Linda Alexander, Program Officer
Best Start Communities, First 5 LA
Linda Alexander works for First 5 LA where she has managed the day-to-day operations of the agency’s
$580M investment in preschool and assisted in development of the implementation plan of the agency’s
current strategic plan. She is currently the Central Long Beach Program Officer for Best Start, First 5
LA’s new place-based investment.
Ms. Alexander brings with her over 16 years of expertise and management in both the public and non-
profit worlds. As the Executive Director of the Family Violence Project and the Director of Victim
Services for the City and County of San Francisco, she oversaw numerous programs and services while
alsoacting as the spoke person for the District Attorney. In Los Angeles, she worked with the Community
Development Commission for the County of Los Angeles, where she created and lead an office to liaison
with the various County Departments while revitalizing a sister nonprofit organization.
MS. Alexander has sat on numerous boards, commissions and committees at the local, County and State
levels including: chairing the Family Violence Council, the executive committee of the Victim Witness
Coordinating Council of California, the Sexual Assault Task Force and the County of Los Angeles IOG.
Ms. Alexander did her graduate studies in Counseling Psychology at San Francisco State University
where she received her MFT Specialization. She has trained large and small groups and organizations
including police officers for both San Francisco and Huntington Beach. In addition, she continues to teach
in the Psychology Department at California State University Long Beach.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 1 | P a g e
Dr. Wayne Cascio, MD, FACC, FAHA, Director, Environmental Public Health Division
US EPA Initiative Office of Public Engagement U.S. EPA
Dr. Cascio received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University (1977) and an M.D. from the University of
Maryland (1980). Subsequently, he completed clinical training in internal medicine, and cardiovascular
diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC in 1986. Between 1987 and 1989 Dr.
Cascio did post-doctoral training in experimental cardiac electrophysiology at the Physiologisches Institut
of the Universität Bern, Switzerland. Returning to the faculty of the Department of Medicine at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989 he established the Applied Physiology Laboratory.
Over the years while funded by the NIH the laboratory grew to include a Fluorescence Imaging
Laboratory and a Cardiac Cell Culture Facility supporting a broad range of research projects. Dr. Cascio
served as the Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and
Lung Biology at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Medical Director of the Clinical Electrocardiography
Laboratory at the University of North Carolina Hospitals.
Dr. Cascio joined the faculty of the Brody School of Medicine at the East Carolina University in June
2004 as Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Chief of Cardiology Services at
Pitt County Memorial Hospital, and later served as the Director of Research for the East Carolina Heart
Institute. Dr. Cascio joined the US EPA as the Director of the Environmental Public Health Division in
January 2011. Current research interests include the study of the cardiovascular health effects of air
pollution for the purpose of informing risk assessment and mitigation strategies. Improvement of public
health and quality of life through increased environmental health literacy, access to quality health care,
and decreased environmental risks particularly among vulnerable and high-risk populations remain
Dr. Cascio is a clinician/scientist who holds boards from the American Board of Internal Medicine in
Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases and has an appointment at the UNC School of Medicine
in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology.
Elaine Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, Planning, Rule Development & Area Sources
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Dr. Elaine Chang is the Deputy Executive Officer of Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources. Her
responsibilities include implementation of agency goals and policies in the areas of rulemaking, air
quality forecasting and modeling, emissions inventories, CEQA and socioeconomic analyses, PM control
strategies, and strategic planning related to toxics, area sources, and transportation programs. Dr. Chang
is also responsible for overseeing the development of the Air Quality Management Plan for the South
Coast region as well as climate change efforts.
Prior to joining AQMD, Elaine was an environmental engineer for Bechtel Western Power Corporation
from 1983 to 1987. Her responsibilities included preparation of permit applications and environmental
impact reports for energy projects.
