Our mission is to change lives by improving health & wellness.

The Collaborative implements health promotion and disease prevention programs, public health surveillance systems, and a variety of capacity-building and networking activities.

“Living in a region with some of the highest poverty rates in the country, we strongly believe that everyone deserves to have access to quality, affordable health services.” – Stephen Ramirez CEO

Who We Are

The Collaborative is committed to addressing the health needs of Californians with special emphasis on underserved communities with limited access to resources or who face barriers related to culture, language, income, education, gender, geography or immigration status. To be as effective as possible, our services are culturally responsive and trauma-informed.

The Collaborative has led over

75 Regional & Statewide Programs

These programs have led to changes in policies, systems and environments, elevated community voices, addressed barriers to accessing health resources, and enhanced the well-being of youth and adults through services centered on healing and whole-person care.

DEI Council

On April 20, 2022, The California Health Collaborative Board of Directors voted to accept the California Health Collaborative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council by-laws formalizing that the DEI Council will serve as a permanent standing committee within the organization.

Board of Directors

  • Leslie Sandberg, MBA

    Chair of the Board

    Leslie Sandberg, MBA

    Chair of the Board

    Leslie Sandberg is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in for- and non-profit sectors. Her career has focused on managing large and complex organizations, building integrated scientific and research teams, mentorship, philanthropy, and ensuring quality and integrity in clinical research. 

    She currently serves as Board Chair for the California Health Collaborative and has been a Board member since 1995. She has held numerous leadership roles in most notably the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, AT&T, and the University of California Davis. She spearheaded a joint venture between the University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and helped secure funding for a National Science Foundation (NSF) designated Center of Excellence, The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST).

    Leslie has a long history serving on multiple boards, including the External Advisory Board, Medical Technology Program and Biology and Biotechnology Research Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She served as CEO and Executive Director for the Institute for Telemedicine at the Center for the New West.  During her tenure, she chaired the Health Care Working Group of the National Information Infrastructure Testbed (NIIT), the nation’s first and largest member consortium of corporations, federal agencies, national laboratories and universities. This coalition collaborated in building the first nationwide telemedicine demonstration, held live before Congress in September 1994. She also testified before state and federal legislative bodies regarding the benefits of telemedicine and its practical applications. These efforts, combined with many others, ultimately helped transform the way in which healthcare and related services can be delivered and has proved essential COVID and to this day. 

    Leslie holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College and a BA from the University of Arkansas.

  • Joan Werblun, RN

    Vice Chair of the Board

    Joan Werblun, RN

    Vice Chair of the Board

    Joan Werblun started her career in Pennsylvania then moved to UC Davis Medical Center in 1970 where she worked until her recent retirement. During her time with UC Davis, Joan was a diabetes specialist, developing patient education and care programs. She advanced diabetes management education for staff, medical students, and nursing students. Joan also developed education for Internal Medicine Residents to assist them in management of diabetes in the hospital setting, writing, and implementing policies and procedures, best practices in managing diabetes in the hospital setting, developing standards of care and developed community outreach programs in diabetes.

    In 1995, Joan was appointed by Governor Wilson to lead an interdisciplinary team in creating Guidelines for the management for the State of California, which became the Diabetes Coalition of California. She has gone to Africa with a medical team to teach Diabetes Management to physicians and their patients in Nigeria and Ghana. Currently, Joan serves as the Board Chair of California Chronic Care and Board Vice Chair of California Health Collaborative.

    She continues to serve as advisor to Valley Hi Health Tech, and other community organizations.

  • Cassandra Joubert, ScD

    Secretary/ Treasurer/ Audit Committee Member

    Cassandra Joubert, ScD

    Secretary/ Treasurer/ Audit Committee Member

    Having enjoyed a number of rewarding professional opportunities, Dr. Cassandra Joubert retired in 2019 from her position as Professor of Public Health at California State University, Fresno. While at CSU-F, she directed the Central California Children’s Institute, which specialized in training and professional development of infant and early childhood mental health practitioners. 

    Prior to her career in academia, Dr. Joubert enjoyed a ten- year career in the philanthropic sector, overseeing health promotion grantmaking at the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, and as Vice President for Community Investment at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit. Earlier, she directed community-based maternal and child health programs at the Michigan Public Health Institute, the University of Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa.

