Board of Directors
- Jennifer Blum, MPH
- Len Finocchio, DrPH
- Christine Gasparac
- Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH
- Pratima Gupta, MD, MPH
- Nina Kjellson
- Leslie McGowan, MPH
- Kim Meredith
- Julie Rabinovitz, MPH
- Alina Salganicoff, Ph.D.
- Melissa Schoen, MBA, MPH
- Mona Shah
- Sandra Shewry, MPH
- Allyson Sonenshine, JD
- Laura Yamanaka
Jennifer Blum is Vice President of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at Gynuity Health Projects. Most recently, Jennifer was a Program Officer in the Population and Reproductive Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation where she oversaw grant making in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Youth subprograms. Jennifer has extensive experience in the reproductive health field, and has led research and published papers on reproductive health technologies for over a decade. Her previous professional experience includes working at Gynuity Health Projects and the Population Council, in New York, where she carried out research focused on post-abortion care, medical abortion and postpartum hemorrhage. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French Literature from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s of public health from University of California, Los Angeles. She also served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa and tries to stay active in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) world.
Len Finocchio has been a leader in health policy for over 25 years. Len is currently a Principal Consultant with the Blue Sky Consulting Group, working on numerous projects related to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid policy, access to care, health center safety net financing and leadership development. California’s Governor Jerry Brown appointed Len to serve as Associate Director of California Department of Health Care Services from 2011-2013. In this role, he worked on Medicaid policies and administration and was part of the leadership team charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act. While a Senior Program Officer at the California HealthCare Foundation, Len led program strategy and grant making and assisted with research on health services for the uninsured, Medicaid and CHIP programs. Len has also held senior health policy positions at the Institute for Health Policy Solutions and Children Now. He is a founding board member of The Aquaya Institute, a non-profit improving health though clean water and sanitation innovation in the developing world. In 2017, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors appointed Len to the Integrated Clinics Commission. He has published articles in Health Affairs, Academic Medicine, Journal of General Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health.
Christine Gasparac is the Director of Community Relations at the University of California, San Francisco. In this role, she manages external strategic initiatives, including developing and managing public processes for university development and overseeing community outreach initiatives. Christine previously managed policy development, communications and outreach for several elected officials in the Bay Area. Most recently, Christine was the Chief of Staff for a member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Previously, she served as Press Secretary for the California Department of Justice under then-Attorney General Jerry Brown. She also worked for two members of the California State Legislature as District Director for State Senator Carole Migden and as Press Secretary and Campaign Manager for Assemblymember Johan Klehs. Christine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College.
Kimberly Gregory is Vice Chair of Women's Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement at Cedars-Sinai. She has been affiliated with the Medical Center since 1992. Kim is Professor at Cedars Sinai in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and has a joint appointment at The David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) and the UCLA School of Public Health. Kim received her Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and her Medical Degree from Charles Drew University School of Medicine and Science. She completed her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and her fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center. Kim received her Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health.
Pratima Gupta completed a Fellowship in Family Planning at University of California, San Francisco. During her fellowship, she also received a Master of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley with a focus on Global Health. After her studies and training, Pratima joined Kaiser Permanente and established the only Kaiser Ryan Residency Training Program in Family Planning and Abortion, where she focuses on resident and medical student education. Pratima is a former member of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health Board of Directors. She currently serves as the volunteer Medical Director for St. James Infirmary, an occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers and transgendered individuals in San Francisco. Pratima has received several teaching awards and co-authored papers and posters on family planning and global health. She is also a member of the San Francisco Mayor's Anti-Human Trafficking taskforce, the San Francisco Medical Society's PAC, and the California Medical Association's Council on Legislation. She was elected to be a member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in 2016. She is the first doctor on the committee and one of the nation's first elected abortion providers.
