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Triton Leaders Conference 2023: Speakers

Learn from thought leaders and alumni working in diverse fields within the health care landscape, as they share their expertise and offer new perspectives.

More speakers to be announced soon!


Cheryl Anderson

Day 1: Friday, Feb. 3
Cheryl Anderson, PhD, MPH, MS

Dean and Professor, UC San Diego

Cheryl Anderson is professor and dean of the UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, with a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. She holds the Hood Family Endowed Dean’s Chair in Public Health and serves as director of the UC San Diego Center of Excellence in Health Promotion and Equity. Anderson’s research is focused on nutrition as a means to prevent cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease and diet-related cancers. This body of research aims to equitably improve human health and eliminate disparities in cardiovascular health.


  • The Promise of Public Health

Anita Raj

Day 2: Saturday, Feb. 4
Anita Raj, PhD, MS

Professor and Director, UC San Diego

Anita Raj is a Tata Chancellor’s Endowed Professor of society and health. She is a professor in the departments of medicine and education studies and the director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH). Her research, including both epidemiologic and intervention studies, focuses on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, women’s economic empowerment and gender inequality. Raj has approximately 300 peer-reviewed publications and her work has been featured in major media outlets in the US, UK and India. See Full Bio


  • Powerful Partnerships: How Research-to-Policy Efforts Can Tackle Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination

Anita is also a session speaker on Friday, Feb. 3:


Raine Arndt-Couch

Raine Arndt-Couch, JD, MSW, LCSW, CCM
Senior Manager Social Services, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

Raine Arndt-Couch, JD, MSW, LCSW, CCM has over 15 years of experience in clinical social work, medical case management, national health care policy, and leadership roles across health care practice settings and with diverse populations. She currently serves as Senior Manager of Social Services for Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan in San Diego, California providing leadership and oversight for the CalAIM Community Supports programming. Raine is a proud social worker who is passionate about the integration of medical, behavioral, and social care in health care delivery as a means to achieve health equity. Raine earned both her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) at the University of Southern California.

Session Panelist for:

Herb Barrack

Herb Barrack
Co-Founder, LIMBER Prosthetics & Orthotics

Herb Barrack is a Certified with the American Board of Certification Prosthetics and Orthotics, 1988. He completed his education at Shelby State Memphis TN in 1984. Completed Orthotic residency at Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA 1985 and Prosthetic residency at Orthomedics, San Diego CA., 1986. After many years in Private practice, he continues his part-time clinical roll at ABI Prosthetics and is a co-founder of Limber Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. for the advancement in limb design technology. He is also a co-founder of the Rotary sponsored philanthropic effort, Limbs of Freedom, Ensenada, MX.

Session Speaker for:

Nancy Behm

Nancy Behm, MPH
Associate Director of CalAIM, PATH

Nancy Behm, MPH, is passionate about building community and addressing social determinants of health and systemic injustices. She joined PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) in April 2019 and has served in the roles of Program Manager and Associate Director for Whole Person Wellness (WPC) and Health Homes at PATH in San Diego, California. In her current role as Associate Director of CalAIM, she provides implementation and programmatic support for the Community Supports PATH San Diego offers. Her background includes experience managing a recuperative care unit in San Diego, and leadership, operations, and case management experience in the intersection of health and housing for marginalized populations. Nancy earned her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

Session Panelist for:

Alec Calac

Alec Calac, MD - PhD '26
MD/PhD Candidate, UC San Diego

Alec Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians) is an MD/PhD Candidate at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. He works collaboratively with the Global Health Policy and Data Institute on research projects integrating social media, health technology, health policy and Tribal public health. He is also interested in medical education and workforce development. He currently serves as the national president of the Association of Native American Medical Students. In 2022, he was named a 40 Under 40 Leader in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum and was chosen to participate in the White House Leaders in Health Equity Roundtable Series.

Session Speaker for:

Amber Campbell

Amber Campbell '04, MBA
Operations Executive, Sutter Health

Amber Campbell, MBA, DBA Candidate is the Operations Executive for Service Lines and Hospital Based Programs at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation an ambulatory affiliate of Sutter Health a Northern California based Healthcare System. Amber was a 2004 Bachelors of Arts graduate of Earl Warren College at UC San Diego, a 2014 MBA graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, and is currently in her final DBA term at the California School of Management and Leadership at Alliant International University. For her dissertation, she is researching Gender Disparities: The Role of Women in Healthcare. Amber serves as the Treasurer for the Association of Cancer Executives Board of Directors, the Co-Chair of the Career Development Transition Committee and Liaison to the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the California Association of Healthcare Leaders, and the Education Dyad for the Women’s Inclusion Resource Group at Sutter Health. She has an extensive background in both strategic and operations development in business. and is also the author of Fierce: The Power of Owning Your Own Journey.

