NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health | NYU Langone Health

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Section for Health Equity Research NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health

NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health

The NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)‒funded Specialized Center of Excellence. The center is based in NYU Langone’s Section for Health Equity.

About the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health

Established in 2003 through an NIH NIMHD Project EXPORT (Excellence in Partnership, Outreach, Research, and Training) Center grant, CSAAH is committed to understanding, addressing, and reducing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NH/PI) health disparities through rigorous, transdisciplinary, and community-engaged research.

Our center was renewed as a Specialized Center of Excellence in 2007, 2012, and 2017. Since 2007, we have partnered with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)—a national organization with 30 years of experience in community coalition building and health promotion activities, working with more than 100 community organizations to support health equity for more than 21 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The APIAHF co-leads our Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, co-facilitating CSAAH’s National Advisory Committee that includes grassroots community and clinical providers who serve our communities across the United States and Pacific Basin. Together, we have co-led NIH- and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‒funded programs to reduce chronic disease disparities among at-risk communities through dissemination and implementation of evidence-based community, community‒clinical linkage, and community health worker strategies.

Our Approach and Guiding Principles

Led by Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, and Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH, CSAAH is the only center of its kind in the United States that is solely dedicated to research and evaluation on Asian American health and health disparities. Our center’s work is guided by a population health equity framework that, in close collaboration with more than 75 local and national community partners, has allowed us to evolve our mission and goals to advance our research. Informed by social determinants of health, theory-based behavioral change, and implementation science frameworks, we apply innovative and rigorous approaches to harness the power of community health workers, technology, and electronic health record‒based strategies in ways that have not previously been adapted or systematically tested among Asian American communities to improve access to care.

In addition to using the guiding principles of the Section for Health Equity to inform our approach, CSAAH’s research, training, and partnership development are guided by the following principles of community-based participatory research:

  • promotes active collaboration and participation at every stage of research
  • facilitates co-learning and capacity-building
  • ensures research and interventions are community-driven and culturally appropriate
  • defines community as a unit of identity
  • can yield potential benefits simultaneously for communities and researchers
  • fosters trusting relationships between researchers and communities
  • enhances quantity and quality of collected data
  • increases use and relevance of research questions and collected data
  • promotes dissemination of findings
  • facilitates infrastructure building and sustainability

Driver of Section for Health Equity Research Tracks

Investigators from CSAAH contribute heavily to or drive studies within the Section for Health Equity’s five major research tracks. Within those tracks, our studies focus on cardiovascular health and diabetes; cancer; mental health; healthy aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer's disease–related dementias; gender equity; and innovative pilot projects.

CSAAH’s full research studies—one on diabetes led by Nadia S. Islam, PhD, and another on stomach cancer led by Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH—aim to address the knowledge gap in sustainable, scalable health interventions coordinated with healthcare systems and community-based providers.

For each research track study, we develop and test integrated and sustainable interventions aimed at building on community assets, improve structural competency and healthcare access, and reduce disease disparities among Asian Americans.

Career Development and Pilot Project Program

Part of our mission is to provide a mentored, supportive research environment to postdoctoral fellows, junior investigators, and early-career investigators and stimulate career advancement opportunities in minority and health disparities research. We work toward strengthening the next generation of investigators through our career development and innovative Investigator Development Core Pilot Project Program, co-led by Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, and Thaddeus Tarpey, PhD, which provides opportunities to conduct research on emerging communities.

Community Engagement and Dissemination Resources

In close partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, we have developed an innovative model for community engagement and dissemination of evidence-based health interventions and information that cuts across diverse AA and NH/PI populations in different community and practice settings. Our collaborations allow us to serve as a national information and dissemination resource in the translation of evidence-based research into community and clinical practice relevant to the social, environmental, and biological needs of Asian American communities. Our AA & NH/PI Health Central hub provide resources, including archived and recent CSAAH-developed health education toolkits, curricula, and related materials. We also partner with organizations to support AA and NH/PI communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact Us

For more information about the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, please contact Rebecca Lee, MPA, senior program coordinator, at rebecca.lee3@nyulangone.org or 646-501-3493.

To subscribe to CSAAH’s listserv, please email Jennifer Wong at jennifer.wong@nyulangone.org.

Health Equity Dissemination

We produce culturally relevant resources, events, and publications.