California’s health leaders are re-imagining the care-giver workforce for the 21st century. There is a new career design emerging for healthcare professionals…and patients.
Join WHCCD as we convene one of California’s first conferences for next gen healthcare careers
Stuart Van Horn is the Chancellor of West Hills Community College District. In his 33rd year of community college service. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from University of Great Falls, MT. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2008, his Master’s in Educational Administration in 1991 and has regularly authored reports and conducted studies of career and technical education, the business of sport, educational leadership, and economic impact. His doctoral study explored how California community colleges assess cultural competency in hiring processes for sport head coaches.
Sonya Logman has served as Deputy Secretary of Business and Consumer Relations at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) since 2015. Logman works closely with those Departments that license: more than 250 types of professionals, the alcohol beverage industry, horse racing wagering facilities and the evolving California cannabis industry. Prior to her appointment, Sonya served as director of external affairs at the California Exposition and State Fair from 2013 to 2015 and as deputy appointments secretary in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2013. She served in multiple positions the Office of the Lieutenant Governor from 2006 to 2010, including capitol director, fiscal analyst, and administrative assistant. Logman currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring youth to be civically engaged.
Dr. Linda Thomas is the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Workforce Development at West Hills Community College District. In her 18th year of service to higher education, her present duties include planning and implementing strategies that provide leadership and direction of efforts for district Educational Services, Workforce Development, Categorical Funding and Grants, State and Federal Programs, Distance Education, Workplace Learning, Contract Training, Westside Institute of Technology, and Child Development Centers. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Riverside in Political Science in 1986. She received her Master’s Degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union at UC Berkeley in 1990 and her Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of the Pacific in 2008. Linda’s Doctoral thesis explored the ethics of teaching in higher education. Before assuming the duties of Vice Chancellor at West Hills, Linda served as both a faculty member and a Dean of Career Technical Technology.
Executive Director, The California Endowment
Richard Figueroa is the Director of Prevention and the Affordable Care Act for The California Endowment. Previously, he served in the California Governor’s Office, where he was a Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Health Care Advisor for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Deputy Legislative Secretary for Governor Davis where he was responsible for health care, human services and health insurance issues. Jeff Oxendine Co-Director, California Future Health Workforce Commission
Co-Director, California Future Health Workforce Commission
MSN, RN, California Board of Nursing
Pilar De La Cruz-Samoulian, MSN, RN has been a registered nurse for 50 years. She graduated from O’Connor School of Nursing in San Jose in 1968. After graduating, she began her nursing career in 1969 as a staff nurse. She moved up the administrative ladder to serve as Manager of the Critical Care Units and Emergency Department as well as the VP of Education where she co- developed the Paradigm Nursing Program. This contract education program helped to produce over 750 additional registered nurses in central valley. She was the Chief Nursing Officer of the Fresno Heart Hospital and helped to open the hospital. She worked as nursing instructor/director of nursing programs and public health education from 2006 through 2017. In addition to her work, in 2015, she was appointed to the California Board of Registered Nursing which oversees the practice of over 435,000 registered nurses in California. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her many years of service to the nursing profession, including being selected as the RN of the Year for the Central Valley in 1997 and in 2005, she was inducted into the Central Valley Nursing Hall of Fame.
Executive Director, Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission
Toby Ewing Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, the state agency that oversees mental health services in California. Dr. Ewing worked on governance reform, government oversight and improving outcomes of public programs for many years. He worked on a range of public policy issues, including mental health, child welfare, immigrant integration, workforce and education, and veterans projects. Ewing served as a consultant to the California State Senate Governance and Finance Committee for four years. He also served as Director of the California Research Bureau from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that, he was a Project Manager with the Little Hoover Commission, an independent body charged with improving government for eight years. Ewing did his undergraduate studies at Grinnell College and received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Syracuse University.
Eric Brown is the President of the California Telehealth Network (CTN) which is one of the largest consortia of safety net clinics and hospitals in the nation that participate in the FCC Rural Health Care program broadband subsidy program. As a nonprofit California corporation, CTN provides broadband and virtual care technology services to over 300 clinics and hospitals in rural and medically under served communities. CTN also operates the California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC), which provides federally funded technical and programmatic assistance to California health care providers interested in telehealth adoption or expansion. Mr. Brown was appointed President of the California Telehealth Network (CTN) in 2010 after a distinguished career building and running broadband telecommunications systems in urban and rural communities around the country.
