Speakers

 Alicia Kauk, National Health Law Program

Alicia is a Staff Attorney in the National Health Law Program’s Los Angeles office. Alicia’s work focuses on California and federal health policy, with an emphasis on Medi-Cal and Covered California advocacy. Before joining NHeLP, Alicia was a Senior Policy Associate at The Children’s Partnership. Prior to that, Alicia was a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of Northern California where she provided education and advocacy to health care consumers in 32 California counties and represented clients in Medi-Cal and Covered California hearings and appeals. Alicia received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. During law school, Alicia worked in several medical-legal partnerships in the Bay Area.

Assmaa Elayyat, County Welfare Directors Association

As a Senior Policy Analyst at the County Welfare Directors Association, Assmaa works with county human services staff and leadership across California. She plays a lead role with legislative and system initiatives and serves as a liaison for counties with state departments and key stakeholders. Assmaa’s career in Health and Human Services spans over 10 years and prior to joining CWDA she served in several positions for Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services. Assmaa holds a B.S. degree from the University of California Riverside in Business Administration and an MPA from California State University San Bernardino.

Cori Racela, Western Center on Law and Poverty

Cori is Western Center’s Deputy Director and an attorney on Western Center’s health team. She also worked on health issues as an attorney with the National Health Law Program and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles.

Daniel Rivas,  Covered California, Outreach and Education

Daniel is currently the Account Services Section Manager in the Outreach & Sales Division at Covered California. Daniel joined Covered California almost four years ago as the Outreach and Sales Regional Field Manager who helped stand up the Southern California Field Team and led many successful field operations in supporting our certified enrollers. Prior to this role, Daniel managed two Covered California grant programs: The Navigator and the Outreach and Education Grants for three years with Richard Heath and Associates (RHA). Daniel has over two decades of experience administering public funds to provide services to challenging populations. Daniel has built a career of 25+ years working in private and non-profit sectors in program administration, evaluation, community organizing, and capacity building.

Eddy Moreno, Blue Shield Promise Health Plan

Eddy Moreno is currently the AVP of Community Outreach and Enrollment for Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. Eddy’s passion for grass roots efforts started back in 2002 as he became a Certified Enrollment Assistor through the Healthy Families program. He developed strategies to ensure the vulnerable demographic population he serves improves their healthcare by increasing their access to quality healthcare. His growth in the health care industry involves partnerships with healthcare providers, policy makers and community based organizations who share his goal of impacting and improving the healthcare of the underserved communities. Eddy will continue to empower this demographic population to provide solutions to gaps in health care coverage. He received his B.A. degree in Economics from the University of California at Irvine in 1997.

Elba Gonzalez-Mares, Community Health Initiative Napa County

As the Executive Director, Elba has a deep understanding and knowledge of health insurance and access to health care in both the public sector and private markets. She is trained and licensed as an insurance broker in California. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in International Relations. She is Chair of the Board of California Coverage and Health Initiatives, a Commissioner with First 5 Napa and is a Trustee on the Napa Valley Unified School Board. She has contributed to the development of a shared vision of the importance and opportunity for affordable health coverage for all low-income children, adults, and families in her community of Napa County and California.

Elizabeth Oseguera, California Primary Care Association

As the Associate Director of Policy Elizabeth’s issue areas include 340B, Proposition 64, mental health, workforce, specifically as it relates to community health workers, and immigration. As the lead on immigration work for CPCA, she has collaborated with immigrant partners to create resources, such as sample policies and procedures, toolkits and trainings that help health centers prepare staff and patients for a possible encounter with immigration officials.

Hugo Ramirez, Vision y Compromiso

Hugo is a Chiropractor, Life Wellness Coach, Health Worker, and Family Planning Counselor, Parent Class Instructor, Child Behavior Therapy Specialist, Aggression Replacement Therapy and Post-Traumatic Stress Management. During the last 23 years, Hugo has created and been in charge of Community Health Programs for non-profit organizations. Over the last six years, Hugo has worked with Vision and Compromiso as the Director of Programs managing more than 17 programs throughout the State of California. Hugo is a member of several coalitions that support health in the less-favored communities.

