About Us

Mission: 

The Hmong Health Care Professionals’ Coalition (HHCPC) is a grassroots collaborative partnership that is invested in improving the health and well-being of the Hmong community by providing health education, advocacy, and supporting health research.

Vision:

  • HHCPC members help create and develop best practices to improve and build a healthier Hmong community.

  • HHCPC is a partner in data collection and health research.

  • HHCPC is a leader in health organizations investing in the Hmong Community.

  • HHCPC is a central resource for the Hmong community and the mainstream community in health education and awareness.

 

History:

After the fall of the Vietnam War in 1975 ending the secret war in Laos, thousands of Hmong soldiers and their families escaped from Laos and lived in refugee camps in Thailand.  Hmong refugees started to resettle in the United States in 1975.  Due to more Hmong refugees from the camps, second migration, and new births, Minnesota became one of the largest establishments of Hmong residents in the U.S. The lack of trust and limited understanding of the Western health care system has limited access to health care for many Hmong families. Even after 40 years, barriers continue to exist and prevent many from seeking medical care in this country. Although much progress has been made, lack of trust, knowledge of Western health care practices, and complex cultural barriers continue to make it difficult in treating Hmong Americans.

 

In 1995, Mao Heu-Thao, Hmong Health Coordinator for Saint Paul – Ramsey County Department of Public Health, founded the Hmong Health Care Professionals Coalition (HHCPC) after experiencing challenges and barriers working within the Hmong community and with Western health care providers. At that time, members of HHCPC consisted of only a few known Hmong doctors, health educators, nurses, health interpreters, and social service workers who came together to network, address health issues and to provide health education of western practices for the Hmong community. 

 

Through the years, the HHCPC has conducted projects including community surveys, provided health screenings, coordinated health conferences with community members, collaborated in providing free flu shots, endorsed a wide range of health policies with community partners and much more. The HHCPC acknowledges that there are many ongoing social and cultural challenges and barriers facing our new Americans. That is why HHCPC believes in collaborative partnerships to invest in improving the health and well-being of the Hmong community through education, advocacy, and supporting appropriate health research with the changing times. 

 

HHCPC members are advantageous in health settings because they serve as a trusted bridge between Hmong patients and Western health care providers. As the Hmong community learned and became more comfortable working with Western health care providers, the Coalition revised its goals to reflect an evolving Hmong community. Today, the Coalition has increased its membership to include anyone who has a passion and interest in health equity and improving the well being of the Hmong, refugee and immigrant communities in Minnesota, network of resources and knowledge, creating opportunities for not only the Hmong but also for Western health care professionals.

 

Goals:

  1. Promote cultural awareness in health care practices by sharing information on health beliefs and practices of the Hmong to Western health care providers

  2. Advocate for access to quality health care services

  3. Educate the Hmong community about Western health care practices

  4. Build a network of support and mentorship within and for Hmong health professionals

  5. Be a health resource to both the Hmong and Western communities

Photo: HHCPC founder Mao Thao addresses thousands of Hmong at Ban Vinai Refugee Camp over concerns regarding healthcare treatment of the Hmong in the United States. 

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2021 Janurary