202) 601-2970 Washington, DC - President Biden signed ...
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/ Health, Immigration, National, Press Room

First 100 Days – Bimonthly Policy Recap (March 9)

As we near the halfway mark of the Biden-Harris Administration's First 100 Days, we bring you the latest issue of ...
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/ Health, Immigration, National

Latest CA health and aging news:

Join us for a virtual workshop series on the mental health needs of Southeast Asian Americans in Butte County, CA

SEARAC is joining the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County and the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission ...
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/ California, Health

California Governor Newsom’s Budget Expands Health Care Access for Undocumented Southeast Asian Americans

Sacramento, CA - On Jan. 10, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $222 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-2021, increasing access ...
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/ California, Health

Budgetary and Legislative Wins and Hopes in California

As 2019 quickly comes to a close and a new decade emerges, SEARAC reflects on the wins and hopes of ...
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/ California, Education, Health, Immigration

CA Gov. Newsom Vetoes SEARAC-Sponsored Bill

Bill would have increased access to culturally and linguistically competent mental health services SACRAMENTO - Yesterday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed California legislation ...
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/ California, Health, Press Room

Take Action: Urge CA Governor Newsom to improve culturally competent mental health services for Southeast Asian Americans

California Assembly Bill (AB) 512 - Culturally competent mental health services has reached CA Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk. We are just ...
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/ California, Health