Bios are organized in alphabetical order by first name.
Abigail Karlin-Resnick, MBA is the Executive Director of Health Connected. Abi has worked in youth development and education for 20 years. She holds a BA in psychology and education from UCLA and an MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University. She has worked with youth-focused organizations in Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area to ensure all young people have an opportunity to reach their full potential. She has presented locally and nationally on the importance of engaging a variety of constituencies to support youth as well as on nonprofit fundraising and marketing strategy.
Alexander Pacach is a native born to Los Angeles and has always lived here. He stumbled upon the HIV prevention field when he first received services as a youth who was unstably housed. Since then, he has obtained a B.A in Deaf Studies with a minor in both Psychology and Queer Studies from California State University, Northridge. Currently, he is a Health Educator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles under the LAICCSS project. In his role, he develops and implements new curricula to improve the health and well-being of young gay, bi, and queer men in Los Angeles.
Allyson Sonenshine, JD has nearly 25 years of nonprofit, legal and volunteer experience in women’s health and reproductive justice. She is the Founding Director of the Orange County Women’s Health Project and has served as Board Chair for Essential Access Health and Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties. As an attorney, she volunteered in the LA County domestic violence legal clinic and did pro bono work for various Planned Parenthoods and The Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Hospital. Ms. Sonenshine graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her law degree at USC School of Law.
Amy Arambulo, MA is the Operations Manager at 211 Orange County, a community resource connecting people to the help they need. She currently leads the 2-1-1 and Help Me Grow teams, and oversees special community- based projects including Veterans, Domestic Violence, and the Coordinated Entry System. Prior to joining the 211 family she gained experience conducting research studying the health effects of Stereotype Threat for women in male-dominated majors and counseling foster youth. As native of California, she graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with her BA and is currently working toward obtaining her Masters in Sociology.
Brittany Cropper is a community health educator for Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley (PPPSGV) and works to implement and expand the Let’s Talk parent education program in addition to serving youth. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Tulane University with a minor in Spanish. During her time studying in Chile, she conducted a qualitative research project on the attitudes towards businesses that blend Mapuche traditional healing and Western biomedicine within the Mapuche indigenous community. After graduating, she worked in patient care as a Reproductive Health Assistant for Planned Parenthood in the Chicago area. She is passionate about promoting healthy sexuality and strives to empower her community to make informed family planning choices and lead healthy lives.
Camille Cooke has been a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Specialist with South Bay Community Services since February 2016, where she facilitates evidence based sexual health curriculum for adolescents as a part of the Office of Adolescent Health’s TPP grant. Previously in Arizona she has spent six years working with pregnant and parenting adolescents, writing and facilitating comprehensive sexual health curriculum (for all adolescent and specifically pregnant and parenting teens). She received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, and is currently attaining her Master’s in Social Work from Boston University with a Clinical focus.
Cindy K. Hoffman, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in San Diego, CA. She provides individual, family and older adults psychotherapy, specializing in adolescents. Throughout her career she assumed many different roles advocating for high-risk teens. She was a board member of the San Diego Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting Coalition. Cindy holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Social Work. She obtained her Bachelors degree from the University of Maine at Orono and her Masters degree from Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work in Boston.
Eric Buhi, MPH, PhD. Dr. Buhi came to SDSU in 2014 as an Associate Professor. His research focus is to 1) understand/promote sexual health among young people and 2) employ innovative technologies for health promotion/behavior change (called Digital Health). Dr. Buhi is Co-Director for the Center for Research on Sexuality and Sexual Health. He is leading a randomized controlled trial, with ETR Associates, to evaluate a new healthy relationships program, About Us, designed to reduce unintended pregnancy/STIs among vulnerable youth, delivered through school-based health centers. Before 2014, he spent eight years on faculty at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.
Erik Valera specializes in public health communication. He currently serves as Deputy Director of Research and Senior Capacity Building Specialist at the Latino Commission on AIDS. In this role he works to increase the capacity of public health organizations and professionals by translating the application of evidence based research into practice. His expertise includes; social marketing, organizational management and development, and cultural competency. Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and Organizational Communication from California State University, Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Chapel Hill, NC.
Eva Fernández, MPH is the Manager of Training and Education at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. She received an MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is particularly interested in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for girls and women. Before graduate school, she served as a Bilingual Reproductive Health Educator with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Northern California.
