HIPHI is excited to welcome five new staff members in August and September!

Dr. Sonia Gupta – August 3

Dr. Sonia Gupta is our new, full-time Oral Health Manager! Sonia is based on Maui and will be working in the Maui Office when we reopen! Sonia is a practicing dentist and will continue her practice one day a week. She has a one-year-old son, loves policy and data, is well connected with various healthcare groups, and has been doing a lot of COVID-19 mobilization work. She also loves to write and is quite techie!

Ananda Luttet – August 10

Ananda Luttet is our new Grants and Operations Coordinator.  Ananda will help support our Operations / Finance team, bringing with her more than fifteen years of experience in operations and administrative work.  Ananda has amazing history, values, and commitment to public service and will be a great addition to our organization. Her most recent positions held are Administrative Officer for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Program Manager of Colorado State University – Journalism and Media Communications, and other positions with non-profit organizations on the mainland.

Kayla Carlisle – August 31

Kayla Carlisle is our new Outreach and Research Specialist.  Kayla is one of three new positions at HIPHI that will help expand our food systems work.  Kayla was first an intern at HIPHI this summer from June through August, and worked on policy research and infographic designs. Kayla has experience as a Public Health Research and Project Manager, and is a recent graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy. Kayla recently moved to Hawaiʻi after spending a semester here on an exchange program, knowing she wanted to come back. She has a lively personality, and amazing skills that will serve HIPHI well in her new role at HIPHI.

Lindsey Ilagan – September 3

Lindsey Ilagan is our new Program Manager and will be helping HIPHI with the coordination and facilitation of the Kūpuna Food Security Coalition, as well as some outreach and data management work related to food security / food systems. Lindsey is also one of three new positions at HIPHI, to help expand our food systems work. Lindsey has also worked with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health in the Chronic Disease / Diabetes Prevention, Heart Disease and Stroke Division. She has extensive knowledge in public health, contract management, grant writing, communications, community building and engagement, and so much more.  She is well-rounded and overall a friendly and charismatic person!

Susan Mercado – September 14

Susan Mercado (Susy) is our new Food Systems Director. She is the third new hire to help manage HIPHI’s food systems work. Susy has diverse experience of over 20 years in public health, welfare services, humanitarian action, teaching, and medicine. She is an M.D. and an M.P.H. and has served as a specialist in international, government and NGO health organizations, helping to shape policies and program agendas on a global and regional scale. She is a passionate advocate for public health with a focus on prevention and control of noncommunicable disease and risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, substance abuse, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.  She has leadership experience in COVID-19 pandemic response, and solid experience in outbreak preparedness, readiness and response in the Red Cross Movement, especially in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific.