Dr. Sora Park Tanjasiri, MPH, DrPH
Co-Principal Investigator
Professor & Chair
Department of Health Science
California State University, Fullerton
Phone: (657) 278-4592

Dr. Paula Healani Palmer, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor and Director of Global Health Programs
School of Community & Global Health
Claremont Graduate University
Phone: (909) 607-1075

Mary Anne Foo, MPH
Community Outreach Program Lead
Executive Director
Orange County Asian & Pacific Islander Community Alliance
Phone: (714) 636-9095

WINCART Center Steering Committee

WINCART is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from Pacific Islander community-based organizations, cancer-related researchers, and cancer clinical providers in Southern California.
Sora Park Tanjasiri
Paula Healani Palmer*
Mary Anne Foo
Victor Kaiwi Pang*
Lola Sablan Santos*
Vanessa Tui’one May*
Dorothy Vaivao*
Tupou "Bo" Toilolo*
Rhonda Folsom
Leilani Beck*
*Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

WINCART Community Advisory Board

The Community Advisory Board is made up of Pacific Islander community leaders from Southern California. Together, this group helps to guide and inform all of WINCART Community Outreach Program activities.


WINCART was founded in May 2005 and serves the approximately 100,000 Pacific Islanders who reside in Southern California, defined as the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego. Our mission is to reduce the disproportionate burden from cancer affecting five of the largest Southern California Pacific Islander populations: Chamorros, Marshallese, Native Hawaiians, Samoans and Tongans.

Mission Statement

WINCART’s mission is to promote healthy Pacific Islander communities. WINCART addresses cancer health disparities among Southern California’s Pacific Islander populations through increasing cancer awareness, collaborative research programs, and providing valuable leadership and training opportunities. The specific aims for our network are:

  • Develop and implement programs to increase cancer awareness among Pacific Islanders from primarily five populations in Southern California: Chamorros, Marshallese, Native Hawaiians, Samoans, and Tongans.
  • Understand and address smoking cessation needs of young Pacific Islander adults.
  • Explore community knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding biospecimen collection and research.
  • Create opportunities to increase the number of well-trained Pacific Islander researchers through trainings, mentorship, and participatory research projects.
  • Facilitate the development of research grants that address the cancer needs of Pacific Islanders, with a focus on primary (obesity and tobacco) prevention, access and navigation, and survivorship.

Funder & NCI Disclaimer

WINCART is one of 25 Community Network Programs funded by the Nattional Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD). The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI CRCHD.

The overarching goal of the Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training Center (WINCART) is to contribute to the reduction of cancer health disparities among Pacific Islanders in Southern California through an integrated program of research, training, and community education utilizing a multi-level, interdisciplinary, approach that is driven by community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles.

Building upon the successes of our first Community Network Program (CNP) WINCART: Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (U01CA114591/WINCART1), this new Center’s programs and cores incorporate the themes of reducing chronic disease mortality and morbidity through lifestyle change (Research Program; Intervention Project), exploring cultural and ethical issues around biobanking to enhance the promise of personalized medicine (Research Program: Pilot Project), increasing prevention and early detection through assessment and community education (Community Outreach Program), and training of early career investigators in CBPR methods (Training Program).

Experienced community leaders and researchers will facilitate integration across all Center components (Administrative Core). The overarching CBPR principles and processes in WINCART2 derive from those established in WINCART1, and include: 1) shared participation by both community and academic researchers in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of community education, research, and training activities; 2) co-learning between all academic and community partners via joint activities in the Center’s core, programs, and projects; 3) collaboration mechanisms, through the Center Steering Committee and Community Advisory Groups, that ensure fidelity to CBPR tenets among center partners and trainees; and 4) promotion of lasting community benefits across multiple levels of factors associated with PI cancer health disparities.

WINCART2 incorporates the multilevel population health approach to address cancer health disparities, and employs new technologies (including distance learning, electronic surveys and intervention systems) for communication within the Center, dissemination to external audiences, and facilitation of state-of-the-science research, all in the service of reducing cancer health disparities among PIs.


Paula H. Palmer
Principal Investigator (shared)

C. Anderson Johnson
Neurocognitive Co-Investigator

Bin Xie
Biostatiscian Co-Investigator

Patchareeya “Patty” Kwan
Pilot Project Leader
James Pike
Multimedia Specialist

Investigators at Partner Institutions

Sora P. Tanjasiri
Principal Investigator (shared)

Jacqueline Tran
Community Core Leader

Zul Surani
Community Health Educator

Tana Lepule
Community Health Liaison

Linda Guevara
Guam Communications Network

Victor Kaiwi Pang
Pacific Islander Health Partnership

Dorothy Schmidt-Vaivao
Samoan National Nurses Association

Aaron Semaia
Union of Pan Asian Communities

Vanessa Tu`ione
Tongan Community Service Center

Steven Cen
Database Consultant

Lin Xiao
Neurocognitive Consultant

Ongoing Activities

This research project is currently in the process of recruiting and assessing subjects.


Data collection and analysis is currently ongoing.


This project was supported by Grant Number 1U54CA153458 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI CRCHD.