Jan C. Spencley, San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage

Jan Spencley is the Executive Director of San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage (SDHCC), a local, not for profit coalition comprised of business, consumer advocates, labor, health care providers, health plans, community-based organizations, academia and local government with a mission of achieving meaningful coverage and care for all San Diegans. SDHCC provides direct consumer assistance and advocacy with health coverage and care across the life span and convenes community partners to address issues and barriers. As a unique and diverse partnership, SDHCC is committed to non-partisan and inclusive collaboration that bridges the divide and builds consensus toward real change.

Lezlie Micheletti, CA Dept of Managed Care

Lezlie recently transitioned from Covered California to the Department of Managed Health Care with a focus on Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations. Responsible for a broad range of special projects to increase health literacy and awareness of consumer health care rights, including increasing awareness about the DMHC Help Center. Represents the Department in presentations to, and in meetings with, health plan representatives, provider groups, community organizations, consumer advocates and other stakeholders statewide.

Marisela Carlos, Community Health Initiative of Orange County

Marisiela is the Outreach Coordinator for Community Health Initiative of Orange County. She has five years’ experience helping individuals and families apply for health care and understands the challenges individuals experience when working with their health care provider. She started as a Certified Enrollment Counselor and connected individuals and families to programs like Medi-Cal, Covered CA, CalFresh, and CalWORKs. Marisela later became the Outreach Coordinator for CHI OC and now leads its outreach effort to expand health care for all. She was selected as the Assister of the year in 2019 by California Coverage and Health Initiatives (CCHI).

Maritza Jimenez, Kern Family Health Care

Maritza loves good content, smart marketing and creative community building. She is almost always smiling! She has 13 years of experience in a Medi-Cal Managed Care Health plan as a Marketing and Public Affairs Representative. She is passionate, professional and enjoys helping her community in the work that she does. Outside of the office, she is committed to encouraging women to take care of their breast health. As a result, she serves in the local Links for Life as their Marketing Affairs Board Member. In her free time, she enjoys bike riding with her children and husband.

Nancy Gonzalez, Community Health Initiative of Kern County

Nancy Gonzalez is the Enrollment Specialist for the Community Health Initiative of Kern County, a Dignity Health program. She is also a mother of five beautiful children, which are her motivation and reason to provide adequate-respectful help to those in need. Her passion is helping those in need and those that do not understand or do not know the health care system. She likes to help make a difference in this world, making a difference a person at a time. Nancy also likes to dance, travel, write poems, take pictures and spend time with her family, friends and loved ones.

Rebecca Ratzkin, Community Health Councils

As CHC’s Director of Research and Policy Rebecca helps guide a team of policy analysts and community navigators to identify and uplift community challenges, and examine potential policy solutions to those challenges. Rebecca has worked in research, evaluation, strategy and planning in the nonprofit sector for over 14 years, helping organizations, foundations, and government agencies better understand their communities and stakeholders through capacity building around research and evaluation. Her interest and skills focus on bridging theory and practice, and empowering others to conduct and use research independent of “experts.”

Rene Mollow, MSN, RN, California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) 

René has been with the DHCS since 1995. In the Medi-Cal program, she serves as the Deputy Director for Health Care Benefits and Eligibility (HCBE). She provides leadership for benefit and eligibility policy planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of health care services and delivery systems under Medi-Cal and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). HCBE is comprised of five divisions and one office: Benefits, Eligibility, Pharmacy Benefits, Primary and Rural Indian Health, Dental, and the Office of Family Planning. René works to ensure that policies, procedures, and related activities in HCBE conform to applicable state and federal policies, statutes and regulations. She assists the Directorate, Administration and State Legislatures in determining program direction consistent with legislative intent and consults with the Director and State Medicaid Director on issues of significant policy impact involving both Medi-Cal and CHIP. Rene has played a major role in policy planning, development, and implementation on matters pertaining to health care reform implementation and coverage expansions for children.

Dr. Seciah Aquino California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC)

Dr. Aquino is the Senior Policy Manager for the Health and Public Benefits portfolio at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC). Her work focuses on increasing access for immigrant communities and is currently focused on the CA Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign against Public Charge. Dr. Aquino was born in Guatemala City and immigrated to the United States at the age of ten. She began her career working as a promotora in South Central. She earned her DrPH from Harvard University and holds a MS in Global Medicine from the University of Southern California. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow and Health Policy Research Scholar.