2014 Cohort

Encore Career Seekers

Laura Becker-Lewke, JD, MBA

As a lawyer, businesswoman, mother and dedicated volunteer with a passion for finding creative solutions, I bring a strong portfolio of talents to impact the challenge of preventing chronic disease within communities and adding value to a future community partner.

I have had the privilege of being part of several communities: my family of origin in New York, Wellesley College, McGill Law School, New York University, federal and state courts, women’s business groups, and international corporations.

Twenty years ago when I changed professional direction, with the arrival of our third child coupled with of my now 96 year-old mother’s life changing stroke, I became active in several different kinds of communities: churches, schools, not-for-profits and senior care facilities. Living in the US, Canada, Germany and France has made me sensitive to cultural differences in healthcare, lifestyle and community.

Within my extended family, I've experienced first-hand health challenges such as: diabetes, obesity, smoking, cancer, stroke, and alcoholism. As a result, I chose never to smoke, and to remain physically active. Starting as a relay team member for my first triathlon, I have progressed to do individual triathlons, three-day breast cancer walks, and last summer ran my first marathon. My personal motto is “to finish is to win".

Because the issue of chronic disease management is a subject close to home, I welcome a chance to the study the latest academic work in this sector, and then find innovative hands-on solutions that will provide measurable results for my community partner.

Seasoned Professionals

Charles H. Bowden, MD

After many years working as a physician and scientist developing new drugs and medical devices, I came to recognize what should have been obvious much earlier: that additional improvements in health care will be limited not by technology, but by our ability to create durable changes in patient and physician behavior, as well as systematic restructuring of economic resources and incentives within the health care delivery system.

I enjoyed the challenges of drug and device development, and working with others, we were fortunate to have a number of successes. But I saw clearly from my experience in direct patient care and as a clinical investigator – primarily in diabetes and obesity – that these drugs and devices alone are not sufficient to improve health and long-term outcomes – especially with regard to some of the most prevalent chronic diseases.

Our current health care system rewards acute interventions over prevention, and tends to focus on downstream disorders – such as hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia – rather than upstream causes, such as obesity.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to develop and implement a program within one of the community partners, putting into practice lessons learned from the Stanford H4A fellowship and my prior experience to create qualitative improvements in the way chronic diseases are prevented or managed.

I received my undergraduate degree from Rice University, my M.D. and graduate training in cell and molecular biology from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed residency training in pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital.

 

Drea Burbank, MD

My name is Drea. I grew up in central Idaho where I was homeschooled on a farm in the mountains. I am the oldest of 9 children and lived for several years without electricity or running water. I began fighting forest fires at age 18. In 9 years I traveled from volcano ignitions in the rainforest of Hawaii and desert blazes in the foothills of Los Angeles to falling big timber in coastal British Columbia. In the winter I attended university, eventually deciding to pursue medicine as a career. I was accepted into a rural and remote training program in northern British Columbia focused on providing doctors to underserved populations. In medical school I spent my spare time volunteering with rehabilitated street children in Ukraine and Uganda, and mentoring First Nations youth in British Columbia. During my clinical years, I became increasingly interested in upstream care measures for preventable downstream disease. I decided to take some time between medical school and residency to pursue this interest full-time. 

I am grateful to be part of the January cohort for Stanford H4A. As a doctor, it is second nature to observe patterns in disease occurrence and identify areas for targeted disease prevention. What is more difficult is collaboratively implementing effective, measurable, consensual strategies in a given population. I am hoping to learn more about how preventative care measures can be designed intelligently, and realized efficiently.

 

Maile Jachowski, MD

I am thrilled to be a Stanford H4A fellow because I am passionate about bringing health-oriented community-based solutions to the serious problems of obesity-related and lifestyle-associated diseases – especially heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. I am experienced as a physician, educator, business owner, and medical director of a school system, and I am certified and experienced as a group fitness instructor, yoga instructor, and personal trainer. While working as a clinical pediatrician immersed in the disease side of medicine, I became alarmed by the rising incidence of preventable lifestyle-associated diseases in both adults and children. I came to realize the need to go beyond the clinic doors to develop health-oriented solutions where people live and work. To supplement my medical background, I acquired additional skills and knowledge in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and behavioral change that I feel are essential for a balanced approach to wellness programming. I believe that, to be effective, community-based healthy lifestyle programs must be accessible and must include behavior-change strategies, emotional support, healthy lifestyle education in fitness and nutrition, and opportunities to practice and internalize healthy new lifestyle habits. And, these programs must be designed so that their effectiveness can be assessed though sensible metrics and thoughtful analysis. I look forward to working with a community partner during my internship to apply the new skills and knowledge that I will learn in the H4A program.

