Exploring San DiegoCommunityStories for Change


WATCH: Asian in America special

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 15:21:20-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This month we have celebrated the many local communities around San Diego.

ABC 10News Anchor Virginia Cha hosts a panel of community leaders to talk about the Asian experience in San Diego. They will look at the struggles, triumphs, and changing perceptions that have developed over the last couple of years.

Watch the Asian in America special in the media player above.

Learn more about the community leaders featured in the panel below:

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Dr. William Tsung-Chie, MD
Internal Medicine at Kaiser Permanente

Dr. William T.C. Tseng, M.D., M.P.H, joined the Southern California Medical Group (SCPMG) at Kaiser Permanente San Diego in 2000.

Dr. Tseng currently serves as a practicing board-certified internal medicine physician, President of Professional Staff, Assistant Area Medical Director, and is a physician ambassador to the corporate community. Dr. Tseng is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Tseng serves as a Trustee for the California Medical Association and on the executive board of the San Diego Medical Society.

Dr. Tseng enjoys balancing his time between patient care, hospital accreditation and patient safety while continuing to Oversee physician education and Kaiser Permanente’s Diversity Council. Dr. Tseng is actively involved in the community, including involvement with the Union of Pan Asian Communities, Asian Business Association of San Diego, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, and Doctors of the World. He is an appointed volunteer faculty at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

In his past role with the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, he helped develop a successful physician volunteerism project offering donated physician office visits, surgeries and procedures to low-income, uninsured patients.

Dr. Tseng received his medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins University Bayview Medical Center while jointly receiving his Master's in Public Health from John Hopkins University in Baltimore. He resides in San Diego with his wife and 2 children.

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Lt. Al Ambito
San Diego Police Department

Lieutenant Al Ambito became a police officer with the San Diego Police Department in January 2006. He is the lead liaison to the very diverse Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in San Diego. Lieutenant Al Ambito was born, raised and educated in the Philippines.

He is a fluent Tagalog speaker and like many Filipino families in San Diego, he was raised around the U.S. military, with his father being a retired U.S. Navy Chief. He is very active in the API communities in San Diego County, especially in working to build trust and respect between law enforcement and the community. His prior assignments include working as a patrol officer in Southern Division and Southeastern Division, serving as a Detective at Southern and Southeastern area stations, and assignments in the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Units.

From 2016 to 2018, Lt. Al Ambito managed the SDPD Multi-Cultural Community Relations Office (MCCRO) in Mid-City Division. As a Lieutenant, he was first assigned to Southern Division managing the issues along the border during the Migrant Caravan event in 2018. Currently, Lt. Al Ambito is assigned to the Southeastern Division, which has one of the largest populations of API residents in the City of San Diego. In addition to his duties with SDPD, Lt. Al Ambito is highly active in other API Law Enforcement Associations. He is a founding member and director of the Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Association in San Diego (FALEO), past President and current Vice President of the San Diego Pan-Pacific Law Enforcement Association (PANPAC) and Vice President of the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA).

He is committed to maintaining the positive relationship that SDPD has built with API communities and dedicated to helping with any public safety concerns including issues involving any hate crimes against community members.


Dr. Darshana Patel
Poway Unified School District Board Member

Dr. Darshana Patel is a first-generation American born in Pittsburg, Penn. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry with a minor in Religious Studies. During her undergrad, she studied abroad for a year at the University of Sussex in England.

Following her graduation, she interned at Monsanto in St. Louis, MO and then earned an intramural training award at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Patel was awarded her Ph.D. in Biophysics by the University of California, Irvine in 2002. She then joined the Department of Protein Engineering at Genentech, Inc., as a postdoc and later took on a role as a project manager in the Department of Translational Oncology.

She has served on the Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board (current member of the Land Use Committee), SDPD Police Captain’s Advisory Board – Northeastern Division, Park Village Elementary School Foundation – currently Advisor, formerly Executive VP, Science and Technology Director, the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council (served as President, and Chairs of Education, Web&Print, Fiesta and Safety Committees), Park Village Elementary School PTA – served as VP Legislation, Reflections Chair and the Poway Unified School District Advisory Committee, School Site Council.

Claire Lee

Claire Lee
Junior at Canyon Crest Academy

Claire Lee is a junior at Canyon Crest Academy. She is passionate about advocating for representation and open conversations about cultural differences for the development of teens. She sees art as an engaging medium to share authentic human stories and undo the stigmatization of race. Although at times, she has seen the Asian American community scatter and divide, she has also seen the community come together in times of need. She hopes to utilize the spotlight that has been shined on Asian hate to create momentum for change.