Session Speaker for:

Shivon Carreño

Shivon Carreño, LSSBB
Health Justice and Equity Implementation Coach, UC San Diego Health

Shivon Carreño is the Health Justice and Equity Implementation Coach with the UCSD Health Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion team. Shivon is an anti-racist healthcare leader with over 20 years of progressive experience in healthcare operations, promoting person-centered equitable care and clinical excellence with a successful track record of leading highly engaged and cohesive teams. Shivon is co-chair of the UCSD Health Disparities and Inequities Taskforce and the UCSD Health Team Lead with the California Association of Public Hospitals Safety Net Institute Racial Equity Community of Practice

Session Speaker for:

Rosa Castaneda

Rosa Castañeda
Co-Director, Communidad de Apoyo San Diego

Rosa is a Co-Director of Communidad de Apoyo San Diego and a passionate member of the community. She is excited and proud to be able to participate in this organization to be able to help people who need support.

Session Speaker for:

Crystal Cene

Crystal Cené, MD, MPH, FAHA
Chief Administrative Officer for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, UC San Diego Health

Dr. Crystal Cené is responsible for the vision, leadership and strategic planning of UC San Diego Health’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. She partners closely with leaders within the organization to ensure anti-racist, equitable, diverse and inclusive strategies, programs and policies are implemented across the health system. She brings extensive leadership, research, teaching and clinical experience to her position.

She is a nationally recognized health services and health disparities researcher. Her research focuses on evaluating and implementing solutions that enhance patient and family-centered care, focusing on the disparities in care by race and socioeconomic status. Dr. Cené has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and has mentored over a dozen students, trainees, and junior faculty. She has held leadership roles in national and international organizations throughout her career, including the American Heart Association, the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Women’s Health Initiative.

Session Speaker for:

Allison Estrada

Allison Estrada '13, MD
Co-Director, Communidad de Apoyo San Diego

Allison Estrada, MD, is a UC San Diego alumna and a family medicine physician in Chula Vista, California. She takes care of patients from all walks of life and from all ages. She is a fierce advocate for patients and believes all people deserve high quality health care.

Session Speaker for:

Anthony Fiori

Anthony J. Fiori '98
Senior Managing Director, Manatt Health

A recognized authority on health plan regulatory and financial issues, Anthony Fiori advises health care industry clients on regulations and strategy, analyzes policies and manages projects. Medicaid and Medicare managed care, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care financing and delivery system reform are his areas of focus.

Tony works with managed care organizations, hospitals, long-term care organizations, state Medicaid agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and trade associations, bringing depth and perspective to public health insurance programs.

Session Facilitator for:

Ramon Gutierrez

Ramon Gutierrez
Co-Director, Communidad de Apoyo San Diego

Ramon is the first patient ever supported by Communidad de Apoyo San Diego (CASD) and is the proud co-founder and co-director of the organization. He is also a proud member of Narcotics Anonymous and believes in the power of community support. He is excited to be a part of CASD to be able to help the community be healthier.

Session Speaker for:

Lani Hessen

Lani Hessen
Vice President of Patient Access, Digital Therapeutics Alliance

Lani Hessen leads the commercialization and community affairs efforts at the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, working to define pathways for digital therapeutics in the health care sector by bringing together discussions among community members including patients, payers, clinicians and other stakeholders.

Lani has professional training as an occupational therapist and is licensed in the state of California. Additionally, Lani has extensive experience in patient advocacy for pediatric behavioral health. She brings her clinical and advocacy experience to the Digital Therapeutics Alliance in order to facilitate the critical discussions and community building needed to advance the industry.

Session Speaker for:

Kristin Hill

Kristin Hill, Assoc. AIA, MEd, MArch
Senior Director of Facilities Planning & Health Campus Development, UC San Diego Health

Kristin is a facilities design, construction, and planning professional with over 20 years of experience—specializing in major multi-million dollar, multi-site higher education and academic health system capital projects. For the majority of her career, she has worked in space planning, design and construction and activation for academic medical centers, most recently with the UC San Diego Health.

Session Speaker for:

Glen Hilton

Glen Hilton, LMFT
Director of Community Care, PATH

Glen Hilton, LMFT joined PATH in May 2019 and has served in the roles of clinician and associate director for Whole Person Wellness/Health Homes. In his current role as Director of Community Care, Glen oversees PATH San Diego’s CalAIM, Community Care Coordination (C3), C3 Straight to Home and Veteran and Community Services programs (Rapid Re-Housing, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, C3 for Veterans) as well as the PATH San Diego Housing team and behavioral health supports. His background includes 13 years as a licensed mental health professional focusing on work with adjudicated and at-risk youth, LGBTQIA+ TAY individuals and people experiencing homelessness. His experience also includes 15+ years’ experience in business consulting and seven years teaching for a graduate psychology program.

