Southern California Welcome Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 9 | 9:00 am-10:30 am
Ying-Ying Goh, MD, MSHS
Director and Health Officer, City of Pasadena Health Department
Dr. Ying-Ying Goh is the Director and Health Officer of the City of Pasadena Health Department. Dr. Goh was appointed the city health officer in 2015 and was named director in 2019. Previously, Dr. Goh served as the Medical Director for Programs and Research as the Pasadena Public Health Department, as well as clinical pediatric practice. Dr. Goh earned her medical degree from Stanford University and a master's degree in Health Services from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd
Director, Los Angeles County Public Health Department
Dr. Barbara Ferrer is the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, a role in which she has served since 2017. Overseeing a budget of $1 billion and a workforce of over 4,000 employees, Dr. Ferrer leads the agency tasked with promoting health and preventing disease among the county's 10 million residents. Previously, Dr. Ferrer served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, among other key public health and education leadership positions. Dr. Ferrer earned a PhD in Social Welfare from Brandeis University and master's degrees in Public Health from Boston University and in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Kelly Colopy, MPP
Director, City of Long Beach Health & Human Services Department
Ms. Kelly Colopy is the Director of the City of Long Beach Health & Human Services Department, overseeing over 40 programs in public health, family and homeless services, and housing. Ms. Colopy has previously served in leadership roles in human services, mental health, and community services in Utah. Ms. Colopy earned her master's degree in Public Policy from Duke University.
Lunch Plenary – Conversation with CHHS Secretary Mark Ghaly
Wednesday, October 9 | 12:00 pm-1:30 pm
Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH
Secretary, California Health & Human Services Agency
Dr. Mark Ghaly was appointed the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and oversees California's largest government agency tasked with a multitude of key services and activities. Prior to joining the Newsom Administration, Secretary Ghaly worked for 15 years in county health leadership roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles, serving in a handful of clinical, health services, and safety net capacities. Dr. Ghaly played an integral role in establishing the Los Angeles County Whole Person Care Pilot program, launching the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, and creating the Office of Diversion and Reentry. Secretary Ghaly received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The Impact of Racism and Bias on Maternal and Infant Health
Thursday, October 10 | 9:00 am-10:30 am
Melissa Franklin, MBA
Founder and CEO, Growth Mindset Communications
Melissa Franklin, MBA, is the Founder and CEO of Growth Mindset Communications and a marketing and communications professional with over 25 years of experience. Ms. Franklin was recently awarded a Pritzker Fellowship on behalf of First 5 LA, where she assists in the coordination of Los Angeles County's efforts to reduce black infant and maternal mortality rates through communications and countywide stakeholder engagement. As a black mother of two girls who were born severely premature, Ms. Franklin has a deep connection to addressing the impact of implicit biases and negative attitudes toward people of color.
Meridith Merchant, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Meridith Merchant is a licensed psychologist with specializations in multicultural community mental health, developmental disabilities, and infant mental health. Dr. Merchant serves as the Assistant Director of Mental Health Initiatives and Inclusion at UC Santa Barbara Counseling and Psychological Services. She also serves as a faculty advisor and community health advocate for iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, focused on health equity and shaping the next generation of health advocates and professionals.
Wenonah Valentine, MBA
Founder in Residence, iDREAM for Racial Health Equity
Ms. Wenonah Valentine is a health equity social entrepreneur and founder of iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, a project of Community Partners. Ms. Valentine develops social innovation in health leadership and workforce development through coaching and skill-buildnig, peer learning, interprofessional education, and health literacy. Ms. Valentine's achievements include bridging communication with maternity medical providers and hospital community benefits programming, facilitating national public health initiatives, and equipping a pipeline of five generations of community research ambassadors, among other notable accomplishments.
Infectious Disease Prevention and Control: The New York City Experience
Thursday, October 10 | 3:00 pm-4:30 pm
Jennifer Rosen, MD
Director, Epidemiology & Surveillance
New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Jennifer Rosen, MD, is the Director of Epidemiology and Surveillance for the Bureau of Immunization at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, overseeing and guiding surveillance and epidemiologic analyses and leading investigations of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Dr. Rosen previously served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the Respiratory Disease Branch, investigating infectious disease outbreaks. Rosen completed her medical residency in internal medicine at New York University (NYU).