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Two Indian-Americans Among White House ‘Champions of Change’

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Two Indian-Americans have been named by the White House among 11 Champions of Change that have focused on ensuring that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) fully benefit from health reform.

Manjusha P. Kulkarni, director of South Asian Network (SAN) and Ranjana Paintal, programme manager for the Asian Health Coalition, were hailed for their outreach of President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act to the AAPI Community

“For too long, many members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community have lacked access to quality, affordable health care,” said the White House in a statement.

“The Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity to provide nearly two million uninsured Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with quality, affordable health care.”

Kulkarni’s SAN is a community-based organization dedicated to advancing the health, empowerment and solidarity of persons of South Asian origin in Southern California.

Through her work at SAN, Kulkarni advocates for effective policies and practices on issues impacting the South Asian American community, White House said.

She works to educate South Asian Americans on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act through in-language materials and outreach and individual assistance to enrol in California’s health benefit exchange, Covered California.

Previously, Kulkarni served as Senior Attorney at the National Health Law Programme (NHeLP) in Los Angeles, California, where she worked to improve access to quality health care for low-income individuals through administrative and legislative policy advocacy and litigation.

She has also authored numerous articles, reports and training materials and provided legal assistance and training to hundreds of health attorneys and advocates across the country.

Paintal serves as programme manager for the Asian Health Coalition’s partnership consortium around education, outreach and enrolment to underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Illinois.

To target hard-to-reach immigrant communities, she oversaw the development of culturally sensitive and language appropriate ACA educational materials; outreach to ethnic news media outlets, education and outreach to community leaders and coordinated many collaborative efforts with other organizations to increase ACA enrolment.

Paintal has been working in public health for over 13 years.

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