2022 #AANHPIhealth Heroes
To commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are highlighting #AANHPIhealth Heroes — individuals who are committed to improving the health of Asian Americans (AAs), Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NH/PIs). These heroes have made great strides to ensure that AA and NH/PI communities have better access to affordable, high-quality, and culturally and linguistically proficient health care that they need and deserve.
Meet this year’s #AANHPIhealth Heroes! Last year’s heroes can be found here.
Stephanie Andi Takamaru
It is important that our vaccine work here at Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese is distributed amongst our local community. Our Marshallese community thrives and depends on family gatherings, so getting our people vaccinated is important so we can go back to what our life was like before the COVID pandemic.
Stephanie Andi Takamaru is a Program Manager at the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese.
When I was younger, my migrant grandparents took care of me, moving to the U.S. from the South Pacific Islands and essentially raised me and my sisters. My grandparents often experienced difficulties accessing healthcare and other social services due to a language barrier and understanding of the medical care they received so they’d ask me to take them to their doctor’s office and read their appointments notes for them to understand. Being a Community Health Worker allows me to learn how to better show up for my family and my community, advocate for equitable health care and social services access in terms of plain language use, translation of health information, and the ability to listen and support our Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander community members.
Liliane Ulukivaiola is the Community Health Worker Lead at the Pacific Community of Alaska.
Houston is the most diverse city in the country. And still, healthcare isn’t accessible for every culture or in every language. My team changes that.
Lulu Toumajian is an Outreach Specialist and Community Health Worker Lead at HOPE Clinic.
Chia Wang, MD
It is an honor for me to be able to provide education and medical resources for providers who care for AA and NH/PI patients. These hardworking providers often do not have the time to attend long educational sessions, which can be difficult to access from standalone clinics, or clinics on remote Pacific Islands. Clinics for AA and NH/PI patients serve as crucial connections for our patients by providing a culturally competent medical home, and have been on the frontlines of providing COVID vaccines and treatment. AA and NH/PI are at risk for being disproportionately affected by COVID due to language, educational, and economic barriers. My involvement with AAPCHO aims to reduce these barriers by bringing up to date COVID information to AA and NH/PI providers so that we can deliver optimal care to our patients.
Chia Wang, MD is an Infectious Disease Specialist at the Virginia Mason Medical Center, International Community Health Services, and AAPCHO’s COVID-19 and Other Infectious Disease Health Equity Response Network.