Because Adolescents Matter Now

  • Advisory Council
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Advisory Council

Claire Brindis, DrPH Claire Brindis is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF. She is Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, Dr. Brindis is Executive Director of NAHIC, Associate Director of the Public Policy Analysis & Education Center for Middle Childhood & Adolescent Health, and Director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UCSF. Dr. Brindis’ research interests focus on adolescent and child health policy and women’s health.
Erin Caton Erin Caton works as a Tech Management Consultant in San Francisco. She has five siblings and grew up in the working class mining town of middle Ontario, Canada (not to be confused with Middle Earth). Erin became interested in tech when she attended an alternative high school that offered a tech component, which provided Erin an opportunity to see the world outside of her own community. As the advisory council member, her goal is provide all youth with the opportunity to have access to tools and mentors to help them to successfully navigate into adulthood.
Charlene Clemens, MPA Ms. Clemens, MPA, was the Deputy Director for Family Service Agency (FSA)’s Teen and Family Services Department Division, beginning in 1996 through 2010.Ms. Clemens is a Steering Committee member of the California Adolescent Health Collaborative. She is a member at-large of the CA Adolescent Sexual Health Workgroup and member of the Positive Youth Development Workgroup. She consulted for CA TeenNOW on Secondary Prevention/Adolescent Health and Education. In June 2014 Ms. Clemens joined the Board of Directors for TeenNOW California. Ms. Clemens was the Co-Founder and Citywide Co-Chair of the San Francisco Family Support Network (SF FSN) and is now a member at-large, with membership on both Policy and Evaluation Committees. Ms. Clemens is a Community Representative as an adolescent health and education expert on the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF) Community Advisory Collaborative.


Vanessa Cordova Vanessa Cordova is a public affairs strategist with recognized success managing complex public policy initiatives, multilingual advocacy movements and social responsibility programs. She is also a special district candidate in the November 2014 General Election. As a former public information officer and spokeswoman at the Alameda County Public Health Department, Cordova managed the department’s multilingual risk and crisis communications during the pandemic flu crisis. Before her work in Alameda County, Cordova was appointed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors to conduct community outreach related to the acquisition and environmental management of open space land and wild land fire protection. She is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

John Elfers, Ph.D. John Elfers is the program coordinator at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology. He is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and a credentialed school administrator in California. He brings a transpersonal focus to his work in mental health, education, and public health, focusing on people living with HIV/AIDS, adolescent sexuality, and gender issues. John has published curriculum and training manuals in the area of reproductive health and is a consultant to several California public health and education agencies. He is the director of an adolescent drug treatment program built around community-building. For 35 years he has been a student of mystical traditions, yoga, and mindfulness meditation practices. His research interests include sacred sexuality, embodied spirituality, education, transpersonal development, and story-telling.
Robert Gilchick, MD, MPH Robert Gilchick is the director of  Child and Adolescent Health Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs at the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department.
Rebecca Gudeman, JD, MPA Rebecca Gudeman is a senior attorney at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL). She directs NCYL’s adolescent health project and oversees the project’s educational website, Prior to that, Rebecca represented youth in Los Angeles where she created one of the first school-based legal clinic programs in the country. Through these clinics, she was able to bring legal representation and advice to youth throughout the county. Rebecca also has lived and worked in Mexico City.
Henna Hundal Henna Hundal is a high school senior from Turlock, California on a mission to empower the new generation to lead active, healthy lives. She has written numerous health/wellness/science articles for a variety of print and online publications. She is also a host and health reporter on Express Yourself! Teen Radio, the top-rated program on the VoiceAmerica Kids Network. Henna hopes that she can serve as an important link between CAHC and youth in order to help keep her peers as health-informed as possible.
Sang Leng Trieu, DrPH, MPH, CHES Sang Leng Trieu is the Program Manager at the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health. In this role, she supports the LAUSD Wellness Network and district and countywide school based health centers (SBHCs) convenings. Prior to this position, she was a Senior Program Manager at the California School Based Health Alliance where she provided technical assistance and conducted policy advocacy to SBHCs in five Southern California counties. Sang holds a doctorate in public health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. As an adolescent, she was shy, but was an avid reader and learner.
Catherine Lopez, M.Ed. Catherine Lopez is the Adolescent Health Coordinator for the California Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division.  The work she does helps to identify public health strategies to optimize the health and wellness of adolescents through a life-course perspective with special attention to the impact of social determinants on health. Her background and skills include over 25 years of public service through work at universities, the legislature, and state government. Perhaps her greatest skill set is the ability to adapt to changes derived from the most current public health findings to support necessary policy and program revisions that lead to innovative and evidence-based practices.