President, California Telehealth Network
Director, Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development
Robert P. David was appointed by Governor Brown, as director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) on April 13, 2012. He oversees programs responsible for the building and financing of health facility infrastructure, the collection and analyses of healthcare data, and the development and expansion of healthcare professionals to serve and improve the delivery of healthcare, particularly in medically under served communities. OSHPD employs 481 staff with an annual budget of $216 million. David has extensive experience as a leader of health-related programs and operations in both public and private sectors. Prior to his appointment to OSHPD, he was an executive for the American Hospital Association where he worked on state and federal issues impacting the industry. From 2005 to 2010, David served as the chief deputy director for OSHPD, and before that, he was the regional vice president at the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California for six years. Other State government experience includes serving as assistant secretary at the Health and Welfare Agency and as senior negotiator at the California Medical Assistance Commission. From 1999 to 2003 David served as a member of the State Emergency Medical Services Commission and is a former member of the San Joaquin County Health Commission. He was selected as a Sierra Health Foundation Health Leadership Fellow in 2002, and completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University in 2006.
Senior Vice President, Cerner Healthcare
Ben Hilmes joined Cerner Healthcare, a leading health care technology company, in 1998, and is currently their senior vice president of Client Relationships. He oversees Cerner’s strategic alignment with Adventist Health. Through a close relationship with Adventist Health leadership, he is focused on driving care transformation, continuous improvement and delivering value and outcomes for Adventist Health. Prior to his role with Adventist Health, he was the senior vice president for Cerner’s eastern region where he was responsible for all client relationships, business development, implementation, technology and support services for the eastern half of the U.S. Ben is a proponent for continued education and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Ben received his Bachelor of Science in biology and a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Missouri.
Chief Executive Officer, Madera Community Hospital
Karen Paolinelli was named Madera Community Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer in May of 2018. The appointment is the capstone of a 35 year career with Madera Community Hospital, a 106 bed General Acute Care Hospital. Prior to becoming CEO, Karen served as the Chief Operating Officer where she provided administrative oversight and strategic planning for the hospital’s support services divisions including the continued development of Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic system she established in 1992. Karen’s educational background includes a Master’s of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant. In collaboration with a local university, Karen developed a standardized Nurse Practitioner Residency. Karen has more than 20 years’ experience in Rural Health Clinics and currently serves as President for the California Association of Rural Health Clinics.
Kings County Board of Supervisors, District One
Joe Neves is a forth generation Kings County resident that settled in the Stratford area in 1913. Born in 1958 attended Stratford Elementary and Lemoore High and a graduate of West Hills College, Coalinga. Currently possess a Masters Degree in Business Administration with a concentration on accounting. First elected to the Kings County Board of Supervisors in 1995 and won a seventh term representing District One in June of 2018. A twenty-four year member of the Kings County Behavioral Health Board and a founding member of CalViva Health Authority Board are just two of the committee responsibilities as an elected official. CalViva is the locally managed care, Medi-Cal health plan that covers Fresno, Kings and Madera counties providing health coverage to over 358,000 clients.
RN, Vice President of Population Health, Adventist Health
Nina Cornell Plata, RN, is the Vice President of Population Health for Adventist Health in the Central Valley, which includes hospitals in Hanford, Selma, Reedley and Tulare as well as more than 60 other service locations in Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera and Kern counties. Plata has more than 28 years of experience working in healthcare at Adventist Health. She started her career in Nursing in the Acute Care Setting where she has spent a great part of her career. Plata also worked in the Information Technology (IT) field for close to a decade. Throughout her career, Plata has been involved in education, leadership and project management. In her current role, Plata is directing work related to helping communities be healthier. She is improving and creating processes for affecting the continuum of care for Central Valley Network patients. Plata’s work also focuses on helping to move healthcare from fee-for-service to value-based care.
