Board of Directors
Alice Lai-Bitker, MSW, Founder & Chair
Former Alameda County Supervisor
A successful public servant founded the Diversity in Health Training Institute in 2011, Alice served as the Alameda County Supervisor from 2000 – 2010. During her ten years on the Board of Supervisors, she left a mark in the areas of economic development, healthcare workforce development, and domestic violence awareness.
Alice was Staff Assistant to Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan from 1995 to 2000. In that capacity, she was instrumental in shaping the county’s policies and programs related to social services and health care, particularly mental health, child welfare and welfare reform. She also co-founded the Association of Chinese Families of the Disabled and the East Bay Chinese Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Prior to that Alice worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 10 years at the Asian Community Mental Health Services. Alice is a graduate of Hong Kong Shue Yan College with a major in Sociology and earned a Master’s degree in Social Work at San Francisco State University.
Aaron cooperband, MBA
senior partner, new aspect financial services
Aaron started his career at Salomon Brothers, and subsequently worked at Citibank, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. His work involved the principles of asset/liability management, swaps trading and risk management, credit risk, derivatives structuring, and training other employees in these areas. While working on trading floors in New York and Tokyo, his clients were primarily major multinational corporations, sovereign governments, and governmental entities. Currently, Aaron is a financial advisor, working with individuals on retirement planning, risk control, tax minimization strategies, and asset management.
Lawrence ng, md
executive director, chinese american physicians society
Received medical degrees and Honorary Fellow from the University of Hong Kong. In private pediatric group practice since 1972. Founding board members and current executive director of Chinese American Physicians Society (501 c (3)) organization. Founding board member of Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and current board member of its Foundation. Former board member of Family Bridges, Inc. and Oakland Asian Cultural Center. President of Friends of University of Hong Kong, Inc. a (501 c (3)) organization. Executive board member of Ethnic Health Institute of Samuel Merritt University. Board member of Children First Medical Group.
Chief nurse executive, alameda health systems
With more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Richholt oversees nursing services and operations for acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and psychiatric, outpatient clinics and skilled nursing for Alameda Health System (AHS) with more than 2,800 nursing staff. Prior to joining AHS in 2014 she served as a consultant for Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Antioch, California, where she implemented strategic initiatives to improve care experience. She also consulted for Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego on mentoring new nursing leaders, developing care experience plans and addressing productivity. Her other executive positions include Chief, System Operations and Management Support Services at Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, Calif. where she led cardiovascular and perioperative services, pharmacy, materials management, and food and nutrition services and several positions (Senior Vice President, Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive, and Clinical Nurse Manager of Perinatal Services) at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California.
senior vice president of client relations at gorman health group
David Saÿen (pronounced "SIGN') is Senior Vice President of Client Relations at Gorman Health Group (GHG). In this role, David guides GHG clients in developing strategies to respond to rapidly changing federal program opportunities. GHG is a firm providing consulting services and software products primarily to health plans, medical groups and providers doing government business. David recently joined GHG after a distinguished career at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), most recently as the Regional Administrator of the San Francisco Regional Office. Prior to that he held executive positions at the agency in Medicare Advantage, Original Medicare and Financial Operations among other things. David is particularly interested in the development of new payment models like Accountable Care and Medical Homes that can improve access, raise quality and make care more affordable. David earned his MBA in Health Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family.
BARBARA STAGGERS, MD, MPH
DIRECTOR OF ADOLESCENT MEDICINE, CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Barbara Staggers, MD, MPH is a nationally recognized authority on the medical, psychosocial and psychobiological needs of adolescents. Dr. Staggers runs the outreach and training cores of the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. In 2005, Dr. Staggers unveiled a school-based health clinic at McClymonds High School in west Oakland. In 2002, Dr. Staggers co-founded the Faces for the Future internship program to inspire and support minority students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. She earned a bachelors degree from UC Berkeley, a Master in Public Health from UC Berkeley, and a medical degree from UCSF. Dr. Staggers completed her pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland and an adolescent medicine fellowship at UCSF. From UC Berkeley she has received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award (2004), the School of Public Health Alumna of the Year (2006), and the Regional Public Health Hero Award (2008). Dr. Staggers was appointed to the Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation in 2004 and served as chair from December 2012 to December 2014.
Tina Vasconcellos, Ph.D.
