In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) would like to recognize the contributions of members of the AAPI community both across the nation and right here at RMUoHP.
In the United States, 8.5% of healthcare professionals are of Asian American or of Pacific Islander descent. Since only 6.8% of the overall population is made up of members of the AAPI community, their impact and contributions have been vitally important to the healthcare system (Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans on the Frontlines, 2020).
Some of our RMUoHP students on the Student Diversity Committee recently shared what AAPI Heritage Month means to them as future healthcare professionals.
As a Chinese-American, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology student Morgan Louie is grateful for the opportunity to remember her family origin and share it with those around her. “AAPI Heritage Month gives me the opportunity to not only reflect on my culture and family but to have another reason to share and celebrate that with others. I love taking moments in all of the cultural appreciation months to learn about differences and similarities so I can better relate to everyone around me in the big and small ways.”
With both of his parents born in Korea, Master of Physician Assistant Studies student Andrew Park looks at this month as an opportunity to see how his culture plays into the history of our nation. “AAPI Heritage Month means recognizing that AAPI history is a large component of American history. We live in a beautifully diverse country built on rich history from all cultures. Recognizing this, along with understanding our shortcomings, only creates stronger bonds between communities.”
Immigrating to the United States from the Philippines with his family helped Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology student Russell deJesus recognize the importance of differences in a community. “I hope that we can not only tolerate each other’s differences but welcome them so we can realize that diversity does not destroy but strengthen communities. I hope that we can keep our pledge and become ‘one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.’”
Doctor of Physical Therapy student Dorian Singh’s Indian heritage taught him about equality for all, and the importance of celebrating all cultures. “When we work to understand and celebrate other cultures we build a better society for ourselves and future generations. AAPI month gives us a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in creating the unique society we have in the United States.”
Although she was born in Arizona, Master of Physician Assistant Studies student Monica Madhavpeddi connects strongly with her Indian heritage, which is something she has applied to her duty as a healthcare professional. “I hope this month is a reminder about our collective duty to serve all of our patients equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve. I genuinely appreciate RMUoHP’s recognition of AAPI celebrating the diversity of our student body. It is equally important for our community at large to have representation within RMUoHP and our respective [healthcare] professions. ”
Join these future healthcare professionals in remembering the important contributions the AAPI community is making in our world today as well as the important role that diversity plays in our society.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans on the Frontlines (May 21, 2020). New American Economy Research Fund. https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/report/aapi-americans-on-the-frontlines/