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  • Asian American & Pacific Islander National Advisory Council


    AAPINAC was created in response to the needs of the growing U.S. Asian American and Pacific Islander populations for breast health and breast cancer information and educational materials that are culturally specific and appropriate.

    Role and Responsibilities

    The council works with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its efforts to raise awareness among Asian American/Pacific Islander women about screening mammography, monthly breast self-examination, clinical breast examinations, and treatment options for women with breast cancer, and assists Komen for the Cure in its goal to lower the rates of breast cancer mortality and morbidity among Asian American and Pacific Islander women.

    Current AAPINAC Members

    Council Chairperson: Roxanna Bautista, MPH, CHES 

    Council Members:
    Ming-der Chang, PhD
    Tuong Vi Ho, Ph.D., RN, FNP
    Jigisha Kothari
    Thoa Nguyen
    Jane Ka`ala Pang, RN, BSN
    Jina Peiris
    Rebecca Keen-Fan Sze, FNP, MSN, MPA
    Shin-Ping Tu, M.D. Ph.D
    Dr. Tsu-Yin Wu, Ph.D, RN


    Photo of Roxanna Bautista     Roxanna Bautista, MPH, CHES, is currently the Chronic Diseases Program Manager at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). APIAHF is a national health and policy advocacy organization with the mission to enable Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders (AAs & NHPIs) attain the highest possible level of health and well-being. Mrs. Bautista manages APIAHF’s cancer programs within the Chronic Diseases Program. She has nine years experience working with AA & NHPI community based organizations in building their organizational capacity to address cancer survivorship and tobacco control in their specific communities. She has worked with multicultural and priority population partners in the fields of cancer survivorship and tobacco control. She has experience in developing and providing capacity building assistance and convening workshops, trainings, meetings, and conferences. She holds advisory, steering, and board roles on the California Tobacco Control Alliance, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Asian American and Pacific Islander National Advisory Council, California Department of Public Health Council on Multicultural Health, the California Dialogue on Cancer Survivorship and Treatment Team, and the California Breast Cancer Research Program. Mrs. Bautista obtained her Bachelor of Science from University of California, Davis and her Masters in Public Health at Loma Linda University.
    Photo of Ming-der Chang     Ming-der Chang, PhD. As the Vice President of the Asian Initiatives of the American Cancer Society Eastern Division, Dr. Chang serves as an ACS liaison in the New York and New Jersey Asian community. She is responsible for the mission delivery and financial development of the Asian Initiatives by overseeing the implementation of all cancer control and patient services programs in the community, and developing new endeavors to support organizational objectives.

    Dr. Chang earned her doctorate in Chemistry from Columbia University, and her B.A. in Agricultural Chemistry from National Taiwan University. For ten years prior to her work for the ACS, Dr. Chang was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at New York University Medical College, where she performed analysis of anti-tumor immune responses in ovarian cancer and leukemia patients. During that same period, she also served as Director of the Laboratory of Developmental Immunology at North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, directing all aspects of lab operation and funding.

