Hailey Easley

Hailey Easley
Location: Austin, Texas Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Health Care Access, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: Asian/Asian American, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Immigrants and Refugees, Low-Income Communities, Older Adults (65+), Urban Communities
Executive Director
Austin Asian Community Health Initiative

With Austin’s Asian population doubling every 12 years, it is the fastest growing demographic group in the city and the fastest growing Asian community out of the nation’s 30 largest cities. Austin’s Asian population is comprised of dozens of ethnic subgroups, each with their own language, social and political values, religious beliefs, and immigration history. These differences, along with disparities in health literacy, English proficiency, transportation access, income, and more, have complicated this growing population’s access to healthcare. At the Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, Hailey works to help the community to overcome these barriers in a number of ways: by preparing Asian residents to advocate for their needs, educating local government and community organizations about the needs of the community, and advocating for city and state policies that ensure everyone can achieve their healthiest life.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Design Financial Sustainability Model for Employing Community Health Workers in Austin, Texas
The ultimate goal of my project is to convene multiple stakeholders and co-develop a financially sustainable model for any agency that employs Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Austin, Texas. With buy-in for service reimbursement from key healthcare insurance providers and payers, CHW programs can rely less on grants, maintain and grow their CHWs, and have a positive impact on health outcomes while lowering healthcare costs. The Austin Public Health Department and Travis County Health & Human Services have committed to taking leadership in this process. Our goal is for all Travis County entities employing CHS—such as hospitals, clinics, nonprofits, insurance companies, public health departments, and private companies—to contribute to the process. As a result of this effort, local organizations who employ CHWs will have access to an evidence-based approach to sustainability that ensures positive health outcomes while lowering healthcare costs.

Hailey Easley is the Executive Director of Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, a Texas-based grassroots organization working to improve health care access for Asian immigrant communities in Central Texas. Her experience as a second-generation, Korean Mexican American and as well as her dedication to social justice inform her work as researcher, community health worker, advocate, and nonprofit leader.