Staff

Jeffrey Reynoso, DrPH, MPH

Executive Director
jreynoso@lchc.org

Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso is the Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC)—the State’s leading policy organization advocating for health equity of the Latino community. In his role, he is responsible for strategic leadership and external relations, fundraising and financial management, organizational development of the staff and Board, and delivering on policy advocacy and programmatic initiatives. For over a decade, he has worked on health equity and social justice issues spanning academia, government, and non-profit sectors at multiple levels including local/regional, state, and national. Most recently, he worked at Kaiser Permanente as a Doctoral Fellow designing innovative programs to address food insecurity in the Southern California region.

Dr. Reynoso currently serves on multiple boards with policy advocacy, public health, and research organizations including: Board Member of the CA Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and an Advisory Board Member to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging Equity Workgroup and Task Force on Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Brain Trust, CA Future Health Workforce Commission, Health Equity Network of the Americas (HENA), Hispanic Latino Coordinating Center (HLCC), CA Health Interview Survey (CHIS) at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and California Initiative for Health Equity & Action (Cal-IHEA) at UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Dr. Reynoso is the first Latino to receive a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the inaugural Centennial Fellows and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. He completed his MPH at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and BA at UCLA. He is a son of immigrants from Mexico and grew up in California’s Central Valley and North San Diego County. Growing up in a working-class immigrant family, he experienced firsthand the systemic barriers to equal opportunity for all and he believes that the future health and economic success of California is tied to achieving health equity for the Latinx community.

Previously, Dr. Reynoso was a Public Health Fellow in the office of Congressman Raul Ruiz advising senior staff on healthcare and public health policy issues for the Eastern Coachella Valley. Prior to doctoral studies, he worked as a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)/Management Fellow at the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) supporting the Executive Team on Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. During master's studies, he was a Safety Net Partnerships Graduate Intern at Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit, assisting the Medical Director on grant-making strategic initiatives for disparities improvement and quality initiatives. He started his career as a research assistant at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research and AmeriCorps member in the Health Education Department at AltaMed Health Services.

Seciah Aquino, DrPH, MPH

Deputy Director
saquino@lchc.org 

Dr. Seciah Aquino is the Deputy Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) — the State’s leading policy organization advocating for health equity in the Latino community. In her role, she is responsible for building and activating the infrastructure needed to further strengthen organizational, financial, policy and program development while advancing LCHC’s external strategy. Throughout her career, Dr. Aquino has worked to address health inequities across the nation. From serving as a promotora in LA County to advancing policy work at the State level through the Legislative and Executive branches of the Massachusetts State Government. Most recently, she led the public benefits portfolio at the California Immigrant Policy Center where she successfully advanced affirmative policy strategies to address social determinants of health and led over 150 organizations in the state-wide response to the Federal Public Charge threats as the chair of the California Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition.

Dr. Aquino holds a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from Harvard University and a Master of Science (MS) in Global Medicine from the University of Southern California.

She is an inaugural member of the Robert Wood Johnson’s Health Policy Research Scholars program and as such, is committed to building a Culture of Health across the nation and ultimately the world. Dr. Aquino was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States at the age of ten. Through life experience, she has been blessed to learn first-hand how to stand up for the oppressed, how to provide for the needy, and how to speak up for the rights of the destitute.

ROSA FLORES

State Programs Sr. Manager
rflores@lchc.org

Rosa Flores is the Senior Program Manager at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC). Rosa’s work centers on equitable community engagement. With roots as a community organizer, she brings over ten years of experience to our team on community mobilization on issues relating to health equity, migrant rights, climate action, and youth and women's civic engagement. Before joining LCHC, Rosa was the Migrant Health Program Supervisor at Vista Community Clinic (VCC), a federally qualified health center serving North County San Diego. While there, Rosa led multiple health initiatives that elevated farmworkers' access to comprehensive healthcare services and that enacted community-led policy, systems, and environmental changes around healthy food access, the creation of safer community spaces, and public transit infrastructure improvement. Her experience also includes leading and training teams of promotorxs on community-based health education and participatory research practices. Rosa started her career as an advocate for housing rights in East and South County San Diego.

As the daughter of parents originally from Puebla, Mexico, Rosa’s volunteer work is dedicated to advocating for migrant rights and policy. Rosa is a graduate of the San Diego Leadership Alliance Institute, MANA de San Diego's Latina Success Leadership Program, and the Gamaliel Foundation Leadership Program. In recent years, she has served on the leadership teams of the Farm Worker CARE Coalition (FWCC) and the North County Immigration Task Force (NCITF). In 2018, she led the team of volunteers that helped elect the first Latina city council member in Escondido, California’s District 1.

Rosa earned a degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from San Diego State University. She was born and raised in Kumeyaay territory (a.k.a. North County San Diego) and now resides in Nisenan territory (a.k.a Sacramento). When Rosa is not working or volunteering she enjoys road trips and exploring the outdoors.

Mar Velez

State Policy Sr. Manager
mvelez@lchc.org

Mar Velez is State Policy Senior Manager at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. In her role, Mar leads LCHC’s policy agenda to address the social determinants of health, ensure healthcare access for California’s Latinx and vulnerable populations, and incorporate community voice in all policy initiatives.

Mar’s expansive experience in advocacy, research, and local, state, and federal government provides her with unique insight to advance equity, justice, and accountability for public good. Previously Mar was a Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Barbara Lee where she oversaw the criminal justice, Latinx, and women’s rights district issues portfolio. Additionally, she has worked with grassroots leaders and organizations, particularly in the criminal and youth justice field, to pass and promote public safety measures at the state and local levels for positive health and life outcomes for youth.