    Dr. Chang is a member of the Governess Committee of the “Asian Pacific Islander Cancer Education Materials”, member of the Chinese American Medical Society, and member of the Asian Pacific Islander Council of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, Dr. Chang was one of the recipients of the “2009 New York State Women of Excellent Award” (Fellow recipients include Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor).
        Tuong Vi Ho, Ph.D., RN, FNP, of Houston is a nurse practitioner at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was born in Vietnam and migrated to the U. S. in the 1970s. Ho obtained her college and doctoral education in the United States. She has worked closely with the Asian communities to promote screening and early detection for breast cancer in these communities. Being a nurse, caring and educating the public for health promotion and early detection of the diseases have been Ho's passion besides working full time at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center as a nurse practitioner.
    Photo of Jigisha Kothari     Jigisha Kothari, Pine Brook, N.J., is the Indian Community Outreach Coordinator for the Morris County (NJ) at the Morristown Memorial Hospital, a position she has held since 2002. She has developed an extraordinary outreach program to bring life-saving breast health information to the community. She is currently partnering with several South Asian faith-based organizations coordinate educational seminars and health camps. She has effectively networked with the local medical community, gaining their participation. Working with a local hospital, she serves as a patient navigator. Through associations she has developed among local and national media and the creation of culturally sensitive educational materials translated into Gujarati and Hindi, she has helped bring breast health education to South Asian people throughout the United States. For last three years, she has served as a member of the advisory Community Outreach Committee for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) for the South Asian population.
    Photo of Thoa Nguyen     Thoa Nguyen of San Francisco, CA, is project director of the Health Is Gold - Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project at the University of California, San Francisco. Ms. Nguyen is bilingual in Vietnamese and English. Ms. Nguyen is now the coordinator of the project "REAChing Vietnamese Women: A Community Model for Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening" (CDC grant) and Regional Community Director of Asian American Network For Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART). She is the executive producer of four Vietnamese health education videotapes and the author of printed materials and several articles to promote preventive health care, hepatitis B immunization, breast and cervical screening. Ms. Nguyen has over 30 years experience in the health field. Throughout her career, Ms. Nguyen has promoted issues of access, service, and equity to health care for underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Ms. Nguyen has received national and local awards for her work in the community.
    Photo of Jane Ka`ala Pang     Jane Ka`ala Pang, RN, BSN, of Huntington Beach, CA, is program coordinator - secretary for Pacific Islander Health Partnership, a non-profit collaborative of community- and faith-based organizations serving native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to reduce health disparities. A retired nurse manager, educator and case manager with 37 years experience with Los Angeles County with extensive experience in chronic disease management, Jane is now a full- time volunteer health advocate and a community organizer. She coordinates native Hawaiian community assessment on breast and cervical cancer knowledge and screening behaviors for the API Task Force - California Cancer Detection Program. She also volunteers on behalf of WINCART, Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research & Training for the Native Hawaiian community, National Cancer Institute-Community Network Program to reduce cancer disparities among Hawaiians and Pacific Island communities.
        Jina Peiris of Cerritos, California, is a 16-year Sri Lankan breast cancer survivor and is well known in the Sri Lankan community as an active volunteer health advocate. After cancer treatment, Jina became a R2R volunteer with the ACS and organized bone marrow drives in the Sri Lankan community with A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches). She has taken a bold step towards raising awareness about breast cancer among South Asian communities by empowering women to speak out on a topic that has been misunderstood and considered "unspeakable." She appeared as a breast cancer survivor in the first-ever South Asian media advertising campaign promoting early detection and to dispel myths and stigma associated with breast cancer. She assisted in the Cancer Detection Section (CDS) photo-documentary project designed to show real people--their faces and stories--by recruiting South Asian women who make up the statistics of the California State's breast and cervical cancer screening programs. Jina co-founded Saath, an organization which aims to provide support to South Asians from cancer diagnosis to treatment to survivorship. She is the first South Asian consumer advocate/peer reviewer participated in the DOD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program on breast cancer; and also a former steering committee member of the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (API-NCSN); and a past board member of South Asian Network (SAN). Jina is also a graduate of the 2007 American Association for Cancer Research Scientist-Survivor Program and 2008 Center for Disease Control Survivor-Researcher-Mentor program. Her mission is to educate South Asian communities around the globe to move away from old myths such as, "cancer is contagious, embarrassing, or shameful and a curse"; rather learn how to reduce cancer mortality.

    Jina is also a trained women's advocate and counselor for victims of domestic violence.
    Photo of Rebecca Keen-Fan Sze     Rebecca Keen-Fan Sze, FNP, MSN, MPA, is the Director of Women’s Health at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. As the director, she oversees the delivery of comprehensive women’s health services to ensure that quality health care is provided throughout the different stages of a women’s life. The Women’s Health Department champions an integrated service model which incorporates preventive care, patient education, community outreach, and comprehensive women’s health services.

    In her tenure at the Women’s Health Department, she has increased the number of grant funded programs for various women’s health issues and the Health Center’s medically underserved patients. She sets a high standard of patient care and service excellence. She has also fostered partnerships with multiple community organizations to promote greater access to culturally sensitive health care and social services for Asian women. She has increased the accessibility of services for women by creating more flexible hours, reducing waiting time, enhancing services and reaching out to different groups of women in the Asian American community. She has been chairing the Annual Women’s Health Symposium since 2003.

    She is passionate about women’s health issues, especially the health of Asian American women and a firm believer in education and empowering women to be proactive about their health. The availability and accessibility of affordable health care that is linguistically and culturally competent is another high priority for her. She is an active spokesperson and community advocate for Asian women’s health and has membership on the NAWHO (National Asian Women’s Health Organization) National Advisory Board, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Medical Advisory Board and Asian American/Pacific Islander National Advisory Council, and Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Detection and Education Program NYS Advisory Council. She is the award recipient of Innovation in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Research by the New York State Cancer Detection and Education Advisory Council in 2007 and the Partnership of Distinction by the NYSODH Cancer Services Program in 2006. She holds a Master in Public Administration from New York University and is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner. She currently lives in Queens, New York with her husband and has three daughters.
        Shin-Ping Tu, M.D. Ph.D, of Seattle, Wa., is associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. Tu provides medical care to patients at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center. She also teaches University of Washington medical residents and medical students. Dr. Tu's research interests encompass early detection of cancer, cardiovascular health, tobacco control, cross- cultural care, and decision-making among Asian Americans.
        Dr. Tsu-Yin Wu, Ph.D, RN, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is an associate professor at the School of Nursing at Eastern Michigan University and the director for the Healthy Asian American Project (HAAP) at the University of Michigan. Since 1996, HAAP has provided comprehensive health services and education on breast, cervical and colorectal cancer for Asian communities in southeastern Michigan. Wu earned her Ph.D from the University of Michigan (UM) in nursing, specializing in health promotion and risk reduction. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in interdisciplinary women's health at UM. She has more than 10 years of community and research experience in promoting healthy living among Asian Americans. Her recent research projects and interests focus on promoting breast cancer screening (i.e., breast self-exam, clinical breast exam and mammography) among Asian American groups including Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian and Korean through designing and implementing culturally-tailored education interventions for each group. She is the author of several peer-reviewed papers documenting trends in breast cancer screening among Asian American.



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