Mayra Serrano, DrPH, MPH, CHES | Health Equity Director Anthem Blue Cross
Mayra Serrano recently joined the Anthem Blue Cross California Medicaid team as Health Equity Director. In her role, she assists with the strategic design, implementation, and evaluation of health equity efforts for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Her work focuses on collaborating and engaging with members, providers, local and state government, and community-based organizations to impact health disparities at a population level. Her work as a scholar activist is focused on amplifying the voices of underserved populations through coalition building, advocacy training, and capacity building. She is active in several cancer and health related boards and coalitions and has presented her work and research at many national conferences. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter. Mayra holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Whittier College, received her Master’s in Public Health in Community Health Sciences from UCLA, and her Doctor of Public Health degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Mayra is fluent in both English and Spanish, a certified medical interpreter and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She is passionate about her work to improve health equity and working with underserved communities as well as mentoring the next generation of public health professionals.
Rhianna C. Rogers, PhD | Director, RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy | Researcher, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department RAND Corporation
Rhianna C. Rogers is director of the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy and a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Before RAND, she held administrative/teaching appointments in higher education and tribal government (2002–2021). Rogers is an expert on cultural and ethnic studies, intercultural competencies and diversity education, cultural mediation, and virtual exchange programming. She has successfully built and implemented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming for over a decade in higher education, private/public corporations, and NGOs. She created and ran the Buffalo Project, a longitudinal participatory action research project focused on using cultural data as the baseline for programmatic development and implementation. With numerous awards, Rogers grew the program, forming state and international partnerships, which led Rogers to be recognized as an international expert on equity-centered, community-based participatory action research by the United Nations – Geneva Forum in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Eunice C. Wong, PhD | Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation
Eunice C. Wong is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research broadly focuses on mental health disparities and mental health services in community and military settings. Much of her research has involved trauma-exposed populations and underserved communities. Dr. Wong earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kate Folb, MEd | Director, Hollywood, Health & Society
Kate Langrall Folb is director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), the flagship program of the University of Southern California Annenberg School Norman Lear Center, and a veteran of more than 20 years in the entertainment education field. At HH&S, she leads a team of public health and media professionals to connect entertainment content creators with experts in health, medicine, science, safety, and security to ensure accuracy in their depictions; her team also conducts research on the impact of TV storylines on viewers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Previously, Kate served as director of special projects at the Scott Newman Foundation, where she worked with top TV shows and films on portrayals of alcohol and other substance abuse and produced the foundation’s annual public service announcements (PSAs). She was also director of The Media Project, a partnership of Advocates for Youth and the Kaiser Family Foundation, working with entertainment on storylines about HIV/AIDs and other reproductive health topics, and led Nightingale Entertainment, an independent consulting firm producing PSAs and coordinating national media events for a variety of health-related causes. Kate speaks fluent Spanish, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver, and a master’s in education from UCLA.
Jessica Jablon, MAEd | CA Regional Director, Sharsheret
Jessica graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology. She oversees Sharsheret’s office in the Greater Los Angeles community, and all local programmatic efforts throughout California including outreach, education, partnership development and fundraising.
Laura Bava, PsyD, ABPP | Pediatric Psychologist | Co-Director (Psychosocial), Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer and Blood Disease Service CHLA
Laura Bava PsyD, ABPP is a board certified, pediatric psychologist in the Survivorship and Supportive Care Program in the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is a fellow in the APA Minority Fellowship. She was recently named Co-Director of the CHLA Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Service, which provides behavioral health support in English and Spanish for AYAs and their families. Dr Bava has a clinical and research focus on culturally competent services for underserved populations, particularly Latinx communities.
Ghecemy Lopez, DSW, MAEd | Program Administrator of Cancer Navigation, Survivorship and Advocacy, Cedars-Sinai Cancer, Community Outreach and Engagement
Dr. Ghecemy Lopez is a Latinx immigrant, Language Educator, Social Impact Innovator and a committed Bilingual Advocate for Health Equity and Cancer Research. Dr. Lopez works as a Program Administrator of Cancer Navigation, Survivorship and Advocacy at the Cedars-Sinai Cancer, Community Outreach and Engagement team, leading several community-based projects that can improve access and quality of life for patients and their loved ones; and promoting bidirectional research between patients, community, and scientists. In addition to that, she is also known as a global cancer research advocate. She reviews research protocols, chairs committees, and collaborates with multiple scientists, clinicians, fellow survivor advocates, government entities, small and large nonprofits within the state of CA, nationally and abroad. Dr. Lopez survived breast and thyroid cancers in her early 30s. Since then, her mission became making the road a bit easier for underrepresented cancer groups, especially those who experience cultural and linguistical barriers. Dr. Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Teaching Foreign Languages. A Master’s in Adult Education and Training, and a Doctor of Social Work Degree from USC
Kathy Riley, MS, MPH, CHES | Associate Director of Programs, Cancer Support Community Los Angeles
Kathy Riley, MS, MPH, CHES, is a graduate of the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine Program in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. She holds a Certification of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University and is a facilitator for Columbia’s Narrative Medicine Virtual Group Sessions. Riley is Associate Director of Programs at Cancer Support Community Los Angeles. Her areas of interest include the role narrative medicine plays in the nature and quality of healthcare delivered to patients and families and its role in alleviating distress for healthcare providers. Riley brings her expertise in narrative medicine and public health to her work in cancer survivorship, program planning, and family-centered care. She is the mother of Peter, a long-term pediatric brain tumor survivor.
