UCLA/Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science RCMAR/CHIME

Community Action Board

Community Action Board Members

If you are interested in contacting a CAB member regarding a study and/or project, please contact Carmen E. Reyes, Community Relations, L.A. CAPRA, UCLA at creyes@mednet.ucla.edu. Please include this project description form with your email.


Cynthia Banks

3175 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services provides support for the Commission for Older Adults, Workforce Investment Board, Native American Indian Commission and the Human Relations Commission. The department strives to enhance foundational community impact. As Director of Community and Senior Services, Ms. Banks has worked to effect a positive transformation of her department by implementing strategic approaches to customer service, technology and contract services.

County of Los Angeles Community and Senior Services


Stephanie L. Carter

Pacific Region OASIS
3818 Crenshaw Blvd., # A-923
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Pacific Region OASIS


Paul Castro, JD

Vivian Sauer, LCSW

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Seventh Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Vivian Sauer, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is the Director of Program Development for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, the oldest, and one of the largest social service agencies in Los Angeles. She joined the JFS staff in 1984 and has served in many positions including Senior Center Director, Director of Adult and Children Services, and Chief Program Officer. She is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the agency as well as program and grant development. Her current focus is on partnerships with health care entities such as managed care plans and community health care clinics, with a view towards integration of social service delivery, behavioral health and primary care. As Chief Program Officer, Vivian's portfolio included supervision of all agency programs, serving a wide diversity of ethnic and cultural groups. Jewish Family Service has been providing services in Los Angeles for 160 years.

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles


Grace Cheng Braun, President/CEO

Wise & Healthy Aging
1527 4th Street, 2nd Floor,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

WISE & Healthy Aging, a nonprofit social services organization serving older adults and their families for more than three decades. Headquartered in Santa Monica, WISE & Healthy Aging continues that long tradition of service and outreach to seniors and their caregivers.

WISE and Healthy Aging


Marta Hansen, Volunteer

City of Los Angeles Department of Aging
221 North Figueroa St., Ste. 650
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging has the mission "To improve the quality of life, independence, health and dignity of the City's older population by managing community-based senior programs that are comprehensive, coordinated and accessible, and to advocate for the needs of older citizens."

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging


Andrea Jones

Healthy African American Families II
4305 Degnan Blvd., Ste. 105,
Los Angeles, CA 90008

HAAF began in October 1992 as a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gather information and ideas about the social, cultural, health and political factors that affect pregnancy outcomes for African American women in Los Angeles. Today, they have expanded their interests to issues that include preterm delivery, mental health, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, women's health and a male-involvement project.

Healthy African American Families II


Loretta Jones

Healthy African American Families II
4305 Degnan Blvd., Ste. 105,
Los Angeles, CA 90008

HAAF began in October 1992 as a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gather information and ideas about the social, cultural, health and political factors that affect pregnancy outcomes for African American women in Los Angeles. Today, they have expanded their interests to issues that include preterm delivery, mental health, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, women's health and a male-involvement project.

Healthy African American Families II


Cathy Ladd, MSW, Vice President, Programs

Alzheimer's Assoc., Calif. Southland Chapter
Los Angeles Headquarters
4221 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 400, LA, CA 90010

The Alzheimer's Association works on a global, national and local level to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias.

The Alzheimer's Association


Barbara Linski

Independent Community Representative


Anna "Aziza" Lucas-Wright, MEd

Avalon Carver Community Center
4920 Avalon Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90011-4004

The Avalon-Carver Community Center has been a multi-service resource to low-income individuals and families in south-central Los Angeles, CA since 1940's. Its mission is to care for the physical, mental and spiritual needs of individuals and families in south central Los Angeles whose lives have been severely disrupted by the use of alcohol and other addictive substances. It hopes to change the attitudes and negative behaviors of its clients for the purpose of returning them to productive and satisfying roles within the community and, to do this, it offers a full range of direct and supportive services that will holistically address the needs of clients, their families and the community at large.

Avalon-Carver Community Center


Chinatown Service Center
767 N Hill St,
Ste 400,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Founded in 1971, the Chinatown Service Center, a private, non-profit organization is the largest community-based Chinese American health and human services organization in Southern California. CSC’s mission is “to provide outstanding services and advocacy that promote better quality of life and equal opportunity for immigrants and other communities”. To meet the needs of the community, CSC services are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and a variety of Chinese dialects: Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Toisan, and Chiu Chow. CSC services are provided to the community through three main departments: Community Economic Development Department, with a Full Service WorkSource Center; a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, with primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services; and Family and Community Department, providing Social Services, Senior Services, Early Child Education and Development, Youth Leadership Development, and two affordable housing projects. CSC is also a Covered California certified enrollment site to assist with enrollment into the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care services.


Adriana Mendoza, MSW

AARP California
1415 L Street, Suite 960
Sacramento, CA 95814

Since 1958 AARP has been a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people age 50 and over have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole, ways that help people 50 and over improve their lives.

