Six Travel Scholarships were awarded to help bring active community leaders and students working to advance health equity in the AA and NHPI community to New York City to attend our conference. Awardees came from California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. See below for their bios and personal reflections on attending the conference!
Lan Doan, MPH, CPH, is a Health Promotion and Health Behavior PhD student in the School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences at Oregon State University. She previously worked as a clinical research coordinator for clinical trials focused on management and prevention of heart failure in pediatrics populations (at Stanford), tablet-based interventions focused on breast and prostate cancer risk education in minority populations (at UCSF), and community-based participatory projects focused on health promotion in pediatric populations. Lan received a BA in Asian American Studies and Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley, and an MPH, in Community Health and Education, from Touro University-California. Her master’s thesis was an evaluation of a baseline demographic and health characteristics from a longitudinal epidemiology study of children with asthma living within determined exposure zones around highways in Detroit, in order to characterize exposure to vehicular exhaust and associated short-term health effects. Her research interests include community-engaged research approaches and health inequities research, particularly in the rapidly growing Asian & Pacific Islander aging.
This conference reaffirmed the value of disaggregating data to for social justice and immigrant rights and need to prioritize healthy aging. As a doctoral student, it was a privilege to share a space with leaders advancing health equity and I hope to continue the important work that needs to be done to identify health disparities in the diverse AANHPI community.
Sophay (Pai) Duch is a member of the Buddhist Cambodian American community who was born in Cambodia and raised in Echo Park, Los Angeles. She uses education, culture, history and advocacy as a means of nonviolent social change. Duch is a graduate of Mills College in Political Legal and Economic Policy. Her interest in local government developed as a participant of the San Francisco City Hall Fellows program. She is currently a Master of Social Work student at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work focusing on Community, Organization and Business Innovation. Her curriculum focuses employing innovation dynamics to help solve social issues. Her concentration this semester addresses the needs of the elderly population within people who are experiencing homelessness.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to attend the CSAAH’s 8th Biennial Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Health Conference. The workshops helped me think more critically about the needs of the elderly population. As an Asian-American, I hold the value of taking care of our elders and our communities. This conference helped merge my academic training, cultural values, and sense of responsibility. I am able to apply insights from the speakers to my academic project proposal.
Helen L. Teng
Helen L. Teng is a 1st generation immigrant of Chinese descent. She is a family nurse practitioner who is in pursuit of a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. With the use of qualitative methodology, her research interests aim to better understand the health status and healthcare needs of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Helen teaches an introductory nursing course on the determinants of health and health promotion across the lifespan at Penn Nursing. She also guest lectures for undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. Helen also volunteers weekly at the Chinatown clinic in Philadelphia, providing primary care to the underserved and underinsured.
As a health researcher in training, the call and rationale for the collection of and reporting on disaggregated data fuels me pursue my program of research. As a nurse educator, this conference provided much cultural context that frames the determinant of health for the AANHPI communities. As a clinician, this conference reiterated for me the importance of recognizing culturally bounded expressions of illness and to truly be open to the patient’s story. It is through the patient and patient family may we learn the best approach to providing person-centered care.
Colby Takeda is the Administrator of The Plaza at Waikiki, an assisted living community in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to being able to spend his days with over 100 of the cutest, funniest, and most talented seniors in Hawaii, Colby enjoys working with youth, and has merged these interests to become a champion for intergenerational activities. He recently collaborated with two high school students to co-author “It’s Just Aging,” a charming picture book that introduces young audiences to some of the benefits and challenges of aging. Colby hopes to continue multi-sectoral partnerships to advocate for health equity amongst our “bookend generations,” stronger intergenerational relationships, and improved communities that are “age-friendly.” Colby received his B.A. from Willamette University and his MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Business.
Coming from Hawaii, the Aging Together, Bridging Generations Conference was a unique opportunity to learn about the latest research, initiatives, and best practices that are supporting our seniors across the country. All of the attendees and speakers represented different fields and professions, but it was clear that everyone was working towards a common vision of health equity for our aging AA and NHPH populations. I was thoroughly pleased the quality of the content presented, and I left the conference energized to share all that I learned with colleagues back in Hawaii, while continuing my work to improve our healthcare systems for older adults.