Annette L. Stanton, PhD | Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, Professor of Psychology and of Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA
Dr. Annette Stanton is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where she also holds an appointment in the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and is a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. An author of more than 250 publications and a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Stanton through her research identifies factors that promote or impede psychological and physical health in adults and couples experiencing cancers of the breast, eye, lung, and pancreas. She then translates her findings into action by developing and testing approaches to enhance psychological and physical health over the course of the cancer trajectory. A number of awards from national and international organizations have recognized her contributions in research, teaching, and service to the public and the profession.
Rev. Dr. Tammie Denyse | Co-Founder and President Carrie’s Touch
Rev. Tammie is co-founder and president of Carrie’s TOUCH, a 501(c)3 nonprofit breast cancer organization established to enrich the lives of Black American women diagnosed with the disease. She is a 18-year breast cancer survivor and has spent the past 15 years coaching cancer patients and their families through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and re-entry after the journey through cancer. She is recognized as an expert in the field of breast cancer and Black women and is the Co-Principle Investigator for Project SOAR (Speaking Our African American Realities) in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Project SOAR examines the unique experiences of Black American women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Rev. Tammie’s work has been recognized locally, nationally and globally for its innovative approaches to breast cancer survivorship and overall wellness.
Luca Faustino Valle, MD | Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Valle graduated summa cum laude from Occidental College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. After college, he traveled to Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar, where he engaged in grassroots English education efforts on the island of Sulawesi. He then went on to earn his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, where he was awarded the S. Marsh Tenney Research Award for his contributions to cancer research. During medical school, he also had the opportunity to participate in a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he gained valuable experience in clinical and translational research methods in oncology. After finishing a medical internship year in Denver, Colorado, he completed his residency training in radiation oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Upon graduation, he received the Radiologic Society of North America’s Roentgen Resident Research Award. Dr. Valle focuses on the treatment of genitourinary malignancies and is passionate about addressing pervasive disparities in cancer outcomes and increasing representation of underrepresented groups on clinical trials.
Yoli Origel | CEO, Cancer Kinship
Yolanda Origel, who is known in her community as “Yoli,” is the CEO and Founder of Cancer Kinship, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization. She was diagnosed at the age of 31 with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She is also a BRCA 1 gene carrier. Yoli lost her mother and sister to metastatic disease when they were both 42 years old. Yoli has served as a patient mentor for newly diagnosed cancer patients at her cancer center.
Yoli’s extensive professional nonprofit experience spans more than 25 years. Her accomplishments include developing and launching Cancer Kinship in 2018 and developing four core programs that transitioned virtually to meet the growing needs of the cancer community, amid the pandemic. Since then, Cancer Kinship expanded internationally, with a focus on vulnerable populations in Southern CA. Yoli has been the trusted co-Chair of Orange County Cancer Coalition who led more than 15 cancer-serving nonprofits through the pandemic with strategic planning, resource sharing, and collaboration efforts. She is a successful resource development expert who believes in the power of storytelling and community partnerships to raise awareness and much-needed resources for local cancer warriors.
Hyo K. Park, MD | Gynecologic Oncology l Complex Pelvic Surgery, Providence Saint John’s Health Center; Gynecology l Pelvic Health, Jeffrey Goodman Specialty Care Clinic, Los Angeles LGBT Center
Dr. Park is a Gynecologic Oncology specialist who is uniquely trained and experienced in offering both surgical and medical treatments for a wide breadth of gynecologic cancers and pelvic health issues. She is a faculty at Providence Saint John’s Cancer Institute. She is deeply committed to empowering her patients and their loved ones through compassionate and individualized therapy and education. The goal of her work is not only to help her patients achieve better survival, but also to restore their hope and dignity. Dr. Park also serves as a Pelvic Health specialist for the Audrey Lorde Health Program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center