Staff

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz

Lupe Alonzo-DiazPresident and Chief Executive Officer

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.


Lance R. Lewis

Lance R. LewisChief Financial Officer

Lance R. Lewis is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Physicians For A Healthy California (PHC). He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day financial planning, accounting and financial reporting of PHC working in concert with the President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Lewis also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the California Medical Association (CMA). A veteran member of the CMA staff for more than 22 years, Mr. Lewis is responsible for the administrative and operational support centers of the organization, including the departments of Governance, Finance and Administration, Human Resources, Information Technology and Facilities Management. He is also the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the CMA and its Affiliates, which comprise more than a dozen non-profit and for-profit companies with $112 million in assets under management. Mr. Lewis was named CFO of the Year by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2017. Mr. Lewis earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. [Full Bio]


Jennifer Turner

Jennifer TurnerSenior Director of Operations

Jennifer Turner is the Senior Director of Operations for Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). Jennifer provides operational support for all PHC initiatives, while upholding the PHC mission of “improving community health, growing a diverse physician workforce and promoting health equity.” Jennifer is a native of the great state of California. She has acquired over 21 years of operational leadership experience within the healthcare industry.  In her previous roles, she managed several primary care and specialty offices within an ambulatory setting.  She also had direct oversight of three large call centers and a fulfillment department responsible for contractually supporting disease management efforts across the nation for a number of well-established health insurance companies. Jennifer earned her bachelors degree in Business Administration from Liberty University.


Liberty Bautista

Liberty Bautista CalMedForce Program Coordinator

Liberty Bautista is the Program Coordinator for CalMedForce, the Graduate Medical Education Program (GME) for PHC. She provides administrative and operational support to the CalMedForce program and coordinates logistics for CalMedForce board, Advisory Council, and other stakeholder meetings. She is also responsible for drafting documentation and prepares materials for meetings. Prior to her role at PHC, she completed her certification in Phlebotomy and worked as a phlebotomist throughout the Sacramento region. Additionally, she has over 5 years of administrative experience. She is currently in school pursing her nursing degree to become a sports nurse. When she is not working, Liberty enjoys spending her free time with her daughter and puppy. She enjoys traveling, training Muay Thai (Thai boxing), recording podcast and dancing.


Victoria Chesley

Victoria ChesleyCovid-19 Therapeutics Equity Grant Program Director

Victoria Chesley is a Program Director for the Covid-19 Therapeutics Equity Grant program, for PHC. Prior to her role at PHC, she served as an analyst for various institutions, including Stanford University, the University of the Pacific, and the California Department of Managed Health Care. Victoria has a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Redlands and a Master’s in Public Policy from McGeorge School of Law.


Dennis Cuevas-Romero

Dennis Cuevas-RomeroDirector of Government Relations

Dennis Cuevas-Romero is the Director of Government Relations for Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). Dennis provides strategic guidance and direction for the organization’s legislative and budget advocacy. Prior to joining the CMA, Dennis worked at the ACLU Center for Advocacy and Policy working on police practices and homelessness issues. Dennis was also appointed by former Gov.  Edmund G. Brown, Jr. as the deputy director for legislation at the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Over his time as a public policy advocate, Dennis has helped enact more than 25 pieces of legislation into law. He is most proud of his work on reducing the adverse immigration consequences related to one-year misdemeanor convictions, fighting for overtime rights for domestic workers, and helping pass one of the strongest sexual health education laws in the country. Dennis has a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. In his spare time, Dennis loves spending time with his family and is an avid basketball player, runner, and hiker. He enjoys traveling and hopes to visit all seven continents one day.


Sumedha Gulati

Sumedha GulatiDirector of Strategic Initiatives

Sumedha Gulati is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). In this role, she leads a team that focuses on PHC's strategic priorities in physician diversity, health equity, and business development. She previously served as PHC's Associate GME Program Director and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator.  Sumedha came to PHC with ten years of experience in the healthcare industry, including eight years as an operations manager for the Radiology, Lab/Pathology, and Nursing departments in the VA’s Veterans Health Administration. Sumedha earned a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Business Administration from the University of California at Davis. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and traveling with her hubby and two kids, trying a variety of cuisines, and spending time with family and friends.