Tomás Magaña, MD, MA, FAAP Tomás A. Magaña is a board-certified pediatrician with expertise in the care of at-risk adolescents. He is a lead physician in the Department of School-Based Health Centers at La Clínica de La Raza, Inc., and Assistant Professor/Medical Director in the Masters Physician Assistant Department at Samuel Merritt University. Previously, Dr. Magaña was an Attending Physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, where he served as Medical Director of Alameda County’s Juvenile Justice Center. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Public Health Institute (PHI) in Oakland, CA, where he serves as Founding Director of the FACES for the Future Coalition, a collaborative of statewide programs designed to prepare disadvantaged youth for entry into college and careers in the health professions. Dr. Magaña is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has served on a number of county, state and national advisory boards focusing on pediatric health issues, healthcare workforce development and cultural competency in medicine. A native of East Los Angeles, Dr. Magaña is committed to serving underserved communities, and has a passion for programs that foster youth leadership, wellness and professional development.
Mark Mitchinson Mark ‘Marcus’ Mitchinson is the coordinator of the HIV Prevention Education Program, Tobacco Youth Peer Education Program and the Director of Orientation for French Creek Outdoor School at the Siskiyou County Office of Education, in far northern California. Originally from England & Switzerland, his passion to make a difference in the lives of youth and be a youth advocate began when he participated in Positively Speaking training. Positively Speaking trains presenters, who are affected by HIV/AIDS to ‘talk story’, speak in classrooms and put a human face on the disease while providing a life- saving message. Living in a rural mountainous county of great beauty, he quickly became aware of how rural counties in far northern California were underserved. He reached out statewide, making connections, look for opportunities to collaborate, tap resources, receive training and bring that knowledge and expertise back to Siskiyou county and surrounding counties. Marcus has a deep connection to the natural world. The rugged country on the California/Oregon border speaks to him, whether he is hiking in the high country, living ‘off the grid’ or in his work, making a difference in his community.
Nicole Monastersky Maderas, MPH Nicole Monastersky Maderas works as a Reproductive Health Consultant and Pharmacy Community Specialist in Contra Costa County. Her areas of expertise include sexual and reproductive health/contraceptive rights and access, as well as access in pharmacies. Her interests include African dance, hiking and camping, cooking, spending time with her kids, and traveling. As an adolescent, Nicole loved nature and sought adventure with a dose of caution.
Matt Moyer, MPH Matt Moyer is Director of Family Planning Programs at the California Family Health Council and lives in Los Angeles. He is an public health administrator and oversees the Title X family planning program in California. His areas of expertise include Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV/STD Programming; and Adolescent Health and Youth Development. Matt also serves as a Steering Committee member of the Los Angeles County Adolescent Health Collaborative.
Katherine Schaff, MPH Katherine Schaff is currently in the Doctor of Public Health program at UC Berkeley and is researching how local health departments can more effectively communicate about the complex causes of health inequities. Research indicates that improving communication efforts can help policymakers, the media, and the public understand and support policy initiatives that expand access to social determinants of health. Katherine will specifically look at local health department communication efforts related to the foreclosure crisis. She received her BA in Sociology and International Studies from the University of Denver and her Masters of Public Health with a focus in Health and Social Behavior from the University of California, Berkeley.
Arlene Schneir, MPH Arlene Schneir is the Associate Director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles. Arlene has extensive experience creating youth-specific model programs in the areas of adolescent pregnancy, HIV prevention and treatment, substance abuse prevention, intimate partner abuse, transgender health, and trauma and she has been active in advocacy and policy-making bodies in the adolescent health arena for more than 25 years. Arlene received her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sarah Rodriguez’G, MS Sarah Rodriguez’G is the Coordinator at the Adolescent Health Working Group. Sarah has worked in public health for several years in various youth serving programs and agencies. In 2012 Ms. Rodriguez’G earned her Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine and moved back to her native California to continue her work in improving adolescent health programming. She has been the Coordinator and Director of AHWG for over a year. Her main area of interest is public health policy and its impact on youth health outcomes.
Kimberly West, MD, MPH Kimberly West is an Adolescent Health and Medicine Specialist at the Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs. As an adolescent, Kim was inquisitive, studious, and athletic.
Eileen Yamada, MD, MPH  Eileen Yamada is Public Health Medical Officer in the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health Department.