Dean of academic pathways and success, merritt college
Appointed Dean in 2008 at Laney College and with her transfer to Merritt College in 2015, Dr. Vasconcellos has managed budgets in excess of 5.5 million annually. While her expertise is in Student Services and with an emphasis on student access, equity, and success she has also managed many instructional departments including Career Technical Education and Liberal Arts Departments. With more than twenty years of experience as an educator, Dr. Vasconcellos has worked in the Peralta District for 14 years. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she led academic and student services departments and mandated college-wide initiatives to ensure strong student outcomes and equal access at Berkeley City College. As faculty, she taught psychology and counseling courses and developed certificate and associate degree programs for the Social Services Paraprofessional and Community Health Worker. In support of student equity and social justice for under achieving populations, Dr. Vasconcellos develops ongoing community partnerships that support student success and career and educational goal attainment. A graduate of John F. Kennedy University with a BA in Liberal Arts and MA in Counseling Psychology Dr. Vasconcellos holds a Ph.D. in Applied and Human Sciences (with a specialization in Community College Leadership) from Colorado State University.
kay strawder, msw
women's health coordinator, Region Ix, U.S. Office of public health and science
Kay Strawder is the Women's Health Coordinator for Region IX of the U.S. Office of Public Health and Science. This region consists of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and 6 jurisdictions in the Pacific Basin. Ms. Strawder has over 20 years of experience in the health/mental health fields. She has been a psychiatric social worker, drug counseling program director, hotline counselor, and social work field supervisor. Ms. Strawder has consulted in the fields of rural health, hospice care, teenage pregnancy, health services research, sexual assault victims, the elderly, and family advocacy. She was a Commissioned Officer in the U.S.P.H.S. at the rank of Commander and has worked in such federal programs as community/migrant health centers, the National Health Service Corps, medical education, international health, and health services research. Also, Ms. Strawder served as the Special Assistant to the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop. She has held full-time and adjunct teaching positions in various health fields, and has been a speaker and delegate at domestic and international conferences. Ms. Strawder received her Bachelors degree from California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, a Masters Degree in Social Welfare from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, an Advanced Health Care Administration Certificate from George Washington University in Washington, DC. , a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and has studied international law at the University of Exeter in England.
Miki Hong, MPH, MHSA Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health and Health Equity, Mills College
Miki is a health services researcher with formal training in epidemiology and health management and policy. She is a tobacco control scholar and has published journal articles that relay the conflicts of interest between academic scientists and the tobacco industry. Miki is interested in medical effectiveness research as it relates to policy and lawmaking. She has served as a task force member with the California Health Benefits Review Program, a body that responds to requests from the California State legislature to provide independent analysis of the medical, financial and public health impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates and repeals in California state. Currently she is a Assistant Adjunct Professor at Mills College and conjoint lecturer, faculty of medicine and public health at the University of Newcastle (Australia). She conducts research on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. The examination is regulation enacted by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to ascertain the health-related grounds for inadmissibility of persons applying for admission into the United States. She analyzes potential health-related grounds for inadmissibility for refugee and asylee populations denied US entry due to medical examination results. She studies the effect of current trends in US policymaking on disease and inadmissibility as they relate to regional endemic diseases of refugees and asylees. Miki received her BA from Columbia University and an MPH and an executive MHSA, both from the University of Michigan.
Kathleen C. Woulfe, Consultant Boys & Girls Club, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, family services, Marie gillmore
Kathleen consults in areas of Philanthropy, Government, Development , Community & Non-Profit Relations including Philanthropy, Endowment, Capital, Annual & Political Campaigns. Public Relations, Community Outreach, Grant Writing, Public Affairs with proven performance in delivering impactful Government Relations & Project Management-Leadership. She is on 11 boards and 2 advisory boards including Boys & Girls club of America, Rotary club of Alameda, Meals on Wheels, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, and Alameda Family Services to name a few. Since 2011, she does contract work with Boys and Girls Club as endowment coordinator and community relations. Kathleen is active in civic work such as campaign manager-community liaison at Marie Gillmore.
susan tanner, Corporate Attorney senior counsel Kaiser foundation health plan & Hospitals
Susan is a corporate attorney in the national legal department of Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. In her nearly twenty years of legal practice, she has focused on transactional work and regulatory issues in the health care industry. Before law school, she worked in various hospital, clinic, and health plan settings. Her non-legal experience includes administration at a women’s community clinic and student health center, operations support for a hospital system and large medical group, and academic research on HIV prevention programs. Susan strongly believes in the importance of a diverse health care work force and the provision of culturally sensitive care from practitioners who can communicate in a patient’s native language. Susan received a JD from Stanford Law School, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University.