Tell Us a Little About Yourself
I’m a daughter of Korean-immigrants who arrived in the US by way of Honolulu, Hawaii. Of two daughters, I was the US-born one and grew up feeling like I was missing out on a piece of the family’s story that my parents and older sister were in on. In the US, my family lived well below the poverty line, and home life wasn’t so great most of the time. I moved away to another state a couple of years out of high school, worked, and eventually finished college in my late twenties. A few years later, I found my way to Pierce County, Washington, and over the last fourteen or so years, I have worked for a few non-profits as well as a hospital system here. As a Korean-American lesbian who doesn’t believe gender is binary, I understand how much discomfort and pain there is when sitting on or within lines and fences others have created for you. I understand how much damage can be done when these barriers affect how one is perceived, offered cared, and served, if served. Understanding this has informed my own life and career journeys.
Do You Have Any Pets?
I have an 8-year-old dog, Dooli. Dooli’s an English Springer Spaniel, but she doesn’t know she’s a springer. She needs help jumping into a car, so….
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
Hike or bike with friends; run; reading; garden and/or poke at the houseplants.
What is Your Favorite Way to Relax?
Reading in the quiet of the early morning.
When and Why Did You Join Elevate Health?
I joined Elevate Health on February 1st of 2021. I had previously worked in community-based client advocacy then in care coordination for a healthcare system, and I’m a clinical social worker by training. I have seen how individuals are affected when gaps exist between the services they seek and when accessing services are a challenge due to language barriers and various “-isms” that get in the way of recognizing and honoring the dignity and worth of every individual. I have experienced first-hand how access and delivery of care isn’t always just or fair for folx like my parents, who were Korean immigrants, whose primary language was not English; and for folx like me, non-white and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. So, when I first heard about Elevate Health and learned it was undertaking monumental and meaningful work to connect health and social care in partnership with health care systems and community providers, there was no question that I would join to support this work.
What Kind of Work Do You Do at Elevate Health?
I support our community-based care coordination initiatives and the organization in planning for these initiatives. There is a lot of seeking to understand diverse communities, different care systems, examining how systems work and figuring out how best to work together. There is much to learn from community about the gaps they see, what they need and what it could look like if those gaps were shored up.
What Do You Like About Working for Elevate Health?
I like that the work includes collaborating with different care systems, community-based organizations, individuals to achieve things that we can only achieve together.
What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do in Pierce County?
I enjoy driving around Pierce County. Pierce County holds so much diversity, great people, cultures, natural beauty -- it’s great to take it all in.
What is Your Favorite Restaurant in Pierce County?
I can’t pick just one.