Elaine holds a doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University, a master's degree in Health
Education from New York University, and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Health from National
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 2 | P a g e
Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma
Martha Cota has been providing outstanding community service in Long Beach for more than 18 years,
10 of them on Environmental Justice. She has served on the City’s Neighborhood Leadership Program,
the Chief of Police’s Latino Advisory Committee, and CCEJ’s Neighbor to Neighbor dialogues; and is
currently a member of the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, the Coalition for Fair Jobs, the Coalition for
Clean Air, the Building Healthy Communities Steering Committee, and President of Housing Long
Beach. She also continues to head the City’s Parents Council, which she developed for the Neighborhood
Leadership Program. She is also an ardent representative and spokesperson for the Los Angeles Alliance
for a New Economy. Since 2008 she is a Community Outreach Liaison for Long Beach Alliance for
Children with Asthma, organizations who have sent her to Sacramento, Washington D.C., and to the Ports
of Long Beach and Los Angeles to speak and advocate for air quality. Those in power listen to her,
because she speaks from real experience. She also serves as Co- Chair on Latin American Community
In 2010 She receive the most important Award from CCEJ, (The California Conference for Equality and
Justice) for continued Commitment to Improving Human Relations and Intergroup Cooperation, 2011 she
receive an award from Go Long Beach in honor of her leadership, and for her many contributions to her
community . 2012 she was recognition with the Grand Marshal Award in Long Beach for her hard work
an contribution on Peace and Unity in the city .
Martha was born and raised in Sonora Mexico. She graduated from Sonora State University at Sonora,
Mexico in 1987 with a Bachelor of Social Worker
Jo Kay Ghosh, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
USC Department of Preventative Medicine, Division of Epidemiology
Jo Kay Ghosh, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow at the USC Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School
of Medicine. She completed her doctorate degree in Epidemiology at UCLA in 2011, and previously
worked at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and Stanford University. For the past several
years, she has conducted epidemiologic research in Los Angeles County on the effects of air pollution
exposures on premature birth, low birth weight, childhood asthma, and childhood cancers. Her research
interests are in the health effects of prenatal and early life environmental exposures.
Associate Director, East LA Community Corporation
Isela Gracian joined East LA Community Corporation in 2004 to manage and implement the Los Angeles
Works for Better Health Initiative working to improve the health of the community by creating access to
better job opportunities. During her four years as Director of Community Organizing Department, the
organization increased its organizing capacity to reach 1300 members annually. In 2006, Ms. Gracian was
a California Women's Policy Institute Fellow working with a team of women from across the state to raise
legislators’ awareness of the threat of the foreclosure crisis. She is Vice-Chair of the Endeavor College
Prep Charter Middle School Board and member of Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education
(SCOPE) Board of Directors.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 3 | P a g e
Michael Johnson, Manager, MPA, Support Services
City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
Michael Johnson has been with the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services for 22
years, serving recently as the Support Services Manager, and previously as the AIDS Program Officer.
His direct responsibilities are to support Long Beach Health Department projects and initiatives, as well
as support the management of the Department's $114 million budget, 11 Department locations, and over
300 staff. Michael has his masters in public administration from USC, and his bachelor degree in Social
Ecology from UCI. Michael has served as the President of the Southern California Public Health
Association, and has attended the Harvard Kennedy School Program for Senior Executives in State and
Porsche Johnson, Community Relations Manager
Health DATA Program, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Porsche Johnson is the community relations manager for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's
Health DATA Program. Johnson is responsible for building strategic partnerships in the community that
build awareness and support the Health DATA Program and all of its projects.
Johnson has previously worked in the Center's Communications Department where she was responsible
for exhibiting at numerous conferences and other events. She also has experience in public affairs,
community relations and conference planning. Prior to joining the Center, she worked for Child
Development Media, which is contracted from Proposition 10 Commission for Los Angeles County to
distribute a free child development resource, "The Kit for New Parents." She was primarily responsible
for conducting outreach and training with various organizations in Los Angeles County on the use and
effectiveness of the resource. Johnson has worked for organizations such as U.S. Export Assistance
Center in Long Beach, California, and for Disneyland Paris in Paris, France.
