OC Co-leaders

portrait of principal investigator Dr. Elizabeth Klonoff

Elizabeth A. Klonoff, Ph.D. (SDSU Co-Leader) As the SDSU Co-Director of the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Dr. Klonoff holds faculty appointments at both universities and has working relationships with faculty, staff, students, and administrators on both campuses; she also serves as the SDSU contact person for the UCSD Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant. A clinical and health psychologist, she received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. She has experience providing direct services to patients with various forms of cancer at Duke and Case Western Reserve Schools of Medicine; thus, she brings significant experience dealing with the psychosocial issues related to cancer patients and their families. Dr. Klonoff has a long history of experience and interests in cancer research, specifically cancer research emphasizing ethnic minorities and cancer research training of minorities.  Her work in tobacco control, supported by >$10 million in funding grants, focuses on the impact of discrimination and acculturation on health, minors’ access to tobacco, and tobacco control-related policy interventions. She has published extensively on culture and gender diversity in the clinical psychology, behavioral medicine, and preventive medicine literature.  Dr. Klonoff received the 2010 Western Psychology Association Social Responsibility award in recognition for her more than 30 years of extensive and innovative research on tobacco use among minors, the causes and outcomes of discrimination for women and people of color. Dr. Klonoff is one of the SDSU PIs on the U54 and has served as co-leader of the outreach efforts initiated as part of the U56 and U54. eklonoff@mail.sdsu.edu


portrait of principal investigator Dr. Ana Navarro

Ana M. Navarro, Ph.D. (UCSD Co-Leader) is an Associate Professor in the UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.  Since joining UCSD in 1991, her research agenda has focused on the use of community-based participatory interventions to improve health status, and access to health care in underserved communities with a special emphasis on cancer health disparities. Funding from the National Cancer Institute, the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, and the American Cancer Society – California Division has supported Dr. Navarro’s research agenda as PI for 20 years. Her work builds on innovative community-based health interventions addressing health disparities, and her community health advisor projects have pioneered the field to enhance health and to improve access to health care for medically underserved individuals. Projects developed under Dr. Navarro’s leadership represent innovative research models at the vanguard of community-based participatory health research current trends. She has an extraordinary record of community service and commitment to training and mentoring. Dr. Navarro has been one of the UCSD PIs on the U56 and U54 since its inception, and has served as co-leader of the outreach and efforts.  Her leadership been critical to the development of a broad community partner network that is coming to fruition and that has been progressively built and integrated into the work of the academic partner institutions.  Dr. Navarro’s role as PI is central to the U54 linkages between community and academic partners. anavarro@ucsd.edu


OC Faculty

portrait of outreach core faculty E. Cordero

Elizabeth Diane Cordero, Ph.D. (SDSU-Imperial Valley Campus) is a counseling psychologist specializing in eating disorders and body image, quality-of-life issues for cancer patients, and mental-health issues pertaining to Latinos, women, and individuals from lower socioeconomic statuses. Her areas of interest include cultural and familial contributions to eating disorders and body image and resilience and promotion of mental and physical wellbeing.  Dr. Cordero joined the SDSU-Imperial Valley Campus in 2006 and started to develop community partnerships and cancer research and training opportunities in the area with the support of the U54. ecordero@sciences.sdsu.edu

portrait of outreach core faculty member G. Sadler

Georgia Sadler, B.S.N., M.B.A., Ph.D. (UCSD Cancer Center) has been the Cancer Center Associate Director for Outreach since 1994 and is an accomplished health disparities researcher, nurse, and administrator. Her NCI-funded research projects focus on four main areas: 1) health disparities; 2) increasing the pipeline of health professionals and scientists from underrepresented communities; 3) increasing participation in clinical trials particularly among minority groups; and 4) creating interventions to address the side effects of cancer and its treatment. Her work spans multiple minority communities, including African Americans, Asian Americans, the Deaf, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders, with a special emphasis on reaching socioeconomically challenged persons.  She created multiple dynamic community-campus partnerships, all of which continue to operate effectively. Dr. Sadler commitment to volunteerism is evidenced by her 35 community service awards. Dr. Sadler has contributed to the Partnership outreach efforts of the Partnership since its inception. gsadler@ucsd.edu