    She is a devoted children’s mental health advocate, having authored a memoir chronicling her experiences raising a child with developmental challenges.  She is an expert facilitator and coach with an extensive background in coalition- and consensus-building around issues of health equity. In 2019, she joined VISIONS, Inc. (www.visions-inc.org) as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant.

    Dr. Joubert received the Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University (now Bloomberg) School of Public Health, a graduate certificate in Infant-Parent Mental Health from University of Massachusetts (Napa satellite), and the Bachelor of Science degree in developmental psychology from Howard University. Described by colleagues as a compassionate, charismatic leader, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, practicing yoga, studying spirituality, and hiking. 

  • Eric Gold, Esq.

    Board Member/ CHC Finance Commitee Member

    Eric Gold, Esq.

    Board Member/ CHC Finance Commitee Member

    Eric Gold, now retired, was a California attorney, specializing in healthcare law. Over the years, he represented managed care organizations, physician groups, hospitals, as well as nonprofit organizations. Prior to establishing his law practice, he was appointed by the California Senate to serve on the California Medical Assistance Commission. This Commission determined which hospitals would serve Medi-Cal recipients and negotiated the terms and conditions of the contracts.

  • Tom Levin, J.D.

    Board Member/ Finance Commitee Member

    Tom Levin, J.D.

    Board Member/ Finance Commitee Member

    Juris Doctorate

    Tom has a long history of direct involvement and support of community-based programs.  While an undergraduate at the University of Alabama he was honored with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for his efforts in voter registration, Head Start launch, and developing and managing mentoring programs for public school students.  He has been involved with dozens of not-for-profit organizations focused on public education, public health, work place inequities, developmental disabilities, and  healthcare education for consumers.

    Tom graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in American Studies, and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina  with a focus on legal issues in healthcare.  He has participated at the national level as an analyst with Common Cause supporting health reform, as a member of the Jackson Hole Group,  and as a Senior Fellow at UCLA.  As CEO, he built the first multistate Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan headquartered in Denver.  He has been a strong proponent of better access to high quality healthcare information for patients and physicians. He served in the US Army as a strategic intelligence officer focused on improving soldier safety and effectiveness through advanced communications technology.

    Tom and his wife Cynthia are proud transplanted Californians living in Los Angeles.

  • Luiz Da Silva, Ph.D

    Board Member

    Luiz Da Silva, Ph.D

    Board Member

    Luiz Da Silva, is currently the CEO/President of IntelaMetrix, inc. a company that develops ultrasound diagnostics for body composition.  Previously he was an Associate Program Leader for the Medical Technology Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he worked on the developmentof breast cancer diagnostics and laser catheters to treat ischemic stroke.  After leaving LLNL, Dr. Da Silva founded Cobalt Consulting an incubator to develop new consumer and medical products which spun off IntelaMetrix.

    He is an expert in lasers, biophotonics, ultrasound and their applications to medical devices and diagnostics.  Dr. Da Silva has a Ph.D. in physics and has been involved in medical device research and development in industry, university and national laboratories for over 20 years. Dr. Da Silva is internationally recognized for his research and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America. He has over 200 publications and more than 60 patents, and his research has earned him awards from the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), R&D 100 and the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Michael Werblun

    Board Member

    Michael Werblun

    Board Member

    Michael Werblun has over 30 years of Executive and Business Development experience. Currently, Mr. Werblun holds the title of Chief Executive Officer at Consulting Solutions.  Prior to his current role, Mr. Werblun held the title of CEO at ZeroChaos and eWork, held several leadership and sales positions in the Contingent Labor industry at Ensemble Workforce Solutions, Comensura (now the Guidant Group) and Corestaff Services. During his tenure Mr. Werblun has worked with over 100 large enterprise clients including Toyota, Bayer, Morgan Stanley, UCSF Medical Center, Capgemini, Cisco Systems, Visa and others to develop and deploy leading labor solutions.

    Mr. Werblun holds a BS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from California State University, San Francisco with honors. He has been a keynote speaker on effectively managing contingent labor and volunteers his time with several organizations, including The Salesian Boys and Girls Club and San Francisco Little League.

  • Gary Erickson

    Board Member/ Finance Commitee Member

    Gary Erickson

    Board Member/ Finance Commitee Member

    The Erickson Group was founded in 1988 by Gary E. Erickson, who still serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. The Erickson Group provides consulting services to the non-profit community in strategic planning, program development, board development, marketing, and all aspects of fundraising. Client services range from assisting for-profit organizations in creating their charitable giving foundations, to the development of non profit organization’s strategic direction and development. The Erickson Group accepts a limited number of clients each year and Mr. Erickson serves as the project director on all contracts.

    From 1980 to 1984, he served as Executive Vice President for the United Way of Los Angeles where he supervised all planning, public relations and fundraising activities for the five-region Los Angeles United Way. At United Way, hundreds of applications of community non-profit organizations seeking new or renewed funds for their organization’s programs were reviewed annually. The diversity and complexity of the Los Angeles area provided a unique opportunity for Mr. Erickson to develop an understanding of community needs and the success factors required to organize the creation of the California Medical Center Foundation located in downtown Los Angeles. From 1984-1988 while at California Medical Center Foundation, annual gifts increased from under $500,000 in 1984 to an average of over $4.5 million annually between 1985 and 1988. During this same period, the Foundation successfully completed a $12 million campaign to build a new tower to serve the low income community in downtown Los Angeles.

    Mr. Erickson has over 30 years experience in working with community based non-profit organizations. In the early 1970’s, he served as a delinquency prevention officer for Ventura County, working with public and private sector agencies in developing delinquency and drug prevention programs for youth. He later worked as a part of the California Council on Criminal Justice where he was involved in developing and coordinating crime reduction and crime prevention programs. While with the Criminal Justice Planning Board, he reviewed grant requests from community agencies for Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and California Council on Criminal Justice funds directed at providing community based programs to prevent crime. He later served as Chairman, Department of Administration of Justice, California Lutheran University where he directed both graduate and undergraduate programs in the Administration of Justice and coordinated the University’s graduate program in Public Administration. He later became California Lutheran University’s Director of Development.

  • Robert Oldham, MD, MHA

    Board Member

    Robert Oldham, MD, MHA

    Board Member

    Dr. Rob Oldham currently serves as director of Placer County Health and Human Services as well as serving as the county’s interim health officer and chief psychiatrist. Rob previously served as Placer’s health officer, medical director, and director of Public Health from 2014-2019, and was called to return to the county during the COVID-19 pandemic after serving as chief medical executive for Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento and as medical director of acute psychiatric services across the Sutter Health system in California and Hawaii. He also previously served as health officer and medical director for Fresno County. Rob received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and a Master of Science in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also completed his residencies in general psychiatry and preventive medicine/public health. He is board-certified in general psychiatry, general preventive medicine/public health, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and medical quality. He is also a past president of the California Conference of Local Health Officers and the California Academy of Preventive Medicine, past chair of the California Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health and the California Behavioral Health Directors Association’s Medical Services System of Care, and currently serves on the board of the California Medical Association, the California Health Collaborative, Healthy Rural California, Western Sierra Medical Clinic, the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierra, the Health Officers’ Association of California, and the Placer Nevada County Medical Society. Rob lives in Roseville with his wife and their four daughters.

  • Patricia Tanquary MPH, Ph.D

    Board Member

    Patricia Tanquary MPH, Ph.D

    Board Member

    Patricia Tanquary has more than 45 years of healthcare leadership of hospitals, health plans and third-party administrator (TPA) experience with significant involvement in health advocacy, planning, policy development, implementation and operations administration. 

    A former social worker, she has developed a strong, collaborative style in multiple settings and worked with community agencies, federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and county clinics to improve collaboration, integration and continuity of healthcare primarily in California.

    Most recently, she was CEO of Contra Costa Health Plan in the ninth largest county in California with the oldest government sponsored federally qualified health plan in the state. In supporting the Affordable Care Act both in Medi-Cal and in Covered CA, the plan doubled in size in less than two years. 

    Under her leadership, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) (Tapestry) electronic health records systems were implemented with the county health department to improve information technology linkage of patient information.

    Her other achievements include developing a special needs plan for dual-eligible enrollees, providing commercial insurance for county employees and Children’s Health Insurance Program, and working with Applied Information Management and in-home supportive services workers. She also co-developed a primary care program for the uninsured with community FQHC partners and served as the TPA for that program. She in-sourced the low-moderate mental health benefit into the county mental health department and operated this benefit with other county intradivisional management teams under the county board of supervisors.

