Tida Beattie

End-of-life doula & community organizer

Tida Beattie trained with Doulagivers as an eldercare consultant and end-of life doula in 2020 in reaction to the overwhelming and traumatic deaths of her parents. She is the American-born daughter of Thai immigrants.  She hopes to guide immigrants and their families to culturally intelligent resources and support so they can make informed care decisions around end of life in line with their values and wishes. She is a co-founder of MESO, an organization providing community education focused on immigrant and next generation experiences with heritage, wellness, death, and grief.  She lives in Northern California, loves to eat dumplings, and enjoys exploring farmers markets.

Semoon Chang

Author, scholar & retired economics professor

Semoon, a Korean-American, is a retired professor of economics. Based on his experience as a sole care giver of his late wife, he has been writing articles on the issue of compassion on hospice patients and retirement of the elderly. His recent articles include: “Desperate Needs for Compassion from Oncologists,” Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine (2018); “Do Oncologists Care about Their Dying Patients?” Annals of Palliative Care & Medicine (2019), and “Can Dance Be in Every Woman’s Retirement Plan?” Acta Scientific Women’s Health (2019, with D. Anne Martin). Semoon also published a book on the subject of compassion: Desperate Needs for Compassion from Oncologists (Mauritius: Scholar’s Press, 2019). Currently, Semoon resides at the Leisure World of Maryland, and an active member of the Compassion and Choices Club of the Leisure World.

Mahina Paishon Duarte

CEO of Waiwai Collective

Mahina Paishon-Duarte is co-founder and chief executive officer of Waiwai Collective, a regenerative urban oasis, a kīpuka, for creatively growing community, culture, and commerce. As a social entrepreneur who has also led several educational and cultural organizations, her vision and mission are one and the same––to catalyze positive, lasting change for Hawaii in one generation. Most notably, Mahina is the founding executive director of Paepae o Heʻeia, the first modern Hawaiian fishpond that created ground-breaking ʻāina-based education programming for students from preschool through post-doctoral levels. She gained public sector experience as a policy program manager with NOAAs Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, as well as head of school for both Hālau Kū Māna and Kanu o ka ʻĀina public charter schools. Additionally, Mahina is deeply committed to honing her cultural practice and does so at various traditional schools and wahi pana including Nā Kālai Waʻa, Hālau o ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani and at Heʻeia fishpond. Mahina holds degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Hawaiʻi Pacific University; and serves on a number of not for profit boards in the areas of education, living culture and arts, and economic development.

Ben de Guzman

Director of the Washington, DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs

Ben de Guzman is the Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA). The agency is the largest one of its kind in the country, centering AAPI residents of the nation’s capital and serving as a liaison to city government. He comes to MOAPIA from the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, where he served as the Community Outreach Specialist. During his tenure there, he helped the agency assume the lead role in presenting the 32nd Annual 17th Street High Heel Race, a time-honored institution of the District’s LGBTQ community.

He has been a leading voice at the local and national level on issues of racial equity, immigrants’ rights, veterans affairs, and LGBT justice for twenty years. As an advocate for equity and recognition for Filipino veterans of World War II, he played a key role in two of the most significant legislative victories on behalf of these soldiers. He led communications and outreach strategies for the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project that led to the passage of the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2016. He also served as the National Coordinator for the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, where he organized a national legislative campaign that created the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund in 2009. 

For almost ten years, he was principal staff at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), where he managed the policy and programmatic work for NQAPIA and its federation of 40 Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander LGBT groups around the country. As the public face of the organization, he spearheaded efforts to promote both national LGBT campaigns around comprehensive immigration reform and a national LGBT Pride Month campaign from Asian American/ Pacific Islander advocacy organizations.

His work in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities has spanned across the age spectrum. As a trainer for OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates APIAU Leadership 101 program, he has trained over 1,000 youth and college students. As the National Managing Coordinator for the Diverse Elders Coalition, he led a national program to coordinate cross-sectoral work to bring together elders of color, LGBT elders, and Native American/ Indian American elders to engage the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. 

 

He has authored articles and op-eds that have appeared in mainstream and special interest media, anthologies, and academic publications,including the Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today. In 2015, he received a Community Service Award from Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and is pleased to come to MOAPIA and help recognize exciting new leaders moving forward.

Ben is the son of Filipino immigrants and was born and raised in New Jersey. He first moved to the District in 1997 and is a proud resident of Ward 1. 

Dr. Sue Royappa

CMO of HealthSecure EMR and Director of HealthSecure Foundation

Dr. Royappa is an internal medicine physician with extensive and diverse experience in clinical medicine, healthcare technology, public health, nonprofit and education. She is passionate about using technology to increase awareness, develop tools, improve access and ultimately reduce inequities in healthcare.

After running a successful private medical practice in Dallas for over a decade, she pivoted to healthcare technology and public health in order to reach larger groups of people suffering from chronic disease. Her mission is to enhance physical, mental and emotional health in all stages of life by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and advanced medical care planning. When not working at her health informatics company, she is engaged in improving healthcare resources for the Indian community both in the US and in India. She conducts several mental health webinars and workshops for college students in India and  provides supportive and palliative care via telehealth to patients with COVID-19 in India.

As the Chief Health Officer for the city of Hideaway, she is actively involved in educating and guiding the community and its leadership in health matters. She was instrumental in implementing the city’s COVID-19 antibody survey through the CARES fund.  With the help of local volunteers who she also trained, she established two hotlines for assisting with quarantine of close contacts, isolation of positive cases and vaccination of eligible residents. Through her monthly health column in the city newspaper and presentations to local organizations, she motivates her community to take control of their health.

Since the terminal cancer diagnosis of her dear friend in 2011, and his loss the following year, Dr. Royappa has also been advocating for a good death as an extension of a life well lived. She hopes to make a meaningful  impact in the end-of-life care of the Indian community in the US through Compassion & Choices.

Dr. Mitsuo Tomita

UCSD School of Medicine assistant clinical professor & retired family physician

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Tomita attended UCLA before attending medical school at UCSF.  After completing his internship and residency in Fresno in family medicine, he joined Kaiser Permanente in San Diego in 1975.  He retired from full-time family practice at Kaiser in 2008 and then did some part-time work in community health centers in the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Washington state.  He splits his time between San Diego and Seattle. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor on the voluntary faculty of the UCSD School of Medicine.

Vincent Wiraatmadja

Government affairs professional & policy advocate

Vincent Wiraatmadja is an experienced policy advocate working at the intersection of climate policy and technology. Before joining the Climate Center, a climate non-profit, in 2021 as its first Government Affairs Manager, Wiraatmadja worked for more than half a decade at the Weideman Group, where he represented Compassion and Choices in its successful effort to enact California’s End of Life Option Act in 2015. Wiraatmadja’s portfolio also encompassed representation of numerous clean energy and clean transportation companies before the Legislature and regulatory agencies. During the course of that work, Wiraatmadja was at the center of numerous efforts to enact policy frameworks that enabled the development and adoption of the climate-focused technologies California needs to achieve its ambitious goals, ranging from heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles to resilient distributed energy systems. Wiraatmadja now uses this robust combination of policy knowledge, legislative strategy, and understanding of the business environment to support the Climate Center and its focus on accelerating climate action timelines in California through legislation and other policy mechanisms.