History of KHA

General History

Khmer Health Advocates (KHA) was founded in 1982 as a Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association with both a local and national mission. KHA is committed to care for the health needs of survivors of the Mahandorai (Cambodian Holocaust) and their families through programs for direct treatment, education, research, prevention and advocacy.

The earliest program of KHA was to help newly arriving Cambodians document their health histories to aid them in accessing health care. Believing that family separation was a dangerous stressor for newly arrived refugees, KHA actively advocated for family reunification and operated a family search project.

In 1984, KHA started a torture treatment programs in the United States that has been in operation ever since serving more than 1700 Cambodians who are either primary of secondary torture victims. The KHA model uses a treatment team that delivers community based rather than clinic based services. In 2002 it began a telemedicine project that has developed multiple resources for delivering care using website based technology and videoconferencing.

The national program has included substance abuse prevention, mental health and most recently The National Cambodian American Diabetes Project funded by the National Diabetes Education Program. This program uses videoconferencing to link 5 sites across the United States so that they can function as one national project.

As a national organization, Khmer Health Advocates has linked with other National organizations for minority and underserved populations. Theanvy Kuoch, the Executive Director serves on the board of directors of the National Asian American and Pacific Islander Mental Health Association and the steering committee of the Out of Many, One Project.

Specific Meetings

National Cambodian American Health Initiative: Town Hall Meeting (Chicago, Il)