 

Reynold Lewke, JD, MBA

A key to this program’s stated goal of training graduates to design and implement health interventions that deliver measurable results is by testing this evidence-based curriculum with practically applied community partner internships.

As background, my healthy lifestyle interest dates to when I was six years old and my father, a family doctor and firm believer in the motto of "a sound mind in a healthy body," decided that I should start the day by running a mile before a breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and oatmeal. This philosophy motivated me to play college sports and train for triathlons to balance study stress or deal with 80+ hour workweeks and 100,000+ annual air mile travel schedules. I still do at least one Ironman per year and plan to continue until at least 85. This love of motion I have passed to my wife and four children, who also do triathlons.

As an engineer, lawyer and businessman with degrees from MIT, McGill and NYU, in a family of medical professionals, including family and sports medicine doctors in Canada and neurosurgery professor in Germany, I have long explored informally the systemic, technological and business issues of healthcare with my family members’ more individual patient-centric concerns. Having lived in various parts of the United States, Canada, and Germany, I have experienced how different healthcare approaches impact individuals and their ecosystem. My internship goal is a community partner who will use my skills to tap this program’s knowledge base to implement programs with measurable impact.

 

Jerrie Thurman

Hello, my name is Jerrie Thurman. I have worked as a Health Promotion Program Manager with Stanford Health Improvement Program, a division of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and have led training programs and educational programs for fitness professionals for over 20 years. I have a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. What excites me most about the H4A Fellowship program is the potential to blend my educational background, experience in the fitness industry, and practical knowledge of program management, with the knowledge that I will gain in disease prevention, designing and implementing a community-based program, and measurement of program outcomes.

The project that I will find most fulfilling to work on with the Community Partner will focus on increasing the physical activity of Americans. With over 80% of Americans not meeting the physical activity guidelines, the public health need for more programs that address this issue is great. The specific approach that I would like to take is to research what factors would engage the inactive and hard-to-reach person to become more active, develop an educational program that can be delivered to health and fitness professionals, and finally evaluate the effectiveness of the program. A major component of the program would include training health and fitness professionals in the area of behavior change to empower them to effectively implement the principles into their instruction and communication with their patients or clients.

 

Sumita Vasudeva

I design individual daily and seasonal routines through my private practice. These include: wholesome nutrition and herbs; yoga and breathing exercises; oils and aromas; spiritual and cleansing practices. I also teach Hatha Yoga to suit different ability levels and conduct educational workshops on Ayurveda. 

Over the years, I have enjoyed community involvement and engagement. I lead free seasonal educational workshops through my Meetup (Palo Alto Yoga and Ayurveda). I especially enjoy sharing knowledge with mothers because they tend to lead the change on nutrition and lifestyle in their families.

Additionally, my work experience includes United Nations organizations in Europe, media companies in Asia, and not-for-profit organizations in the US.

Following my BA in Economics at Delhi University, I earned the title of 'Master of Yoga' from The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Kerala, India. I also studied at the California College of Ayurveda and am a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. 

I hope to enter into collaboration with a Community Partner to explore and strategize the integration of evidence-based preventative health techniques in the modern day realities of American communities. I would be encouraged if I were to also secure funding and/or a collaborator in my quest to research and test the efficacy of alternative nutrition and lifestyle theories around preventative health.

 

Mary Anna Weklar, MS

Personally and professionally, I have long been passionate about health and wellness and very excited to now be embarking on a new chapter of this journey as a Fellow in the H4A Program.

I started my health care career in 1982 with a Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University. A native Philadelphian, I spent my earlier years in administrative positions at Pennsylvania Hospital and served as Director of Planning and Program Development at Abington Memorial Hospital for close to 10 years. Upon moving to CA, 16 years ago, I worked briefly with Dean Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute. His multi-pronged, non-invasive program to prevent and reverse heart disease has had a lasting impact. In 1997 I joined Sutter Health as Manager, Strategy and Business Development. Since 2006 I have been part of a new team collaborating in the design and implementation of employee health management programs to very diverse employee populations across many different industries.

