Our Team

Our Team

 
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Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Founding Director

 

Dr. Rodríguez is professor and vice chair in the UCLA Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences, founding director of the Health Equity Network of the Americas, and founding chair of the UCLA Minor in Global Health. His research activities focus on health equity and social determinants of health. He is a leading researcher and policy expert in the areas of intimate partner violence, social cohesion, quality of health care and health for immigrants and other groups across the age spectrum. He has published widely and consulted for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a board member for the Blue Shield of California Foundation and Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. Dr. Rodriguez is currently Investigator of a NIH-funded project examining how state-level policies for immigrants impact their health and access to health care. He is also Co-PI for the UCLA University of California Firearm Violence Prevention Center. Dr. Rodríguez completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley, attended medical school at UCLA, and completed his residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He obtained his master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the Stanford-UCSF Program. Dr. Rodríguez collaborates with and mentors junior faculty and trainees in the US and Latin America.


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Melissa Medich

Deputy Director

 

Bio Coming Soon


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Kali Basman, MPH

Strategic Director

 

Kali has worked with international health organizations across the world- from United Nations Development Programme to The Visionaria Network, the World Health Organization, and now proudly for HENA. She has focused on empowered entrepreneurial training to develop networks of women leaders who implement market-based sustainable development initiatives within their communities, including the introduction of improved cookstoves, solar panels, and water filters, along with leadership and nutrition workshops. She has designed and directed environmental curricula, focusing on the connection between inefficient cookstoves and women's exposure to black carbon and subsequent health risks disseminated to schools in over 100 countries, and helped lead grassroots initiatives where indigenous rural women introduce clean energy household technologies in Latin America. As a global health expert Kali’s strategic perspective supports HENA’s determination to make impact by spearheading a fresh, egalitarian approach to health equity. Her passionate pursuit is to utilize local and regional leadership capacities to create grassroots, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social and environmental issues, ranging from water quality to nutrition, walkability and energy adaptation, and more.

Through her numerous international projects, Kali is invested in catalyzing the social capability for empowerment and sustainable transformation, particularly within the perspective of gender equity. Kali offers a cross-pollination of strong expertise- in grantmaking for international initiatives, in leadership and agency building for global communities, market-based, human centered design sustainable development programs, and women’s empowerment. Kali is also celebrated as an international Yin Yoga teacher and blends mindfulness methodologies into all aspects of her work.


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Anne M. Dubois, MWC, APR, Fellow PRSA

Senior Consultant, HENA; Managing Partner, Dubois Betourné& Associates, LLC

 

Anne serves as a senior consultant on the HENA team, working with staff in the conceptual, planning and implementation phases of this emerging Network.As a founding partner of Dubois Betourné& Associates (DBA), she oversees client activities and, together with the DBA group, offers strategic communications, message development and dissemination strategies, research-driven programming, branding campaigns, publishing services, event management, and production of collateral including print, digital, and mobile materials for the company’s national and international clients. Anne is a certified medical writer (MWC) as granted by the American Medical Writers Association; in 2009, she was elected into the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Only 2% of the society’s 22,000 members have earned this distinction. She is also the 1999 recipient of the Ursula Laurus Citation from the College of New Rochelle, NY, for distinguished service in the field of communications and education.

Other accomplishments include: author of more than 55 publications; editor for more than 30 monographs, magazines, newsletters, or other publications; program developer for local, regional, and national public education campaigns; market research activities for corporate, federal and state government agencies; public appearances on local, state and national broadcasts; and spokesperson for agency issues. Her client base has comprised local, national and international health and education agencies including several federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anne’s experience also spans the globe in media relations efforts for clients in the health, education, and environment arenas. From the British Broadcast Company to the major US TV networks to the Wall Street Journal and print and broadcast media in cities around the world, Anne and her company have placed pertinent messages, gaining millions of impressions that have assisted in promoting the agendas for the clients served.


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Bri-Ann Hernandez

Network Manager

 

Bri-Ann Hernandez holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in French from UCLA. As a public health advocate, she seeks to tackle gender health disparities and inequalities through promoting the design and implementation of equitable and sustainable policies and interventions. She currently coordinates and manages an intersectoral international network comprising over 100 members who strive to shed light on policies and practices that have a positive impact on health equity and human rights in the Americas, with a focus on gender equality and at-risk populations. She leads and has led local, national and international projects, both as a researcher and as a coordinator.At the Alliance for Children’s Rights, she supported the rights of foster care youth by assisting low-income families through the legal guardianship process as well as assisted in a psychology lab by conducting studies to investigate how antigay bias negatively impacts the physical health of gay men and lesbians. After graduation, she moved to France to design social justice curricula and teach English, and later went on to intern with Human Rights Watch where she helped develop advocacy activities to promote women’s rights by supporting students through the project design and implementation process. Bri-Ann is currently applying to PhD programs in Health Policy. Gender, sex education, equity, sex trafficking, sexuality, and maternal health are among her research interests.