David Kert

David KertCalMedForce Program Analyst

David Kert is a Program Analyst for CalMedForce, the Graduate Medical Education Program (GME) for PHC. He is responsible for grant application data management and analysis, research and development of the grant application, drafting policies, and social media management. Prior to his role at PHC, he was an administrative analyst for CalMHSA and George Hills Company. He analyzed contracts, insurance certificates, and grants, and drafted various policies. David has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada-Reno, and has won the Capital One Mascot Challenge. David enjoys gardening, making costumes for events, and loves to travel.


Karen Palmiter

Karen PalmiterBusiness Development Coordinator

Karen Palmiter is a Business Development Coordinator on the Strategic Initiatives team at Physicians for a Healthy California. She also supports business development and joint providerships for the Continued Medical Education team. Prior to her role at PHC, she spent more than six years in development at the California Dental Association Foundation (CDA) supporting their CDA Cares, Disaster Relief and Student Loan Repayment programs. As a founding partner in a professional staffing company serving the dental, legal and medical professions, Karen built strong long-term relationships with small and large practices, local and state agencies and other entities over the last 20 years. She also created, developed and implemented a continuing education program with an outreach to 20,000 dental professionals in northern California. Always focused on learning and improving, Karen is a huge proponent of personal and professional development. She is a Memphis State University alum and has completed hundreds of hours of professional training. Her wide variety of interests include outdoor activities, sewing, traveling and spending time with her family.


Nicole Pierce

Nicole PierceCalHealthCares Program Coordinator

Nicole Pierce is the Program Coordinator for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP), for PHC. She assists with processing forms, communication with prospective applicants, and scheduling. She has over 11 years of experience doing administrative work in both the public and private sectors. Outside of work, Nicole loves video games and spending time with her two spoiled cats.


 

Robin Simpson

Robin SimpsonCalMedForce Program Director

Robin Simpson is the Program Director for CalMedForce. Robin comes to Physicians for a Healthy California with over 14 years of nonprofit and leadership experience. She previously worked at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services as Director of Volunteer Services and Community Engagement, overseeing a volunteer corps of over 10,000. Robin’s responsibilities included volunteer recruitment, staff training, and developing strategic partnerships with community groups. She enjoys leading teams through organizational growth and change. Robin holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Spanish from UC Davis. She earned a Certification for Volunteer Administration in 2012. Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Public Administration at McGeorge School of Law. When she’s not working, Robin is outside exploring nature with her hubby, two kids, and her dog.


Fernando Gomez

Fernando GomezCalMedForce Program Analyst

Fernando Gomez is a Program Analyst for CalMedForce, The Graduate Medical Education Program (GME) for PHC. He is responsible for awardee monitoring, grant application analysis, and program development. Prior to his role at PHC, he was an analyst for the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms Section where he provided technical assistance to California firearm dealers, certified instructors, law enforcement agencies, and the public. Fernando has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Sacramento State and is currently working on his Master’s in Program Evaluation and Data Analytics from Arizona State University.


Dasha Tsakke

Dasha TsakkeCalHealthCares Program Analyst

Dasha Tsakke is a Program Analyst for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for PHC. She assists with monitoring awardees, creating program materials, and conducting data analyses. Prior to her role at PHC, Dasha collaborated on research studies with UCLA and UC Davis. She has also assisted with program development and tracking for students with disabilities and students in research assistantships. Dasha graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Psychology and a Spanish minor from Sacramento State. She has an eclectic mix of interests that include outdoor recreation, wilderness first aid, poetry, creative Adobe platforms, and new languages! 


May Yang

May YangSenior Executive Coordinator

May Yang is the Senior Executive Coordinator to the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). May has an extensive background in administrative support and assisting in operational excellence. As the Senior Executive Coordinator, May helps provide support to the President & CEO, assists with operational needs for the programs and identifies and implements efficiencies. Outside of work, May enjoys taking spontaneous day and weekend trips exploring the great California outdoors with her constantly curious son.


