Assisting chronically ill patients facing serious social problems is very challenging. The dynamic team of the Patient Health Improvement Initiative is up to the task - and then some.
The team members have dedicated their careers to working in underserved communities, guided by the belief that everyone deserves high-quality care.
They work intimately with patients at doctors' offices, private homes, even homeless shelters to help them improve their health and lives. Along the way, they empower the patients to help themselves, transmitting to them an optimism and faith of better days to come.
Dr. Rodney G. Hood
A physician of internal medicine in private practice, Dr. Hood is the managing partner of the Care View Medical Group. He’s the president of the Multicultural IPA, which specializes in serving African American, Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern patients. He is a national authority on health disparities, medical history and racism in medical care. He serves on local, state and national boards and commissions and is past president of the National Medical Association. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Pharmacy and the UCSD School of Medicine.
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Hernandez has 19 years of administration experience in health care, including contract negotiation, financial analysis, operations, network development and physician relations. He is regional vice president for SynerMed, a Management Services Organization. He earned Elite Status with the California Association of Physician Groups Standards of Excellence Program for 2012 and 2013. And in 2014 he earned California’s “Most Improved” Physician Organization Award by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Since 2008, he has enrolled 10,000 Medicare and Medi-Medi members into main San Diego client. Hernandez has an MBA from UC Irvine.
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Asaro has eight years’ experience in the health field, including working in a hospice. As the project’s social worker, she works closely with patients in their homes and at doctor’s offices to meet their urgent health and life needs, teaching them how to navigate the system along the way. Asaro, who has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, says she helps patients take control of their lives.
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A registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Georgetown University, Brown has 10 years of experience working with multi-cultural and multi-generational populations in diverse settings. As a project community health worker, Brown empowers people to take an active role in their health and the health of their loved ones. Previously, she worked at UCSD Medical Center, where she cared for women and infants, and at Washington, D.C.-based Genetic Alliance, where she trained leaders in underserved communities how to teach the health aspects of genetics in the community.
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Cabrera has worked for more than 18 years in community-based programs, including several focused on education and youth. As one of the project’s community health workers, she visits patients in their homes, connecting them to the services they need. Cabrera, who has a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services, tries to instill in them a belief that they can make a difference.
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Donaldson has 38 years of nursing experience working in a wide variety of leadership, training and regulatory positions, including serving in the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification. Donaldson, who has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, is the project’s nurse case manager. She evaluates the progress of patients as they move from chronic illness to stable health.
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Jackson has worked more than 20 years in the health and human services fields, focusing on underserved communities. She has a bachelor’s in Business Management, a master’s in Organizational Management and is a Certified Community Economic Development Practitioner. She said that serving as the project manager for PHII inspired her to be innovative in tackling the patients’ needs.
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Meng-Lung (Kevin) Liu
Kevin Liu has dedicated much of his young life to health care, particularly in underserved communities. He has served in a variety of roles as he works toward his goal of becoming a physician. He is lead coordinator at the Multicultural Health Foundation, recruiting and training a variety of volunteers to work with patients coping with chronic disease. Previously, he volunteered at the Intensive Care Unit at Scripps Health and the Emergency Department at UC Irvine Health. He also served as a volunteer in the 2014 and 2015 editions of TEDMED.