Promoting Best Practices for Culturally Responsive Care for Asian Women

Thursday, November 12, 2020
On Zoom.


(The above video is provided by AWFH)
Our 2020 conference focuses on educating healthcare professionals about the importance of providing culturally responsive and competent care, and to recognize frontline workers’ contributions to advancing Asian women’s healthThis important state-wide gathering of community members, advocates, public health officials, service providers, business leaders, community-based organizations, researchers and policy makers, provides a rich co-learning platform for engaging key stakeholders and facilitating cross-sector collaborations. Our goal is to shed light on how cultural competency can be used to advance social justice and address ​health disparities.
To be a sponsor, please download the form on the side and send it to cch@asianwomenforhealth.org and send the check to
​83 Wallace St., Somerville, MA02144 or mail both to that address.

Annual Conference FlyerCelebrAsians2020_Flyer


Keynote: Aswita Tan-McGrory


Director of Disparities Solutions Center, MGH


Kimberly D. Lucas | MetroLab Network


Marilyn Gardner | Center for Health Impact

Featured Panelists


Lynette Chen | Medical Interpreter & Cancer Survivor
Lynette Chen is a Mandarin medical interpreter for Cross Cultural Communication Systems in Woburn, Massachusetts.  She is also a remote Mandarin phone interpreter for United Language Group in San Antonio, Texas. Before Lynette became a Mandarin interpreter, she was a Mandarin teacher for ten years.  Lynette was a registered nurse in Chung Shan Hospital in Taiwan for 7 and half years. Lynette is a breast cancer survivor and self-advocator who strives to boost her immune system through nutrition, Tibetan Singing Bowls, and acupuncture. ​


Maria Vertkin | Found in Translation
Maria Vertkin is a social worker, immigrant, formerly homeless, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. She is the founder and executive director of Found in Translation, an award-winning nonprofit that empowers low-income bilingual women to launch careers as professional medical interpreters. The model creates opportunity at the intersection of economic disparity, gender justice, and language rights, enables women to turn a stigmatized characteristic—their linguistic and cultural backgrounds—into their biggest asset in the workforce. The program’s 256 graduates collectively earn $2.56 million more annually ($10K each) and provide healthcare access to over 20,000 patients with limited English proficiency.


Frank Poon | Civic Education Alliance Inc.
Frank Poon is the Asian Outreach Coordinator at South Shore Elder Services, working closely with the grassroots community in the South Shore area for over 18 years. The focus is to provide Information, Outreach, Referrals, and Assistance to the Asian elders and their caregivers. He has been actively serving on the board of regional non-profit organizations, government commission, and local community service agencies. He is currently serving as President of the Civic Education Alliance, Inc. Frank finds the best time of his life is to engage, empower, and assist the Chinese senior population in enhancing their quality of life through available assistance and family support


Geoffrey Liu | McLean Hospital
Geoffrey Liu is a staff psychiatrist at McLean hospital specializing in depression, anxiety and personality disorders. As a Chinese-Canadian, he is also interested in issues of cultural competency and the tension between mainstream psychological treatments and eastern philosophies and cultures. He sees patients through the Behavioral Health Partial Program at McLean, which is a day treatment center specializing in intensive treatments.

Workshop Presenters


Oanh Bui | MA Department of Public Health


Marilyn Gardner | Center for Health Impact


Karen Jiobu | Asian American Community Service
CLAS Standards
​Oanh Bui is the CLAS Coordinator at the DPH Office of Health Equity. In this role she provides technical assistance and training on CLAS to DPH staff, programs, and vendors. She administers the annual CLAS Internal Assessment, which tracks and supports activities to achieve CLAS-related goals. She convenes the DPH Health Equity Workgroup, an internal roundtable forum for sharing best practices related to CLAS. Prior to joining DPH, Bui was a health educator at the Federation for Children with Special Needs.Communication Across BoundariesMarilyn Gardner is a public health nurse consultant, writer, and the Director of Clinical/Community Operations at the Center for Health Impact. She also worked for 10 years as the manager of the Women’s Health Network at DPH. She has worked in women’s health internationally (Pakistan, Egypt, and Northern Iraq) and in three states (Illinois, Arizona, and Massachusetts). She is a certified cultural competency trainer and author of two books -found at Communicating Across Boundaries. Marilyn is passionate about communicating across cultural boundaries and making space for all voices.Hepatitis B Prevention Outreach
Karen Jiobu was the Lead Regional Coordinator for the Health through Action Community Partnerships (HTA) in Columbus, Ohio from 2008-2012.  As Lead coordinator, she worked with coordinators in Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati to address Hepatitis B in high-risk communities.    Since that time, she worked with the local OSU APAMSA to set up a Hepatitis B Free clinic and provided local screenings. This work was published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine in October of 2013. In 2013, Karen was recognized as “Hep B Champion” by CDC and Hep B United.  Presently, Karen serves as Interim executive Director of this community based organization, Asian American Community Services.  

​Plenary Facilitator​


Jonathan Jackson | Care Research Center, MGH
Jonathan Jackson, PhD, founder and Executive Director of the Community Access, Recruitment, & Engagement Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on health disparities in clinical settings affecting Black populations. He is also a cognitive neuroscientist, investigating early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and serves on Mass General’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Cancer Center Equity Program, specializing in identifying and overcoming barriers to clinical research for people and communities of color. He has become a well-known MGH representative to communities of color and dozens of affiliated organizations. Dr. Jackson serves on the leadership team of several organizations focused on community health and advisory groups.


9:00 AM  Welcome and Overview of Conference Objectives

9:10 AM  Keynote

9:50 AM  PANEL Discussion
Lynette Chen, Medical Interpreter and Cancer Survivor
Maria Vertkin, Founder & Executive Director, Found in Translation
Frank Poon, President, Civic Education Alliance Inc.
Geoffrey Liu, Psychiatrist, McLean Hospital

10:50 AM  Photo

11:00 AM Networking

12:00 PM  Breakout Sessions
Oanh Bui, Coordinator for CLAS Initiatives; MA Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity
Marilyn Gardner, Director of Clinical/ Community Operations, Center for Health Impact
Karen Jiobu, Executive Director, Asian American Community Service

1:30 PM  Break

1:45 PM  Plenary Discussion
​Jonathan Jackson, Executive Director of CARE Research Center, MGH

3:30 PM  Closing Remarks and Evaluation




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