Brandon Kitagawa, MS, Policy Associate
Regional Asthma Measurement and Prevention (RAMP)
Brandon Kitagawa, is a Policy Associate for RAMP. He leads RAMP’s Environment Committee and all
state level policy efforts for RAMP and CAFA (Community Action to Fight Asthma), a network of
asthma coalitions in California that shape local, regional, and state policies to reduce the environmental
triggers of asthma for school-aged children. Prior to joining RAMP, Brandon was a Community
Organizer in Sacramento, CA working with local communities on youth development, neighborhood
safety, and affordable housing. Between his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Brandon served as a
Peace Corps Volunteer assisting environmental education, monitoring, and protection efforts of a marine
reserve in Belize, Central America. Brandon is a graduate of Santa Clara University and received his MS
degree from UC Davis.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 4 | P a g e
Judeth Luong, MPH, Grant Program Manager, ALSAA, CAARE and Healthy Homes Programs
Bureau of Environmental Health, City of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services
Ms. Luong is responsible for overall day-to-day management, implementation and oversight of the
Healthy Homes Demonstration grant, the CAARE (Community Asthma and Air Quality Resource
Education) and ALSAA (Asthma Life Skills Academy for Adults) Programs. Ms. Luong manages the
development and implementation of several health education curriculum and workshops designed to
promote knowledge and awareness of air pollution and its health impacts, housing based health hazards;
and delivery of in-home case management program for adults with asthma. Ms. Luong has worked in
various public health areas such as environmental health, nutrition education, chronic disease prevention
and tobacco control.
She is currently an American Lung Association Certified Master Cessation Trainer and Facilitator, an
American Lung Association Certified Trainer and Facilitator of the Breathe Well, Live Well: Adult
Asthma Case Management Program, and a California Registered Environmental Health Specialist
Trainee. Ms. Luong received her Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst in 1999 and her BA in Sociology from University of California, San Diego in 1997. She is
currently the Treasurer for the Southern Chapter of the California Environmental Health Association.
Jim Mangia, MPH, President and CEO
St John’s Well Child and Family Center
Jim Mangia is the President and CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a network of nonprofit
federally qualified health centers and school based clinics providing free medical, dental and mental
health services to more than 140,000 patient visits in south Los Angeles. Passionate about community
health and social justice, Mr. Mangia built the Well Child and Family Centers from a small single-site
clinic serving 1200 patients a year to one of L.A. County’s largest nonprofit health care providers with
more than a dozen clinic sites.
Mangia is the founder of the south Los Angeles Health & Human Rights Conference.
Mangia is a leader in building a health and human rights movement in the United States and has built a
myriad of innovative and collaborative services and relationships and has built strong and sustainable
partnerships with school districts, government agencies, community based organizations, schools,
educators and health care providers to increase access to health care services and strengthen the
healthcare safety net for impoverished and economically disadvantaged children and their families. He
serves on the Board of Governors of LA Care Health Plan. Mangia served as a member of President
Obama’s Health Advisory Task Force and served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County for the last two years. He is currently a leader in
Health Care First South LA, a safety-net Accountable Care Organization designed to redesign and
integrate care for underserved populations in South Los Angeles.
Mangia has testified before congressional committees, the California state legislature and the Los Angeles
city council about environmental health issues effecting L.A.’s children, health disparities and the right to
health. He has received the Certificate of Congressional Recognition, special recognition in the U.S.
Congressional Record, and numerous commendations for his work by city, county and state legislative
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 5 | P a g e
Cynthia Marvin, Chief, Stationary Source Division
California Air Resources Board
Cynthia Marvin is the Chief of the Stationary Source Division at the California Air Resources Board
(ARB or Board). The Division is responsible for: reducing diesel emissions and community health risk
from ports, rail, and the freight transport system; implementing clean, low-carbon fuels; developing
climate change policy and regulations (including Cap-and-Trade); evaluating the energy-air quality
interface; and overseeing local air district permitting and rules.
Ms. Marvin previously led ARB’s initiatives on goods movement, including the $1 billion incentive
program funded through Proposition 1B and a new effort to increase the efficiency and use of zero-
emission technology in the State’s freight system to meet California’s longer-term air quality and climate
change goals. Her background involves over 20 years of experience with the Board managing
California’s State Implementation Plans; developing ARB’s clean air strategy for mobile sources, fuels,
and consumer products; and drafting air toxics regulations to protect public health. Prior to joining ARB,
she worked as an assistant vice president in the banking industry and has a B.S. in Environmental
Toxicology from the University of California at Davis.
Elisa Nicholas, MD, MSPH, CEO
The Children’s Clinic
Dr. Elisa Nicholas has served as the CEO of The Children’s Clinic, “Serving Children and Their
Families” (TCC) for over 23 years. In addition to her role as CEO of TCC, Dr. Nicholas is an Associate
Professor of Pediatrics at UC Irvine, Project Director and founding member for the Long Beach Alliance
for Children with Asthma (LBACA), the American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH (Community Access
to Child Health) District Co-Facilitator, a member of the Community Advisory Board for the National
Children’s Study of Los Angeles-Ventura Study Center and a board member for Community Clinic
Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC). Dr. Nicholas is a graduate of the UCLA School of
Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency training at the Yale University School of Medicine/New
Haven Hospital and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the UCLA School of Medicine. She
completed her Masters of Science in Public Health and a preventive medicine residency at UCLA.
