Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

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Our Voices, Our Health: Matelita's Story

Wednesday, November 1st 2017


Our Voices, Our Health: Matelita's Story

Part 1: Getting Diagnosed

In this first story, Matelita Fifita reflects on her journey to better health after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer with her daughter, Melevesi Fifita-Talavou.  Matelia shares her experience having to postpone treatment because she lacked health insurance to cover costly screening services. With guidance from Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP) and other local organizations, Matelita was able to get health coverage and has been cancer free for six years now. 


Part two will be published November 9.

Our Voices, Our Health is a series by Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) in collaboration with StoryCorps and multiple Health Justice Network partners. Beginning November 2017, we are sharing compelling stories to highlight the diversity of health care challenges and experiences within California’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018 is the open enrollment period for Covered California, California’s health exchange marketplace. If you need assistance to enroll, renew, or use your health coverage, click here to find a Certified Enrollment Counselor near you or contact (213) 241-0262 or [email protected]!

Since 2003, the Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP) has served indigenous Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities through  outreach, education and engagement in community-based participatory research (CBPR), scholarships and leadership training, island community capacity building, and advocacy   for health for all islanders to reduce health disparities in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other chronic illnesses that disproportionately affect PI communities, with special programs for island seniors and youth.

For more information, please contact PIHP:
Address: 1505 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: (714) 571-0859

This series was produced by Advancing Justice-LA, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate word.

Advancing Justice-LA would like to thank the following Funders for their generous support of this project: The California Wellness Foundation, The California Endowment, Covered California, DentaQuest Foundation, and Walter and Shirley Wang.


Our helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: discrimination, family, immigration, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
中文: 800.520.2356
한글: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ภาษาไทย: 800.914.9583
Tiếng Việt: 714.477.2958


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.