Board of Directors

PHC Board of Directors

Howard Kahn, MPA

Chair of the Board

Howard Kahn served for over 14 years as CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan, which has more than 2 million enrolled members in Los Angeles County. Additionally, Kahn has more than 25 years of experience in national and international health care. At CIGNA International, he was Senior VP for Latin America and Global Health, and as a VP at Aetna, he was responsible for the company's global health business, nationwide governmental managed care and managed health operations. He was founding president and CEO of the $1 billion California Wellness Foundation and founding CEO of the Health Plan of San Mateo.

Currently Howard is serving as the Interim CEO of the MAVEN PROJECT, and since retiring from LA Care has also been a Senior Advisor to Johns Hopkins Medicine (2019) and was the interim CEO of Union Station Homeless Services, a leading non-profit homeless services agency (2018).  Currently, Howard serves as a board member with Charles Drew University School of Medicine, RAND Health, Good Hope Medical Foundation, and the Insure the Uninsured Project, a nonprofit organization focused on identifying new approaches to expand health care and coverage for California's uninsured.

Howard pursued undergraduate studies at Harvard, received his Bachelor's degree in Development Studies from UC Berkeley and his Master's degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.

Speaker

Tanya Spirtos, MD

Vice Chair of the Board

Dr. Spirtos is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in Redwood City, Calif. In addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Board for PHC, she is also President-Elect of the California Medical Association.

Dr. Spirtos earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and her medical degree at Northwestern University Medical Center. She completed her residency at Los Angeles County Medical Center/ University of Southern California and is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Her medium-sized group of physicians recently affiliated with Stanford Healthcare and she continues to practice gynecology only at both Sequoia Hospital and El Camino Hospital. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Sequoia Hospital Systems from 2003-07 and served on the Community Board of Directors of Sequoia Hospital from 2007-15. She has also been an adjunct clinical faculty of Stanford University Medical School since 1995, with an academic appointment as adjunct clinical assistant professor from 2006-14. Since 2010 she has served at the Arbor Free Clinic with the Stanford medical students and has been recognized for exemplary contributions in teaching. Despite this—and her participation on various health boards—she receives 100 percent of her compensation from patient care.

Speaker

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD

Secretary-Treasurer

Dr. Gaxiola bio coming soon. 

Speaker

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz

PHC President and CEO

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz serves as the President and CEO of Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). She is also the Vice President of Continuing Medical Education for the California Medical Association. In her existing role, she provides leadership and direction to the overall mission and vision of the organization. Prior to her role at PHC, she was the Deputy Director of Administration for the Department of State Hospitals where she oversaw the daily operations of five state hospitals with a $1.4 billion budget and over 11,000 employees.

Before this, she served in various leadership roles at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), including in acting capacities as the Chief Deputy Director and Deputy Director of Administration. At OSHPD, she also led the state's efforts on health workforce development overseeing various programs and grants increasing access to care in underserved areas as its Deputy Director of Healthcare Workforce Development. Ms. Alonzo-Diaz initially came to state government as a gubernatorial appointee for the Health Professions Education Foundation as its Executive Director.

Prior to public service, she held various leadership positions with the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Western Center for Law and Poverty, Children's Advocacy Institute and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Lupe earned a Master's Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Elk Grove with her husband, two boys, her mother, her sons' dog and her mother's bird.

Dustin Corcoran

CEO, California Medical Association

Dustin Corcoran is Chief Executive Officer for the California Medical Association (CMA), a non-profit professional organization of nearly 50,000 physicians dedicated to protecting public health and promoting the science and art of medicine. As CEO, Mr. Corcoran has the responsibility for the overall supervision, direction and control of the business and staff of CMA. 

Mr. Corcoran has advocated tirelessly for California physicians and the patients that they serve since 1998. He started at CMA as the membership coordinator for the association's political action committee. Within a year, Mr. Corcoran moved to CMA's Center for Government Relations where he worked under the guidance of the legendary Steve Thompson as a staff lobbyist. When Mr. Thompson passed away in 2004, Dustin succeeded him as Vice President of Government Relations where he managed CMA’s legislative program. In 2009, Mr. Corcoran was promoted to Senior Vice President, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of CMA, as well as the Center for Government Relations and ultimately became CEO in February of 2010.

Mr. Corcoran also serves as President of the Physicians Advocacy Institute and on the Board of Directors for the Stanford Medicine WellMD Center; Neuropathy Action Foundation; Physicians Foundation; Institute for Medical Quality; Physicians for a Healthy California; PSO Services, LLC; California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy; and Street Soccer USA: Sacramento.

Mr. Corcoran earned a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Glenda Corcoran, and their children.

Speaker

Lase (Toluwalase) Ajayi, MD, FAAP

Dr. Tolúwalàṣé (Laṣé) Ajayi, MD FAAP, is a fellowship-trained palliative care physician and pediatrician. She currently the Director of Clinical Research and Diversity Initiatives at Scripps Research Translational Institute as well as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego where she works as a community hospitalist and pediatric palliative medicine physician; she also serves  the medical director of adult palliative medicine at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.

