Sixth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations: Peer-to-Peer Practice Advancement Sessions Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet) - Improving Accessibility for Diverse Pan Asian Languages in the Healthcare System

C-6 Reaching thousands: Using the internet to improve outreach, collaboration, and information dissemination

Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet) - Improving Accessibility for Diverse Pan Asian Languages in the Healthcare System
Tuesday, September 23, 2008: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM, Minn Marriott, 8th Floor - Wayzata/Gray's Bay
APA ComMNet is essentially a very dynamic collaboration network linking across Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) agencies in the Twin Cities. It includes a technological part in disseminating health information content in text/audio/video through the web, and soon, radio broadcast, and have the content available in various Asian languages as well as in English. It allows communities to determine the best combination of traditional and emerging media to reach their people and help to build a healthy community together. APA ComMNet would also create a national and local network of agencies and service providers working with the AAPI community to ensure that a consistent, effective flow of information gets to the communities. Its partners include Laotian, Hmong, Vietnamese, Korean, Asian Indian, Chinese, health providers, and others.

Our comments will review the basics of Collaboration Theory and the five models that can improve the collaboration effectiveness, how they are used to support the APA ComMNet, and at the same time to advance agencies' own ethnic communities. The panelist will discuss how to use such models to make the collaboration a success in a Pan Asian perspectives, through:

1) Five Coloration Models Discussion: Library, Solicitation, Team, Community, Process Support,
I. Library: the simplest and perhaps most common model is Library. The Library model is characterized by: providing reciprocal access to common content or data, and content that typically lasts for a long time.
II. Solicitation: involves requests from a small set of requestors and multiple (it is hoped) responses from respondents. It is characterized by: more respondents than requestors, often a small number of requestors, and collaborative interaction is almost always asynchronous and through e-mail and/or web site.
III. The Team model: used to facilitate the activities of a team. Its characteristics (many of which are shared by teams in general) are: members share a few common objectives, members have a shared stake in their success, there is a higher level of interactivity
IV. Community: It is used to facilitate the activities of a community. Its characteristics are: Members have common interest, affinity, or goal, members seek to share information, and members seek to further their understanding of the practice or area of interest.
V. Process Support: the use of collaboration technologies in a process or workflow. Characteristics are: processes involve complexity or exceptions, self-service status monitoring, and is frequently used in conjunction with other models. Critical organizational processes that require collaboration include: new product development, sales/marketing, customer service and support, training, supply chain management.

2) Assessing own agency capacity for specific partnership level within the models

3) Specific examples will be highlighted from a number of collaborative works.

Many collaborative activities and partners' roles are flexible between these five models. Because of such flexibility the Coalition allows agencies in choosing its level of commitment, and freely interchange roles. This element has become the base of the cross-cultural collaboration in APA ComMNet.

The continue challenges of the collaborative can probably be boiled down to determining where an agency fits into this very dynamic collaborative. Many different factors go into this ambiguity: technical ability and technical savviness of the agencies, language skills and language needs, missions and goals of the agencies, cultural and personal shyness in speaking out frankly, etc. By understanding the five models listed above helped the agencies in better understanding how they can participate in this collaborative, and in understanding the dynamic nature of collaborations. For example, in projects where there are end products, the models can help the agencies assess where they might fit in to the workflow, instead of just saying "We don't know how to do that, so we can't help." It helps everyone to contribute, and in doing so help themselves to advance a common objective and their own organizations. And it helps to keep the collaborative together when agencies feel that they are contributing.

Presentation Information:

Program: Peer-to-Peer Practice Advancement Sessions
Primary Category: Language Access
Subtopics: Asian American & Pacific Islan, Ethics, Access in underserved communities, eg, rural, urban, Assessing learning/performance on cultural competence/disparity reduction, Leadership development/training, Community health education, Patient education, Health literacy, Translation, Bilingual staff

Region Addressed by Presentation: US - Midwest
Organization: Community-Based Organization
Population/Demographic: Asian American & Pacific Islanders
Keywords: Collaboration Models, Asian Americna & Pacific Islanders, Cross Cultural Communicaiton, Language Access, Cultural Competence


Stephen J. Lu , 730 Hennepin Ave, Asian Media Access, Minneapolis, MN
    Director of Media Technology
    Asian Media Access
    730 Hennepin Ave
    3028 Oregon Ave S
    Minneapolis MN, USA 55426

    Phone: 612-376-7715
    Email Address:

    Biographical Sketch:
    Stephen has been involved in the project since 2000, and is primarily responsible for technology support. He is responsible for evaluating, obtaining, maintaining, and planning for the technology needs of the organization and its programs and projects. He also fill in for media production and education needs.