Community Health Representatives (CHRs)

portrait of assistant community health representative C. Bernal

Catalina V. Bernal has been working as a volunteer in the Latino community over 20 years. She has been a part of the PTA, conducted field interviews and helped in needs assessments for various community projects.  After being a participant in one of the early Por La Vida health education programs, she volunteered as a community health worker (“consejera”) to teach cancer prevention classes herself, and later on joined the staff to help coordinate the implementation of the program.  In her current role with the U54, she has participated in several committees developing curricula to improve cancer prevention and early detection.  She works with volunteers and helps to coordinate training sessions and community events.  She assists in the recruitment of study participants, data collection, and data entry.  Ms. Bernal has also adopted an important role in the quality assurance, and process data management.   As a native Spanish speaker, Ms. Bernal has also been assisting the Partnership in the translation and community competent adaptation of research materials including consent forms, questionnaires, and educational materials. cbernal@ucsd.edu

portrait of community health representative G. Coronado

Rosa G. Coronado has over 20 years of volunteer experience running various faith based groups, and working as committee member for Hispanic Action (MADD), 5 de Mayo Con Orgullo Para la Familia, and other community initiatives.  She also volunteered as community health advisor for the Por La Vida program after being a program participant herself, and later on joined as staff member to assist in the coordination of the program.  She has served as member of the Binational Committee working closely with health advocates from San Diego and Mexico to organize health fairs in the San Diego-Tijuana area. Other collaborative efforts include Paradise Valley Hospital Partners for Prevention Coalition to oversee the quality of life issues in National City, and working with the South Bay Community Services, where Ms. Coronado engaged community members, local business owners, city council members and law enforcement to reduce the sale of alcohol and tobacco near local schools. Ms. Coronado worked 10 years ago with the National City Council Members to bring translation services to the Council’s meeting, and has since worked on bringing in community members to advocate for their rights. Ms. Coronado’s skills and experience strengthens the Partnership’s ability to engage community members in research and outreach activities. rcoronado@ucsd.edu

portrait of program coordinator

Ebere Lima, M.A. serves as Minority Biospecimen/Biobanking Geographic Management Program (BMaP) Program Coordinator. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine in 2004 and her M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Developmental Psychology and Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University in 2009. Prior to joining the Partnership in 2009, Ms. Iweriebor worked with at risk populations for 11 years, coordinating activities and workshops for youth and working on various research projects addressing drug, and health issues in underserved communities.   Ms. Iweriebor’s leadership and skills impact not only the BMaP supplement, but also the U54 at large.  Ms. Iweriebor assists to get the word out in media throughout San Diego and across universities about newly funded projects awards, Partnership events, and awards and recognitions bestowed to U54 team members.  She has also assumed responsibilities to coordinate an annual cancer health disparities presentation as part of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center Director’s seminar monthly series, which has featured Drs. Robinson and Merchant, U54 Program Steering Committee members. eiweriebor@mail.sdsu.edu

portrait of community health representative i. hernandez

Irma D. Hernández was first a group participant, and subsequently a volunteer community health advisor (“consejera”) with the Por La Vida program. Her work in the Latino community spans over 20 years. Early on, she was an active member of the PTA and served as Vice President of the PTA for 2 years at El Toyon Elementary School in National City, CA. Her contributions include providing translation services and administrative assistance to the Chula Vista court for DUI classes in the Latino community, serving in the Binational Health committee, conducting needs assessments for the South Bay Collaborative and maintaining a resource inventory for the community. Ms. Hernandez is a natural grassroots organizer committed to improve health in the community by motivating its residents to take action.  She has assisted in the development of bilingual (English, Spanish) community health education program and evaluation materials in the areas of breast and cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, nutrition, and tobacco use prevention and control, traveling as needed to train the trainers. Ms. Hernandez is a native Spanish speaker, and has also assisted the Partnership in the translation and community adaptation of research materials including consent forms, questionnaires, and educational materials, data collection, data processing and quality assurance, and conducting presentations at community and professional meetings. irhernandez@ucsd.edu

