Member of the Month

Cindy Her

Cindy Moua Her

BSN, RN

Favorite Quote

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

– Roy T Bennett

Cindy obtained her Bachelor of Nursing from West Coast University. Although she has been a registered nurse for 9 years; she started out as a CNA/Med Tech and cared for Alzheimer’s residents. Caring and working with dementia residents made her realize her love for the field and that was when she actively pursued her nursing degree. Cindy’s bedside experience has been primarily on cardiac telemetry units. She also fills in as charge nurse, resource nurse and is a preceptor for new grads in her unit. She puts emphasis and advocates for patient and staff safety.

While working in acute care, she was a Clinical Instructor for 2.5 years. Cindy enjoyed teaching student nurses, guiding them, supporting their growth and knowledge. She shared her personal experiences and challenges to help bridge what is taught in school and actual practice. Being a part of someone’s journey into the nursing field is an honor.

Cindy has been a part of HNA since 2018. She was a member of HNA, Fresno Chapter and is now currently serving her second term as HNA, Sacramento Chapter Secretary. While being with HNA Sacramento, she has helped at the HNA booth during Sacramento Hmong New Year, assisting in health screenings, and providing health information and vaccinations. She assists in collaborations that the HNA Sacramento Chapter has with other affiliations.  

On her free time, Cindy loves spending time with family and friends, cooking, and sleeping. She also enjoys traveling and discovering new foods to try.  If she’s not doing those things, she is participating in her women’s church group activities.

Sophia Mua

Sophia Mua

FNP-BC Urology

Favorite Quote

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou 

My nursing journey is a humble one. Like many Hmong refugees, my family and I immigrated to America in the late 70’s. I remember having to be an advocate for my parents during their doctor’s visits was both terrifying as well as gratifying. That’s where I knew my calling was to help the most vulnerable.

Today I am a nurse practitioner in the Department of Urology at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sutter Health. My approach to healthcare is through a holistic approach. Understanding the individual’s mind and body is essential to helping find the best treatment for them.

Nou Thao

Nou Thao

BSN, RN

Favorite Quote

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run walk, if you can’t walk crawl, but by all means keep moving.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Nou went to California State University Sacramento (CSUS) for her undergraduate education and graduated from the CSUS traditional BSN program. In the middle of Nou’s nursing program, the Covid-19 pandemic was declared. However, Nou continued to serve as a student leader and participated in her school’s chapter for the California Nursing Students Association and American Association for Men In Nursing, to further promote the nursing career to future and current nursing students.

After graduating, Nou went to work for Kaiser Permanente as an unlicensed nurse extern providing patient care in the oncology unit at Kaiser Roseville and then transitioned into the Kaiser Vaccination clinic at Cal Expo. It was at this time that Nou founded the Hmong Nurses Association and began actively participating as a general member. Once Nou obtained her licensure, Nou moved into the public health arena by working as an RN Contact Tracer for COVID-19 in the Sacramento City Unified School District, providing safety education and isolation guidelines for staff, students, and families.

Nou wanted to challenge herself and get back into patient care so Nou applied for a nursing position at Sacramento Community Clinic. Currently, Nou is a Lead Care Manager for a team of community health workers who provide case navigation services for Medi-Cal patients in Sacramento County. Nou also is serving as the current HNA Sacramento Chapter President. One of the HNA Sacramento Chapter’s accomplishments was when Nou and her chapter collaborated with the Capitol City Black Nurse Association, the Philippine Nurse Association California Capital City, and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses to prepare and execute the annual Breaking Down Barriers to Nursing for pre-nursing individuals. Nou looks forward to bringing the Hmong nurses in Sacramento closer through more community engagement such as the HNA National Conference which will be hosted at Nou’s alma mater. Nou hopes to continue to work with other nursing organizations and honor the values HNA has established.

Some of Nou’s hobbies include arts and crafts, attending concerts, and listening to podcasts in her free time.