    Patricia supported the development of the Whole Person Care Waiver and the Drug Medi-Cal Waiver in Contra Costa County to maintain linkages with the health plan membership as well as transitioned the Medi-Cal Autism benefit from the regional centers into the health plan and contracted with 136 Applied Behavior Analysis providers to provide care.

    Patricia previously spent 18 years in management with Kaiser Permanente both in California and nationally. She served as hospital and health plan administrator for Kaiser hospital in San Rafael with clinics in Novato and Petaluma. She also served as director of member services and ascontinuing care leader where she initiated case management teams for highrisk populations including geriatric nurse practitioners in contracted skilled nursing facilities. Her national experience includes serving as director of national provider contracting for Kaiser Regions where she implemented national contracts which could also meet local needs.

    Patricia has also served as the associate administrator for French Hospital and Health Plan helping them to implement one of the first four CMS Medicare Risk Demonstration Projects. Earlier in her career, she taught social work and health courses and managed the undergraduate social work internship program at San Diego State University. She worked as a social worker in hospital, home health and skilled nursing settings where she developed the first rape emergency assistance hotline in San Diego as well as co-led a cancer support group for patients and family members.

    Patricia earned a Ph.D. in social welfare and Master of Public Health from the University of California Berkeley as well as a Master of Social Work and bachelor’s degree in social welfare from San Diego State University.

  • Uma Srivatsa, MBBS, MAS, FACC, FHRSCHIEF, M.D

    Board Member

    Uma Srivatsa, MBBS, MAS, FACC, FHRSCHIEF, M.D

    Board Member

    Uma Srivatsa, MBBS, MAS, FACC, FHRSCHIEF, M.D, is a member of the board.

  • Jeannine S. McCune, PhD, PharmD

    Board Member

    Jeannine S. McCune, PhD, PharmD

    Board Member

    Dr. Jeannine S. McCune, PhD, PharmD has been a Professor at the Beckman Research Institute within City of Hope in Los Angeles, CA since 2017.  She is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington and Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where she served upon their faculty since 1998.  Dr. McCune has received several major National Institutes of Health grants for her research on the clinical pharmacokinetics of anticancer agents, with the goal of improving survival rates by identifying biomarkers predictive of treatment response.  She has over 130 publications and she has also served as a member of multiple NIH study sections and is a member of Children’s Oncology Group. In her personal time, she also volunteers with nonprofits focusing upon social justice and dyslexia.

  • Kamell Eckroth-Bernard

    Board Member

    Kamell Eckroth-Bernard

    Board Member

    Dr. Eckroth-Bernard is double board certified in general and vascular surgery. Dr. Eckroth-Bernard has been in practice for eight years as a vascular surgeon and is an alum of the UCSF Fresno Surgery Residency Program. Dr. Eckroth-Bernard’s clinical interests reside in the realm of complex endovascular and open arterial reconstruction. He is dedicated to his patients and realizes the importance of increasing underrepresented minority physicians will greatly improve patient care in the Central Valley.  The UCSF Pre-Medical Surgical Internship provides an opportunity to partner with our local universities to help introduce, mentor and guide the future physicians in the Central Valley.

Senior Leadership Team

  • DeAnne Blankenship, MPH, MCHES

    Senior Director of Program Services

    DeAnne Blankenship, MPH, MCHES

    Senior Director of Program Services

    DeAnne Blankenship started her career in public health in 1990 with the American Lung Association of California’s Superior CA branch. As Co-Director of Tobacco Programs, she coordinated many different tobacco education and advocacy campaigns throughout northern California and in 2002, was asked to step in as ALA’s Interim Executive Director, a position she held for over two years. In 2005, DeAnne transitioned to the California Health Collaborative to manage its Every Woman Counts (EWC) – Northern CA region contract which she helped to grow from its original Northern CA and Central Valley regions to its current seven regions. She also added to CHC’s breast cancer expertise with funding from the Komen Foundation which started the Patient Support Program and other other culturally-focused breast cancer education projects, and its partnership with the CA Breast Cancer Research Program. 

    Since that time, DeAnne has been instrumental in CHC’s expansion in a number of areas including all northern California tobacco advocacy programming, the Multipurpose Senior Services Program, its northern CA care management programming, and most recently its new CalAIM program.  She helped to create the Butte County Mother’s Strong (PMAD) and the Butte County Thrives (ACES) collaborative groups; both of which continue to operate throughout the County. She has been a professional abstract and grant reviewer for the American Public Health Association, the State of CA, Tobacco Control Project, the Minnesota Department of Public Health – Tobacco Prevention, the State of Florida Public Health Department, and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. DeAnne received a master’s degree in public health from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree in Health and Community Services from California State University, Chico. She and her husband own a small business in Chico and have two much adored young adult children who live in the Chico area.

