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2022 Washington Leadership Program Session IV: Public Health & COVID-19: Our Stories

June 29, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This session will discuss the current state of public health, with a focus on the effects of COVID-19, within the AANHPI community. Topics of discussion include disparities in access to healthcare, variety of experiences and responses from the AANHPI community with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and AANHPI data disaggregation in regards to public health. Key takeaways of the discussion will allow attendees to gain a broader understanding of how issues within public health, especially pertaining to COVID-19, wield disproportionate and varying effects within the AANHPI community.

Note: All WLP Sessions will be recorded live.


Dr. Erwin Tan

Erwin J. Tan MD is a board certified internist and geriatrician and the AARP Director of Thought Leadership- Health. Erwin previously served as the director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service. From 2004 to 2010, he served as an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was an attending physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. He was also a co-investigator in the Baltimore Experience Corps Study. From 2003-2004, Erwin was a White House Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Before coming to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, Erwin was a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where he served as Geriatric Medicine Fellow and a Primary Care Medicine Resident. Erwin was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves. He received a bachelor’s from Brown University and graduated from New York University School of Medicine as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Erwin was born in Indonesia and is a naturalized citizen of the United States.



Barbara Wei

Barbara Wei is an entrepreneur, academic and public health professional. After spending 10 years as a corporate consultant, she returned to school to earn her MPH at Harvard and found Aime (pronounced I-Me), a social enterprise dedicated to improving the success of Asian-American youth through social-emotional education. In addition, she works on academic research related to Asian American leadership and health and homelessness with professors at Harvard and the University of Chicago. She is a CAPAL alumna and calls Montgomery County, Maryland her hometown, even though she lives in Chicago now.





Leafa Taumopeau 

Leafa Taumoepeau is a San Mateo County Retiree from Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. She is Executive Director of a community base organization known as Taulama for Tongans, located in San Mateo. Leafa works with the Tongan Community as well as other Pacific Islanders in San Mateo County and neighboring counties. Their mission is to outreach, educate and connect the diaspora to appropriate help, by using expertise in culture and language.




Jackie Leung 

Jackie Leung, JD, MS, is the Executive Director of the statewide nonprofit, the Micronesian Islander Community (MIC) and is an Assistant Professor at Linfield University. Jackie’s background is in public health advocacy, policy, and research. Her work includes working in perinatal healthcare, Medicaid, early childhood education, healthcare access, chronic diseases, COVID-19 wrap around services, and leadership pathways for community health workers. As a public health professional, Jackie is aware of the time requirements and stress associated with pursuing a degree in higher education. She serves in several leadership positions including serving as a Salem City Councilor, co-chair of the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, and a traditional health worker representative on the Oregon Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Committee. In her free time, Jackie enjoys spending time with her family and long scenic drives along the coast and through the agricultural landscapes that make Oregon the beauty it is today.





Vivian Huang 

Dr. Vivian Huang a dual board-certified physician and medical epidemiologist, trained in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. Dr. Huang has extensive experience working in global health, with assignments to war affected Syria (primary care) and Swaziland (MDR-TB/HIV) with Doctors without Borders and Sierra Leone (Ebola response) with Partners In Health. She has also worked with the Marshall Islands government to eliminate tuberculosis and leprosy there in 2019. In addition, she has worked extensively with the NYC Health Department on the COVID-19 response and led COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. She is one of three public health leaders that established NYC’s COVID-19 contract tracing program in June 2020. Dr. Huang directed all adult immunization activities for the NYC Department of Health from 2016-2017. She supported Indian Health Service in the early stages of COVID-19 emergency response & preparedness and was the Chief of Diabetes with the Navajo Area Indian Health Service from 2017-2020. She has also served as the Hepatitis B Director at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in NYC from 2013-2015, receiving several awards for her work in hepatitis B and community health. She currently serves as the Regional Medical Director with Dynavax Technologies, which manufactures Heplisav, the only adult 2-dose, 1 month hepatitis B vaccine. Dr. Huang’s life-long passion is working with vulnerable, at-risk populations and has strong interests in Asian American & Indigenous health inequities including diabetes, hepatitis B, tuberculosis and immunizations. As the APIC policy director, she is passionate about elevating the Asian American voice in the realm of public health and strongly believes that being invisible is also a form of discrimination/racism and determined to dismantle this barrier.

Dr. Huang is a New Yorker at heart and now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys the great outdoors, including horseback riding, hiking, camping, scuba diving, skiing, running, yoga, star gazing and viewing as many sunsets & sunrises as she can manage. She loves participating in fundraising races (anything from 5Ks to half marathons). She is also a passionate beginner bird watcher & ukuleleist.


Vincent Tam

Vincent Tam worked in NYC during the COVID-19 pandemic in city-run vaccination sites throughout the city, primarily in Manhattan Chinatown. Employed in a variety of roles from translator, outreach, site lead, etc. he is still at the forefront of working with the Asian community in combating the pandemic.



June 29, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)