Francisco Reyes is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Program Manager with Essential Access Health where he manages the Community Embedded Disease Intervention Specialist (CEDIS) program. The CEDIS program provides partner services to STD-positive youth/young adults in South Los Angeles and neighboring communities. He also works with high morbidity health centers by helping implement best practices in STD positive patient management. In addition, he works with community-based organizations that work with youth/young adults at elevated with for STDs. He is interested in utilizing new technologies to enhance partner services and maximize disease interruption.
Gabriella Galdamez, MPH is the Adolescent Health Coordinator at Essential Access Health, where she promotes access to sexual and reproductive health services and resources among youth and young adults in Los Angeles County. She previously served as an intern with Essential Access working to promote LGBTQ-inclusive health services, and as a research assistant for a federal HIV prevention grant targeting high risk college aged students in northern LA County. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and received her Bachelors in Public Health Education, and Masters in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health from California State University, Northridge.
Ilana Brongiel, MPH is the Manager for the Center for Research and Health Promotion at San Ysidro Health Center. Ilana received her Master’s Degree in Public Health at NYU where she interned at PPNYC’s Margaret Sanger Center and for the Latin America Support Team at Project Concern International in San Diego. Ilana received her B.A. from SDSU while working as a Health Educator for PPSW. Ilana has been at SYHC for over 13 years, and during that time has opened Teen Clinic, and developed and managed numerous programs focusing reproductive health for women and adolescents along the US/Mexico Border.
Jackie Lara is the School-Based Youth Education Supervisor at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles where her primary focus is scheduling and facilitating comprehensive, medically-accurate sex education classes for Middle and High School students. In addition, Jackie trains Sexuality Education Interns to teach Planned Parenthood’s 6-session curriculum to young people all over Los Angeles County. Prior to her work in Sexuality Education, Jackie served as a Survivor Advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Teams in the San Gabriel Valley. Her work seeks to challenge gender roles, ensure access to safe and legal abortion care, and generally smash the patriarchy.
Jennifer Drader, MPH is a Program Supervisor for Community Service Programs, a non-profit organization that provides health and human services throughout Orange County. She currently oversees prevention programs around prescription drug abuse, tobacco use and domestic violence. She is particularly fond of the work she has been privileged to do through the Domestic Violence & Health Collective, which brings together individuals from many disciplines to fill in the gaps around women’s health regarding domestic violence. She earned her Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University and Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Jessica Reynaga, MSW serves as the Community Education Manager for Human Options, a domestic violence agency in Orange County. Jessica leads the agency’s prevention efforts by developing educational opportunities for youth audiences and “first responder” professionals. Jessica earned her Master of Social Work from USC, with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration, and a specialization with Military and Veteran Families. While Jessica completed her graduate field work, she interned for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs and spent a year as a clinical intern at the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center.
Juan Carmen is a graduate of the University of California, Merced. He is currently a Project Assistant at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles working to empower young gay and bisexual men of color. Prior to joining CHLA, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America providing Community Health Education. Juan is committed to increasing access to quality sexual and reproductive health services globally.
Kelli Soto (@kelsotes) is a Community Engagement & Policy Advocate at the ACLU of Southern California. Her work focuses on collaborating with community members on sex education in schools, confidential health services, LGBTQ rights, gender equity and economic justice. Kelli's varied background rooted in social justice work includes an NIH-funded research project studying Gardasil at Mt. Sinai hospital, a project at the New York City Department of Health partnering with CBOs and schools to oversee the implementation of sex education, consulting with Race Forward, and social media and fundraising support to nonprofits in Haiti and Guatemala. Kelli graduated from Columbia University in 2009, and her pronouns are she/her/hers.
Lidia Carlton, MPH, has nearly 15 years of experience working in building capacity around delivering comprehensive sexual health education in California. She is currently the Chief of the Health Education Unit at the California Department of Public Health’s Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Control Branch where she works closely with the California Department of Education on comprehensive sexual health education policy and implementation. She is the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group where we use strategic government and non-governmental partnerships to advance the sexual health and wellness of youth in California.
Linda Salgin, MPH started her journey in sexual health 10 years ago working as a health educator in Los Angeles. Upon graduating from UCLA, Linda pursued her Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. During this time, she was awarded with the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Award for her work in program evaluation, and was published in the Journal of School Health with her research in comprehensive sexual health education in charter schools. Linda has a great passion for educating the community on reproductive health and HIV prevention.
Lisa Andersen, PhD is an Associate Professor of History and Liberal Arts at The Juilliard School, where she teaches courses on American history, gender, and politics. Originally from Los Altos, California, she received her B.A. from UCLA and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her first book, entitled The Politics of Prohibition: American Governance and the Prohibition Party, 1869-1933, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. She is currently co-authoring a book on the history and philosophy of sex education with Paula McAvoy.