I have long been intrigued by how to help motivate and empower others to live healthier lifestyles. The national growth rates in obesity and related preventable illnesses are personally alarming. Since being able to have access to and make educated choices around good nutrition is at the foundation of personal, family and community health, I am most interested in designing a project in this area. I want part of my legacy to be contributing to sustainable solutions around empowering others to change dietary patterns that reduce chronic disease and improve health status overall.

I am a life-long learner in the fields of nutrition, movement, yoga, mindfulness meditation, energy/body work and other healing practices…and incorporate what works into my own life. I believe in the transformational power of nature, friendships, art, prayer, gratitude and loving kindness. I enjoy Northern CA, hiking, swimming, x-country skiing, photography and finding and sharing fun and easy ways to incorporate health practices into daily living.

Recent Grads (1-5 years)

Amani Abdallah

Hi everyone! My name is Amani Abdallah and I am very excited to be a part of the 2014 Stanford H4A cohort. I am a recent graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Public Health Sciences with a focus in Gerontology. Two months after graduating, I was hired by the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department and I am now working as a Suicide Prevention Program Specialist. Aside from suicide being a major public health issue, I feel very strongly about raising awareness concerning mental health and promoting healthy living. A person’s entire well-being can be improved and maintained by eating healthy, staying active, and making sure the mind and psyche are taken care of - something I strive for everyday for me and my family. I plan to use the internship as an opportunity to share all that I learn in the Stanford H4A classrooms with the communities I support, my peers, and my family. I will cherish and carry the skills and knowledge I will gain from the faculty with me in my journey towards building a healthier America. I am looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and learning from your stories and experiences. 

Diana Delgadillo, MS

My name is Diana Delgadillo and I am honored to be given the opportunity to become a 2014 Stanford H4A Fellow. As a Mexican-American who was born and raised in Tulare, California I have grown up surrounded by agriculture, and it has played a big part in shaping the person I am today. I live in a community with health disparities amongst many underserved immigrant farmworkers. I grew up witnessing the hardships that my parents experienced working in the fields for long hours. This propelled me to pursue a career and break the generational cycle of agrarian work.

I received a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management at California State University, Bakersfield and intend to soon join a physician assistant school in order to practice rural medicine and deliver quality healthcare. As a H4A Fellow, I plan to acquire the skills required to learn distinct strategic techniques for improving wellness in my community. This will allow me to interact with other healthcare professionals who are making a difference. 

I spend my free time reading, traveling, or enjoying quality time with my two younger sisters. My ultimate goal is to administer a healthcare facility and to become the voice that will allow the underrepresented to gain knowledge and understanding of health prevention and living healthy lifestyles. Letting them know they are not forgotten and making them aware of the resources available to them is my mission. My favorite quote is, “Si no vives para servir, no sirves para vivir,” (Meaning-If you do not live to serve, you do not deserve to live).

 

Aparna Jayaraman

My name is Aparna. I studied biochemistry/chemistry in Univ. of Calif. San Diego and am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Lesotho. I am interested in community level development work in the field of public health. As an H4A fellow I hope to use my experiences with my community partner to put a face to the H4A curriculum. I know that behavior change is not a formula that guarantees success but something that takes time and constant revision and is unique to each person and community. I hope to implement the concepts that are discussed in the classes with my community partner and use those experiences to not only understand these ideas better but to also understand them in a practical context. 

 

Nicole Jeffery

Hello! My name is Nicole Jeffery and I originally hail from Barrow, Alaska, a rural Inupiat Eskimo town north of the Arctic Circle. Like many other indigenous tribes, the Inupiaq Eskimo of my hometown are struggling to keep their dying language and traditions alive. As a Stanford H4A Fellow, my goal is to explore how Alaska Natives and other indigenous groups can create and thrive in healthy communities while preserving their traditional lifestyles. 

I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Stanford, where I studied Human Biology with a concentration in Adolescent Development and the Law. After graduating, I decided to pursue medicine and have been taking medical school pre-requisite classes while working full-time in the Bay Area. In my spare time, I dance – Argentine tango, salsa and international Latin ballroom and Afro-Cuban folkloric are my favorite styles. A dream is to take a dance pilgrimage all over the world, dancing each style in its native country. So far I have Buenos Aires and Cuba under my belt! 