Nina Kjellson is a General Partner at Canaan Partners, an early-stage, diversified venture capital firm. She joined the firm’s healthcare team in 2015. Nina came to Canaan from InterWest Partners where she started investing in healthcare start-ups in 2002. Nina focuses primarily on investments in biopharmaceuticals and digital health. Investment themes include innovative therapeutics for serious and under-served conditions, IT-enabled transformation of healthcare delivery and patient/consumer engagement. Prior to InterWest, Nina was an investment manager at Bay City Capital, a life sciences merchant bank, and a research associate at Oracle Partners, a health care-focused hedge fund. Nina began her career conducting health policy and survey research with the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nina is co-founder and co-chair of ConsumerMed.org, a forum to address the convergence of health care and consumer innovation and serves as a mentor to Blueprint Health, a digital health incubator, and Springboard Life Sciences, an accelerator for health care companies driven by women entrepreneurs. Nina received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from Stanford University in 1997. She also serves on the California Leadership Council for the Nature Conservancy.
Leslie McGowan is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Livingston Community Health, a three-site federally qualified health center (FQHC). She has been at Livingston Community Health for close to eight years and became CEO in 2012. Prior to her position as CEO, Leslie served as the Director of Planning and Development. Leslie is an advocate for community health centers dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive, affordable, patient centered services to all individuals regardless of ability to pay. Leslie received her Master in Public Health at California State University in Fresno in 2010 and her Bachelor’s Degree from California State University in Stanislaus. Leslie maintains an active membership on the Advisory Committee for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, and serves as a Board Member for the Central Valley Collaborative, a member of the Community Board of Directors for Mercy Medical Center, and as Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Central Valley Health Network.
As the inaugural Executive Director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), Kim Meredith is responsible for strategic leadership, financial performance and organizational growth. Kim led the Stanford PACS’s acquisition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) in 2010, and opened Stanford PACS at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Prior to joining Stanford PACS, Kim served as the Chief Development Officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in New York City. Before joining PPFA, she served for nine years as the Chief Operating Officer at Planned Parenthood in San Francisco. Kim launched her business career in corporate America at AT&T. She serves on the Board of Directors of the George Lucas Education Foundation and recently completed a six year board term on the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). Kim graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. In 2005, she received a fellowship to the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.
Julie Rabinovitz became the President and CEO of Essential Access Health in January 2011. Prior to joining Essential Access Health, Julie held important roles in several notable women’s health organizations including: Administrative Director of the Comprehensive Family Planning Program at the University of Illinois’s Chicago Medical Center; Program Director of the Office for Women, Family and Community Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Program Administrator of Harvard Medical School’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and Legislative Advocate for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Julie earned a Masters of Public Health in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
Alina Salganicoff is Vice President and Director of Women’s Health Policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation. She directs the foundation’s work on health coverage and access to care for women, with an emphasis on challenges facing underserved populations. Alina has written and lectured extensively on health care access and financing for low-income women and children. Alina was also an Associate Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and specialized on coverage and access issues facing low-income women and children. She also worked on the health program staff of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Alina has served on several federal, state and non-profit advisory committees including the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, the Office of Population Affairs, HRSA’s Bright Futures for Women Initiative and the CDC’s Select Task Force on Preconception Care. She was appointed to serve on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Women's Health Research and the IOM Committee on Preventive Services for Women. She currently serves on the Public Policy Advisory Committee of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy and the advisory board of the Hope and Grace Fund. Alina holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Melissa Schoen is a consultant who specializes in improving the scope and quality of health care operations and services, primarily with providers that care for the under-served. Melissa provides expertise in strategic planning, project management, partnership development, operations improvement, leadership coaching, and organizational transformation. She has played key roles in the launch and expansion of foundation programs and overseen operations in varied heath care organizations, including community health centers and independent physician associations (IPA). Prior to her work as an independent consultant, Melissa was a Senior Program Officer at the California Health Care Foundation, where she led projects to enhance quality, develop strategic partnerships, increase operational capacity, and implement new technologies in the safety net. Melissa also served as Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer at Lifelong Medical Care, a Berkeley-based community health center. She directed operations and business planning at North American Medical Management, an IPA management organization. Melissa has also held the position of Project Analyst and Planner at Kaiser Health Plan, worked in hospitals throughout the Northern California region as a senior health care consultant and was a Clinic Manager at La Clínica de la Raza. Melissa holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in Organization Behavior and Psychology from Pitzer College.