Kim Ho

Kim HoCalHealthCares Program Analyst

Kim Ho is a Program Analyst for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for PHC. She is responsible for grant application process, data management and analysis, awardee monitoring, and communications. Prior to joining PHC, Kim worked in various non-profit organizations and government agencies performing data analysis, research studies, and program development, including for the University of the Pacific, the Public Health Institute, and the California Department of Justice. Kim earned a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Kim enjoys outdoor recreation, content creation, traveling, food journaling, and Zumba fitness.


Richard Gomes

Richard GomesCalHealthCares Program Analyst

Richard Gomes is a Program Analyst for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for PHC. He assists with monitoring awardees, creating program materials, process improvement and conducting data analyses. Prior to his role at PHC, Richard has spent the last 20 years working in the Dental and Health Insurance industry. During this time, he has done work on claims processing, quality assurance, customer interactions and speech / text analytics. In his home life he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. He is also an avid reader and movie buff.


Nahira Stanackzai

Nahira StanackzaiCalHealthCares Program Analyst

Nahira Stanackzai is Program Analyst for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for PHC. Her responsibilities include monitoring awardees, streamlining processes, and carrying out data analyses. Before joining PHC, Nahira conducted survey and interview based research projects on emerging technology trends within state and local government. She collaborated closely with clients from Fortune 100 companies in order to provide valuable deliverables while managing project lifecycles. Nahira obtained her B.A. degrees in Cultural Anthropology and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Outside of work, Nahira loves to spend time cooking with her husband, going on walks in nature, reading, and re-exploring the world through the eyes of her two toddlers.


Deb Miguel

Deb MiguelCalHealthCares Program Director

Debra Miguel is the Program Director for CalHealthCares, Debra comes to Physicians for a Healthy California from the Bay Area with over 20 years of  healthcare and nonprofit leadership experience. Debra has spent much of her career with Kaiser Permanente, providing leadership within both the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Permanente Medical Group sections.  Building stronger communities is something Debra enjoys both personal and professionally. Physicians for a Healthy California provides the perfect opportunity to combine her healthcare and nonprofit expertise to the CalHealthCares program. In her spare time, Debra is camping, wine tasting or exploring new areas on a road trip.


Emma Snugs

Emma SnugsKidsVaxGrant Program Director

Emma Snuggs (Citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Deer Clan) is the Program Director for KidsVaxGrant, Emma comes to Physicians for a Healthy California with over 14 years of nonprofit and leadership experience. She previously worked as C-director of Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples and as a consultant for several Tribal organizations and elected officials. Emma’s responsibilities included building and strengthening infrastructure for non-profits and Tribal entities, identifying and securing funding, collaboration with community, local, state, and federal entities, the development of policies and regulations, and strategic communications. She’s committed to equity and opportunity in BIPOC communities. Emma studied American Indian Studies at UCLA as an undergraduate and graduate, where she engaged in primary research, was nominated as the first Departmental Scholar in the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program and is a UCLA Law Fellow. She is currently completing her master’s thesis. When she’s not working, Emma is organizing political and community events, attending pow wows, Big Times, and other cultural events with her 3 sons in tow.


Thomas Knezovich

Thomas KnezovichCalHealthCares Program Analyst

Thomas Knezovich is a Program Analyst for CalHealthCares, the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for PHC. He aids in the evaluation and monitoring of awardees, conducting analysis, and providing program support. Prior to his role at PHC, Thomas worked with the Public Health Institute as an analyst working to support contact tracing and vaccine outreach efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thomas has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo and a Master’s in Business Administration from San Jose State University. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and occasionally working on fireworks shows.


Not Pictured:

Caitlin Brookshaw
CalMedForce Program Analyst

Martina Castillo
KidsVaxGrant Customer Service Representative

Nathaniel Jones
KidsVaxGrant Customer Service Representative

Mary Marable
Strategic Initiatives Associate Director

Michelle Sanchez
Covid-19 Therapeutics Equity Grant Program Coordinator