Regional Advisory Council

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) Advisory Board consists of thoughtful community leaders who meet four times per year to advise the CVHPI executive director and staff.  Being a member of the Central Valley Health Policy Institutes’ (CVHPI) Advisory Board provides you with a stellar opportunity to continue to shape the Health equity agenda for the region. CVHPI is always looking for new direction in seeking opportunities to fulfill its mission. A person with your experience and insight would be perfect to provide the knowledge of the Valley leadership in Public Health. You were recommended for this role by the current board member.

The main purpose of the CVHPI Advisory Board is to provide advice about the direction the institute should follow.  CVHPI was established as an ancillary unit of California State University, Fresno (CSUF) in April 2002.  The primary geographic focus area is the eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley.  CVHPI benefits from the rich diversity of interdisciplinary faculty and operational support coordinated through CSUF’s Central California Center for Health and Human Services. The mission of CVHPI is to reduce health inequities in the region by bringing together and leveraging the resources of local health care and public health organizations and individuals and California State University, Fresno utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, involving our multidisciplinary staff, faculty, community partners and a 30-member Regional Advisory Council.

Since its inception 2002, the Central Valley Health Policy Institute has provided a spectrum of services to Valley residents, researchers and academicians, ranging from community in research, technical assistance, education and training activities related to health policy for the Central Valley region.  Through these programs, CVHPI assists the regional community to have a voice in the development of sounds health policy decisions.  CVHPI's work is focused in the following areas:

1. Access to health care, uninsured and underinsured
2. Health and health care inequities
3. Environmental and policy influences on community health
4. Mal-distribution of health care resources and health professional shortages
5. Patient-centered prevention and management of chronic conditions including behavioral health and long-term care linkages to primary care
6. Immigrant well-being and health: immigrant economic/social adjustment, public health and health care policies

Honorary members:

James Alredge
Professor, Department of Social Work
California State University, Fresno

Benjamin Cuellar
Dean, College of Health & Human Services
California State University, Fresno

2013-2014 Members

 Lynne Ashbeck
Need Title/Institution

Sandra Celedon-Castro
Site Manager
Building Healthy Communities

Tim Curley
Director of Business and Government Relations
Children's Hospital Central California

Cheryl Duerksen
Need Title/Institution

Susan Elrod
Need Title/Institution

Ralph Garcia
Economic Development Specialist
Economic Development Corp. serving Fresno County

Kevin Hamilton
Need Title/Institution

 Karen Haught
Need Title/Institution

Maria Herrera
Need Title/Institution

Jody Hironaka-Juteau
Professor, Associate Dean in the College of Health and Human Services
California State University, Fresno

Leslie McGowan
Need Title/Institution

Gwen Morris
Need Title/Institution

Noe Paramo
Director
Central Valley Partnership for Citizenship

Yolanda Randles
Executive Director
West Fresno Family Resource Center

Jenny Saklar
Director of Outreach & Communications
Children's Health and Air Pollution Study/San Joaquin Valley (CHAPS)
UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Phoebe Seaton
Need Title/Institution

Tatiana Vizcaíno-Stewart
Hub Manager
Building Healthy Communities, Merced

Faculty and Staff

John Capitman, PhD
Executive Director

Laurie Primavera, MSN
Associate Director

Nancy Pacheco, MBA
Administrative Analyst, Central Valley Health Policy Institute

Marlene Bengiamin, PhD
Senior Research Associate, Central Valley Health Policy Institute

Melanie Briones, MPH
Senior Health Policy Analyst, Central Valley Health Policy Institute

Mathilda Ruwe, MD, MPH, PHD
Senior Research Scientist, Central Valley Health Policy Institute


California Endowment Officers

Carole Chamberlain
Program Officer, The California Endowment

Barbara Masters
Public Policy Director, The California Endowment

Ex Officio

Benjamin Cuellar, DSW
Dean, College of Health & Human Services
California State University, Fresno


Executive Committee Members

  • Carole Chamberlain
  • Tim Curley
  • Jeronima Echeverria, PhD
  • Katherine Flores, MD
  • Barbara Masters
  • Noe Paramo, JD