The AHSSC Story

The Asian Health and Social Service Council (AHSSC) was founded in 1978 (as the Chinese Community Social Service and Health Council) to form a coalition of health and social service organizations serving the Asian community in Greater New York. Today, it has become an influential force representing over 40 member agencies. The AHSSC meets monthly to present on health and social service topics that affect the larger Asian community.

Since its founding in 1978, the Council has established a successful track record of extensive involvement in promoting social and health services within the Chinese community of New York City. The Council is currently comprised of over 40 member agencies.

• In the early 1980s, the Council became one of the foremost advocates for increased hiring of bilingual Chinese staff. Substantial advances were achieved to improve services to the Chinese community across a diverse field of service providers with a growing base of Chinese clients, including the Beekman Hospital (currently NYU Downtown Hospital), Gouverneur Healthcare Services, the New York City Human Resources Administration, and Medicaid Outstations in Chinatown. The Council also contributed to a rising political consciousness within the Chinese community by facilitating in the founding of the Chinatown Voter Education Alliance. In 1989, as part of its continuing effort to promote greater coordination and collaboration among service providers, the Council published the Chinese Community Service Agencies Handbook with funding from the NYC Board of Education.

• In the 1990s, having established itself as an effective platform for promoting and educating on issues related to social and health services, the Council hosted a number of first-ever public forums within the Chinese community on topics ranging from “Health Care Consumer Rights” at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, to “Advance Directives” at the Hamilton Madison House-City Hall Senior Center.

• Since the arrival of the new millennium, marked by the Network 2000 Conference to commemorate its 20 years of contribution to the community, the Council has sponsored a series of professional panel seminars for service providers on topics such as mental health, elderly, child welfare, and immigration laws. Continuing its effort to promote the social service and health field in the Chinese community, the Council has also formed Project North Star to support bilingual and bicultural professionals seeking to enter these fields.

• Since the tragic events of September 11th 2001, the Council has turned its attention to helping to rebuild the Chinese community and reinvigorating its spirit through a partnership with Project Liberty that will bring a series of health forums to the community. In the spring of 2002, the Council has organized a Social Service Fair, designed to promote volunteer as well as employment opportunities within its various member agencies.