This month, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is featuring the sixth installment of its Insight into Identities series on Asian American communities at Partners HealthCare. Asian is a blanket term for people living on the largest and most populous continent on Earth, Asia, or whose ethnic background is from there. Asians represent 60% of the world’s population. Asia has more than 48 countries with ethnicities, cultures, languages and beliefs that are different and ever-changing. To simply categorize people who live on the same continent or whose ancestry is rooted there into one category, Asian, seems absurd, but we do it every day.

There has been more of a recent movement to further differentiate between Asians into six distinct regions and people. South Asian, Central Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian, Northern Asian and West Asian (Middle Eastern) are now sub-categories for Asians. While this at least begins to acknowledge the diversity of almost 4.5 billion people, it’s still inadequate and overly broad.

The hope is that this edition, which contains important statistics, articles, videos and podcasts, will raise your awareness, spark discussion and improve our practices around providing the best care possible to every community of Asians and all of our patients.

The system-wide Insight into Identities learning initiative is dedicated to exploring the aspects of human difference. Previous installments focused on the LGBTQ+ Community, People with Disabilities, Age, Gender, the Hispanic and Latinx communities, Veterans, Native Americans and Religion. A self-guided learning opportunity, Insight into Identities is designed for Partners staff to further understand how diversity and inclusion expand our ability to effectively work with others and improve patient care.

Learn more about Asian American communities and health by reading this newsletter, which is introduced by John Patrick T Co, MD, Director, Graduate Medical Education, Partners HealthCare, who has practiced pediatrics at MGH, BWH and NWH.

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