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.


kinzi richholt
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. 


David sayen
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 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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


Advisory Committee

Patti Castro
Assistant Director at Alameda County Workforce Investment Board (WIB)

Abel J. Guillen, VP of Caldwell Flores

Jane Garcia, MPH
CEO, La Clinica de la Raza

David J. Kears
Former Director, Alameda County Health Services Agency

Jeffrey S. Oxendine, MBA, MPH
Associate Dean, Center for Public Health Practice, UC Berkeley

Ingrid Lamirault, Consultant
Lamirault Consulting, CEO, Alameda Health Alliance

Arnold Perkins, MPH
Former Director, Alameda County Public Health Department






beatrice M. lee
executive director

Beatrice Lee joined DHTI in April 2014 where she brings over 35 years of community-based program development, implementation, and policy advocacy experience on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities. She most recently served as Executive Director of Community Health Asian Americans where she helped to grow the organization to an annual operating budget of $4 million as well as successfully advocating for Alameda County’s investment of Mental Health Services Act funds for promising paraprofessional community mental health peer advocate models for underserved communities. Specializing in creating behavioral health services for Asian Americans, Beatrice became a statewide policy leader and advocate for diverse populations in the East Bay (both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties). Since 2008, she has served as President of a statewide policy and advocacy body, Racial & Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition. She has also been involved with the local planning and roll-out of the Mental Health Services Act in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. She has been a member of two statewide workgroups and advisory bodies for two initiatives under the CA Reducing Disparities Project: the API Statewide Planning Workgroup and the CA MHSA Multi-Cultural Coalition. Beatrice is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and also holds a Masters in Public Administration.


Patricia Rojas-Zambrano                                                                                                                                                                                                  Program Director


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Psychotherapist and clinical supervisor with 15+ years of experience in the filed of community development, culture, education, mental health and expressive arts, with a focus on bridging these worlds into the strengthening field of community mental health. some of Patricia's specialties include couple's counseling for partners of mixed ethnic and cultural backgrounds, women who have experienced trauma, immigration related issues, maternal depression and children ages 0-12. Focus on consultation work for community based agencies who want to bring the clinical lens and the expressive arts into their services, private practice referrals and teaching. Bi-lingual in Spanish.  Specialties: Community mental health, expressive arts therapy, couple's counseling, trauma, immigration, maternal depression, child psychology and clinical supervision of MFT interns and ACSW.


Fatima Z. Allam
healthcare career coach / Enrollment & supports coordinator


Fatima brings over eight years of training, coaching, and management in workforce development and qualitative market research to the position of Healthcare Career Coach.  Proficient in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Italian, she has had the opportunity to work in diverse environments both internationally and here in the U.S.  Before immigrating to the U.S., Fatima managed and conducted qualitative market research and training in North and West Africa, Middle East, and UAE.  In 2013, Fatima was a career development intern for San Mateo County’s Health Service Agency/Peninsula Works where she coached job seekers and assisted in creating and facilitating over 25 career assessment and development workshops for over 800 clients with diverse socio economic, ethnic, and age backgrounds.  More recently, Fatima is a career coach and computer instructor for students at the English Center.  Fatima has a M.S. in marketing from the University of Rennes 1, France and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Hassan II, Morocco.


Laura coeLho
healthcare career coach / Program Development & Evaluation coordinator

Laura is excited to join DHTI as a healthcare career coach. Laura is interested in exploring how coaching practices and healing modalities can enhance leadership and workforce development in the fields of public health and community mental health. Through her coaching, Laura supports clients to access their authenticity, depth, and resourcefulness to move towards awareness and actions that align with their needs, values, and life goals. In addition to working at DHTI, Laura designs and implements programs and evaluations with local nonprofits and community-based organizations that work with and for immigrant and refugee communities in the Bay Area. Laura received her MPH in 2015 from UC Berkeley, where she studies health and social behavior. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, Laura completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she worked on planning and evaluation at Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.


anupama chapagain
HEALTHCARE CAREER COACH / outreach & recruitment coordinator


Anupama is a trained Mental Health Interpreter, Covered California Counselor and Domestic Violence Advocate and holds a Post-Baccalaureate in Women’s Studies. She has a strong network with many community based organizations and local government organizations. She has been continuously advocating to uplift the quality of life for immigrants and refugee communities living in the bay area for the last 5 years. In addition to DHTI, she works for many other local organizations working for new immigrants and refugees. She is interested in helping the new community explore and prepare for a career in healthcare as well as to supplement the growing need in the healthcare industry by creating opportunities for the immigrant population in the bay area. She believes in outreaching through the community engagement model, so that the new immigrant and refugee communities can know the available opportunities for them.


jack tyler
Healthcare workforce pathways coordinator

Jack Tyler joined Diversity in Health Training Institute as its Program Manager in October 2015.  Jack brings a background in workforce development with immigrants and refugees, and in particular, his knowledge and experience working in the healthcare sector industry.  The addition of Jack to DHTI’s staff team is timely as the organization is building its capacity to take DHTI’s healthcare workforce programs to scale for not only internationally trained professionals but also newcomers with no formal healthcare training interested in entering the U.S. healthcare system.  Prior to coming to DHTI, Jack served as a Job Developer at the Alameda and Berkeley One Stops. At the One Stop, he worked with Alameda County clients from many backgrounds, and also worked with clients who recently resettled in the Bay Area. In Greensboro, North Carolina, he assisted with the development of a refugee welcome center that housed VESL programs, computer classes, washers and dryers, and several gardening areas for refugees to grow their own food. He has been an advocate for refugees, immigrants, and asylees since he began assisting them in finding work and training during the recession in 2008. After obtaining his M.A. in International Studies at the University of San Francisco, he taught Academic Writing in Thailand to refugee youth from Burma.


roxanne wong
Program & administrative assistant /Operations

Roxanne Wong came to DHTI as Administrative Support, media publication and marketing.  She has over five years of experience working at mental health non-profit Community Health for Asian Americans working with immigrants, refugees and the community.  She is a Better Homes & Garden Realtor, writer of novel “Etched in Jade” and previously an AT&T Account Executive in marketing with extensive volunteerism in the Oakland Public School system.  Roxanne has found nonprofit work to be the most rewarding in outreach and support of our diverse Bay Area.  She happily joins the team at DHTI for the quest of immigrant and refugee acclimation, career goals and the future of diversity in healthcare. 


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Dr. Ruhina Najem                                                                                                                                                                                     Instructor

Dr. Ruhina Najem is an experienced Administrator & Faculty at Peralta Colleges, Merritt College with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Strong education professional skilled in Event Planning, Customer Service, Instructional Design, Public Speaking, and Curriculum Development. Dr. Najem teaches DHTI's Healthcare Systems & Career Exploration & Planning Courses.




Our Supporters

Diversity in Health Training Institute has been supported by several foundation and corporate grants and contributions from individuals.

Our major supporters include:

Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services

Kaiser Permanente

The California Wellness Foundation

Y & H Soda Foundation


Contact Us


Main Office:

1900 Embarcadero, Suite 305
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 838-1110



Healthcare Careers Pathways Project (HCPP) Bridging:

Merritt College
12500 Campus Drive
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 838-1110