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Commemorating Contributions Made by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

May 26, 2022


From the President

Robert A. Cain, DO 
President and CEO
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

This May marks Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, celebrated annually in the United States to commemorate the rich and diverse history and contributions made by Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. While the AANHPI population has advanced our country and culture in countless ways, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Americans have also played a significant role in U.S. healthcare, particularly in response to COVID-19.

At the start of the pandemic, the New American Economy reported that while members of the AANHPI community made up 6.8 percent of the U.S. population, they represented 8.5 percent of the U.S. healthcare workforce. Their outsized contributions throughout our country’s pandemic response have saved lives—and deserve to be recognized not just this month, but always.

The theme of this year’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration.” As the Federal Asian Pacific American Council notes, “Collaboration improves team dynamics, enhances problem solving leading to increased innovation, process efficiency, improved communication, and ultimately overall success.” Osteopathic physicians have long valued interdisciplinary collaboration in the healthcare setting to achieve optimal results for the patient. AACOM harnessed the strength of interdisciplinary collaboration when we mobilized more than one million health professions students early in the pandemic to assist with vaccinating Americans. Collaboration across disciplines and cultures can yield great results. In recognition of this, AACOM has made collaboration one of its new core values, as announced during Educating Leaders 2022. As an association, we are committed to letting collaboration and its merits guide us forward to a better future for all.

In 2021, Kamala Harris became the first female, first Black and first Asian American Vice President of the United States. Let’s recommit to being a society that embraces, uplifts and benefits from our diverse sources of strength. This Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, let us all commit to advancing health and healing by embracing collaboration in all its forms.


Vol. 1, No. 4
February 23, 2017