AARP California


Amy Phillips, Director of Service Programs

Little Tokyo Service Center
231 E. Third St., Suite G-106
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Amy Phillips is the Director of Senior Services at the Little Tokyo Service Center, a non-profit social service and community development agency in Los Angeles’s historic Japantown. She has more than 15 years of experience providing services to low-income and elderly clients starting with her roots as a bilingual case manager in the Japanese American community. Over the years, Amy has worked to raise the visibility of needs among immigrant older adults and advocate for greater access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services to meet those needs. Amy oversees a multilingual staff that provides information and referrals, community education, care management, and counseling to older adults and their families throughout Los Angeles County. She also co-chairs the Asian & Pacific Islander Older Adults Task Force, a committee of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON). Amy has a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College.

Little Tokyo Service Center


Franco Reyna

National Kidney Foundation
15490 Ventura Blvd. Suite 210
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

National Kidney Foundation


Rigo Saborio, MSG

St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS)
675 S. Carondelet St.
Los Angeles, Ca 90057

The mission of St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS) is to enable senior citizens to live independently and with dignity for as long as possible, not only through the provision of comprehensive social services for those in need, but also by promoting a viable community life where seniors have routine social contact with others that is the foundation of good mental and physical health, supports inter-dependency, and gives seniors access to information and resources that empower their own problem solving and allow them to choose their own destinies.

St. Barnabas Senior Services


Susi Rodriguez Shapiro, MSG

Community Representative

Susi Rodriguez Shapiro, MSG, is an award winning committed advocate for older adults and family caregivers with over a decade of recognized leadership and strategic vision in the private, non-profit, and government sectors. She offers experience in providing Program Development, Administration, and Delivery of programs and services for older adults, caregivers, and professionals in the field of aging. Her corporate background in business marketing has served aging organizations very well. As a much sought after bilingual (English/Spanish) public speaker at seminars, conferences, philanthropic events, radio and television, she has reached multicultural populations with cultural competencies that foster teamwork.

Ms. Rodriguez Shapiro is a Gerontologist with a Master of Science in Gerontology from USC and is a Cum Laude graduate of UCLA, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. Her passion for advocacy has led her to work with AARP, Alzheimer's Association, Area Agencies on Aging for both the City and County of L.A., several of the major Healthcare Plans, and numerous other senior-focused organizations. Ms. Rodriguez Shapiro lives in Los Angeles where she and her husband raised their three children.


June Simmons

Partners in Care Foundation
732 Mott Street, Suite 150
San Fernando, California 91340

As founding President and CEO of Partners in Care Foundation, Ms. Simmons strongly believes that health care and social delivery of services need to change, especially in community and home settings. She takes an active role in developing initiatives and pro-active programs which meet the mutual needs of patient populations, providers, and health care delivery networks to encourage cost-effective, patient-friendly integration of care from hospital to home and community. Under her leadership, Partners has grown ten-fold since its establishment in 1998 and has been awarded many major grants to investigate and evaluate new models of health care and social service delivery, including those in managed care environments.

Partners in Care Foundation


Carol Lee Thorpe, MBA

Executive Director, California
Independent Living Systems
550 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 1800
Glendale, CA 91203

Independent Living Systems (ILS) is a health-services company that develops, delivers and manages community-based services and nutritional support for millions of America's Medicaid, Medicare, and dual eligible, and special needs populations. Through its holistic approach, ILS helps individuals balance social and medical services, with an emphasis on delivering compassionate, supportive care as they recover and stabilize through a critical episode, chronic illness or the natural aging process.

Ms. Thorpe received her Master's in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1991. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions with human service organizations and led the development of innovative healthcare and education programs.

Ms. Thorpe has devoted her career to providing creative leadership to health, social service, and community service initiatives on behalf of vulnerable populations in California.

Independent Living Systems


Laura Trejo, MS

Los Angeles Department of Aging
221 N. Figueroa St., Suite 650
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The mission of the Los Angeles Deptartment of Aging is to improve the quality of life, independence, health and dignity of the City's older population by managing community-based senior programs that are comprehensive, coordinated and accessible, and to advocate for the needs of older citizens.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging


Fannie Upshaw

His Sheltering Arms Inc.
11101 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061

His Sheltering Arms, Inc. provides residential, long-term, substance-abuse treatment services to persons with co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, persons with HIV/AIDS and criminal justice clients.

His Sheltering Arms


Phyllis Willis, MSW

Director, Senior Programs, Watts Labor Community Action Committee
11101 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061

Since 1965, the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) has operated as the key antipoverty agency in South Central Los Angeles. The WLCAC continues to serve the residents of Watts, although that population is changing. As a result, the WLCAC has incorporated programs celebrating Latino culture and emphasized multiracialism to the people of its community.

Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC)


Turusew Wilson, MS, RD

Independent Health Educator
2342 S. Garth Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research/ Center for the Health Improvement of Minority Elderly
10940 Wilshire Blvd Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90024
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