Staff Member Spotlight: Dr. Wendy Sun

As a child growing up in Taiwan, Dr. Wendy Sun felt like she had to be seen and not heard. Having spent some time in the hospital for an injury, she experienced great physical care, but she feels, in retrospect, that children’s social and emotional needs were not met in such institutions. This would incite a lifelong desire to improve young children’s lives. Although she originally wanted to be a teacher, it was at UCLA that she became interested in mental health, particularly children’s mental health. She had the honor of working with Dr. Lovaas, the founder of the autism program at UCLA. Graduate school further nourished a desire to work with children when Dr. Sun interned at a pediatric unit, working with children who more often than not enter the foster care system.

She was fortunate enough to be a part of the early intervention division program that was launched while working at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. She was also one of only 52 clinicians in California who were first endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health as a facilitator and mentor.

When Dr. Sun came to WIN as a clinical director, she brought with her a real understanding of how early intervention can help disadvantaged families in breaking the cycle of trauma. She believes that behavioral issues are a symptom of a broader issue and she really strives for improving relationships between children and their families. As the clinical director, she provides supervision to community resource specialists and therapists, offers mental health consultation to local Early HeadStart programs, and oversees trainings. She’s played a vital part in the second Ready4Routines pilot and has provided support in the Health Neighborhoods initiative.