I was born in Southern California and raised in a loving, close-knit Chinese family with three sisters and a brother. Since my siblings and I were the first generation born in America, our parents hoped that we would do well in our education pathways and prosper. My parents immigrated to America from China and attended college at Ohio State, where my father earned an engineering degree and my mother earned a nutrition degree. Both of them taught my siblings and me the importance of education and hard work. After raising five children full time over a 20-year period, my mother returned to work to become a nutritionist at the largest Kaiser Permanente hospital in Southern California. She loved to talk about how empowering it was to simply teach patients about healthy lifestyles and nutrition rather than depending on medications alone to improve health. I understood how Kaiser Permanente's approach to preventive health care could be so beneficial to patients.
Even before I entered college I knew I wanted to go into a health profession. I really enjoyed my science and math classes, as well as being around people and problem solving. I studied psychobiology at UCLA, and got a doctorate of optometry degree from Pacific University. After my third year of optometry school, I wanted to find a deeper sense of what the profession would truly mean to me. I was lucky enough to join a volunteer group that visited central Mexico, where I saw 150 people who waited hours to have their eyes examined. When we gave them their first pair of glasses, they had the biggest smile on their faces. Not only was it life changing for them but it gave me inspiration that I was on the right life path. I have never doubted my choice of working for the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG), where I feel I can devote my full attention to my patients rather than thinking about running an office. I enjoy the professional camaraderie of working with my ophthalmic colleagues and the entire medical group. Listening and understanding every patient's individual perspective on their health issues is very important to me. I hope that I am an open resource to finding whatever best fits each of their personal needs. Since I have been with HPMG for over 20 years, I have been able to establish relationships with many of my patients. I have watched children get their first glasses, students go to college with contact lenses, and the same patients even bring their children to me!
I continue to enjoy volunteering at community vision and health screenings and have helped in Chinatown and the yearly Special Olympics. I think everyone needs balance in their life and it is also nice to be home with family and friends. I believe in eating healthy, going to the gym, taking long walks with my husband, and giving plenty of hugs to my pet terrier. I also enjoy hiking around our beautiful islands, listening to contemporary jazz, playing cards with my poker buddies, and traveling.