Meet the staff of CPEHN.
Meet the staff of CPEHN.
Ellen Wu, MPH, Executive Director
Ellen Wu has been the Executive Director of CPEHN since 2001. She received her Masters in Public Health from UCLA and serves on numerous boards and advisory committees including the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, the Boards of the California Association of Nonprofits and the California Budget Project, and Oakland's Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. She also teaches health policy and public health at San Francisco State University.
Prior to joining CPEHN she consulted with the Community Health Center Network, was a program officer at the Tides Foundation for the Community Clinics Initiative, and served as the Director of Health Education and Cultural/Linguistic Services at the Alameda Alliance for Health.
Ruben Cantu, Program Director
Ruben Cantu is a graduate of the University of Houston, earning a BA in English. He has over 15 years of non-profit experience in program management, technical assistance and capacity building, and HIV prevention and care. Before joining CPEHN, Ruben worked for the Human Rights Campaign and the National Minority AIDS Council, both in Washington, DC. Before joining CPEHN, he was Senior Program Specialist and Project Director at Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development and Pluralism and Senior Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at the National Minority AIDS Council, both in Washington, DC. He is a member of the California Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention's Advisory Committee. Ruben has extensive experience in organizational development, including resource development, strategic planning, and Board development.
Nena Castro, Administrative Associate
Nena Castro is a graduate of Occidental College, earning her BA in Sociology. She previously worked for Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, where she supported the firm's Marketing Department as a Business Development Coordinator. Prior to that, she was the Interim-Office Manager/Assistant for a boutique event planning company in Los Angeles where she worked with an array of notable clients. She is a trained doula/labor assistant and is passionate about providing care to local young mothers and infants.
Tahira Cunningham, MBA, Senior Policy Analyst
Tahira Cunningham earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining CPEHN, Tahira worked as the Associate Director of Public Policy for the California Primary Care Association representing the state's non-profit community clinics and health centers. She has also worked for the California Dental Association administering the Donated Dental Services program, providing free dental care to low-income and disabled individuals. Tahira has advocated on the state's implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), oral health, as well as health care issues affecting seniors, children, the homeless, and HIV/AIDS populations. Tahira also developed California's community clinic and health center Health Care Ambassador Program which educated and trained over 1000 clinic doctors and staff on key provisions of the ACA in order to be prepared to provide care to the millions that will become newly insured in 2014. This program was recognized as the first state-wide ACA education campaign by the Schwarzenegger Administration.
Sarah de Guia, JD, Director of Government Affairs
Sarah de Guia is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was awarded the 2011 Student Award for Social Justice and was the 2010 recipient of the Herman Wildman Social Justice Writing Award. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and Public Policy in 1999.
Sarah previously worked with CPEHN in 2008 as Project Manager for the Having Our Say Coalition, where she organized the statewide coalition to advocate on behalf of communities of color for health care reform. Sarah has also served as the Health Program Manager for Latino Issues Forum and as Legislative Analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Sarah has advocated on women's health and reproductive justice, language access, immigrants' rights, and expanding health care to communities of color through legislative, budgetary and regulatory processes.
David Dexter, Communications Coordinator
David Dexter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a B.A. in History, concentrating on the Civil Rights Era in the South. Prior to joining CPEHN, David served as Communications Marketing Specialist for Safer Foundation, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to providing employment, educational, and supportive services to people with criminal records as they return to the community. David is also trained in journalism, having spent two years as a sports writer in Petersburg, VA.
Pam Flood, Director of Operations
Pam Flood is a graduate of Amherst College, earning a B.A. in Sociology and Black Studies. She has over 20 years of non-profit fundraising and operations experience. Over the years Pam has worked for such organizations as Haymarket People's Fund, the Black Coalition on AIDS, Women's Educational Media, Lyon-Martin Women's Health Services, and the Tides Foundation. Her experience includes fundraising, grantmaking, human resources, operations, event management, and film distribution.
Cary Sanders, MPP, Director of Policy Analysis and the Having Our Say Coalition
Cary Sanders earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining HOS/CPEHN, Cary worked as a policy analyst for the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) promoting pro-immigrant policies that address and respect the needs and contributions of California's diverse immigrant communities and their families. She has also worked as Assistant Policy Director for SEIU United Health Care Workers-West representing over 150,000 health care workers in California and as Policy Director for Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) in San Jose. Cary is proficient in Spanish after having lived and worked in Guatemala.