Chandak Ghosh, MD, MPH


Deputy Regional Administrator, Region 2, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, New York, NY

A board-certified ophthalmologist and Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, Chandak Ghosh has served three Presidential administrations at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  His work led to the development of HRSA’s National Performance Review Protocol, utilized to improve all Federal health grantees, including hospitals, universities, and community health centers.  

Dr. Ghosh, a nationally-recognized expert in minority health equity, stands committed to the health needs of underserved populations and keeps focus on the impact of economic downsizing on quality of care.  He has authored numerous landmark publications and research presentations, including the recent, “A National Health Agenda for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” (JAMA), which has garnered national recognition.  His research has been presented before Congress and the White House and has energized collaborations among foundations, community-based groups, government, and academia.  Other areas of concentration include health communication and literacy, uninsured elderly, telemedicine, and quality measurement.

Dr. Ghosh was a board member of National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP), an organization devoted to achieving health equity for Asian Americans, and a member of the White House Initiative for AAPIs Federal Workgroup.  He is co-chair of HHS’ Healthy People 2020 Section on Education and Community-based Programs. His ideas have been included in numerous national HHS plans and initiatives.

The U.S. Public Health Service has awarded Dr. Ghosh a rare three Outstanding Service Medals, among its highest honors, for “influencing progress towards health equity on a national scale.”           

After his undergraduate studies at Yale, Dr. Ghosh received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia and completed a chief residency in ophthalmology at Long Island Jewish Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  He served as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health Policy and received a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, School of Public Health.











Data Linkage Analysis to Address Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: An Assessment of State Maternal Child Health Bureaus


With regards to minority health, the President’s Initiative on Race has listed six areas in which to eliminate healthcare disparities: Infant Mortality, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, HIV/AIDS Infection, Diabetes, and Immunization.  These have been codified in the goals of Healthy People 2010 guidelines for improving the country’s health.  Historically, however, the health information with regard to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has remained scant.  This is because of the comparatively small numbers of AAPI’s, the huge diversity within this group, the propagation of this being a “model minority,” confusion with regards to “minority” versus “underrepresented minority,” and AAPI’s having the fewest number of Healthy People 2000 objectives. Demographers have noted, however, that AAPI’s, who currently stand at about 12 million (4 percent of the US population), are expected to reach 41 million (11 percent) by 2050.  This group represents persons with origins from at least 29 Asian countries and 20 Pacific Island cultures.  As this is the fastest growing minority population in America, in June, 1999, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13125 which calls on all federal departments to mobilize their resources to address the unmet needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

To fulfill the common aims of the White House Initiative and Healthy People 2010, researchers and policy makers need to understand where to concentrate their efforts.  This study begins the compilation of the existing data with regards to Asian American health in order to define a baseline from which to progress.  To see the extent of research the Federal government has sponsored, the CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects) database was analyzed from years 1986 to 2000.  This includes projects supported by seven agencies including NIH, HRSA, and CDCP.  All retrieved initiatives involving AAPI’s were divided by sub-population (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, etc.), gender, and age-group; as well as by each of the six areas of healthcare disparity listed in the President’s Initiative on Race.  Studies cataloged in MEDLINE from 1966 to 2000 were scrutinized similarly.

This data was then compared to demographic information (population projections, areas of concentration in the U.S., etc) with regards to AAPI sub-populations.  Areas of investigation still needed to fulfill Healthy People 2010 disparities goals were identified.

Future work will include compiling results from AAPI initiatives funded by U.S. states, foundations, and community organizations.


Betty Lee Hawks, Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Minority Health, DHHS

The combination of the Fellowship and the Health Policy and Management Department of the Harvard School of Public Health showed me the value of and gave me the tools to pursue a future molding America's health policy. They exposed me to the importance of networking with and learning from experts already established in high places. They made me understand what leadership entails and that there is a leader in me. This experience will remain invaluable throughout my life.