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Kidada Malloy

Graduate Student Researcher

 

Kidada Malloy is a current graduate student completing her master’s degree in Urban Planning with a focus on transportation, policy, and planning. Kidada grew up in Los Angeles, California in a bi-national and multi-cultural household with a foreign-born white English mother and a Black father who grew up in the U.S. Growing up biracial with parents who had different racial and national backgrounds exposed Kidada to diverse range of perspectives and led her to develop a cultural awareness and passion for promoting social equity. Working with HENA as a graduate student researcher, Kidada analyzes issues that influence the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities among Latin American communities. After graduating, Kidada plans to work as a transportation planner in the city of Los Angeles.


Committees Chairs

 
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Rocio Saenz MPH, MD

Rocio Costa Rican Medical, public health specialist. She served as Minister of Health in Costa Rica in 2002-2006 and Coordinating Minister of Social Governing Council during 2004-2006. As Minister of Health and Coordinator of the Social Cabinet, accounted support the monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), coordinating the first progress report, being the counterpart of projects aimed at children with UNICEF. By the end of 2005, she led the drafting of a new General Health Law, to include related to bioethics, professional regulation, sexual and reproductive health, funding for research processes using genomes in health, a structural system new chapters health and others. She’s an expert in health systems as well as coordinating projects of breast cancer in which she worked directly with patients and volunteers for better care, including major publications on the issue. Dr. Saenz has worked as an academic in undergraduate and graduate programs of the School of Medicine and School of Public Health at the University of Costa Rica, and the National University. Former Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Insurance

Governance
Chair

 

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Eugenia Tarzibachi PhD

Eugenia Tarzibachi, is a Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Psychologist from the University of Buenos Aires, a specialist in Education from the University of San Andrés and a specialist in Comprehensive Adolescent Health (UBA). Author of the book Women's Thing. Menstruation, Gender and Power (Sudamericana / Penguin Random House, 2017) nominated for the Angeles Durán Award from the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain). In 2016, she was distinguished by the Library of Congress of the United States for her doctoral research. He received scholarships for research and academic exchange for academic merit from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research of the UBA, the University of San Andrés (Argentina) and the UAM (Spain). She combines applied research with her tasks as a clinical psychologist, university professor, academic coordinator of the University Diploma in Gender, Health in the XXI Century (UNSAM) and gender consultant for the Pan American Health Organization. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Menstrual Cycle Research and a member of the Association of Latin American Studies.

Advocacy & Communications
Co-Chair

 

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Ximena Avellaneda

Ximena Educational Psychologist by Teachers College of Columbia University. Currently, president of the Rosario Castellanos Women's Study Group in Oaxaca, Mexico. The lines of action of their work include: gender equity and maternal health, migrant women, interculturality, health and sexual and reproductive rights of young people, prevention of gender violence. She has worked on the creation of the Leadership Center for indigenous and Afro-descendant youth, has generated methodologies for training, videos and didactic materials that have served to sensitize health personnel, law enforcement, in various states of the country and other countries Latin American.

Advocacy & Communications
Co-Chair

 

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Amy Ritterbusch PhD

Dr. Amy E. Ritterbusch was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Dr. Ritterbusch has led social justice-oriented participatory action research (PAR) initiatives with street-connected communities in Colombia for the last decade and recently in Uganda. Her work involves the documentation of human rights violations and forms of violence exerted against homeless individuals, sex workers, drug users and street-connected children and youth, and subsequent community-driven mobilizations to catalyze social justice outcomes within these communities. Throughout her research and teaching career she has explored different approaches to engaging students and community members through critical and reflexive interaction between classroom and street spaces in Colombia and Uganda through the lens of social justice-oriented PAR. She is committed to exploring the role of community-university partnerships for social justice outcomes and to keeping relationships with historically marginalized communities at the center of our research and teaching practices as part of advancing health equity in the Americas. Her work has been funded by the Open Society Foundations, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright U.S. Program and other networks promoting global social justice and research outcomes have been published in Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Global Public Health, Child Indicators Research, Child Abuse& Neglect and other peer-reviewed journals.

Advocacy & Communications
Co-Chair

 

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Luiz Galvao MD, MPH

Dr. Luiz Augusto Cassanha Galvão, a Brazilian national, received his medical degree at the "Faculdade de Medicina do ABC" in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1977. In 1978 he concluded a two-year residence in public health and in 1989, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Health with specialization in environmental epidemiology, both from the Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ). He has also completed a specialization course in clinical toxicology in the "Universidad de Buenos Aires" in Argentina, and has participated in a Special Training Program on Environmental Health Risk Assessment, and attended a variety of courses in the field of environmental health and toxicology.

Research & Policy
Co-Chair

 

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Nelly Salgado de Snyder PhD

Nelly Salgado Professor and researcher at the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico (INSP), where she also directs the Global Health Program. She has conducted numerous research projects, and participated as international consultant for government and non-governmental institutions as well as national and international organizations. She has published over 100 journal articles, books and book chapters on topics such as international migration, aging, poverty and social determinants of health. She has received funding from diverse sources for her research projects and has graduated more than 30 students at master’s and doctorate levels. She holds the highest level (Level 3) at the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores de Mexico, and is a member of Mexican Academy of Scientific Research, a Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a New Century Scholar of the Fulbright Program “Health in a Borderless World” lead by I. Kickbusch. In 2008 she was on sabbatical at the University College London invited by Sir Michael Marmot.

Research & Policy
Co-Chair