Pa Vang

Pa Vang

RN, MSN

Favorite Quote

“People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. “

– Michelle Obama

Pa Vang has been a registered nurse for over 15 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  During her career, Pa has worked in a variety of healthcare settings, including home health and public health. During her time as a Public Health Nurse, she partnered with local communities to address the social determinants of health, pursued and achieved leadership roles in policy changes to the Tuberculosis Program, and developed local health promotion programs.  She is currently the Agency Director for A Sisterly Care, LLC. She values the importance of personalized patient-centered care, and she enjoys working with her team to ensure her patients are receiving the best care possible.  She also leads the agency’s efforts to improve healthcare quality and safety.

Pa Vang is a co-founder of the Hmong Nurses Association (HNA) and is currently a Board Member of HNA. She remembers helping to set up the first meeting at a community center so that Hmong nurses could come together. She is passionate about supporting our Hmong nurses and our Hmong community by promoting health education and addressing the disparities.

Pa Vang is one of 10 children in her family. With the support and encouragement of her parents, all of her siblings have obtained postsecondary degrees.  Education has been an important factor in her family and she likes to encourage younger generations to seek higher education and growth opportunities.

In her spare time, Pa enjoys hiking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Mia Yang

Mia Yang

MSN, FNP-C, FNP-BC

Favorite Quote

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.”

– Earl Nightingale

At a young age, Mia always wanted to learn skills and knowledge to help other people. She knew she wanted to go to college, but did not know what major. One Saturday afternoon in her junior year in highschool, her family was having lunch at her Aunt Tria and Uncle Choua’s house. Mia was in their living room hanging out with her cousin’s and Uncle Choua came up to her and asked, “Abmaum (Hmong name), koj yuav mus college kawm dab tsis?” She stared at him and thought to herself, no one has ever asked me this question. She paused then answered, “Kuv kuj tsis tau paub thiab as. Cia kuv xav tso,” Then Uncle Choua immediately replied, “Koj mus ua nurse xwb mam. Nurses make a lot of money…” She chuckled at Uncle Choua and paid no attention to his comment about nurses making a lot of money. At that time, she was clueless about the responsibilities of the profession nor how much they made. But because of this one stimulating question, Mia decided that she was going to become a healthcare professional in order to acquire the medical skills and knowledge to not only be useful in the workforce, but also in her life.

Mia’s nursing background includes a diverse array of nursing experience in the intensive care unit, assisted living, cardiac and telemetry unit, and hospice and home care. These experiences have prepared her on both a clinical and personal level in which she is able to empathize and establish deeper connections with her patients. She has experience in precepting new nurses and student nurses, educating and training registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and unlicensed personnel, acting as a charge nurse on acute care cardiac units, and performing case management. These experiences have allowed her to hone in on her leadership skills and helped her be a better leader and advocate for others. Aside from her role as a nurse, she is an active HNA member in the Twin Cities chapter. She is assisting in the Medical Assistance (MA) Redetermination Community Engagement Project. The goal is to educate the community about the MA renewal process and provide assistance to those who need to renew their MA insurance through workshops. Additionally, she is a member of the Multicultural Task Force with her current employer, Our Lady of Peace (OLP) Homecare and Hospice. She has had the opportunity to create Hmong educational videos with Dr. Yer Xiong, provided hospice education to the Hmong community through Hmong Radio, and assisted in translating hospice content in Hmong for the organization.

Mia was recently elected national secretary in Hmong Nurse Association. Her goal is to be an inspiring mentor to current and future Hmong nurses and students, promote a healthy community through health and wellness education, and be an active participant in the projects and events of the Twin Cities chapter. She desires to positively impact and empower Hmong nurses nationwide to be more active in their chapters. She believes that through the collaboration of Hmong nurse leaders in Hmong community engagement at events, workshops, health, and social organizations, and through social media, her goals may be achieved. She also believes that through these avenues, Hmong nurses can collectively empower, encourage, and educate the Hmong community by emphasizing healthcare maintenance, preventative care through disease management and ultimately minimizing healthcare disparities and barriers within the Hmong communities.

Foua Vang

Foua Vang

MSN RN PHN CMSRN

Favorite Quote
“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.”

– Mother Teresa

Foua has been an Oncology nurse for 15 years specializing in chemotherapy administration and Hospice care. Currently, she is the lead preceptor/ educator for her Oncology unit where she onboards and helps train all new employees. She is passionate about educating co-workers about the Hmong culture and how to care for end-of-life Hmong patients. She has also worked as a home care nurse.  She recently received her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education. She aspires to teach at a university one day.