MSN, RN, Director of Clinical Transformation, Saint Agnes Medical Center
Joyce Eden RN, MHA, RN to MSN Learner, has 39 years of nursing experience in her continuous learning tool kit. She has collected experiences in the acute care, ambulatory, and rural setting. A variety of patient populations have been in these experiences from cradle to grave. Leadership is a passion for Joyce. Her experiences have come from on the job training and being part of professional organizations like the Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin Valley, the Association of California Nurse Leaders, ANA/C, and the Association of Nursing Executives. She is grateful for the work teams who have added to her development over the years. Joyce enjoys the dynamic role of Director of Emergency Services for Saint Agnes Medical Center, in Fresno, California
Deputy Sector Navigator - Health Workforce Initiative
Valerie Fisher MA, RN, started her professional career as a registered nurse and her nursing experience includes intensive care, trauma & flight nursing; human transplantation; as well as years in post anesthesia recovery, emergency room and cardiac/intensive care units. Following her time as a clinical nurse, Valerie entered the field of education in 2007. She has served in a variety of roles for the California Community College system: Central Region’s Director of the Regional Health Occupations Resource Center (RHORC); RHORC HUB Coordinator for Santa Barbara City College; WIA grant manager at College of the Sequoias; Lead Coordinator of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Economic & Workforce Development Division’s Innovate What Matters – Allied Health. Currently, Valerie is the Central Mother Lode Regional Deputy Sector Navigator for the Health Workforce Initiative and is hosted at College of the Sequoias.
MSN, RN, Director of Nursing, WHC Lemoore
Kathryn Defede, MSN, RN is the Director of Health Careers and Director of Nursing for West Hills College Lemoore. She is a board member of the Central Valley Nursing Leadership Coalition (NLC) and active member of the NLC Academic Service Partnership Committee and is a current member of the California Community College Nursing Advisory Committee (3CNAC). She has over 30 years in nursing experience to include patient care and administration roles in hospital and ambulatory care with 20 of those years in nursing education teaching in ADN, BSN and MSN nursing programs both public and private education. Prior to joining WHCCD, she was nursing faculty at CSUF where she developed one of the first online courses for the university and expanded the student clinical experiences in community health nursing.
Anthony Jauregui is currently a Psychiatric Technician Student at West Hills College. Prior to that, he was a police officer for more than thirteen years in cities in Fresno and Santa Barbara Counties. He received six commendations and five letters of appreciation for valor, service to the Department and the community and was recognized as Officer of the year in 2006. Anthony is a graduate of 103rd Class of College of the Sequoias Police Academy and holds an Associate’s Degree in the Administration of Justice from West Hills College.
Jose Bravo is a psychiatric technician student at West Hills College Coalinga. He obtained his licenses as a Certified Nurses Assistant and a Pharmacy Technician. Previously, Jose was employed at the Coalinga Regional Medical Center, where he served over two-years as a pharmacy technician. Due to complete his Psychiatric Technician program in August 2019, Jose plans to continue his higher education in the medical field and eventually pursuing a career as a psychiatric nurse.
Brandon Rudd is an Associate Degree Nursing student at West Hills College Lemoore and serves as the class president of the 2019 graduating class. Before attending WHCL he spent 3 years working for American Ambulance as an EMT where he was exposed first hand to the many diverse medical needs of the Central Valley. His perception of the many inadequacies in health care inspired Brandon to become a RN, with a future goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner where his impact can be further felt.
James Elliot was born and raised in Hanford California, attended Hanford High School and graduated in 2015. He Enrolled to West Hills College Lemoore in fall of 2015 on a Presidential Scholarship for academics. He is 21 years old and believes the West Hills Associate Degree Nursing Programs is one of the best programs anyone could hope to attend. Being diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at the age of four he was a regular patient at Valley Children’s Hospital. The care and compassion he was so fortunate to receive from the hospital nursing staff up until his final visit at 18 was the most influential factor for him in choosing to become a nurse.
Chancellor, West Hills Community College District
Director, Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development
West Hills Community College District (WHCCD), in partnership with numerous agencies, continues its Essential Elements for the Future of the San Joaquin Valley, a premier public affairs series that gathers California’s public policy and private sector leaders to confront the crises and challenges in the Valley.
The intent of the series is to organize hands-on partnerships and create action steps for the future of the San Joaquin Valley while coping with climate change. Essential Elements will be held at Harris Ranch Inn and Conference Center. Each session will include guest speakers and panel discussions.