portrait of community health representative T. Lepule

Jonathan (Tana) Lepule, B.A. (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities and Pacific Islander Festival Association) brings expertise gained through extensive experience in working with various community based organizations and academic institutions.  A Pacific Islander of Samoan descent, Mr. Lepule has more than a decade of experience advocating for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander issues at the local, state and federal levels.  He was the Health Division Supervisor with the Union of Pan-Asian Communities, where he worked for 11 years.  Mr. Lepule has served as a co-trainer and facilitator on community capacity building, tobacco education and coalition development, and has been a community collaborator on multiple Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects addressing health disparities among Pacific Islander communities, particularly in Southern California. He serves as President of the San Diego Pacific Islander Festival Association, and Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities. In recognition of his leadership, Mr. Lepule has been appointed to the California Governor’s Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, the California Department of Public Health’s Council on Multicultural Health, the San Diego Police Chief’s Advisory Board, and, most recently, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network’s Board of Directors. Mr. Lepule has served as a member of the CLC since 2009, and later on joined the U54 as a member of the community health representative staff team. Jlepule@ucsd.edu

portrait of community health representative G. Ndunduyenge

Godelièvre Louis, B.A. graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Social Anthropology with a focus on immigration and its effect on health. She conducted research abroad to understand how a group’s cultural perspective shapes how it views itself and others.  In one of her previous roles as Assistant Residential Coordinator at the AIDS Service of Dallas (ASD), she assisted with case management for HIV and AIDS patients in addition to coordinating activities for their children. For the last 8 years, she has volunteered and worked in the Latino and African-African American communities. As part of her work with the U54, she serves as liaison with community agencies and programs serving the immigrant and refugee populations. In addition, Ms. Ndunduyenge is multilingual (Lingala, French, Spanish, and English) and is assuming a leadership role in the coordination and translation of documents.  She reviews the incoming translation requests and assists in the preparation and community adaptation of research documents. She also assists with the organization and transcription of focus group discussions for research projects, is contributing to manuscripts, and preparing presentations at community and professional conferences. gndunduyenge@ucsd.edu

portrait of community health representative l. fralin

La Shon Palmer, B.A. is a first generation graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  As a student she participated in the Faculty Student Mentoring Program as a mentee and worked as a student advisor in undergraduate psychology advising office. These experiences in addition to her own life experiences further fueled her desire to reach out to others.   Ms. Fralin is a natural helper in her community and has long served as a role model as the only college graduate in her immediate family. She volunteers at the Women’s Resource Fair, which provides free medical and other services to homeless women in San Diego.  Ms. Fralin is fluent in Spanish, contributes to translation services as needed, and assists in the development of research and health education materials. As part of her work with the U54, Ms. Fralin has helped MANA de San Diego to coordinate breast and cervical cancer screening during the San Diego Día de la Mujer Latina annual health festival.  Building on this work, Ms. Fralin is assuming a critical role in the U54 cultivating relationships with community clinics and other health care providers. lfralin@mail.sdsu.edu

portrait of community health representative o. sanchez

Olga Sánchez has a long history of community service and leadership as a member of the local Latino community in San Diego.  Ms. Sánchez volunteered at the schools that her children attended and served as assistant to the teachers, member of the P.T.A., organizing a group of volunteers to raise funds for the school, participating in the “Bilingual Parents Committee” and helping out to coordinate the seminar for “Assertive Parents”.  Ms. Sánchez started her involvement in health programs as one of the participants in the Por La Vida program, where she volunteered later on as community health worker (“consejera”) for the programs, and has since become a keen leader of the program.  Her leadership is central to the efforts to develop the Por La Vida program as a non-for-profit community based organization. Ms. Sanchez has participated in the development of bilingual (English, Spanish) community health education program and evaluation materials in the areas of breast and cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, nutrition, and tobacco use prevention and control, with attention to health literacy considerations. Sanchez is a native Spanish speaker, and has assisted the Partnership in the translation and community competent adaptation of research materials including consent forms, questionnaires, and educational materials. She also assists and supervises recruitment of study project participants, implementation of and transcription of focus groups, data entry, and process evaluation data management. Ms. Sanchez has received several awards for her work in the Latino community. Most recently, she was honored with the Susan Matsuko Shinagawa Livestrong Cancer Control Leadership Award at the ICC 12th Biennial Symposium. osanchez@ucsd.edu