Past Community Health Center Champions
Scroll down or click the quick links below to read about AAPCHO’s past CHC Champions!
As the Front Desk Manager at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose, CA, Becky Guancia puts patient satisfaction first and inspires excellence among staff. AACI expanded its health center after receiving a HRSA New Access Point award in 2014. As part of the expansion, the health center integrated its front desk and started a call center. Becky led this effort and ensured that the integrated front desk or “face of the health center,” consisting of a team of patient navigators, receptionist and call center staff, provided all patients and other visitors, concierge-level service and delivered a safety net clinic waiting room experience equal to, or better than, a private practice experience.
Becky continues to lead by example through mentorship, cross training, coordinating quality improvement efforts and by increasing communication between clinical and non-clinical staff. Under Becky’s leadership, three new patient navigators have been promoted and 93 percent of patients surveyed in June 2015 have said they benefit from AACI’s services. With a diverse, fast-growing population and continued expansion, AACI is fortunate to have Becky leading the charge as a CHC Champion!
Dr. Keith Winfrey
Dr. Keith Winfrey has been the Chief Medical Officer at NOELA Community Health Center (CHC) in New Orleans, LA since 2011. Considered as one of NOELA CHC’s founding fathers, Dr. Winfrey has been key in ensuring that the diverse population of New Orleans East has access to quality and culturally competent care since the health center was established after Hurricane Katrina. With his clinical leadership, NOELA CHC achieved NCQA recognition status for Patient Centered Medical Home Level III in January 2013 and full FQHC status in November 2013.
Dr. Winfrey wears many hats at NOELA CHC. In addition to serving as the Chief Medical Officer, he contributes in other roles ranging from program director and grant writer, to outreach coordinator and even plumber. Staff and patients see him as down to earth and extremely humble, adding that they “love him as a person and clinician”. A strong advocate and member of the community, Dr. Winfrey sees the center as an avenue for him to provide care to a community that would otherwise not have health care. Dr. Winfrey’s continued service and dedication makes him a CHC Champion!
As a community mobilizer at International Community Health Services (ICHS), Khanh Ho works with many diverse communities to raise awareness about health disparities, provide health care access education, enroll people into affordable health care, and lead civic engagement efforts.
Khanh’s work also involves addressing social determinants of health. For example, Khanh participates in a project to engage Vietnamese community members in conversations about the safety of fishing in the Duwamish River, educating the community about the health risks of over eating fish that have been contaminated with metals due to previous poor management of industrial wastes. Khanh has also been instrumental in developing digital stories that capture community members’ perspectives on healthy eating and active living topics such as: access to fresh food; access to health insurance and care; and availability of parks and green spaces.
Khanh’s warmth and engaging spirit captures what a community health center is all about and that resonates with patients, the community and her fellow staff. Khanh is truly a CHC Champion!
As an integral member of Asian Services In Action, Inc.’s (ASIA) Community Health Promotion Department, Cathy Vue spearheads key public health initiatives in Ohio impacting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
Cathy oversees ASIA’s statewide Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment efforts. Her work is particularly important for the 16,000 uninsured AAPIs in Ohio who are eligible for coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. She also oversees ASIA’s Reaching Asian-Americans through Innovative and Supportive Engagement (RAISE) project, which is a community health promotion program that facilitates regular access to healthy food options, nutrition education, and environments that promote physical activity for about 5,000 AAPIs.
Cathy and her family are Hmong and were resettled in the U.S. from Laos. Her fluency in Hmong and experience as an immigrant has helped shape her approach to public health advocacy. “[My] goal and motivation […] is to improve the human condition through disease prevention and promotion of healthy outcomes resulting from informed choices and community services,” she says. Cathy’s advocacy and leadership makes her a CHC Champion!
Michele “Chrissy” Kuahine
Michele “Chrissy” Kuahine directs Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center’s (WCCHC) Electronic Health Records (EHR) department. She assists clinics with their EHR needs and serves as a resource in information technology strategy.
Born and raised in Waianae, Chrissy has been with WCCHC since 1990. She started as a volunteer, was hired as a medical receptionist, and worked as a registered Medical Assistant for 13 years. In 2002, WCCHC became the first health center in Hawaii to implement Electronic Medical Records, and Chrissy became the health center’s first EHR support staff. At the time, she was the only NextGen Certified Professional for the vendor’s EMR software in the state, and the only person outside of the company to become certified.
Chrissy has provided technical assistance and mentoring to numerous health centers, and has developed a EHR training curriculum. Chrissy helps to serve the needs of not only WCCHC’s patients but also the wider Waianae community and beyond!
Terri Cheng is Asian Americans for Community Involvement’s (AACI) first patient navigator. Since starting as a patient navigator in September 2013, Terri has provided navigation services to over 500 AACI patients. By June 2014, Terri’s total encounters (actual physical interaction with patients) reached over 3,000, demonstrating that many patients utilize navigation services multiple times.
Speaking both Mandarin and Cantonese, Terri greets patients in AACI’s clinic waiting room. “As a Patient Navigator, I enjoy my job day after day because I can help people. I am happy to know that I can make someone’s life easier,” Terri explains.
