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Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander voices

“It's great to have a supportive community of colleagues who understand the unique challenges and joys of being Asian American.”

As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month concludes, we are proud to share the stories of several employees. Here, they reflect on the significance of building connections, sharing culture and creating community at Cardinal Health.

Mei Gong
Senior Global Product Manager, Global Medical Products and Distribution, Dublin, Ohio
I was born in Guangdong, China. My family and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was nine years old, though they had actually begun the application process before I was born. I have been at Cardinal Health for almost four years now, where, as a product manager, I ensure we are able to manufacture and provide the products to support healthcare providers in promoting high quality patient care.

I believe networking helps us better understand ourselves and our role and feel more connected. However, joining a large company in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found it especially challenging to meet people outside of my team. The Cardinal Health Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) fosters a sense of belonging to a greater community. Though I can speak to the traditions and culture I grew up celebrating and observing, China is large, with different customs throughout the country, and the Asian American diaspora is vast with so many ethnicities, languages and cultures. Ultimately though, through my conversations with friends and colleagues, I am learning that we are far more similar than we are different, and it’s an extraordinary feeling to be surrounded by people with similar experiences, with whom I share a common goal.

Finding myself inspired by the compassion and passion of the APAN community, I applied to take on more active roles to continue to invite curiosity and support from the broader community. Now, as co-chair of APAN, I work with our Executive and Steering Committee to ensure our programming supports personal growth and development. Our three pillars, Culture, Community, and Career, all contribute to recruiting and retaining talent. APAN and our other employee resource groups (ERGs) continue to work toward making Cardinal Health an attractive company for prospective employees, by allowing people to celebrate who they are and providing them with opportunities to contribute and learn.

Gina Sheehan
Senior Marketing Manager, Consumer Health, Dublin, Ohio
APAN is such an open and welcoming group that values curiosity and encourages people to explore and discover. I’ve been with Cardinal Health for 18 months; I support diabetes category marketing for our retail independent pharmacy customers. While I was very involved in the women’s ERG at my last company, there was no Asian American group, so I was especially excited to get involved with APAN at Cardinal Health, to celebrate another part of my identity and connect with others in my community.

Born in the U.S., I am mixed race, which has made it hard to feel a sense of belonging in any of the cultures I’m part of. I’ve often felt like an outsider. Being a member of APAN has made the biggest difference for me in feeling connected and has contributed fundamentally to my job satisfaction and enjoyment. I’ve learned so much about the company by meeting colleagues who work in different areas and segments, and being involved in various APAN events has allowed me to build friendships with people I otherwise would not have met.

I love learning about other cultures and look for organic ways to bring my culture into conversations. I’ve found that people like having these conversations and are eager to find out more, especially if they feel comfortable asking questions. I am currently serving as chair of the APAN Culture Committee, where we focus on high visibility events designed to showcase different cultures and the value of diversity. Our efforts aid in talent retention, providing a brave space for people to share and learn.

The members of APAN are so friendly, approachable and willing to share their knowledge and experiences. It’s been amazing to be a part of this community. I am so grateful for this group and to Cardinal Health for supporting it.

Anagha Vyas
Director, Digital and Commercial Technologies, Dublin, Ohio
I moved to Dublin, Ohio from my hometown, Pune, India, 10 years ago and I have been with Cardinal Health for four, where I currently have the privilege of heading the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence (COE) and the Generative AI (GenAI) taskforce. (GenAI is a form of AI that uses algorithms to create new content such as text, images and videos.) We focus on the strategy and execution of using AI in enterprise solutions, commercial products and services. I'm committed to the responsible use of AI to help Cardinal Health shape a smarter, more efficient future for employees, customers and patients.

Festivals are a big part of Indian culture – I can count 20 festivals off the top of my head – and I enjoy sharing the stories and symbolism associated with the celebrations, discussing Indian music, theater, art and tracing the common threads of meaning and cultural influences. There is great diversity within the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and as a member of APAN, I seek to share and learn the nuances and subtleties of different AAPI groups. 

Being part of APAN has strengthened my sense of belonging at Cardinal Health. It's great to have a supportive community of colleagues who understand the unique challenges and joys of being Asian American. What I enjoy most is having the opportunity to make a meaningful impact, both for myself and for the broader Asian community at Cardinal Health. By volunteering my time and skills, I can help shape the direction of the group and advocate for issues that matter to us.

Preety Sidhu
Senior Vice President, Global Medical Products and Distribution Segment Strategy and Business Development, Boston, Massachusetts
I’m proud to have recently celebrated seven years at Cardinal Health, where, every day, my team and I work with our Global Medical Products and Distribution business leaders to build, execute and communicate our strategic direction with clear roadmaps and metrics.

I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, lived in India for a year as young child with my grandparents, and have since lived in more than eight cities around the world. My family is made up of people from different backgrounds. I enjoy sharing my background with family, friends and colleagues through stories, memories and especially food. Cooking the Indian foods that I learned to make growing up with my mom and grandmother for my community allows me to bring people together around a table and see everyone connect and share stories from their different journeys. I love getting to learn about their backgrounds and experiences, especially while enjoying my favorite foods, including saag (spinach), gobi (cauliflower), tandoori chicken, butter chicken, samosas (a potato filled appetizer), naan (flatbread) and more. When we come together and celebrate, we often find that even with our diverse experiences and cultures, we are far more alike than different.

Similarly, at work, groups like APAN provide a community for individuals to connect with people from both like and diverse backgrounds, as well as from different parts of the company. All of these connections are important to recruiting, developing, growing and retaining our talent. I’m a member of APAN because of the people and the sense of belonging it provides. APAN members have developed and empowered a beautiful community and I sincerely appreciate how all our ERGs have come together to build allyship and a shared focus on inclusion.

Himanshu Doshi
Sr. Director, IT, Global Medical Products and Distribution, Dublin, Ohio
I place an immense value on the strength of community and, being a first-generation immigrant, am deeply aware of the sense of uprootedness and disconnect one feels when they start living in a foreign country. I’ve experienced it twice in my life so far, first when I moved to the U.S. and a second time when I moved with my young family to Tokyo, Japan. One of the key things that helped me, and my family, feel comfortable is having a community to rely on. Within Cardinal Health, I feel APAN is one such community.

I was born and lived in Mumbai, India, until 2002, when I moved to Detroit, Michigan, to lead the IT department of a business my company had acquired. Deciding to obtain my MBA from The Ohio State University, I’ve been in the Buckeye state since, and with Cardinal Health since 2008, almost 16 years. I started out as an IT project lead and have since held a variety of roles including building data and analytics platforms and serving as head of IT for our Asia Pacific and Japan business units, among several others. Currently, I am responsible for the core IT platforms supporting our Global Medical Products and Distribution business that process customer orders and manage the supply chain around the world. My team and I ensure that our businesses can get medical products to our healthcare customers when they need them, to provide patient care.

At work, there are many opportunities for me to share pieces of my heritage, from cultural values in daily interactions, to explaining the meaning of my name, a synonym for “moon,” translated as “a piece of snow.” I really enjoy the fact that APAN tries to showcase the beautifully diverse variety of Asian culture. The various cultural observances, and the food that goes along with them, are my favorite part. APAN is a vibrant and dynamic community with different avenues to connect the Asian American diaspora and foster a sense of belonging though both formal connections and informal friendships. I would like to think that in a very small way, I have been able to bring the same sense of welcoming, career guidance and mentoring that I received from the members before me to new members. Recently, I have joined the APAN Steering Committee and look forward to helping demonstrate that Cardinal Health is an attractive employer for skilled AAPI talent.

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