CHCF Health Care Leadership Program Announces New Class of Fellows (2018–2020)

Program transforms today's clinicians into tomorrow's leaders

Thirty-two clinical leaders have been selected to participate in the California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program to expand their management skills and meet the challenges facing our state’s health care system, the foundation announced today.

The leadership program is a part-time fellowship that offers clinically trained health care professionals hands-on opportunities to develop the decisionmaking, strategic planning, and executive skills they need to excel as multifaceted leaders.

During the two-year program, fellows attend six multiday seminars and participate in ongoing learning activities. Graduates gain insights into the trends and challenges facing health care and leave prepared for new levels of leadership within their organizations.

“Fellows in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program are agents of change transforming and modernizing the state’s health care system,” said Sandra R. Hernández, MD, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. “Long after they complete their fellowships, our alumni apply their leadership skills in safety-net institutions, county and state governments, and all types of health care systems. The leadership fellows are a tremendous resource, and they bring us closer to a health care system that works for all Californians.”

More than 450 doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals have participated in the program since its inception in 2001. Nationally recognized health care and leadership development experts from Healthforce Center at UCSF teach the curriculum. Alumni become part of a network across California that continues to collaborate and share skills.

“Activated, passionate leaders are driving needed changes throughout the health care system,” said Healthforce Center at UCSF Director Sunita Mutha, MD, FACP. “I am so proud of the hundreds of CHCF Health Care Leadership Program alumni who are improving care in their communities, and I can’t wait to see the impact this new cohort will have on their organizations and throughout California.”

CHCF Health Care Leadership Program
Cohort 18 (Class of 2018–20)

Barbara Ackerman, PhD
Psychologist — Manager
Riverside University Health System – Medical Center

Beatrisa Bannister, PharmD
Pharmacy Service Chief II
LAC+USC Medical Center

Deirdre Bernard-Pearl, MD
Pediatrician, Medical Director
Santa Rosa Community Health

Michael Changaris, PsyD
Chief Training Officer, Integrated Health Psychology Training Program
Contra Costa County Health

Shari Chevez, MD
Kaiser Permanente – Southern California

Chase Coffey, MD, MS
Associate Chief Medical Officer
LAC+USC Medical Center

Noemi Doohan, MD, PhD
Family Medicine Residency Program Director
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley

Blake Gregory, MD
Medical Director, Highland Wellness Primary Care Clinics
Alameda Health System

Vanessa Grubbs, MD, MPH
Associate Professor

Neha Gupta, MD
Medical Director, PRIME and Ambulatory Transformation; Medical Director QIP
Alameda Health System

Tracy Peck Holcomb, AuD
Director of Clinical Services
Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California

Elizabeth Horevitz, PhD, LCSW
Director of Behavioral Health
Marin Community Clinics

Malcolm John, MD, MPH
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Director of HIV Health Equity

Kelly Jones, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Kedren Health Primary Care Clinic

Hemal Kanzaria, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine (UCSF)
Director of Complex Care Analytics (SFHN)
Codirector of Emergency Department Lean Improvement (ZSFG)
UCSF, San Francisco Health Network, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

Mercedes Kwiatkowski, MD
Child Psychiatry Department Head, Palo Alto
Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Panna Lossy, MD
Women’s Health Coordinator
Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency

James Marcin, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics
UC Davis Health

Alice Moughamian, RN, CNS
Program Director
Medical Respite and Sobering Center, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Deborah Murr, RN, HCM
Administrative Director of Health Services
Kern Health Systems

John Okemah, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Native American Health Center

Gary Pace, MD, MPH
Public Health Officer
Mendocino County Health Department

Barnard Palmer, MD
Attending Physican
UCSF-Alameda Health System

Ellen Piernot, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
Golden Valley Health Centers

Pauline Preciado, RN, MPA
Clinical Strategy Execution
Gold Coast Health Plan

Tyler Seto, MD
Director of Clinical Quality
Los Angeles Department of Health Services

Rina Shah, MD
Physician, Board Member
Community Health Fund, John Muir

Miriam Sheinbein, MD
Associate Medical Director, Primary Care
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Shannon Smith-Bernardin, PhD, RN, CNL
Director of Clinical Services
LA DHS Housing for Health

Efrain Talamantes, MD, MBA, MSc
Associate Director
University of California, Davis, Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Tricia Tayama, MD, MPH
Medical Director
Keller Center, San Mateo Medical Center

Winifred Teuteberg, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Stanford Medicine


About Healthforce Center at UCSF

Healthforce Center at UCSF prepares health care organizations for success by combining a deep understanding of the issues facing their workforce with the leadership skills to drive progress. The center’s efforts are focused in the core areas of leadership programs and workforce research. For more information about Healthforce Center, visit

Contact Information:
Lisa Aliferis
Senior Communications Officer

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.