Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Article excerpt


For this issue, Generations is fortunate to have as guest editor a distinguished scholar and practitioner in healthcare and long-term care who is also one of the country's leading experts on the myriad aspects of diversity and cultural competence in aging.

Donna Yee is currently executive director of the Asian Community Center of Sacramento Valley in California and was formerly director of policy and research at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging in Seattle, associate research professor at Brandeis University, and an administrator at a number of health and community services agencies.

"Like many others, I did not plan to spend my career with elders, or even in healthcare," Yee says. "Pd planned to be an English teacher." It was Yee's ties to the Asian community that brought her, via a roundabout route, to aging. Yee moved to Seattle from San Francisco after college. At the urging of community leaders, she accepted a scholarship to attend the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

"My introduction to aging was in community housing, but it was working at a home health agency and in the early years at On Lok in San Francisco that I realized how much I was gaining from elders' experience and resilience," she says.

It was Yee's work in community settings that eventually led her to pursue a doctorate in social policy "I saw how crucial aspects of elders' everyday lives are affected by social, political, and economic factors that determine the healthcare and social policies in our country. I wanted to learn about all of this so that I could work for change."

At Brandeis, as a student and then an associate professor, Yee found that she was called upon to be the "expert minority person" in a number of situations. …

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