Foua has received the Daisy Award from one of her cancer patients for chemotherapy administration. She has also been a March of Dimes award finalist. She has been nominated for Nursing Excellence Awards in her hospital and has won the Florence Nightingale Award for her unit. She also sits on several Councils.

Foua is a co-founder of the Hmong Nurses Association and is currently a Board Member of HNA.  Foua is also a host on 3HmongTV, a Hmong telecast station located in St. Paul, MN. You can catch her in her talk show  “The Foua Vang Show.”

She is also a Board Member of the Hmong Baptist National Association. Foua has been married for 30 years and has 5 children. Three of her daughters are also registered nurses as well.

Maichou Lor

Maichou Lor

PhD, RN

Favorite Quote

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

– Albert Einstein

Dr. Maichou Lor was the first Hmong nurse to receive a Ph.D. in the United States. She is an extraordinary early career investigator whose formal training in health equity research is a true boon to the underserved communities she is devoted to serving. Her dedication to serving underserved communities stemmed from her lived experiences as a Hmong refugee, ad-hoc interpreter, who interprets for family members, and a registered nurse. Through her interactions with the U.S. healthcare system, she has witnessed the poor quality of care for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) due to the lack of access to medical interpreters and differences in communication style between patients, interpreters, and clinicians. Thus, she sought an advanced degree to enhance her ability to foster practice change through the U.S. healthcare system.

Dr. Lor enrolled in the BS to PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, and has been actively involved in research since the beginning of her Bachelor of Science program.  She received her Ph.D. in 2017 from the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship training at Columbia University in 2019. Dr. Lor is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing. Her research focuses on developing culturally and linguistically appropriate health interventions and data collection solutions to engage LEP populations in research. She is highly funded and has published over 40 scholarly research articles.  Her research focuses on the impact of (Hmong) culture, language, and health conditions (e.g., pain, mental health, hearing loss) on communication between LEP Hmong patients and their providers. She has developed two culturally and linguistically appropriate health assessments for the Hmong population including a pain assessment visualization tool and a hearing loss assessment (i.e., Hmong word recognition tests), the first of its kind for the Hmong population.

Currently, she is developing a medical dictionary in collaboration with Hmong community members, linguists, and interpreters to improve communication between Hmong patients, medical interpreters, and healthcare providers for the Hmong community.  Dr. Lor plans to use this work to inform the training and certification of Hmong-speaking interpreters and be a model for other languages. Additionally, she is leading an initiative to build the capacity to include the Hmong, particularly those with LEP, in survey research as they have been historically excluded from research and is a population that is difficult to gather information from.  Her hope with the survey data is to provide data for the Hmong community to leverage resources and funding to improve the health and quality of life of the Hmong population in the United States. Her commitment to health equity and inclusivity is reflected not only in her scholarship but also in her commitment to mentoring and empowering students and colleagues from underrepresented backgrounds — an effort recognized by her Outstanding Women of Color Award and Teaching Award from UW-Madison.

By building a research and training infrastructure that spans beyond the University, Dr. Lor has created unique transdisciplinary opportunities which afford her students and staff from a variety of backgrounds the chance to be involved in the entire research process, from transdisciplinary team meetings to presenting project findings at conferences and publishing. Going forward, Dr. Lor will continue these efforts and strive to amplify the voices of those affected by inequity.

Casie Yang

Casie Yang

MSN, BSN, PHN, RN, FNP-BC

Favorite Quote

“If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L means “First Attempt In Learning”; End is not the end, in fact E.N.D means “Effort Never Does”; If you get No as an answer, remember N.O. means “Next Opportunity”. 

-Morgan Freeman

Casie Yang is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Public Health Nurse from West Coast University in 2010. Casie has over 15 years of blood banking and transfusion medicine experience, where she performed apheresis collection of red blood cells, platelet, and plasma. She then obtained a Master of Science in Nursing from Phoenix University and held a national certification with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2017. She is a Doctoral of Nurse Practice student at Grand Canyon University. Her specialties are in primary care, women’s health, pediatric, neurotoxins injection, dermal fillers, laser apparatus, non-surgical fat reduction, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.

