The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs issued the following press release about its work to collect disaggregated data on the Healthy Youth Survey.

OLYMPIA, WA—The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) and the Department of Health worked together to improve the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey to better reflect Washington’s fast-growing Asian American student population. The 2016 survey is the first to collect disaggregated data for seven Asian subgroups.

“We are excited that schools, public health agencies, and community members will have a clearer understanding of the unique needs of Asian American youth,” said Michael Itti, executive director of CAPAA. “The data will support community efforts to achieve equitable access to programs and services related to substance abuse and prevention, anti-bullying, mental health, nutrition, and more.”

“Our communities will be empowered to advocate for policy changes and resources that improve health equity using data from the survey,” said Commissioner Ty Tufono, chair of CAPAA. “We’ll continue to seek further disaggregation of data, particularly for Pacific Islander communities, on future surveys to ensure our youth are well-served by public health programs.”

School districts across Washington will administer the Healthy Youth Survey in October in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12. The survey provides important information about the health of youth in Washington relating to safety and violence, physical activity and diet, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and related risk and protective factors. The survey allows students to self-identify their race or ethnicity, such as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. For the first time, the 2016 survey will allow students to choose from the following Asian subgroups: Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Cambodian.

“AAPIs have had to rely on anecdotal evidence or data from other states to convince public officials that our communities should be a priority for tobacco prevention and control efforts and other public health campaigns,” said Elaine Ishihara, director of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Healthy Communities (APICAT). “Disaggregated data will shine a spotlight on the need for culturally- and linguistically-appropriate strategies to address health and safety concerns experienced by AAPI youth, such as e-cigarette and marijuana use, bullying at school, and feelings of depression.”

“Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are comprised of more than 48 distinct ethnic groups with a multitude of cultures, immigration histories, and languages,” said Commissioner Lakshmi Gaur, chair of CAPAA’s Health & Human Services committee. “Collecting, analyzing, and reporting disaggregated data is essential in identifying and addressing health disparities for AAPIs.”

Data from the 2016 survey is expected to be available in the spring of 2017. For more information about the Healthy Youth Survey, visit