Staff

Executive Director: Margaret Lynn Yonekura, MD
In addition to leading LA Best Babies Network, Dr. Yonekura is Director of Community Benefits for Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Yonekura is an Associate Professor of Clinical Ob-Gyn of both USC and UCLA Schools of Medicine, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, with a research focus in infectious diseases in Ob-Gyn and perinatal substance abuse. She continues to oversee Options for Recovery: Harbor-South Bay, the comprehensive perinatal substance abuse treatment program she established over 20 years ago at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She also teaches Ob-Gyn residents and Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellows at Harbor-UCLA. Over the course of her career, Dr. Yonekura has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, and has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for her service to the community and for the programs that she directs. Dr. Yonekura serves on the Los Angeles County Women’s Health Policy Council, the Board of Trustees of Pomona College, and the Good Hope Medical Foundation.

Director: Sharlene Gozalians, DrPH, MPH, CHES
Sharlene earned her Master of Public Health in Health Education and Promotion at the University of Southern California; she continued her education to earn her Doctorate in Public Health at Loma Linda University. Her professional background includes working with healthy food access and the built environment issues in Los Angeles County, creating healthy communities, youth empowerment and advocacy, corner store conversions, program planning and evaluation and teaching. Her volunteer experience includes working in Tanzania, Brazil and Armenia addressing prevention, health education and maternal and child health issues. Sharlene’s passion for public health addresses the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations.

Terrie-May Anciano, BS, is Public Health Research and Training Coordinator. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor Degree in Science and a concentration in Health Education. Prior to working at LABBN, she interned at Kaiser Permanente, Riverside, as a Diabetes Health Educator, helping patients maintain a healthy lifestyle by helping them develop a diabetic-friendly meal plan and by making sure they know how and when to take their medication. She also volunteered at Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center in the postpartum, pediatrics and emergency trauma departments, where she enhanced her practical knowledge and experience in health care. She always wanted to have a career that enabled her to help people in need, and she is grateful to have that opportunity at LABBN. 

Martha Bock, MPH, is Public Health Research Associate. She earned her Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining LABBN, she worked as a public health researcher for the Behavioral Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Her research focused on implementing and evaluating community-based programs designed to reduce health disparities and to address community needs, particularly among Alaska Native and Native American women. As an advocate for using culturally relevant, community-based programs to create health behavior change, she is excited to apply her skills to the important work of LABBN.

Monica Charles, MPH, is Senior Data Analyst. She earned her Master of Public Health from the George Washington University. Before joining LABBN, she worked at the Peace Corps Headquarters Office of Health Services on electronic medical record implementation, training, evaluation, and reporting. In her graduate work she focused on improving health outcomes in underserved populations in the Washington, DC, metro area. Monica is passionate about utilizing IT innovations and data to find evidence-based solutions to public health issues.

Vanessa Delgadillo, BS, is Database Quality Assurance and Project Specialist. She provides database development support, facilitation of meetings, and project timeline management for the Stronger Families LA Database, the case management and data collection system for the Welcome Baby and home visiting programs. She received her BS in Community Health Education from California State University Long Beach. Prior to joining LABBN, she provided family support in a domestic violence shelter for women and children. She provided research and data assistance during an internship at Partners in Care Foundation. She also was a Data Manager for the Best Babies Collaborative and assisted the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP), Title X, and EMR during her time at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. Her passion is working with underserved communities and women and children.

Patrick Flippin-Weston, BA, is Public Health Research Associate and Training Coordinator. With a degree in Psychology, he has worked in the social services field in northern and southern California. Prior to joining LABBN, he was an Outreach Caseworker at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, where he assisted with connecting individuals and families with federal nutrition programs. He also worked at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a Training Coordinator for the emerging California Hub and Spoke Program. There, he assisted with statewide trainings on the tools, medication, and resources needed to combat the opioid crisis. Patrick is a true believer that knowledge is power and passionately aims to connect individuals and communities with the resources they need to thrive.

Jonathan Jimenez, BA, is Database Trainer and Support Specialist II. Prior to joining LABBN, he was a data analyst for a cloud-based POS company. With a background in volunteer work for immigrant groups and others in need, Jonathan says he is happy to be working for an organization whose mission comports with his passion for helping underserved communities. He earned his degree in Business Management from California State University, Northridge, and hopes to pursue an MBA in the healthcare field in the near future.