Dr. Ajayi is a member of the Pediatric Operations Task Force and on the Digital Health Technologies committee of the All of Us Research Program with the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ajayi’s research focuses on opportunities at the intersection of novel digital medicine technologies and unmet needs in maternal fetal health as well as pain and palliative medicine. She hopes to increase participation of pregnant women and their newborn in clinical research and further investigate how mobile health can provide real time, patient reported outcomes that can be rapidly integrated into individualized clinical plans to improve health related quality of life. With these efforts, she hopes to diversify the standard of care provided to pregnant women and augment how we manage the symptoms prevalent in serious illness, with the goal of decreasing distress and associated hospital and emergency room utilization.

Manesy Liberty Ceja-Cevallos

Manesy Liberty Ceja-Cevallos

Ceja-Cevallos bio coming soon.

Speaker

Adam Dougherty, MD, MPH

Dr. Dougherty is a practicing Emergency Physician and Assistant Medical Director at Sutter Medical Center Sacramento. He graduated medical school and residency from UC Davis Health. Dr. Dougherty is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, and is a Trustee of the California Medical Association and Board Member of California ACEP.  

Karen Hansberger, M.D.

Karen Hansberger, M.D.

Dr. Hansberg bio coming soon.

James T. Hay, M.D.

James T. Hay, M.D.

Jim Hay is a retired Family Physician who practiced in Encinitas, CA, for 42 years, having founded North Coast Family Medical Group in 1978. He was Chief of Staff at Scripps Hospital, Encinitas in 1985 and 1986 and President of the San Diego County Medical Society in 2001. He was on the Board of Trustees of the California Medical Association (CMA) from 1994 through 2013, Vice Speaker of the House of Delegates in 2002, Speaker in 2006, and President in 2012. He is also a past president of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation (now Champions for Health) and the “Champion” of its Project Access, a program to connect volunteer physicians to patients who need their care. He chaired the Work Group of stakeholders dedicated to reestablishing a Physician Health Program in 2007 and the Board of the non-profit California Public Protection and Physician Health, Inc. that it created in 2009. He is the past Chair of the Board of Physicians for a Healthy California, formerly the CMA Foundation. He has also served the community on other boards including 211 San Diego and the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is Chair of the Board of the San Diego Wellness Collaborative currently. He grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from Duke University and Jefferson Medical College and did his Family Practice Residency at the Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton. He has received many honors including as the 2003 San Diego County Medical Society Physician member of the Year. And he is happiest when birding, or watching Duke basketball or Padres baseball.

Speaker

Jodi Hicks

Hicks bio coming soon.

Speaker

Margaret Juarez, M.D.

Chair, Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations

Margaret Juarez MD, Board Certified OB/GYN has been in private practice for 25 years in the San Gabriel valley in California, just east of Los Angeles. She has been president of California Latino Medical Association and is present president of the Los Angeles Chapter. She has been active in CMA Foundation and at present is Chair of the Network of Ethnic Physician Organization. She is also a delegate of the CMA in the EMOS Section. She has been active on several boards and is a board member of Foothill Family Services, serving at risk children in the San Gabriel valley. She is a member of the credentialing committee of Anthem of California for several years and a member of the California PRC for Anthem of California.

Speaker

Pooja Mittal, M.D.

Dr. Mittal is Chief Health Equity Officer at HealthNet, a Medicaid managed care organization. She is a family physician and uses this lens to design strategic initiatives to improve care for the most vulnerable. She is a member of the leadership team that works to further equitable care through a population health model for all HealthNet members. She has an expertise in digital health through her work in the HealthNet Digital Platforms Workgroup devising a defined digital strategy to support quality and member engagement. Dr. Mittal also works at the National Clinicians Consultation Center at UCSF, a national HIV/AIDS warmline, where she is recognized as a national expert on Perinatal HIV care. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition to her clinical work, she has published in the areas of well-child care, group visits, preconception care, health equity and perinatal HIV. She practices primary care at an FQHC in San Mateo County.

Speaker

Sunita Mutha, M.D.

Dr. Mutha directs Healthforce Center and is professor of medicine and primary care physician at the University of California, San Francisco. She leads Healthforce’s efforts to generate knowledge about the health care workforce and influence policy with rigorous analysis and actionable, unbiased information, and to implement programs that build leadership capacity to improve health care. She brings two decades of experience working to make health care more responsive and equitable. She has expertise in cultural competence trainings with an emphasis on the intersection between quality improvement and health disparities. She has served on national committees guiding the development of hospital standards for culturally competent patient-centered care. Her leadership experiences her current role on the board of directors of Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP)

Speaker

James Peterson

Peterson bio coming soon. 

Speaker

Kyle Smith, M.D.

Smith bio here.