Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Chien Chien Sun
Please meet Chien Chien Sun, a Southcoast Health colleague featured during Asian American Pacific Islander Month, May 1- May 31.
Chien Chien Sun has been a valued member of Southcoast Health’s Digital Health Service (DHS) Department for 17 years. She currently serves as the Epic Ambulatory Applications Team Leader, ensuring the organization’s electronic health record system functions effectively.
Chien Chien was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was in fifth grade. She recalls the challenges of adapting to life in the United States, saying, “Transitioning to life in the United States was not easy, particularly with the language barrier and the challenges of maintaining basic necessities. I learned from my parents firsthand what it means to persevere in the face of adversity, and I am grateful for the sacrifices they made to give me the opportunities that I have today.”
One of Chien Chien’s favorite memories of her Asian heritage is the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, a 15-day holiday celebrated in late January or early February. She describes how families gather to celebrate and share traditional food symbolizing fortune, prosperity, and longevity for the new year.
“It was often the one time I would be able to see all my uncles, aunts, and cousins together,” Chien Chien recalls. “And as a child, the red envelopes filled with money representing blessings for the new year was the best part!”
Chien Chien also shared how the tradition is continued in the US, with families attending lion dance performances and supporting Asian businesses in their community.
Reflecting on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Chien Chien emphasizes the importance of understanding the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. “I am learning how we have a place here in American history despite where we are from,” she says.
She notes the significant role of Asian migrants in building the transcontinental railroad during the 1860s and recognizes that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, with over 20 ethnicities. “I recognize the challenges that we still face, and I am hopeful that by sharing our stories, we can build a more inclusive society for all,” she adds.
Southcoast Health thanks Chien Chien for sharing her experiences and insights on her Asian heritage and reflecting on its rich culture and history.
For more Southcoast Health staff stories, please visit at Staff Profiles Archives | Southcoast Health.