LCHC is fortunate to have a committed group of Board Members who help to determine the organization’s priorities, as well as a group of supportive emeritus board members. Together these boards possess a wealth of information regarding Latino health, organizational development, legislative advocacy and effective collaboration.
CEO at Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
Isabel Becerra, CEO: Prior to joining the Coalition in 2000, Ms. Becerra enjoyed an extensive community health center career with a focus on Section 330 FQHCs. First serving as the Director of Health Policy and Development, Ms. Becerra was appointed as the CEO of the Coalition in 2006. Ms. Becerra has been a director on the Board of The California Wellness Foundation since 2009 and served as vice chair from 2014-2016. She is also a director on the Board of the California Primary Care Association, the Board of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, the Advisory Council for Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), and the Advisory Council for Orange County Women’s Health Project. She completed health care executive leadership programs at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (in affiliation with the National Association of Community Health Center’s MATCH program) and the University of California, San Diego and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in psychology.
Director of Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA), University of California Berkeley, School of Public Health
Xóchitl Castañeda is the Director of Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA) at the School of Public Health, University of California (UC) Berkeley. A medical anthropologist by training, Xóchitl was educated in Guatemala and Mexico and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in reproductive health at UC San Francisco; and a post-doctoral in social science and medicine at Harvard and at Amsterdam Universities. She directed the Reproductive Health Department at Mexico’s National School of Public Health for seven years. Since 2008, she has served as a professor on Migration and Health at various UC campuses.
Carmela R. Castellano-Garcia, Esq.
Health Care Access Policy Chair
President & Chief Executive Officer, California Primary Care Association (CPCA)
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), overseeing a membership association of more than 1,200 nonprofit, community clinics and health centers (CCHCs) which serve nearly 6.2 million patients a year. Ms. Castellano-Garcia has been committed to advancing multi-cultural health policy issues for 25 years, focusing on areas such as cultural and linguistic competency in health care delivery, ensuring the viability of safety net providers, health care reform, and access to care for vulnerable populations.
Carmela also oversaw the recent creation of a new 501(c)4 CPCA affiliate corporation – CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, a social welfare organization that is dedicated to advancing the mission of community health centers through state and federal advocacy. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is governed by a Board of Directors who have been designated by the CPCA Board of Directors. Carmela Castellano-Garcia is the President and CEO and leads a team of government affairs professionals
Irma Cota, MPH
President & Chief Executive Officer, North County Health Services
Since 1997 Irma Cota has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of North County Health Services, a non-profit community health care organization providing health care in the north region of San Diego County. NCHS serves more than 65,000 individuals annually at eleven clinic locations, providing comprehensive medical, dental, mental health, as well as health education services and social services. The access impact NCHS has in the community is reflected by the over 296,000 patient visits. Most NCHS patients are below 200% of poverty and are primarily uninsured or are covered by government insurance. In addition, Ms. Cota also oversees a number of community programs and services among them are programs such as WIC nutrition program serving over 14,000 women and children as well as a county-wide HIV/Case Management program and an extensive community outreach and insurance enrollment programs.
Under her Ms. Cota’s leadership North County Health Services has been the recipient of many awards, among them are Callaway Golf Company Foundation Award for Organizational Excellence, the San Diego North Regional Economic Development Council Award for Healthcare in the large non-profit health category, San Marcos Economic Development Corporation’s Economic Development Excellence (EDE), the San Marcos Chamber Business of the Year Award and the recipient of the Tri-City Medical Center Diversity and inclusion in recognition of its employment diversity and collaborations.Under her leadership NCHS has received several UT “Best Places To Work At” recognitions; in 2016 it received the Peter Barron Stark Workplace Excellence award.
Veronica Dela Rosa, MBA
Assistant Medical Group Administrator Kaiser Permanente San Diego
Veronica Dela Rosa has spent over 25 years in the health care industry. Veronica is a health care administrator for Kaiser Permanente where she oversees the medical group’s Primary Care Services Division. In her role, she focuses on quality, access and innovative health care delivery services to over 590,000 patients. In both her career and community involvement, Veronica has been an active supporter and advocate of women’s health, social justice and health equity.She has helped shape multiple non-profit organizations as a board member including, the National Planned Parenthood Federation, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud, Cal State San Marcos University Council, South Bay YMCA and various County of San Diego appointments.
Genoveva Islas, MPH
Program Director, Cultiva la Salud
Genoveva Islas was born in Fresno, California and grew up in small rural communities of the San Joaquin Valley; her parents were farm laborers. She is the first in her family to attend college and graduate with an advanced degree. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health from California State University, Fresno and received a Masters in Public Health degree in Health Education and Promotion from Loma Linda University. Genoveva is the Program Director of Cultiva La Salud. Cultiva is dedicated to creating healthier communities in the San Joaquin Valley by fostering policies, systems and environmental improvements to allow for greater access to healthy foods/beverages and increased opportunities for physical activity. Cultiva’s efforts also focus on building community leadership so that residents can be more effective in advocating for healthy changes in their communities. Genoveva is the board chair for Community Water Center and a board member for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, California Institute for Rural Studies, and California Bicycle Coalition. Genoveva was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley board and most recently the Health Benefit Exchange Board for California (Covered CA).
