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Healthcare Alliance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Employee Resource Group event to feature story sharing

Apr. 14, 2021, 3:40 PM


by Jill Clendening

The HAAPI: Healthcare Alliance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is hosting HAAPI Voices, a virtual cultural story-sharing event on Thursday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Everyone within the VUMC community is invited to join this celebration of cultural identities and backgrounds.

The event, which will be moderated by André Churchwell, MD, VUMC Chief Diversity Officer and vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Vanderbilt University, is intended to spread awareness and invite dialogue in light of the recent increase in violence against Asian Americans.

“The experiences of our Asian American and Pacific Islander populations are vital to VUMC’s ability to innovate and celebrate diverse perspectives,” said Joey Manansala, HealthIT director of Business Relationship Management and co-director of HAAPI. “The mission of this group has grown even more critical in the face of recent escalations of violence and discrimination against Asian Americans. We hope everyone will join us for our April story-sharing event and moving forward, as we work toward breaking down barriers to understanding and acceptance through quarterly HAAPI events and other activities.”

Members of the HAAPI ERG represent cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands, and during the storytelling event volunteers will share their own experiences and cultural influences with the larger VUMC community.

Storytellers include:

  • Neal Patel, MD, MPH — HealthIT Chief Information Officer at VUMC;
  • Byung Kang, MS — executive director, Patient Access & Revenue Cycle Group;
  • Jabári Ichimura — clinical and translational research coordinator, Wilkins research lab;
  • Mia Garchitorena, MA — communications consultant, Biomedical Informatics;
  • Deepthi Pemmaraju — research program manager, Health Policy;
  • Lisa Nhanthavong — clinical research data specialist, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; and
  • Dan Nanto — director IT, VUMC IT

Employee resource groups, or ERGs, are employee identity- or experience-based organizations whose goal is to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. ERGs are intended to build community, provide support and contribute to employees’ personal and professional development.

Register for HAAPI Voices, the virtual HAAPI ERG cultural story-sharing event at

Learn more about HAAPI and other ERGs at VUMC at

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