2022-23 Achievements

AAPI wants to thank Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal for introducing the critical legislation, South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act (H.R. 3771).

US House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the H.R. 3771 on May 18, 2022, and it is now set to advance to the full House and Congresswoman Jayapal working with her colleagues to ensure its passage in the house.

Heart disease is the number one Global Public Health problem. South Asians are at four-times greater risk of heart disease than their western counterparts and have a greater chance of having a heart attack before 50 years of age. Heart attacks strike South Asian Men and Women at younger ages, as they tend to develop heart disease ten years earlier than other groups and morbidity as well as mortality are higher among them compared to any other ethnic group.

We all are aware that while, we South Asians make up only 23% of the global population, we account for 60% of all heart disease cases. And, tragically, the mortality rate for heart disease is a staggering 40% higher among South Asians. South Asian Americans are four times more likely to suffer from heart disease than most people, and experience heart problems nearly decade earlier on average. In view of this, AAPI has an ad hoc committee chaired by Dr. Brahma Sharma focusing on heart disease awareness, prevention and treatment and have been working on various initiatives for past couple of years to advance legislation as well as research and public and professional educational programs. AAPI appreciates ACC American College pf Cardiology’s strong support of this bill.

Here is the recent interview with Dr. Alka Kanaya and Dr. Namrata Kandula of MASALA Study from Medical News & Perspectives of JAMA
July 13, 2022.

MASALA Study Probes Why People With South Asian Ancestry Have Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risks

The South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act (H.R. 3771) is aimed at providing grants of up to $1 million per year to fund research and prevention of heart disease in South Asian communities. The bill authorizes to establish programs to support heart-disease research and awareness among communities disproportionately affected by heart disease, including the South Asian population of the United States.

H.R. 3731, if passed by both full House and Senate and signed as legislation by President Biden will

  1. Direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to create grants, such as South Asian Heart Health Promotion Grants at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide funding for community groups involved in South Asian heart health promotion and to develop culturally appropriate materials to promote heart health in the South Asian community.
  2. Direct the HHS Secretary to fund grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research on cardiovascular disease and other heart ailments among communities disproportionately affected by heart disease, such as South Asian populations living in the United States and
  3. Develop a clearinghouse and web portal of information on heart health research, such as South Asian heart health.

We request all AAPI members and leaders to contact their area Congressmen and Senators to urge them to support this important bill.


We request all AAPI members and leaders to contact their area Congressmen and Senators to urge them to support this important bill.


Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s video message to AAPI

AAPI applauds the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act (H.R. 7666).

H.R. 7666 is a crucial step forward to address the nation’s escalating mental health crisis urgently and seriously. This legislation will help address record levels of overdose and suicide deaths, the child and adolescent mental health crisis, and the adverse psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans.

According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, there were more than 100,000 opioid-related deaths in the 12-month period ending in April 2021. That’s a 28.5% increase from the same period last year.

On the mental health side of the legislation, the bill would continue investments in block grants to states and extend mental health screening and treatment grants. There is a big emphasis on American Indians and Alaskan Native communities.

Additionally, the bill would reauthorize several pediatric mental health programs, including pediatric mental health grants and the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances Program. In addition to reauthorizing critical federal programs that promote access and coverage to mental health and substance use disorder services, H.R. 7666 incorporates several important provisions including:

• Parity: Eliminates the parity opt-out for non-federal governmental health plans and provides funding for state insurance departments to enforce and ensure compliance with the mental health parity law.
• Collaborative Care: Supports uptake of the evidence-based Collaborative Care Model via grants to primary care practices to better integrate behavioral healthcare into primary care settings.
• Crisis Services: Directs funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for 9-8-8 Lifeline implementation and supports state implementation of the Lifeline through technical assistance and coordination.
• Workforce Equity Investments: Makes crucial investments in our behavioral health care workforce by reauthorizing and increasing authorized funding for SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program.

The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act also reauthorizes many other important mental health and substance use disorder programs administered by SAMHSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration. AAPI will advocate for the bill as it moves to the Senate and will work and collaborate with other stakeholders like APA, IAPA, NAMI etc.