Melissa Strype is the Associate Director of Youth Education & Social Media at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, where she’s proudly worked to teach comprehensive sexuality education with a focus on gender, rights and relationships for the past six years. She also trains high-school Peer Advocates to be non-judgmental resources for sexual health information at their schools. Melissa works with Peer Advocates to create social media content that seeks to open up conversations and reduce stigma around sexual health.
Perryn Reis is the Associate Director at Health Connected. She has worked in puberty and sexual health education for 30 years. She is one of the lead authors of all four of Health Connected's sexual health curricula. Perryn has presented at community, state and national conferences. In addition to pursuing her passion for adolescent health education, Perryn has attended hundreds of births as a certified doula and childbirth educator. She recently started an online condom bag business: www.thecondombag.com.
Rachel Miller, M.Ed., manages San Diego Unified School District’s Sexual Health Education Program, which is funded by the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health. She oversees classroom sexual health instruction, facilitates safe campus climates, and provides supports for sexual health services and referrals. Rachel has worked tirelessly to implement the CA Healthy Youth Act requirements in a positive and effective way within her district, which has required collaboration with numerous district and community partners to bring the spirit of the law into practice.
Raymond Jimenez has been working in the HIV field for 11 years, He has a very strong passion for the work he does, He is currently the Prevention Training Specialist with the substance abuse programs at APLA Health were he facilitates the four session workshops and runs the Thursday night support group. The commitment Raymond has really shows with the clients he serves as he is able to meet each and every client where they are using a harm reduction approach. He is going on his third year with APLA Health and enjoys the job he does.
Roger Sediles is the Program Coordinator for the Substance Abuse Programs at APLA Health. He began working in the HIV prevention field in 2007 as a Prevention Training Specialist with the harm reduction-based Crystal Meth Program. After identifying the needs of Latino monolingual-speaking MSM who are active Crystal meth users, he developed and incorporated a curriculum in Spanish for this particular population which assists in providing more culturally appropriate HIV prevention services for MSM groups.
Rosanna Cacace, MA is the Senior Community Educator for Planned Parenthood Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley (PPPSGV). Since 2009, Rosanna has developed and implemented sex education programs throughout the San Gabriel Valley. She is also the lead advisor for PPPSGV’s peer advocate program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in women studies from California State University, Northridge. She also received her Master’s in English with a concentration in gender and sexualities from California State University, Los Angeles. Rosanna has previously contributed her voice to Maria Shriver’s Shriver Report where she explored the challenges and complexities of teen relationships. She is also one of the contributing co-authors of the 4th edition of Unequal Partners from PPCGNNJ’s Center for Sex Education.
Sarah McQueen, MSW has been the Program Manager for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program at San Diego Youth Services since October 2012, where she has helped to oversee the delivery of evidence-based comprehensive sexual health curricula to over 8,000 youth across the county (through a federal TPP grant). She received her MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) with a concentration in Child and Family Policy. Through her work with youth in various settings, she has come to be passionate about educating and empowering youth of all ages on their reproductive rights and sexual health wellness.
Sarah Roush, MSPH is a Sexual + Reproductive Health Program Manager at Essential Access Health, where she promotes best practices among clinical and community partners with a focus on STD/HIV prevention and LGBTQ-inclusive services. Prior to joining Essential Access, she served as an HIV educator in rural southern Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and later interned at the HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch of Public Health Services, County of San Diego. Sarah received her MSPH in Health Education and Health Communication from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014 and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.
Tara Beeston, MPH. As STD Prevention Program Manager for the County of San Diego’s HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch of Public Health Services, Tara coordinates and oversees numerous State-funded STD prevention programs serving the San Diego County's 3.1 million residents. Tara works extensively within San Diego’s diverse communities and school districts to initiate and support efforts to improve sexual health outcomes by providing trainings, resources and technical assistance to those working with at-risk populations. Tara has extensive experience working with the California Department of Education, schools and districts in helping teachers and administrators meet the requirements of the California Health Youth Act.
William Alamo is a Community-Embedded Disease Intervention Specialist (CEDIS) at Essential Access Health, where he specializes in providing comprehensive care coordination for STD positive patients in South Los Angeles. He also promotes best practices among clinical and community partners with a focus on STD management and linkage to care in alternative schools. Prior to joining Essential Access Health, he served as Director of School-Based Health Initiatives at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, where he developed and implemented health programs focused on increasing access to preventive health services among youth and young adults.