Below is more information on the speakers that presented at LAGHC 2016. Next year's speakers for LAGHC 2017 will be updated in the Fall. Keynote speaker bios are on individual pages for Dr. Chris Elias and Dr. Rishi Manchanda.

Breakout Speakers

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, Professor, Department of Preventative Medicine, Keck School of Medicine at USC

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MA, is a tenured Full Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Director of the Center for Health Equity in the Americas and Co Director of the Global Health Tract in the MPH Program. Her work focuses on community-based research and public health initiatives that explore the role of culture in health behaviors, especially for Latino Americans and Latino populations in Latin America. She teaches courses on gender and ethnic minority health, culture, and on community organizing and mobilization for health locally and globally. Her research focuses on providing an evidence base for best practices to modify cultural and lifestyle risk factors for cancer and tobacco control at the community level.

Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH, Associate Professor of Law and Health Sciences, School of Law and Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University

Leo Beletsky is an Associate Professor of Law and Health Sciences at Northeastern University and an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego. Beletsky utilizes interdisciplinary methods to analyze how policy mechanisms can help curb drug overdose, prevent the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, and improve patient care. One major focus area in his research is to highlight discrepancies between black letter law and its real-world implementation, including by examining the relationship between law enforcement practices, public health outcomes, and human rights of vulnerable groups. Beletsky's commitment to translating lessons learned between domestic and international settings has informed a portfolio of projects across the Americas (US and Mexico), Central and East Asia (China, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan), and Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine). He received his undergraduate training in geography from Vassar College and Oxford University, a master's in public health from Brown University, his law degree from Temple University School of Law, and his post-doctoral training at the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.

Omai Garner, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Omai Garner is a Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor and Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology in the UCLA Health System. Dr. Garner's research focuses on novel Point of Care Devices for infectious disease diagnosis in the developing world. Dr. Garner also currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Social Justice Learning Institute of Inglewood, California.  The Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) works to fundamentally improve the lives of urban communities of color by helping individuals and groups build their capacity to assess injustices, and then use their own agency to advocate for, and achieve, health and educational equity. Dr. Garner received his PhD from UC San Diego in Biomedical Sciences. He was a Postdoctoral Clinical Microbiology CPEP Fellow in the Department of Pathology at UCLA, and a former McNair Scholar.

Corrina Moucheraud, ScD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy & Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Corrina Moucheraud is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management. She is a health systems researcher specialized in global health. Her main areas of research include improving quality of care in resource-poor settings, particularly for women and infants; the processes and outcomes of policy implementation at the global and national levels; and incorporating health system information into quantitative methodologies, to develop more nuanced and relevant results for constrained systems. She has participated in research across many countries in Africa and Asia.

Tanya Paz, MArch, Assoc. AIA, Designer, Gensler, Los Angeles

Tanya’s work has taken her from Rwanda to Latin America, notably as a Fulbright Scholar funded to evaluate the Valparaiso School and Open City Group's process as a model for architecture and planning in resource-limited settings. She later spent several years building MASS Design Group's practice, deploying human-centered design methodologies to support the delivery of care domestically and abroad. Much of her work focused on applying knowledge gained from their projects overseas, from Rwanda to Haiti, to health facilities in the US.
In 2015, Tanya joined Gensler's new Health & Wellness practice area with the intention of merging her interest in design, wellness, and health policy. She currently is working closely with Mayor Garcetti’s office to revitalize LA streets and welcomes you all to join her at Highland Park’s ‘Fig Jam’ on North Figueroa on March 19.
Tanya received her Bachelors of Art from Tufts University and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Marchelle Sellers, MBA, Executive Director, Mending Kids International

Lara Stemple, JD, Director, Health and Human Rights Law Project, UCLA School of Law


Prof. Stemple is the Director of Graduate Studies at UCLA School of Law, where she directs the Health and Human Rights Law Project. Prof. Stemple teaches and writes in the areas of human rights, global health, gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and incarceration.  Prof. Stemple currently serves on the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women, and she is the Deputy co-Director of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment.  Before joining UCLA, Stemple was the Executive Director of the human rights organization Just Detention International. Prof. Stemple has drafted legislation that was signed into law, lobbied members of Congress and United Nations delegates, and testified before legislative bodies. Media commentary has included CNN, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Yasmine Zavahir, MHS, Program Coordinator, Hollywood, Health & Society

Yasmine Zavahir has her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in Natural Sciences and Public Health, and her Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in International Health and Human Nutrition. Her international work experience includes a USAID funded project to address adolescent anemia in Egyptian school-children consisting of supplementation with iron pills in schools and an educational component of radio, television and print materials. She was involved in local school-based surveillance system training, data analysis, and synthesis of a national Egyptian adolescent health policy paper.

Yasmine lived and worked in East Africa in Malawi for Save the Children where she supported program efforts for school health and nutrition interventions, including micronutrient supplementation, distribution of deworming drugs, and school-based first-aid kits. She also worked with the local team and partner organizations to write a memorandum of understanding among all stakeholders: government, local health and education personnel.

Yasmine worked on a breast cancer awareness radio campaign which was recognized by the National Public Health Information Coalition as one of the top three radio campaigns in the United States and was subsequently invited to speak at the Sri-Lankan Medical Association conference to explore ways to replicate the campaign in Sri-Lanka. She also traveled to Sri-Lanka after the tsunami to work with the medical and nursing students on education and relief efforts for the children who had lost one or both parents in the tsunami. 

As a published author in scientific journals, she recently published an article in the international peer-reviewed medical Journal: International Journal of Cancer, Causes and Control.  Yasmine is on the Associate Leadership Board for Starlight Children’s Foundation, one of the world's largest youth health-focused non-profits, which provides ongoing support for children and their families from diagnosis through the entire course of medical treatment.

Debate Panelists

William S. Comanor, PhD, Professor of Economics, UCSB and Professor of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

William S. Comanor is Professor of Health Policy and Management and also Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCLA, he is Director of the Research Program on Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy and also organizes a Seminar by the same name. Dr. Comanor received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1964. Since completing his dissertation on "The Economics of Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry," that subject has been one of his primary interests. He has written and lectured on various topics in this area, and founded the Research Program he now directs. From 1991 through 1993, he served on the Advisory Panel of a Federal Government Study on Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and from 1978 through 1980 was Chief Economist and Director of the Bureau of Economics at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Washington .

Gabriel Danovitch, MD, Professor and Director, Kidney & Pancreas Transplantation, Division of Nephrology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Danovitch is the Medical Director for the Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program. His transplant-related research has focused on various aspects of clinical transplantation and particularly the development of new immunosuppressive drugs and innovative immunosuppressive protocols. He has been very active on the national level in the development of management guidelines for various aspects of clinical transplant care as well as the complex issues associated with organ allocation at a time of acute national shortage.

Closing Panelists

Heather Wipfli, PhD, Associate Director, USC Institute for Global Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Shirley Evers-Manly, PhD, MSN, RN, Associate Dean & Assistant Professor, Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Lee Todd Miller, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Dean Student Affairs, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA