Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team


The Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team is a national group of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) researchers, health experts, community leaders and advocates formed to plan and implement infrastructure for informing and supporting families and communities about COVID-19.

The National Lead for the team is Dr. Raynald Samoa and the Technical Assistance Lead is Dr. Nia Aitaoto. The Pacific Islander Center of Primary Care Excellence is the convening organization for the Response Team. A list and names of the National Focus committee, as well as the names and contact information for the different regional leads for California (Northern and Southern), Washington state (King and Pierce County), Utah, Arkansas, Oregon and Hawaii is included below.

Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team Strategic Plan »

Tune into Koviki Talk!

Koviki Talk Podcast
Mondays starting September 14 – 5:00-6:00pm PDT
Join LIVE on Facebook – @PI-CoPCE @Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response @Empowering Pacific Islander Communities @PolyByDesign OR on Zoom –

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the inequities across many areas in our society including health care, research, policy, and essential community services. Although data that separates Pacific Islander numbers from the general population is limited, the states and counties that are reporting this data show Pacific Islanders are disproportionately affected by COVID-19—with some regions seeing rates of infection up to five times that of white people.

Join the Pacific Islander Center of Primary Care Excellence (PI-CoPCE) with partners for the Koviki Talk, a limited podcast series on all things Pacific Islanders, COVID-19, and seeking wisdom to learn more about how the Pacific Islander community is responding.

Featured Resources

NHPI Data Summary – The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) COVID-19 Data Policy Lab at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: NHPI Data Summary
Week of August 6
Week of August 13
Week of August 13, 2020
Week of September 10, 2020
Week of September 17, 2020
Week of October 1, 2020
Week of October 29, 2020

August 3, 2020 Community Toolkit – SoCal Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team NHPI COVID-19 Community Toolkit
Download toolkit »

June 20, 2020 Town HallNational Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Town Hall
Watch recording »
Download slides »

May 27, 2020 Testimony – The Disproportionate Impact Of COVID-19 On Communities Of Color, U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee Hearing
Watch recording »
Download testimony » 

May 4, 2020 Press Conference – COVID-19 Disproportionate Impact on Pacific Islander Communities
Watch recording »
Download slides »

April 24, 2020 Press Release – Devastating COVID-19 Rate Disparities Ripping Through Pacific Islander Communities in the U.S.

Recent Press





Pacific Islanders COVID-19 Response Team Members

Note: If you need COVID-19 assistance and the contact information for your Regional Lead is not shown below, contact us at

Region Last Name First Name Email Phone
Arkansas Lelan Melisa (479) 283-2992
N. California AhSoon Natalie

(415) 385-5357
N. California Vee-Noga Taunuu (808) 371-7110
S. California Aina Sefa
S. California Alo Audry (310) 293-2136
S. California Lepule Tana (619) 886-5688
S. California Quenga Heidi (562) 972-0969
S. California Scanlan Rita
S. California Tulua Alisi (323) 440-0859
S. California Young Kawen (310) 767-3196
Oregon Alailima Manumalo (909) 525-6241
Utah Fitisemanu Jake (801) 259-8700
Utah Pasi Fahina (801) 467-8712
Utah Satini Margarita (801) 631 9283
Washington Seia Joseph (206) 859-7922

How can we work together?

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How can we work together?

Contact Us