Kayla Kakavand, MPH, is Public Health Research Associate. She earned her Master of Public Health from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Education. In her graduate work, Kayla focused on disease prevention and improving access to healthcare and resources in underserved populations in Los Angeles County. She is passionate about helping others, and plans on using her background in health education and epidemiology to help underserved communities.

Osvaldo Lopez, BS, is Database Trainer and Support Specialist I. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration/Management from California State University, Northridge. Previously, at Arroyo Vista Family Health Center, he conducted analyses of regional health care needs and participated in community outreach, social media, and strategic planning — all with the goal of educating underserved community members and connecting them to health care services. Osvaldo has a passion for education and public health, so he is glad to be part of a network that provides this support to mothers and families across Los Angeles County.

Larisa Malek, BS, is Manager of Operations and Grants. Larisa earned her degree in Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles. She has spent the majority of her career working in the accounting and finance field, and she has numerous years of experience in corporate and personal accounting. Prior to joining LABBN, she worked as an accounting professional at numerous corporations and small businesses, where she also gained experience preparing financial reports and audits. At LABBN, she is responsible for its financial budget and grants. She has spent more than six years working directly with Dignity Community Care -- California Hospital Medical Center’s Finance Department on items related to LABBN financial reports and expenses. Larisa is an innovative and driven accounting professional who is eager to take on new challenges.

Amie Miramontes Franco, BA, is Communications Specialist. She has progressive experience in communications, community outreach, and public relations, with a demonstrated record of developing innovative communication strategies that strengthen brand awareness. The majority of her work has been in the education and healthcare fields. She has always been passionate about finding ways to leave a lasting, positive impact through her work — especially in her local community. She is happy to be working toward advancing the mission of LABBN and is committed to showcasing all of the wonderful work the Network is doing. Amie earned her BA in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Laurel Murray, BA, is Policy Administrative Coordinator. Prior to joining LABBN, she worked as a coordinator in several acute units at California Hospital Medical Center. As a firm believer that the mission of LABBN is incredibly important for the future of Los Angeles County and for the state of California, she feels fortunate to be part of a team with so much dedication to help the community. She is passionate about improving the quality of care and quality of life for the underserved population of Los Angeles County. She is a southern California native who received her BA in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton.

Steve Nish, MA, is Manager of Communications and Outreach. With 20 years of experience in the communications field, he has led national and global communications campaigns in education, corporate ethics, and community building. Prior to working with LABBN, he was Senior Editor of the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute, where he focused on sustainability and ethics in business, and on character development in schools and youth service programs. He did his undergraduate work at University of California, Santa Barbara, and has a master's from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Jessica Perez is Office Manager. She has a wide range of experience in the administrative and medical fields. Prior to joining LABBN, she was an administrative coordinator at a family planning and reproductive health office. With skills in graphic arts and photography, she works closely with the communications team to produce support materials as well as managing their inventory and distribution through the network of Welcome Baby hospitals, community organizations, and home visiting services.

Vanessa Reyes, BS, is Administrative Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from California State University, Fullerton, and is currently working to be certified as a health education specialist. Prior to LABBN, she worked for a private university that focused on allied health occupations where she provided health education, data management, and administrative support. She is passionate about giving back to the community and providing high-quality resources and education to help people lead happy and healthy lives. Vanessa is thankful to have the opportunity to support families across LA County and to be a part of LABBN.

Jana Wright, BA, is Director of Policy and Coordinator of the Los Angeles County Perinatal and Early Childhood Home Visitation Consortium. She is currently a graduate student and Master of Public Health candidate at University of Southern California. Jana earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and biology from Georgia Southern University. Before joining LABBN, she worked as a Senior Policy Analyst for WellCare Health Plans and a Legislative Assistant for Mixon and Associates, a boutique lobbying firm focused on health and education issues. Jana is passionate about reducing maternal mortality and infant mortality among the African-American population in Los Angeles County.

Delisa Young, MA, is Manager of Data and Evaluation. Delisa earned her master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino. Her professional background includes working as a Research Specialist at Five Acres, a child welfare agency that promotes permanency, safety, and well-being for children and families. She supported continuous quality improvement efforts by partnering with the IT department to make the electronic health record system useful for all staff to meet the agency’s mission goals, and by providing useful reports to senior leadership to make data-informed decisions. Delisa also has experience conducting health disparities research, which has helped frame her interpretation of data when examining underserved populations. Delisa is passionate about eliminating disparities in health and education, and wants to contribute to this cause by using her research and data skills.