In honor of National Healthcare Decision Day, we will tackle one of the most challenging conversations Asian American Pacific Islander families struggle with. We’ll explore the concerns, fears, obstacles, and taboos that get in the way of planning for late life stages and end of life. Discover what becomes available when we break the silence and encourage these difficult conversations.
What does it look like when our loved ones care to prepare? Perhaps they provide us with a completed advance directive?
What does it look like when we prepare to care? Perhaps we get informed ourselves of available resources and take time to empower our loved one’s decision making?
Our featured speakers offer years of experience navigating these conversations, providing care, and offering resources that support and enrich the lives of aging seniors and their families in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
While we cannot serve dim sum at this virtual event, you’re welcome to bring your favorite food and have lunch with us.
As the center lead physician at On Lok PACE Powell Center, Dr. Michelle Ong is committed to providing compassionate care for our elderly participants. She partners with staff and family caregivers to create a caring environment conducive to optimal health and well-being.
Dr. Ong began her career as a staff physician with Kaiser in South Sacramento. After practicing at Kaiser and then briefly at other HMOs, Dr. Ong was happy to accept a position at On Lok in Chinatown, San Francisco. Here she has the privilege of caring for a community she knows and loves. She received her Doctorate of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY and then continued her residency training at UC Irvine and Loma Linda Medical Centers.
She was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and now lives in the very SF flat her grandparents lived. Her father immigrated from China to SF at the age of 5, overcoming poverty and social isolation. Her mother is also from China and immigrated after attending university in Hong Kong. Dr. Ong speaks English and basic Toisanes
Anni Chung of San Francisco is the President and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly (SHE), a community-based organization for mostly immigrant and monolingual Asian seniors. SHE began as part of the federal “War on Poverty” Initiative in 1966, and now serves 40,000+ seniors in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Anni Chung has served as CEO since 1981. She oversees and manages SHE, which has expanded since 1981 and now offers a comprehensive range of eldercare services to seniors in the Bay Area.
Anni Chung was appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Governor Newsom for a 3-year term from Oct 2020 to Oct 2023. She is a board member of the Asian & Pacific Islander Council and the Wildflowers Institute and the producer of a Chinese Television show called “Chinese Journal” for KTSF-TV 26.
Emily Ho is a Senior Financial Consultant and phlebotomist who works in the heart of Chinatown at Chinese Hospital, which specializes in caring for our beloved Chinese seniors.
Experiencing first hand how poor financial planning can affect the entire family, Emily became a Fiduciary in 2015 specializing in Long-Term Care planning and financial education for all. Since then, she has tirelessly devoted herself to helping as many families as possible develop their financial strategy and roadmap.
Emily believes it is never too early to develop good spending and saving habits. Towards this goal, she helps design financial plans that best meet a client’s personal health needs and budget at no cost. By providing education on all available options she provides clients with the power to compare and the freedom to choose.
Olga A. O’Hara, Funeral Counselor At McAvoy O’Hara Co., California’s premiere funeral firm. I am in the 4th generation of my family to continue our tradition and for 25 years I have been able to help families in one of the most difficult times they face. My passion has always been helping in any way I can, but my greatest achievement is being an auntie to my wondrous nephews and niece.
About Table Talk
Table Talk is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists and other creative individuals to address this central question: "What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?"
Every community and culture -- Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- has its own unique perspective and shared truth. How do we deal with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination, and inequity? What does it mean to flourish, celebrate, honor, and connect?
Many of us describe more than one of these groups as home, and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and more. At present, we have few spaces to talk about these questions freely, in ways that make sense for who we are. That’s why Reimagine launched Table Talk. While this ongoing series is explicitly created by and for underrepresented communities, we invite people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.
About the Organizers
Elizabeth Wong has been a registered nurse since 2003 supporting women in childbirth and advocating for family-centered care. Out of her passion for empowering adult children who are confronted with aging parents, like her, she trained to become an elder care and end-of-life doula. She is committed to sharing this role with the Chinese American community through outreach and education. From this endeavor, she and Holly created Death Over Dim Sum. She also volunteers for Hospice by the Bay.
Based in Seattle, Holly Chan is a user experience designer who has been intrigued by designing for death ever since she was a teenager. Inspired by their shared experiences as Chinese American women passionate about improving end-of-life care, she and Elizabeth met in San Francisco and founded Death over Dim Sum. This event series was envisioned to adapt the conversation about end-of-life to the unique needs of Asian Americans. Besides brainstorming the myriad of ways the end-of-life experiences of Americans can be improved for individuals and their families, Holly is also an advocate for social justice through design.