Mar holds a dual Master’s degree in Public Health and City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She led a community-based participatory research project using the PhotoVoice method with Oakland youth used in advocacy and movement building strategies to center youth’s voice in policy. As a daughter to immigrant parents from Mexico who has had to overcome systemic barriers, it is Mar’s passion to undo cycles that lead to negative life and health outcomes.

Oscar Sandoval, M.S, M.P.A

Government Affairs Manager
OSandoval@lchc.org

Oscar Sandoval, M.S, M.P.A, is the Government Affairs Manager of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. The primary responsibilities of his role include forming the direction of LCHC’s legislative agenda, developing community support for policy goals, and connecting different stakeholders together to see our aims becoming reality. Previously, Oscar was a Behavioral Therapist in the San Joaquin Valley. Oscar has also worked on successful political campaigns at almost every level of government. Most recently, Oscar helped craft Fresno County’s outreach strategy on COVID-19 resources and testing centers.

The son of immigrants from Guadalajara, Mexico, Oscar is a proud product of Fresno, California. Oscar holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies from California State University, Bakersfield, a Masters Degree in Performance Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Oscar served as the President of the Psychology Club at CSU Bakersfield, was recognized with the Rising Leader Award by the National Society of Leadership and Success, and was a USC Latino Alumni Association Scholar.

Oscar is a believer in equity and the removal of societal barriers to living complete lives. His firsthand experiences with the lack of healthcare, clean air, clean water, and other basic necessities many Latinos in California are forced to live without are what fuel Oscar’s work.

During his free time, Oscar loves to play soccer, read books (always open to recommendations), dabbles in photography, and spend time with his loved ones.

 

Robert Nuñez

Policy Communications Coordinator
rnunez@lchc.org

Robert joined LCHC as a Policy Policy Communications Coordinator just in time to kick off the 2020 legislative session, he will be working to advance and elevate LCHC's legislative advocacy and statewide programs work by communicating our efforts connecting LCHC with community, press, and the media.

Growing up in an immigrant household, Roberts’s passion lies in advancing solutions to issues that disproportionately affect immigrant/communities of color including migrant rights, healthcare access, and climate justice. Robert is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minor in a Public Policy.

Before coming to LCHC, Robert gained valuable experience in the private sector as well as the California Legislature. In Sacramento, Robert has served as a Press and Legislative Intern in the Office of Senator Ricardo Lara, and most recently as staff with the Office of Pro tempore Emeritus Kevin de Leon.

Robert also spent time as an Associate at RALLY Communications, where he managed strategic communications on behalf various clients including content creation, social media management, and earned media/press for non-profits aiming to expand healthcare access to all Californians, promoting youth arts development organizations, advocating for park funding legislation, and conducting stakeholder and policy research for Bay Area technology companies.

Outside of the office, Robert likes to practice self-care by going to the gym, and reminding Netflix that he is, in fact, still watching.

Paola Ilescas

Programs Manager
PIlescas@lchc.org

Paola Aracely Ilescas is the Program Manager at LCHC, where she supports the development and implementation of multiple health equity programs and initiatives in collaboration with community organizations. While obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Cal State University San Marcos, she was interning with the Agricultural Health Program at TrueCare Health Center, formally known as North County Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). After graduation, Paola transitioned to Vista Community Clinic, where she was responsible for leading community engagement efforts alongside historically underserved populations as part of the Migrant Health Program.

Paola grew up in in North County San Diego, a region with strong immigrant and agricultural roots. For this reason, Paola has always been intentional in her journey to provide and connect farmworkers to resources. Throughout her career trajectory, Paola has come to learn that eliminating health inequity requires multi-sector partnerships and action. Last year, in addition to providing direct services to farmworkers, she participated in the COVID-19 Farmworker Study (COFS) as a Research Assistant representing the Farm Worker CARE Coalition. The study, a tri-state research project involving farmworker serving CBOs has actively engaged with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address the structural inequities farmworkers face in the health systems.

As a certified Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) facilitator, Paola is passionate about community involvement at all levels of the policy development process. She is committed to integrating that vision at LCHC and beyond. Furthermore, as San Diego Leadership Alumnae, she believes in building leadership pipelines.

Paola is proud of being Venneh Xiza, the Zapotec name of her town and people. Outside her role, she volunteers to drop-off supplies for farmworkers in North County, rock climbs, and indulges in her favorite treat: Fruit!

Jake Abarca

Grants Manager
Jabarca@lchc.org

Jake Abarca is the Grants Manager of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California where he is responsible for managing and identifying new grant and philanthropic opportunities to cultivate partnerships that advance LCHC’s mission to serve the diverse needs of Latinx communities across California.

Jake has years of experience working across academia and the nonprofit healthcare sectors promoting social justice through fostering positive systems change. He most recently served as a Graduate Intern at Kaiser Permanente where he provided senior and executive leadership with data-driven policy and public health guidance to inform their national and regional grant-making strategy and drive solutions to emerging health issues, including ACES/trauma, gun violence, tobacco control, diabetes management, COVID-19 contact tracing implementation and equitable vaccine distribution. Jake also has background in qualitative and ethnographic research where he sought to unearth meaningful insights around critical social issues that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities.

Jake received his BA in Anthropology with a minor in Disability Studies from UCLA and an MPH in Health and Social Behavior from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health where he served as a Kaiser Permanente and John Templeton Spirituality and Health Scholar. He is the proud son of Salvadoran, working-class immigrants, which seeded his determination to exercise his privilege to help ameliorate health disparities among the Latinx community. In his free time, you’ll find Jake at the boxing gym (when we’re not in a pandemic!), reading and writing, meditating, traveling, and amusing himself with his cat sidekick.