SC CTSI Alum Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS, is Honored as one of World's Most Influential Filipinas by Global Advocacy Organization
The assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Keck and CHLA is reversing a long tradition of stigma about mental health issues to help Filipino families and children avoid serious problems and, instead, to thrive.
The Filipina Women's Network (FWN) has named Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS, one of the world's 100 Most Influential Filipina Women. The annual Global FWN100™ award celebrates Filipinas across the professional and civic spectrum who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement globally and locally.
The FWN is an international nonprofit advocacy organization that works to increase the power and influence of Filipina women as leaders and policy makers in corporate, government, institutions and community organizations to achieve economic and social justice and women’s rights.
The organization recognized Javier's efforts as a public health scientist to help Filipino families address the mental, emotional, and behavioral issues that plague young people of all groups. Such issues have contributed to rising incidence of serious problems, such as a tripled suicide rate, among youths 10 to 24.
Javier is an attending physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine of USC. She was also a research scholar in the SC CTSI's KL2 training program, where mentors helped her develop advanced skills in community-based and translational research. She is a current Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.
Javier, who grew up in Los Angeles as the daughter of Filipino immigrants, saw that mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues among young people were all too common in her community. In Filipino culture, however, mental health has traditionally been an uneasy topic, and families are often unsure about seeking the care they or their kids need.
"We hope the Global FWN100 award will help us increase awareness of mental health problems among Filipinos and other communities," said Javier, who has been working on these health concerns for 17 years. "In partnership with our community partners and parent champions who have participated in our programs, our goal is to give families tools to address these issues positively without further stigmatizing people."
Javier based her community interventions on "The Incredible Years," a series of evidence-based educational courses in parenting, and in life and social skills. A more detailed look at Javier's background and work appeared in an SC CTSI news article. A video of parent testimonials highlighting the impact of the Incredible Years on Filipino parents can be viewed at below:
"There are not enough providers of mental health for our young people, particularly in Filipino and other Asian communities, making prevention even more crucial," said Javier. "By intervening earlier with programs like this in hard-to-reach and diverse populations, we can help families and young people thrive through adolescence and into adulthood."
Javier's received the Global FWN100 honor in the program's Builder Category, which highlights leaders who have demonstrated exceptional organizational impact at a large workplace environment through collaborative initiatives or alliances with institutions, corporations, or nonprofit organizations.
"I’m honored to represent CHLA, USC, our community partners, and the Filipino community of Los Angeles," said Javier. "This award would not be possible without the support of our Division, my mentors, collaborators, especially my fellow Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars, Dean Coffey, Aviril Sepulveda, Jed David, Horacio Lopez, community partners, research assistants and interns, and Filipino parents and grandparents who have participated in the Incredible Years Program and served on our Filipino Family Health Initiative community advisory board. This award recognizes all of our hard work, commitment, and dedication."
Global FWN100 Awardees will also be asked to “femtor” (a term coined by the FWN) a young Filipina through the organization's FEMtorMatch program. Over her career, she has femtored more than 15 Filipinas, many of whom have pursued careers in the health field.
Filipinos, though among the largest immigrant groups in the U.S., have long been under-represented in clinical research, particularly in mental health, said Javier. She has also been expanding her research and culturally-congruent interventions beyond Filipinos to families in diverse communities throughout the United States and in the Philippines. To learn more about the Filipino Family Health Initiative, visit www.filipinofamilyhealth.com or Facebook at @filipinofamilyhealthLA.