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Los Angeles in The News

AAPI Heritage Month Spotlight: Maria Theresa Sagun, RN

In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are proud to recognize and celebrate the AAPI individuals whose work helps to make LAMC a great place to work and receive care. Every week during AAPI Heritage Month, we will celebrate individuals who exemplify AAPI Excellence at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Please take a moment to read the profiles below. Maria Theresa Sagun, thank you for sharing your story with us. We salute you and we celebrate your leadership and medical excellence.


Maria Theresa Sagun, RN

I was born in a small town of Manaoag in the Philippines. I graduated from the University of Sto Tomas in Manila, Philippines for my BSN and went to CalState LA for my MSN.

I love traveling to anyplace where the water is warm and learning about other cultures through food. I started as a new graduate nurse at LAMC January of 2000 and I have never left!

What gets me up each morning is knowing what I do may potentially make a difference in someone’s life and knowing that I am part of something bigger than myself motivate me.

Celebrating my heritage reminds me of who I am and where I came from. Keeping traditions and values held on by the generations before us,  help us understand who we are. AAPI heritage month gives us the opportunity to showcase our cultural and historical contributions to our communities.

AAPI Heritage Month Spotlight: Karen Kwan, MD

In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are proud to recognize and celebrate the AAPI individuals whose work helps to make LAMC a great place to work and receive care. Every week during AAPI Heritage Month, we will celebrate individuals who exemplify AAPI Excellence at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Please take a moment to read the profiles below. Dr. Karen Kwan, thank you for sharing your story with us. We salute you and we celebrate your leadership and medical excellence.


Karen Kwan, MD

I was born in Los Angeles, California.  I went to UC Berkeley for my undergraduate studies and attended UC Davis for medical school.  I did my internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. I have been here at LAMC since 2010, and I specialize in the care of patients with breast cancer.   My children get me up each morning, and I enjoy spending time with my family and supporting my children with all their activities and interests.  AAPI Heritage month is an opportunity to honor our past and our future.  The opportunities we have now are due to the contributions and struggles of prior generations.  I am a child of immigrant parents, and the opportunities I have now are directly related to their sacrifice and the barriers they overcame.  It’s important to remember our history as we move forward as a community to share our traditions and culture and celebrate our differences.

For Women’s History Month, meet some of the phenomenal women at LAMC: Sarah Katel, MD

On behalf of the Women in Medicine committee, LAMC is thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month, a time to recognize the achievements and contributions women have made to our country throughout history.

This year’s theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” seems particularly fitting as we recognize the heroic efforts that our women physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, technicians and administrators have made throughout the pandemic.

We thank all of you for your dedication, hard work, perseverance, empathy and compassion, not just during the pandemic, but always. We are in awe of your resilience and your continued delivery of quality, heartfelt care. Our medical center and our patients thrive thanks to your efforts!

Jessica Gould, MD  -  Lisa M. Sanders, MD  -  Lisa Firestone, MD
Women in Medicine

We are proud to feature Sarah Katel, MD, as a Phenomenal Women in Medicine.


Sarah Katel, MD, FACOG, Assistant Chief, Obstetrics and Gynecology

I was born in Santa Fe, NM, and spent my childhood in Mexico City and Miami. After high school I headed north, to the suburbs of Boston, where I attended Brandeis University. I completed medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. In 2006, after eight long and cold winters, I moved to the warmth of southern California and began my training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Los Angeles Medical Center. I completed my training in 2010 and this past July I celebrated my Quinceañera year in this department.

There is never a dull moment in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I am doing the work that I love. The breadth of the specialty, its pace, and its complexity keep me going. I really appreciate working in a group where I always have the help of colleagues in my specialty and other specialties to provide the best care for patients.

My great-grandmother graduated from medical school in St Petersburg, Russia in 1904. The framed photograph of her diploma in my office starts with: “The bearer of this, Amalia Eduardovna Kopp, daughter of a bourgeois of the Jewish faith, born on February 19, 1876…” This lead sentence is meaningful to me because of the significance of a Jewish woman becoming a physician in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Women’s History Month is a time to appreciate the struggles that women of her generation went through to become physicians, or even just to work outside the home. We absolutely have made strides forward since that time and there is still more work to do.

Prevention & wellness

Prevention is about staying healthy, and preventing or delaying disease. Wellness is living your best life. Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles is here to help you stay healthy and live your best life. There are many things you can do to take an active role in your prevention plan to stay healthy and thrive through all stages of life.