Mary Maddux-Gonzalez, MD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer, Redwood Community Health Center
Mary Maddux-González is a board-certified family physician and public health professional. She is the former Chief Medical Officer of the Redwood Community Health Coalition (RCHC). RCHC is the coalition of community health centers in Napa, Yolo, Sonoma and Marin counties that collectively serve over 220,000 predominantly Medi-Cal and uninsured patients. Prior to joining RCHC, Dr. Maddux-González was the Sonoma County Public Health Officer and Public Health Division Director for over 11 years. In addition, Dr. Maddux-González has worked extensively as a primary care physician in community health centers and public health clinics. She was also a core faculty member of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and an Associate Clinical Professor of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Maddux-González completed her Family Medicine Residency at the UCSF-affiliated Santa Rosa Residency Program and obtained her medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. She also has a Diploma in Human Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California Berkeley. She has served on multiple Boards and committees, including the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, the Integrated Healthcare Association, Sonoma County Medical Association, Santa Rosa Community Health Center, the California Office of Binational and Border Health Advisory Group and the California Conference of Local Health Officers. Dr. Maddux-González currently works as a public health consultant.
Carmen Rita Nevárez, MD, MPH
Secretary & Prevention Policy Chair
Vice President of External Relations & Preventive Medicine Advisor, Public Health Institute
Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH, is vice president for external relations, preventive medicine advisor and director of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice at Public Health Institute located in Oakland, California.
A long-standing voice for the public’s health, Nevarez is responsible at PHI for developing relationships with health and public health organizations and interests, incubating new project areas and public health advocacy. She served as president of the American Public Health Association in 2010.
Berenice Nuñez Constant, MPH
Vice President of Government Relations at Altamed Health Services Corporation
Berenice Nuñez Constant, MPH is the Vice President of Government Relations at AltaMed Health Services Corporation, a leading health care system providing care to more than 300,000 Southern California residents. In her current role she leads legislative and policy advocacy strategies aimed at advancing state initiatives to eliminate disparities in health care access and outcomes for Latino and multi-ethnic and underserved communities.
Previously, Berenice was with Molina Healthcare, Inc., one of our nation’s largest Medicaid Managed Care health plans for almost a decade, where she served as the Associate Vice President of Government Contracts. In that role, she lead regulatory and advocacy strategies to initiate and advance state and federal initiatives to support the health care needs of underserved populations enrolled or eligible to enroll in government sponsored programs. She also supported new business development expansion opportunities in current and prospective markets nationally. Further, she established the company’s Latino legislative advocacy strategy to promote and advance policies for Latinos within Molina’s national advocacy agenda.
In 2010, Berenice was awarded a Health Policy Graduate Fellowship by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C. During her fellowship she worked in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supporting the implementation the Affordable Care Act and at the Senate Committee on Finance where her portfolio of work included Medicare, Medicaid and oversight of federal health reform implementation activities.
Collectively, Berenice has nearly 20 years of experience in the health care sector; working at the federal, national and state level to support the health care needs of underserved populations. She holds a Master of Public Health in Management and Policy from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University Long Beach. Berenice serves on various boards including the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, the United Latinx Fund, and the California Latino Leadership Institute.
Michael A. Rodríguez, MD, MPH
Professor & Vice Chair of Research, George F. Kneller Endowed Chair in Family Medicine, UCLA Department of Family Medicine
Dr. Michael A. Rodríguez, MD, MPH, is professor and vice chair in the Department of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health and founding director of the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America. Additionally, he is founding director of the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity and serves as the founding chair of the UCLA Global Health Minor. His research activities include ethnic/racial health disparities, immigration, food insecurity, gun and violence prevention, health and gender equity, social cohesion, development of research capacity in low- and middle-income countries and social determinants of health, focusing on the most vulnerable US and Latin American populations. He has published widely and lectured internationally on the topics of intimate partner violence, medical education, cross-cultural medicine and collaborative development of domestic and international research capacity. Dr. Rodríguez has also consulted for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine.
Efrain Talamantes, MD, MBA, MS
Associate Director, UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities
Associate Director, UC Davis Internal Medicine Residency Program
Efrain Talamantes is an assistant clinical professor in internal medicine at the University of California, Davis where he serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Associate Program Director for the internal medicine residency program. He completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship at UCLA & Veterans Affairs with a master’s in health policy and management at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.
Dr. Talamantes completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in psychobiology and received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and completed a master’s degree in business administration with a focus on organization and management at the Emory University Goizueta School of Business in Atlanta, Georgia. He subsequently completed his Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento, California where he participated in the Transforming Education and Community Health (TEACH) program, a primary care training program for residents interested in caring for the medically underserved, and co-directed Clinica Tepati, a free clinic for uninsured patients in Sacramento, California.
Dr. Talamantes is the co-director for the UC Davis School of Medicine Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce (CDHW). The CDHW leads multi-institutional, multi-professional research across the educational continuum and disseminates best practices tailored to educational institutions and community partners on enhancing diversity in the healthcare workforce. He is also the co-founder of MiMentor.org, a national on-line mentoring community for current and aspiring health care professionals. Dr. Talamantes leads various mentoring and research initiatives throughout the country to enhance leadership and diversity in the healthcare workforce.