Mona Shah is an independent consultant with an extensive background in a wide range of health policy issues, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare and women’s health. Her consulting practice includes serving as the Project Director for the Orange County Health Funders Partnership. She is also an advisory board member of the Orange County Women’s Health Project. Previously, Mona worked for the consulting firm Health Management Associates. Prior to moving to California, Mona was the Senior Health Policy Advisor to Senator Barbara Mikulski as well as Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Mona drafted several sections of the Affordable Care Act, including sections on health care quality, patient safety, women’s health, and health care workforce. She was the staff author of the Women’s Preventive Health Amendment, which guarantees women access to preventive care without copays or deductibles, including contraception. Mona also spent time working on legislation and appropriations issues related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, public health, and mental health. Mona earned her JD with a Certificate of Concentration in Health Law from the University of Maryland School of Law. She received both her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management and Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Anthropology from Emory University.
Sandra Shewry is Vice President for External Engagement, where she leads the California HealthCare Foundations’ (CHCF) health policy communications, publishing, online presence, government relations, and audience engagement functions. The External Engagement team works with colleagues across the foundation to deepen partnerships and collaborations in support of CHCF's vision and goals. Sandra previously served as CHCF's director of State Health Policy. Prior to joining the foundation, Sandra was President and CEO of the Center for Connected Health Policy, a nonprofit organization working to remove policy barriers to the integration of telehealth technologies into California's health care system. She has held a number of senior leadership positions within California state government. From 2004 to 2008, she served as Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, which administers the state Medicaid program (Medi-Cal). Other programs under her leadership included public health, emergency preparedness, and licensing of health facilities. Sandra served as the Executive Director of the California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board from 1996 to 2002, and was a member of the team responsible for development and implementation of California's high-risk pool, subsidized pregnancy coverage program, small-employer purchasing cooperative, and Healthy Families. Sandra received Bachelor's Degrees in Community Studies and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Master's Degrees in Public Health and Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.
Allyson Sonenshine has over 20 years of nonprofit, legal and volunteer experience in women’s health and reproductive justice. She is the founding Project Director for the Orange County Women’s Health Project, which works to advance women's health in Orange County through education, collaboration, and advocacy. Allyson began her career as an attorney with Bingham McCutchen in Los Angeles, where she practiced business litigation with a focus on employment law. She subsequently held positions with the Merage Foundations, where she helped launch a nationally recognized school-based Wellness Center, and the University of California, Irvine’s Program in Nursing Science. She is a former Chair of the Board for Essential Access Health and Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties, and a past member of the Support Council for the Rape Treatment Foundation in Santa Monica. Allyson graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Juris Doctor Degree at the University of Southern California’s School of Law. She is a member of the California State Bar and has completed the California Certified 40-Hour Training for Domestic Violence.
Laura Yamanaka is one of the founders of teamCFO Inc., a financial and accounting firm offering onsite customized CFO/Controller services on an as-needed basis to businesses and nonprofits. Laura has over 30 years of experience in financial service companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, GE Capital, and Zenith Insurance Group, where she held various management positions, including Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Finance Manager and Vice-President of Operations. As a long-time champion of financial literacy for women business owners, Laura has lectured on the subject to diverse audiences, including young girls who are aspiring business women. Prior board roles include Chairperson and Treasurer for the national Board and Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Chair of the Research and Policy Committee of the National Women’s Business Council, Education Institute, Co-Chair of the Small Business Diversity Committee of BizFed. Laura has also served as a volunteer leader for several other organizations focused on financial literacy, education for women and girls, and economic improvement