  • Evi Hernandez

    Senior Director of Programs

    Evi Hernandez

    Senior Director of Programs

    Evi Hernandez has 25 years of work experience in the field of public health, with 21 of those years working within the non-profit sector at the California Health Collaborative (CHC). His work experience has been primarily in the areas of tobacco control, alcohol and other drug prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, youth development, and the prevention and management of chronic diseases. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Programs at CHC. He is affiliated with various health initiatives and community service/volunteer organizations throughout California. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from California State University, Fresno.

    Since joining CHC in 2001, Evi’s been responsible for managing a wide range of grant-funded programs with funding from sources such as: California Department of Public Health, First 5 California, First 5 Tulare County, First 5 Merced County, California Office of the Patient Advocate, Komen for the Cure (Sacramento and Central Valley Affiliates), and the Fresno Regional Foundation.

  • Daisy Lopez

    Senior Director of Programs

    Daisy Lopez

    Senior Director of Programs

    Daisy Lopez is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and currently serves as Senior Director of Program Services in the Central Valley region. Rooted in culture, service, and community, Daisy works alongside 11 teams to advance sexual and reproductive health rights, promote health through tobacco control policies, engage youth in healing-centered substance use disorder prevention, enhance youth mental wellness through culturally centered practices, and create equitable access to the outdoors. Daisy has dedicated the last 17 years of her career to advancing health equity and social justice through policy, systems and environmental change efforts where she’s worked alongside hundreds of young people and community residents to elevate local stories and advance community healing. She holds three degrees from Fresno Pacific University, including a Bachelor of Arts in Restorative Justice, a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies and a Master of Arts in School Counseling with an active Pupil Personnel Services credential.

  • Brandi Muro, MPH

    Senior Director of Programs

    Brandi Muro, MPH

    Senior Director of Programs

    Brandi Muro, MPH received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Healthcare Administration from California State University, Fresno. Mrs. Muro continued her education at Fresno State and received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in 2004. Mrs. Muro oversees several programs including the RPPC Program, the Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Program, the Diabetes Education Program and multiple Maternal Wellness Programs. She has direct experience and expertise working with CDPH, USDA, LHD’s and many CDPH-funded and non-funded partners throughout California.

  • Monika Gracian

    Director of Program Services

    Monika Gracian

    Director of Program Services

    Monika currently serves as a Director of Program Services for the California Health Collaborative in Southern CA and has been with the organization since 2018. She currently provides oversight to the San Bernardino County Tobacco Control Program, Kings County Tobacco Control Program, and the COVID-19 Education Program. Monika has also previously worked for the Alameda County Department of Public Health providing technical assistance to their Public Health Commission and assisting with the department’s health equity projects. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the University of Southern California.

  • Teresa Ogan, LCSW

    Project Director

    Teresa Ogan, LCSW

    Project Director

    Teresa Ogan, LCSW, completed her Masters of Social Work at Sacramento State University and has over 25 years of experience in social services having worked with children with special needs, in a wraparound program for children/youth and their families in or at risk of out-of-home placement, and with older adults, caregivers and family members. Teresa serves or has served on a variety of boards and commissions including as President of the Multipurpose Senior Services Program Association Executive Committee, the Sacramento County Adult and Aging Commission, Chair of the Yolo/Sutter Aging and Disability Resource Connection Advisory Board, a member of the Sacramento County Aging and Disability Resource Connection Advisory Board, the California Chronic Care Coalition Advisory Board, American River College Gerontology Advisory Committee, the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee, and the UC Davis Latino Health Community Advisory Board. Teresa has been married to her partner for 17 years and enjoys time with her pets, playing pickleball, and road trips. 


With offices throughout Southern, Central and Northern California, the Collaborative is uniquely positioned to provide programs on a fee-for-service basis to public, private, and non-profit organizations.

These Services Include:

  • Grant & Contract Administration
  • Cancer Case-Finding & Data Collection
  • RN-Provided Case Management/ Navigation Support
  • Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Wellness Programs
  • Family Life Education
    (meets CA Department of Education code- compliance)