In the future, I would like to return to Alaska and put all the knowledge I’ve soaked up to use in my hometown and other Alaskan communities. I am so excited start a new chapter through H4A and to work with the other fellows and community partners!

Jenna Kim

In 2012, I graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Nutritional Science and Dietetics. Instead of following the traditional clinical nutrition route alongside most of my colleagues, I always acted on my affinity for community nutrition and education. My extracurricular activities included teaching nutrition at the local middle schools, facilitating adult group cooking classes, and providing diabetes education in hospitals. 

Post-graduation, I worked as a Nutrition Coach for My Fit Foods. I prided myself in my ability to translating evidence-based data to relatable and meaningful information for my clients, empowering them with knowledge to support making healthier choices. In spite of this fulfillment, I have always craved unleashing a greater movement, affecting more people, and changing more lives.

My desire is to enable individuals in the communities I work with to be the catalyst of positive change for others. I want to spark a need to continuously learn and develop in every being. And, ultimately, by equipping individuals to pass on the torch, I believe we can shift the health trends in America. I am looking forward to putting theory into practice and pouring my efforts into the approach the program would provide.

 

Dale Maglalang

My name is Dale Maglalang and I’m a recent graduate of UC Davis with a double major in Human Development and Asian American Studies. During my undergraduate career I was involved in various social justice organizations such as BRIDGE: Pilipino/a Outreach & Retention and Asian Pacific American Leadership Committee addressing educational equity and holistic retention of underrepresented students on campus. Off-campus, I worked for California School Health Center’s Association in Oakland as a Youth Board Member and Consultant and provided various tools to school-based health centers across the nation ranging from youth engagement to Community Based Participatory Research. This past summer, I interned for Youth UpRising in East Oakland under the Community Economic Development Department using different forms of media such as photo voice to address economic needs and violence prevention in the community. 

Through Stanford H4A Fellows program, I hope to gain the necessary skills and understanding in assessing community health needs and working with community members to develop culturally sensitive and competent programs that are self-sustaining and community-led. Furthermore, I hope to engage marginalized communities in research and develop interventions that can address and improve all aspects of their health.

 

Arianna Wassmann

Hello! I’m Arianna, a recent graduate from Stanford University. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology, in addition to minoring in Feminist Studies with a focus in “Gender, Health and Medicine.” I was involved in Hermanas de Stanford, a group that held events discussing issues facing the Chicana/Latina community, and Barrio Assistance, a tutoring program that worked with predominantly Chican@/Latin@ youth. I was also involved in groups such as FLIP (First-generation, Low-Income Partnership) and Power2ACT (Abilities Coming Together). I hope to find a way to combine my passion for health and education to better serve marginalized communities (e.g. women, people of color, people with disabilities, etc.) throughout my time as a Stanford H4A Fellow, in addition to meeting others who are equally dedicated to community health.

Community/Policy Activists

Jessica Ferrell

I was drawn to the H4A program because in it I see the potential for the culmination of my interests and past experiences into one productive focus. Through my years of academic study, nutrition and natural medicine have been what I feel most passionate about. In my work and volunteer experience within schools and community organizations, I find fulfillment leading, teaching and coming alongside others in their quest for a better quality of life. I love a plan especially a preemptive one. I see great potential for change in the way families view their daily health choices by effectively reaching them through their children, schools and neighborhood organizations. I feel the internship will be a place for me to use the years of collecting my own ideas, along with new ones in the program, to effect change through an essential real time experience of connection within a community.

 

Ambri Pukhraj

My interest in public health stems from my experience as an HIV Test Counselor at the Berkeley Free Clinic, where I am a volunteer and member. Having been exposed to a diverse range of clients at the Clinic, I am dedicated to understanding the full extent to which behaviors and socio-economic status affect health. I believe this Fellowship will allow me to better understand the intricacies and nuances involved in preventive health. I hope my internship with my assigned community partner enables me to be an effective advocate for healthy lifestyle choices so I, in turn, can enable members of my community to be advocates for themselves. 

In my professional life, I work for Ensaaf, a human rights organization, and the International Child Resource Institute (ICRI), an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. Prior to working in the non-profit sector, I taught for four years at Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) schools in the Bay Area, including two years as a Teach For America corps member. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and political science, with a specialization in Asian Studies, from Michigan State University. 

I live in Oakland, and enjoy reading postcolonial literature, hiking through redwoods, and eating pizza with my partner.