She currently employs at Fontana Medical Weight Control and Med Spa, where she is performing Kybella, non-surgical fat reduction (Trusculpt/CoolSculpting), microneedling with plasma-rich-platelets, hair loss restoration, intravenous vitamin therapy, NAD anti-aging therapy, laser apparatus (titan, genesis, vascular, limelight, hair removal), and medical weight loss (phentermine/semaglutide). She also holds an Esthetician licensed, specializing in skin analysis, facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels. She is a big patient advocates and her goal is to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on the patient’s needs and provide patients with the best treatment options available.

Casie is one of the HNA board members and the HNA Election and Nominating Chair for Hmong Nurse Association. She has joined HNA as an auditing member in 2020 and in 2022 she helped plan and MC HNA first National Conference in Twin Cities Minnesota in August of 2022. Casie is dedicated to helping HNA fulfill its mission and vision. Casie is passionate about empowering Hmong brothers and sisters to obtain higher education opportunities and to use the knowledge they have learned to give back to the underserved Hmong Communities. Furthermore, Casie is the secretary for Hmong Association of Long Beach, which is a non-profit organization that helps preserve Hmong cultures and provide free classes for students.

Casie is the second oldest of 5 children and the only girl. She grew up with a single mother and has seen how her mother was looked down upon due to her widowed status. This has inspired Casie’s to obtain higher education so she can be a role model to her children and to be sure she can provide for her children regardless of her marital status. She is fluent in both English and Hmong. Casie loves learning about the Hmong culture/traditions and learning new things/clinical skills.

Fun Facts: She enjoys reading romance books, traveling, massage, and spending quality time with her family and friends. I spy myself in “The Harvest” movie directed by Doua Moua.

Wa Yang

“Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen, but I am not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.”

-Jane Goodall

Wa Yang, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Wa Yang is a practicing board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). He obtained his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Minnesota and his Master of Science in Nursing degree at Metropolitan State University. He has been a practicing nurse since 2014.

Throughout his nursing career, he has worked in various areas of nursing, from home care nursing to inpatient cardiovascular and community mental health. He pursued his nurse practitioner degree after working with an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team serving and aiding those with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). The lack of psychiatric providers and providers of color with diverse backgrounds further his passion for pursuing this specialty. Though there are many challenges within the mental health arena, there are also positives that bring great joy to him.

Aside from working as a nurse/nurse practitioner, his hobbies and interest include filmmaking, theater, and the performance arts. Previous to becoming a nurse, he was active in the local Twin Cities film and theater community, in which he both acted and produced through various creative outlets.

Mang Vang

“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

– Nelson Mandela

Mang Vang, MS, CRNA

Mang Vang is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, CA. UC Davis Health is the Level 1 trauma facility in the Sacramento region. Mang has been a registered nurse for 20 years and 14 of those years as a CRNA. Prior to joining the UC Davis team, she worked at another Level 1 trauma facility in Florida. She works with anesthesiologists in an anesthesia care team to provide anesthesia services during surgical and nonsurgical procedures.

Besides working at a very busy hospital, she dedicates her time to Hmong Nurses Association. She is currently the Vice President of the Sacramento Hmong Nurses Association chapter. As the VP of Sacramento HNA, she participated in many activities in the community. She volunteered to administer the covid vaccine. Along with HNA, Mang participated in the HYPU night market during the 2022 summer, educating the community about heat stroke. HNA provided free water, coconut water, and sport drinks during the events for hydration. She was involved in the planning of the Breaking Down Barriers to nursing conference at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing hosted by the Capitol City Black Nurses Association, guiding a culturally diverse group of students.

Socioeconomic and emotional obstacles impact all cultures. Success requires commitment, dedication, and support. Mang is the the second child out of ten children. Her journey has been met with many personal obstacles and failures. However, throughout her experience from the central valley to San Francisco to the east coast of Washington, DC and Tampa, she found her strength in the love and support of her family and friends. Embrace the failures as motivations and lean on the foundation that cement the inner strength to succeed.