Empowering 32 More Future Health Care Leaders

CHCF Leadership Fellows Group Photo
Leadership Program fellows gather in January 2020 at the Capitol in Sacramento after a day of meetings with policymakers. Photo: Rico Corona

Since it was created two decades ago, nearly 600 clinicians have participated in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program to join a network focused on improving care for all Californians and to learn how to lead California’s health care organizations. Most of the alumni continue their work today and are part of an extraordinary and growing community.

Every year, 32 fellows are selected through a competitive admission process to participate in the program while continuing to work in their home organizations. The two-year, part-time fellowship is open to clinically trained health care professionals with at least five years of leadership experience who live and work in California. The program is designed to provide fellows with the leadership and management skills to tackle health policy issues while collaborating with business and public policy leaders.

The training is led by national experts in health care and leadership development from Healthforce Center at UCSF. Each fellow’s experience culminates in a California Health Care Improvement Project that showcases what they have learned and how it benefits their sponsoring organizations.

The fellowship program’s 21st cohort begins its work later this month. The fellows are diverse in every way — racially, ethnically, geographically, and professionally. More than 70% are from safety-net organizations, and nearly 40% are behavioral health specialists.

I’m proud to oversee CHCF’s support of this important program, and I look forward to learning from members of this cohort as they create and realize their visions for making California’s health care system work for all of us.

Incoming Fellows

Here are the new fellows (in alphabetical order) with their organizational affiliations and a link to their LinkedIn profile if available:

  • Mohamad Nour Alsharif, MD, MPH, assistant director, Center for Clinical Research, UC Irvine
  • Michael Brodsky, MD, medical director of behavioral health and social services, L.A. Care Health Plan
  • Aspen Burnett, MSW, LCSW, director of behavioral health, JWCH Wesley Community Health Center (Los Angeles County)
  • Manuel Campa, MD, primary care director, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Sharon Cobb, PhD, RN, director, prelicensure nursing programs, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science (Los Angeles County)
  • Romana Crespo-Belarde, LCSW, MSW, director of behavioral health, White Memorial Community Health Center (Los Angeles County)
  • Jeffrey DeVido, MD, MTS, behavioral health clinical director, Partnership HealthPlan of California (Marin County)
  • Tricina Edwards, BSN, nurse manager, San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health
  • Weston Fisher, MD, executive director for informatics and quality, UCSF
  • Tiffany Ho, MD, executive behavioral health medical director, County of Santa Clara Health System
  • Dennis Hsieh, MD, JD, chief medical officer, Contra Costa Health Plan
  • Brian Hurley, MD, MBA, medical director, Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Sommer Kaskowitz, DNP, MSN, chief clinical officer and chief nursing officer, Central City Community Health Center (Los Angeles County)
  • Ravi Kavasery, MD, vice president, cost of health care, Blue Shield of California (Los Angeles County)
  • Jessica Kuo, PharmD, interim chief operating officer, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Cynthia Lin, MD, chief of medicine, Chinese Hospital (San Francisco)
  • Deirdre Logan, MD, MMM, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, Keck Medicine of USC, Student Health (Los Angeles County)
  • Phuong Luu, MD, MHS, bi-county health officer for Sutter and Yuba Counties, Yuba County Health and Human Services Department
  • Dawnell Moody, DO, MPH, chief medical officer, Axis Community Health (Alameda County)
  • Jeffrey Norris, MD, chief medical officer, Father Joe’s Villages (San Diego County)
  • Lindsey O’Leary, MA, marriage and family therapist, manager of quality improvement, Monterey County Behavioral Health
  • Gabriel Ortiz, MD, PhD, medical director for medical/surgical care, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
  • Ana Rapoport, MSN, CNM, certified nurse midwife, Kaiser Permanente (Contra Costa County)
  • Teri Rhetta, MD, MMM, vice president and medical director, WellCare Health Plans (Orange County)
  • Angel Rodriguez, LCSW, MSW, director of behavioral health, UMMA Community Clinic (Los Angeles County)
  • Darpun Sachdev, MD, medical director for contact tracing, linkage to care, and navigation programs for HIV, STDs, and COVID-19, San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • Sujatha Sankaran, MD, associate clinical professor, UCSF
  • Ashley Sens, MD, chief medical officer, Woodland Clinic Medical Group (Yolo County)
  • Tiffany Sickler, PhD, regional program director, Koinonia Family Services (Riverside County)
  • Mithu Tharayil, MD, primary care department chair, San Mateo Medical Center
  • Paige Thiermann, MD, regional medical director, Neighborhood Healthcare (San Diego County)
  • Sheila Young, MD, director, enhanced post-baccalaureate certificate program in pre-medicine, and director, pre-medical academy, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (Los Angeles County)

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