API Summit 2023 Speakers

Thu Quach, Ph.D.

President, Asian Health Services

Thu Quach, Ph.D., has worked in public health and health care for 25+ years. Her research, service, and advocacy work have been grounded in her own lived experience as a Vietnam refugee and the struggles her family faced in the health care system.

Dr. Quach is the President of Asian Health Services (AHS), a federally qualified health center in Northern California serving 50,000 patients in English and 14 languages. With a background in epidemiology, she is involved in research and policy efforts to promote health equity, emphasizing the importance of language justice, data disaggregation and culturally competent mental health. She has conducted ground-breaking research in worker’s health and safety for nail and hair salon workers to inform policy and practice. She has expanded culturally competent mental health services at AHS, including starting up a specialty mental health division. During the pandemic, Dr. Quach assembled an AAPI multi-lingual team to provide community testing, contact tracing, and set up the vaccination clinics. She also led some of the critical community-based research on COVID-19 impacts on the AAPI population and launched efforts to collect stories of language and digital barriers faced by the AAPI community during the pandemic. In response to the increased violence, particularly towards Asians, she has been working to establish and promote trauma-informed mental health services to support the impacted families. In partnership with West Oakland Health Council which serves many Black patients, she has been leading a research project to understand racial trauma among the Asian and Black communities, and ways to promote healing and solidarity work.