Hector Ornelas Diaz, Community Liaison Public Health Nurse
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health-Service Planning Area 4
Hector Ornelas Diaz has been a Community Liaison Public Health Nurse for the Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health (LAC-DPH) since October 2010. A 2008 graduate from California State
University, Long Beach, Hector became licensed shortly after and began working as a registered nurse
supervisor for the Sexual Health Program at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. A year later, Hector
was offered a position as a community liaison for LAC-DPH. Hector’s efforts have always been aimed at
disease prevention and health promotion and advocacy. He believes that many factors contribute to a
population’s health including the physical, social, and economic environments, which is why community
liaisoning has been such a great fit. As a community liaison, Hector has been involved in various
projects, in partnership with various community organizations, aimed at tackling these “determinants of
health” in an effort to improve the overall health and well being of Service Planning Area 4 residents.
Hector has always been passionate about working with low-income, underserved communities and is
determined to collaborate with other health advocates to break down the barriers that keep these
populations from living a healthy and prosperous life.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 6 | P a g e
Ashley V. Parks, MPH, CHES, CPH, CPHQ, Research Associate
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Ashley Parks is a research associate for the Health DATA program supporting community and public
health assessment efforts for the Turning Data into Action, a CDC REACH CORE Project and is a
doctoral student in the UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Health Services. Parks also teaches
in-person and online trainings and provides curriculum development and technical assistance to support
the program's goal of improving the capacity of health experts and advocates to find, understand and
present credible data in their programmatic and policy development work.
Parks has experience working in several educational and technical capacities in public health and health
services, with experience working with financial, clinical and administrative data at local health
departments and public and private health care organizations. In her past roles she has been responsible
for training individuals on data systems, providing technical support and developing custom health data
and financial reports and needs assessments. Parks has her master's degree in public health and has
certifications in public health, health education and health care quality.
Isella Ramirez, Co Executive Director
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Isella Ramirez grew up in the City of Commerce, and has 3 years of experience with community
organizing in the Commerce/ East Los Angeles area. While in college, Isella played a leadership role in
the campus immigrant rights campaign that mobilized hundreds of students. She has participated in the
UCLA’s community scholars program holds a B.A. in Latin American & Latina(o) Studies from Vassar
Janet M. Scully, MPH
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Janet Scully has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from California State University, Sacramento
and a Master’s of Public Health from California State University, Long Beach. She has worked for the
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health since 1998 in a variety of capacities, including Health
Educator for the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program and Project Manager for the Toxics
Epidemiology Program. For the past three years, Ms. Scully has worked for Maternal, Child and
Adolescent Health Programs where she manages childhood obesity prevention projects and coordinates
the Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County. Ms. Scully has been active in childhood chronic disease
prevention effort by developing and evaluating policies that aim to reduce the burden of asthma and instill
healthy eating and physical activity habits in preschool age children. As a wife and mother of two young
children, she lead an active, healthy life to set a positive example for her family and friends.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 7 | P a g e
Paul Simon, MD, MPH, Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Dr. Paul Simon is the Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los
Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of
Epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Simon received his MD from the University of
Michigan School of Medicine and his MPH in Epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health.
He is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. He completed a two-year fellowship in field
epidemiology with the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS Program) at the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) in 1992 and then served as a Medical Epidemiologist in CDC's Division of
HIV/AIDS Prevention, assigned to the Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program from 1992-
1998. From 1998-2006 he was the Director of the Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology in the
LAC DPH. In his current position, he oversees the Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, Nutrition
Program, Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health Program, Policies for Livable Active Communities
and Environments (PLACE) Program, Office of Senior Health, Injury and Violence Prevention Program,
and three CDC-funded projects addressing obesity, tobacco use, and chronic disease prevention.
Peggy Toy, MA, Director, Health DATA Program
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Peggy Toy directs Health DATA (Data, Advocacy, Training, Assistance), a key public service program of
the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Health DATA’s mission is to build community capacity to
access and use health research data in policy and program development. For more than 10 years she has
led several projects funded by The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation that
provide community-based training and technical assistance on how to use data to advocate for improved
access to care for underserved populations in California.
