OHE Advisory Committee Members
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, the Founding Director of the University of California (UC), Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UC Davis Clinical Translational Science Center, and Co-Director of the National Institute of Aging-funded Latino Aging Research and Resource Center. He has nearly 30 years of experience working in the mental health field as a researcher, clinician, professor, and advocate. He has created a substantive applied research program that focuses on cross-cultural comparative epidemiologic research on patterns and correlates of mental disorders, substance abuse, and health conditions; identification of unmet health and mental needs and associated risk and protective factors in underserved populations; community engaged approaches to reducing health disparities in underserved populations; and quality of care improvement through culturally and linguistically appropriate services. His recent work is focused on translating and bridging research with services delivery and policy development. He has been appointed to numerous policy and research advisory boards including a four-year appointment to the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institute of Mental Health and the World Health Organization. In 2005, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health's National Minority Health Community Leader Award.
Paula Braveman, MD, MPH, is Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco. For more than 25 years, Dr. Braveman has studied and published extensively on health equity and the social determinants of health, and has actively engaged in bringing attention to these issues in the U.S. and internationally. Her research has focused on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health, particularly in maternal and infant health and health care. During the 1990s she worked with World Health Organization staff in Geneva to develop and implement a global initiative on equity in health and health care. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with local, state, national, and international health agencies to see rigorous research translated into practice with the goal of achieving greater equity in health. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2002.
Delphine Brody, is former Program Director of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) client involvement, public policy, and self-help technical assistance at the California Network of Mental Health Clients. Brody represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) young adults and adults; survivors of violence, abuse, and trauma; and mental health client/survivors throughout California, and strives to amplify these constituencies' grassroots voice on policy issues that impact their lives. She has led community-based research on stigma and discrimination and participated in conducting research on LGBTQ disparities and client experiences in MHSA services. She currently serves as Secretary of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy and as a member of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee; California Stakeholder Process Coalition; and other committees and projects. Brody's areas of expertise include social inclusion; health equity; cultural humility; trauma sensitivity; community outreach and engagement; coalition building; peer support; crisis alternatives; violence prevention; homelessness; and supportive housing tenants' rights.
Jeremy Cantor, MPH, is Program Manager with Prevention Institute in Oakland, California. His work focuses on advancing an environmental approach to prevention and equity through projects on community health; land use and health; and health reform. Cantor has been coordinator of the statewide Healthy Places Coalition and lead consultant on the Eden Area Livability Initiative in Alameda County. He has co-author numerous briefs and studies including Prevention for a Healthier America; Health, Equity, and the Bottom Line: Workplace Wellness in California Small Businesses; Community-Centered Health Homes: Bridging the Gap Between Health Services and Community Prevention; and Laying the Groundwork for a Movement to Reduce Health Disparities. He has developed training and research materials on health equity for numerous organizations including The California Endowment and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cantor has served on the advisory boards for the Community Health Centers Leveraging the Social Determinants of Health Project, California Health Policy Forum, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Initiative (RAMP).
Yvonna Cázares is the Director of Next Level Engagement at California State PTA. For over 10 years, Cázares has served in organizations committed to developing the leadership capacity of diverse “hard-to-reach” communities of parents, youth, and families so that they may have a say in setting the local, state and federal policies that shape opportunity and provide for our common future. She remains committed to supporting youth and parent-led advocacy for a safe, quality education that provides for the social, emotional, physical and intellectual well being of all students. At PTA, she helps lead and coordinate efforts to educate and empower more parents about school funding processes, the critical link between health and student achievement, and the importance of arts education.
Rocco Cheng, PhD. is Corporate Director of Prevention and Early Intervention Services at Pacific Clinics. A licensed clinical psychologist since 1996, Dr. Cheng has directed programs on mentoring, parenting, and gang awareness, as well as several prevention projects aimed at reducing substance abuse, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), youth violence, and gang affiliation. He has directed the Asian-Pacific Islander (API) Strategic Planning Workgroup (SPW) of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) since 2010. Additionally, Dr. Cheng and his culturally-responsive team, provide training and technical assistance for two statewide Stigma and Discrimination Reduction (SDR) Projects, collaborating with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), California and Mental Health America of California.
Dr. Cheng advocates for underserved cultural communities. He is a steering committee member with the California Mental Health Services Act's (CalMHSA's) SDR Consortium as well as the Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative. Dr. Cheng also serves on the Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Committee's (MHSOAC's) Service Committee. He represents the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHP) immigrants/refugees populations in Los Angeles, the southern California region, and statewide (urban/rural).
Kathleen Derby is a peer and family advocate with over 25 years of lived experience in mental health. She serves as Legislative Analyst for the State Independent Living Council, which works toward the goals of policy and system change. She previously served as Advocacy Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), California, representing the voices of peers and family members on statewide mental health policy issues. She strives to educate and activate consumers to support involvement in policy, planning, and improvements in access and quality of services. She began her community involvement in disability rights through addressing stigma and discrimination by launching NAMI Sacramento’s first In Our Own Voice program and serving as the Coordinator. She remains an active speaker. Derby serves on committees and coalitions which advance disability rights, including the Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Consortium and the California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports.
Aaron Fox, MPM, is Health Policy Manager at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Fox focuses his work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and underserved communities; advocates for effective policies that continue to support access to quality culturally competent health care; and provides education to the community on changing health policies and funding streams. He continues to underscore that LGBTQ and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) communities who need continued support and increased access to care that reduces disparities and enhances community wellness. Fox serves as the Co-Chair for the California HIV Alliance, is a Steering Committee member for the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, and is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. Additionally, he has served on the Policy Committee for the National Coalition for LGBTQ Health.
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