For AACI, patient navigation represents a model of care that puts the patients’ needs and comfort first. The clinic recognizes that having a friendly and skilled person like Terri to guide individuals through the complex hospital system gives its patients confidence in their ability to access culturally competent care. Because of Terri, ACCI patients are getting the care they need!
Christina Ng has been an integral part of the North East Medical Services (NEMS) team since 1983, currently overseeing the Member Services Department, which is charged with assisting patients in their eligibility determination and enrollment into various health programs.
Through Christina’s leadership, NEMS has consistently achieved top enrollment marks in programs including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) Program, and most recently the expanded Medi-Cal and Covered California (the state’s health insurance exchange) programs. Under Christina’s guidance, NEMS became California’s second highest enroller for the expanded Medi-Cal program and the fourth highest in the Covered California program, helping to ensure that more than 14,000 patients have the coverage and care they need.
Christina’s approach to patient eligibility and enrollment programs has always focused on excellent customer service and in serving the best interests of NEMS’ low-income, limited English proficient and medically underserved patients. Through Christina’s efforts and dedication, NEMS has successfully ensured that tens of thousands of individuals now have access to health care.
Andrew Ma, CID, is the Associate Director of Services at the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc. (APHCV). He first started with APHCV working on HIV/AIDS programs, implementing HIV testing activities and coordinating a teen program to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS through theatre productions. Andrew also served on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, working to address HIV/AIDS at the local level, and was a partner in AAPCHO’s national Capacity-Building in HIV/AIDS for Medical Providers (CHAMPs) project in which he played a key role in creating guidelines for successful HIV/AIDS programs at CHCs serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and other Paciﬁc Islanders.
Currently, Andrew oversees APHCV’s disaster preparedness program and capital projects. In collaboration with AAPCHO and the Los Angeles Community Clinic Association, he develops, presents and promotes efforts to build the capacity of CHCs for disaster preparedness. With his combined background in political science and interior design, Andrew champions well designed programs, services and environments that are accessible to all!
Sonith Peou has always been a strong voice for the health and wellness of the Asian American community, and is currently the director of the Lowell Community Health Center (LCHC) Metta Health Center. Sonith came to the U.S. as a refugee from Cambodia and first resettled in North Dakota where he rode his bicycle in the snow to work at a bakery and a hospital, all while volunteering to help other refugees. He has since continued to work within the refugee community, implementing leadership development programs and conducting substance abuse prevention and mental health treatment activities.
Under Sonith’s leadership, the LCHC Metta Health Center has received awards from Premier Cares and the Massachusetts Asian American Commission. He has also been recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Community Health Leader and featured in the Lowell Sun as one of the city’s most outstanding community members. Sonith’s commitment to helping others; his innate, community organizing and management abilities; and his deep compassion for others have made life-changing differences for patients, staff, and the whole Asian American community in Lowell and beyond!
Dr. Muhammad Paracha
Dr. Muhammad Paracha has been with the Asian Human Services (AHS) Family Health Center since it consisted only of two small rooms and one volunteer physician. With dedication and hard work, supported by a dry sense of humor, Dr. Paracha has led the amazing growth of the AHS Family Health Center and today—it is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving 7,000 patients each year, with an expansion facility opening soon.
A strong advocate for culturally and linguistically competent health care, Dr. Paracha has brought many services to the AHS Family Health Center including complete oral health services, on-site WIC services, on-site breast and cervical cancer screenings, and outreach services to enroll eligible community members in Illinois All Kids, Medicaid and the new County Care health exchange. He is a true champion of CHCs and the communities they serve!
Ernesto “Ernie” Orduna
Ernesto “Ernie” Orduna is a long-time patient and board member of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). A Filipino immigrant who first came to AACI 10 years ago, Ernie volunteers to meet with state policymakers, educating them about the benefits and needs of CHCs. He is a regular visitor to the State Capitol and attends in-district events hosted by state legislators, sharing his personal experiences with the health care system.
Ernie is a passionate spokesperson about the importance of access to health care for all members of the community, and is an extremely effective advocate for all CHCs!
Becky Guancia puts patient satisfaction first and inspires excellence among staff >> more about Becky
Dr. Keith Winfrey ensures that the diverse population of New Orleans East has access to quality and culturally competent care >> more about Dr. Winfrey
Khanh Ho’s warmth and engaging spirit captures what a community health center is all about >> more about Khanh
Cathy Vue oversees outreach and enrollment, and community health promotion programs >> more about Cathy
Michele “Chrissy” Kuahine assists clinics with their EHR needs and information technology strategy >> more about Chrissy
Terri Cheng has provided navigation services to over 500 patients, reaching over 3,000 encounters >> more about Terri
Christina Ng ensured that thousands of individuals now have access to health care >> more about Christina
Andrew Ma champions well designed programs, services and environments that are accessible to all >> more about Andrew
Sonith Peou is deeply committed to helping others and is a recognized community health leader >> more about Sonith
Dr. Muhammad Paracha is a strong advocate for culturally and linguistically competent health care >> more about Dr. Paracha
Ernesto “Ernie” Orduna is a passionate spokesperson about the importance of access to health care for all >> more about Ernie