Kyung Hee A. Choi
Vice President, Asian Health Services, Holy Name Medical Center
After witnessing the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, Kyunghee A. Choi retired from a 25-year career in banking as a managing director with J.P. Morgan and chose to dedicate her life to serving Asian-Americans in northern New Jersey. She is the founder of Asian Health Services (AHS) at Holy Name Medical Center. Under her leadership, tenacity and striking ability to mobilize health care providers and volunteers, AHS has become a national model for culturally focused and linguistically sensitive health care. Ms. Choi has been able to raise unparalleled awareness and grant support for services specifically geared to the Asian community and has been instrumental in transforming Holy Name Medical Center into the "medical home" for more than 250,000 Asians in the NJ/NY area. Under the umbrella of AHS, five ethnic programs have been established and are operational in the hospital – the Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Indian Medical Programs.
The most comprehensive program of its kind in the U.S., AHS records more than 60,000 inpatient and outpatient visits every year at Holy Name's Teaneck campus and three satellite offices. Patients have access to bilingual navigators who provide concierge services during their hospital visits and cultural amenities such as ethnic food, cable TV and local newspapers are available for inpatients. Ms. Choi spearheads a coalition of medical center staff, 250 Asian-American physicians and 200-plus churches and community organizations to provide a wide range of community outreach programs, including the Annual Health Festival, "Walk for Mom" Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and screenings for hepatitis B and C, mental health and diabetes. These programs serve more than 10,000 people every year. In addition, AHS has assisted 7,000 Asians obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
Ms. Choi earned her BS in business management at the University of Maryland. She will complete her MPH in October 2017 at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health. She has received numerous awards, including a White House Award, for her work with AHS and her community service in children's education, women's issues, cultural awareness and preventive health screening areas.