County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approves $700,000 – over three years – to reduce Asian health disparities

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For Immediate Release: June 15, 2018
Contact: Paul Hepfer | | 408.961.9845

San Jose, CA – On Friday, June 15, 2018, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $700,000 – over three years – to The Health Trust to provide evidence-based programs designed to reduce Asian health disparities as identified in the 2017 Santa Clara County Asian/Pacific Islander Health Assessment. Joe Simitian, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, championed the budget proposal.

The 2017 assessment found specific areas of significant disparities in health outcomes among a variety of Asian subgroups within the County. Prevalent issues include high mortality rates stemming from chronic conditions and uncontrolled chronic conditions stemming from limited patient understanding in doctor-patient communication.

“The Asian Health Assessment I previously requested shined a light on disparities that we can and should remedy,” said Board President Joe Simitian. “A 28.7% age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional falls. Cancer (25%) and heart disease (21%) identified as the leading cause of death. These issues can be addressed – and improved – in a community setting using evidence-based programs. This isn’t a replacement for clinical medical care, it’s a supplement to it. And The Health Trust is the community organization best positioned to do the job.”

The Health Trust, one of the largest providers of evidence-based programs in Northern California, offers a comprehensive suite of programs that have been proven as effective and culturally competent strategies for improving health in diverse communities. Their suite includes three falls prevention programs (EnhanceFitness, A Matter of Balance, and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance) and three self-management programs (Better Choices, Better Health, Chronic Pain Self-Management, and Diabetes Self-Management).

“The Health Trust has been providing evidence based programs for 10 years. During this time we have developed the infrastructure, expertise, strategies, and partnerships necessary to tailor our programs and offer them to diverse Asian populations in Santa Clara County” said Michele Lew, CEO of The Health Trust. “Thanks to Supervisor Simitian and the entire Board of Supervisors for providing more opportunities for everyone in our community to be as healthy as possible.”

The Health Trust will use the $700,000 allocation to translate evidence based- program materials for the target populations, and to build a cohort of 10 bilingual trained leaders from Asian communities across the County who will reach and help guide 5,000 community members into appropriate evidence-based programs over the next three years. The allocation will also cover the cost of site expansion, training, materials and supplies, evaluation, and development of marketing materials.

To maximize the number of evidence-based program participants, The Health Trust will build referral partnerships with the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Family Resource Centers, local Medi-Cal managed care plans, and private medical providers. Programs will be conducted in English, Vietnamese, Mandarin/Cantonese, and Korean, and will be offered at sites throughout the community.

At the end of the three year grant period, The Health Trust expects to enter into contracts with additional payers to sustain these programs on an ongoing basis.


About Joe Simitian
Joe Simitian was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and currently serves as Board President. He represents the Fifth District. On the Board of Supervisors, Joe serves as Chair of the Finance and Government Operations Committee and Vice Chair of the Health and Hospitals Committee. Joe’s public service over the years includes stints as a member of the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, Mayor of Palo Alto, President of the Palo Alto School Board, as well as an earlier term on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. He served as an election observer/supervisor in El Salvador and Bosnia, and participated in refugee relief and resettlement efforts in Albania and Kosovo. Learn more.

About The Health Trust
The Health Trust is an operating foundation founded in 1996. Our mission is to build health equity in Silicon Valley. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to be healthy – especially the most vulnerable. To that end, we provide direct services, fund community-based organizations whose work aligns with our mission, and advocate for policies and initiatives that help advance our mission. To learn more, please visit

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