May 26, 2015 Washington DC – Thirty eight years ago, Representatives Frank Horton from Rochester NY (R-NY) and Norman Mineta (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 540 (Pacific/Asian Heritage Week) in Congress to proclaim the first ten days of May as Pacific/Asian Heritage Week now known as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. May was denoted to commemorate the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S., and also to mark the anniversary of the completion of the trans-continental railroad, the majority of the tracks laid by Chinese workers. Subsequently President Jimmy Carter signed the Joint Resolution on October 5, 1978. In 1992, President Bush signed legislation into law designating the month of May as we know now as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Law HR-5572 originally introduced by Horton and Mineta, was unanimously approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate during the 102nd Congress.
During the first ever White House Summit on AAPIs, U.S. Surgeon Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy M.D. was installed as the new co-chair of WHIAAPI. President Obama proclaims, “The rich heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders spans the world and the depths of America’s history. Generation after generation, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders have forged a proud legacy that reflects the spirit of our Nation. During AAPI Heritage Month, we honor the perseverance of those who courageously reached for their hopes and dreams in a new land, and we celebrate the important impact the AAPI community has made to our Nation’s progress…As we commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we pay tribute to all those in the AAPI community who have striven for a brighter future for the next generation. Together, let us recommit to embracing the diversity that enriches our Nation and to ensuring all our people have an equal chance to succeed in the country we love.”
May 18, 2015 Washington DC – Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy M.D., M.B.A. was confirmed as the 19th U.S. Surgeon General on December 15, 2014. Dr. Murthy oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Services USPHS Commissioned Corps, comprised of over 6,800 uniformed health officers who serve in global locations to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation. Moreover, Dr. Murthy’s announcement during the first ever White House Summit on AAPIs as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders WHIAAPI stressed the importance of connecting and mobilizing the AAPI community for collaborative goals.”We need to learn from communities across the country to make sure we’re lifting up all communities together,” Murthy remarked.
Dr. Murthy is the son of immigrants from India and discovered a love for the art of healing early in his childhood while spending time in his father’s medical clinic in Miami, Florida. He has devoted himself to improving public health through service, clinical care, research, education and entrepreneurship. Caring for patients he considers the greatest honor in his life and served thousands of patients and trained hundreds of residents and medical students as a clinician-educator.
Dr. Murthy has over two decades of perspective improving health in communities across the country and the world. He co-founded Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India to train women to be health providers and educators. Moreover, he co-founded VISIONS, an HIV AIDS education program in India and the U.S.
Seen as a progressive leader who can use 21st century approaches and technology to modernize the role of Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy focuses efforts on building cross-sector community partnerships to resolve health issues including obesity and tobacco-related disease, reduce the stigma related to mental illness, improve vaccination rates and promote preventative health strategies. Dr. Murthy strongly believes our American nation’s greatest strength comes from its peoples. Improving the health of our peoples means strengthening our communities and our country. Unite Learn Prosper!