Ms. Toy also directs two community-academic collaborations addressing health disparities related to
air quality. She directs ALERT, Assessment of Local Environmental Risk Training (ALERT). ALERT is
supported by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to promote community-based
participatory research to address air-quality related health disparities. She also directs Turning Data into
Action, a CDC REACH CORE project to develop a 5 year strategic plan to reduce disparities in asthma,
cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight related to disproportionate exposures to traffic-related air
pollution in Boyle Heights and Long Beach, California.
Prior to her work for Health DATA, Ms. Toy directed regional and national capacity-building
programs for the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for
Substance Abuse Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the California and Los Angeles County
departments of public health.
Ms. Toy earned her Master of Arts degree in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg
School of Communication with an focus on Public Health Policy and Communications.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 8 | P a g e
Kimberly Uyeda, M.D., M.P.H.
Kimberly Uyeda, M.D., MPH is the Director of Student Medical Services, Community Partnerships and
Medi-Cal Programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her work in the District focuses on
service delivery to underserved populations through innovative school-community partnerships. These
partnerships include linking students to health care through school-based clinics, mobile van specialty
services, and traveling teams of clinicians. She is the co-principal investigator of the LAUSD
Comprehensive Asthma Program, a grant sponsored by the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, and a co-
investigator of the UCLA/Rand Healthy Adolescent Living Study funded by the National Center for
Minority Health and Health Disparities. Both studies focus on addressing key chronic health conditions
(asthma and obesity, respectively) in the context of the school and broader community. Dr. Uyeda
completed a fellowship and earned her masters degree in Community Health Sciences at the UCLA
School of Public Health. She is a practicing pediatrician, having completed her residency training at
Cedars Sinai Medical Center and medical school at the University of California, San Diego.
Robert S. Vinetz, MD, FAAP
QueensCare Family Clinics
Robert Vinetz, MD, FAAP practices primary care pediatrics in Los Angeles as a staff pediatrician with
QueensCare Family Clinics (QFC), a non-profit organization of six community clinics certified as a
Federally Qualified Health Center. He is the Director of its Pediatric Asthma Disease Management
Program. Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, he has been a practicing pediatrician for over
thirty-five years, with special interests in the primary care of low-income children, child health advocacy,
preventive health, quality improvement and asthma. A graduate of the USC Keck School of Medicine,
Dr. Vinetz completed pediatric residency at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, and practiced
pediatrics in the Los Angeles area beginning in 1973. Before coming to QFC in October 2003 he served
for approximately three years as Associate Medical Director of the Child Health and Disability Prevention
Program for the County of Los Angeles. He was a national leader in motor vehicle trauma prevention,
promoting car safety seats for children and federal regulations for airbags in all cars. He was the physician
champion and team leader for QFC’s participation in two pediatric quality improvement projects: (1) the
Early Developmental Screening and Intervention Initiative Learning Collaborative in association with the
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities and the Cincinnati Children’s Center for
Health Care Quality, funded by First 5 LA, and; (2) the CA-DHS Best Clinical and Administrative
Practices Plan/Practice Improvement Project Virtual Asthma Collaborative funded by The California
HealthCare Foundation. This asthma improvement collaborative for providers was conducted exclusively
using web-based technology which focused on practice site improvement using elements from the
Chronic Care Model, national asthma guidelines, and best practices. Dr. Vinetz currently serves as co-
chair of the Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County and participates on the Community Advisory Board
of the USC Clinical & Translational Science Institute and on the Support Team of Turning Data Into
Action Project of the UCLA Center For Health Policy Research.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 9 | P a g e
Steven P. Wallace, PhD, Associate Director, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Chair, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health
Steven P. Wallace, PhD, is professor and Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the
UCLA School of Public Health and associate director at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
(Center). Wallace is a leading scholar nationally in the area of aging in communities of color and social
justice issues. He has been involved for over 25 years in community-engaged research, most recently in
the Boyle Heights and Long Beach areas of Los Angeles County where CDC and NIEHS have funded
projects to build community capacity to address air quality hazards. He has published research on access
to care by diverse elderly groups and immigrants, disparities in the consequences of health policy changes
on racial/ethnic minority communities, and the politics of aging. His research includes older Latinos,
American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian-Pacific Islander Americans, and African Americans. In addition
to publishing over 60 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters, his interest in reaching a policy and
key stakeholder audience has led him to publish several dozen policy briefs and reports at the Center.
Those briefs and his other publications have received broad media coverage, including multiple stories in
the New York Times, LA Times, NPR, and elsewhere, as well as coverage in U.S. News and World
Report, Fox News, and even Al Jazeera. He has testified a number of times at state legislative hearings
and in other policy forums.
In addition to his research and community engagement, Wallace has been Co-Director for 10 years of the
Coordinating Center for the NIH/NIA-funded Resource Centers on Minority Aging Research. He is
currently chair of the APHA Aging & Public Health Section’s development committee, past chair of the
Gerontological Health Section (now Aging & Public Health), and a past chair of the Task Force on
Health and Aging of the Association of Schools of Public Health. In 2000, Wallace received a Fulbright
Fellowship to research and lecture in Chile, where he studied the impact of public policies on health
equity for the elderly. Wallace is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and received his
doctorate in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco.
La Weeda Ward
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
La Weeda Ward is an Environmental Engineer with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Region 9 and is place-based at the region’s Southern California Field Office in Los Angeles, California.
Ms. Ward has 26 years of experience in the design and management of successful and innovative
environmental programs. Her current responsibilities with EPA Region 9 include the Port and Marine
Vessel Sector Lead for the West Coast Collaborative, in addition to programmatic and liaison duties
pertaining to California district rules and State Implementation Plan development efforts.
La Weeda comes to EPA from the Department of Defense, where she managed the Air Quality
Compliance Program for Edwards Air Force Base, which consists of a footprint of 475 square miles, over
2,300 distinct air compliance sites, Title V major source status in two separate California districts and
approximately 200 district permits.
After receiving a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California
at Los Angeles, Ms. Ward began her career at the California Air Resources Board and later the South
Coast Air Quality Management District developing control measures and regulations for the reduction of
volatile organic compound emissions from stationary sources. Over the years, Ms. Ward has gained
considerable expertise in both air quality compliance and hazardous waste holding several highly
responsible positions in the Environmental Management arena. Throughout her career, Ms. Ward has
received numerous awards and honors including most recently the prestigious “Civilian Manager of the
Year” for the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, the largest major command of the U.S. Air Force.
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 10 | P a g e
Jazmin Zane, MSW, Health DATA Project Manager
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Jazmin Zane, MSW is a graduate student researcher at the UCLA Center of Health Policy Research and a
Project Manager for Health DATA, the Center’s public service community training program. She began
her role at the Center as the project manager and trainer for the Data and Democracy Statewide Training
Initiative. Currently, she manages two projects for the Health DATA Program--Assessment for Local
Environmental Risk Training (ALERT) to Reduce Health Disparities, funded by the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences and Turning Data into Action: Fighting Air Pollution in Two Immigrant
Communities, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zane earned her MSW through the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.
She also earned a BA in psychology at UCLA, with departmental honors, and she minored in applied
developmental psychology. Zane has worked on various research projects with the UCLA Psychology
Department, as well as the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. She is also a co-investigator on
a fast food menu labeling study in the department of Social Welfare.
Zane has published papers on adolescent bullying, dual diagnosis, and homelessness, and she has
presented at several conferences. Her doctoral studies are focused on poverty, obesity, and nutrition.
Jon Zerolnick, Research Director
Jon is most comfortable working with facts, theory and numbers, which is why he is a researcher. His
focus at LAANE has been on the environmental and economic impacts of port trucking, and in the course
of this work he has authored reports including The Road to Shared Prosperity and Foreclosure on Wheels.
Prior to joining LAANE, Jon salted, organized and researched in the labor movement for a decade, with
the bulk of that time spent researching industries including hotel/casinos, agriculture and airport services.
For pay, Jon has also waited tables, washed dishes, built minivans, worked retail, taught undergraduates,
cleaned floors, tested drugs, sold knives and dealt poker. He has been a member, variously, of the unions
HERE, UAW, CWA and IWW. A case study in the failure of U.S. labor law, Jon was illegally fired for
union activity in 1997 (the case was not settled until 2005).
TDA Conference: Paying the Price with Our Health 11 | P a g e