Session Panelist for:

Geoff Hollett

Geoff Hollett, MS '14, PhD '19
Senior Policy Analyst, American Medical Association

Geoff Hollett received his PhD in 2019 in Materials Science and Engineering from UC San Diego, where he developed birth control products for women in sub-Saharan Africa. After completing his PhD, he became a science and technology policy fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology, where he served as a policy advisor for State Senator Bob Archuleta (southeast Los Angeles county). He currently works as a senior science policy analyst for the American Medical Association where he develops policy on precision medicine, medical disinformation and emerging areas of science and technology. He was originally born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Session Topic:

Lori Houston-Floyd

Lori Houston-Floyd
Manager, Manatt Health

Lori Houston-Floyd is a manager with Manatt Health, an interdisciplinary policy and business advisory practice of Manatt. She provides quantitative and qualitative research support and strategic advice on health care business and policy issues to the full spectrum of health care stakeholders. She has expertise designing and implementing innovative population health management and care management programs for state and health system clients.

Before joining Manatt, Lori served as a senior consultant in Deloitte’s life sciences and health care practice. Her projects there included developing value-based care strategies for health plans and providers and supporting large health IT system implementations.

Session Facilitator for:

Imani Howard

Imani Howard
MD-PhD Candidate, UC San Diego

Imani is currently a trainee in the Medical Scientist Training Program here at UCSD. As a G-IV, they have completed two years of medical school coursework and are in the fourth year of their doctoral program. Imani is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy, also here at UCSD, where they are studying at the intersection of the philosophy of race and the philosophy of science and medicine. In particular, they consider the ways in which scientific reasoning and clinical decision-making with regard to race shape patient populations and impact patient health outcomes. Before coming to UCSD, Imani worked at an educational non-profit as an Americorps volunteer after graduating from Stanford in 2015 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology and a B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science. Imani was fortunate enough to grow up in southeast San Diego.

Session Topic:

Kaitlyn Johnson, PhD

Kaitlyn Johnson, PhD
Senior Data Analyst, The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute

Kaitlyn Johnson is a Senior Data Analyst at the Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Initiative. Prior to joining Rockefeller, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin's COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. She received her PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests include infectious disease modeling and the integration of science and technology to inform public health decision-making. She is passionate about the power of data availability and transparency as tools for illuminating and addressing health disparities.

Session Speaker for:

Helen Liu

Helen Z. Liu
Executive Director of Development, Strategic Initiatives, UC San Diego Health Sciences Advancement

Helen Z. Liu is Executive Director of Development, Strategic Initiatives for UC San Diego Health Sciences Advancement. She leads the Strategic Initiatives team’s fundraising efforts for the Hillcrest Redevelopment Project among other clinical areas.

Her experience prior to fundraising in academic medicine includes leadership roles in several sectors; at financial institutions, nine-county health system, and national brokerage firms.

Upon joining UC San Diego in 2017, Ms. Liu found her ideal space allowing her to intersect her passion to serve the under-resourced into her career.

For more than twenty years, Ms. Liu has volunteered her time on governing boards and committees to serve the unsheltered, people living with HIV/AIDS and people working through mental health illnesses.

Session Moderator for:

Audra Robertson Meadows

Audra R Meadows, MD, MPH, FACOG
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

Audra Robertson Meadows, MD, MPH is Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Culture and Justice in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Meadows is a birth optimizer – a practicing Obstetrician/Gynecologist, health disparities researcher, and health equity champion. For more nearly 20 years, she has provided compassionate care to women before, during, and after pregnancy to ensure positive pregnancy and birth experiences. 

Session Topic:

David Mier

David Mier
Director of Health Community Relations, UC San Diego Health

David Mier is the director of health community relations for UC San Diego Health and leads the institution’s strategic public engagement and community benefit initiatives. His key responsibilities include developing and implementing organizational plans for strategic community partnerships and advocacy initiatives, including several nationally recognized public health initiatives.

Session Topic:

De Vivo Nicoloso

Luca De Vivo Nicoloso '16, MS '20, PhD '21
Co-Founder, LIMBER Prosthetics & Orthotics

Luca De Vivo Nicoloso, born and raised in Caracas Venezuela, is a Post Doctoral Fellow Researcher at UCSD CHEI and DroneLab leading the LIMBER Project under the supervision of Prof. Falko Kuester. Luca completed his Ph.D., MSc and BSc degrees from the Structural Engineering department at UCSD. Luca has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and multidisciplinary cross team collaborations. His areas of research include Additive Manufacturing, Digital Design, Structural Analysis and Optimization, as well as biomimicry.

Session Topic:

Joshua Pelz

Joshua Pelz, MS '19, PhD '22
Co-Founder, LIMBER Prosthetics & Orthotics

Joshua Pelz is a Postdoc Research Fellow with the Qualcomm Institute working to bring the next generation of prosthetic devices to amputees in need. He received his MS and PhD in materials science and engineering from University of California San Diego and his BS in metallurgical and materials engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Session Topic:

Elaine Tanaka

Elaine Tanaka, MD '97
Founder, Compassion Breast

Elaine Tanaka, MD ‘97, received her degree from UC San Diego. She is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in breast care and treatment of breast cancer. Tanaka is the founder of the nonprofit, Compassion Breast, providing quality, expeditious breast care to uninsured and under-resourced communities. See Elaine's Full Bio

Session Speaker for:

Shelby Thurman

Shelby Thurman '20
Membership Manager, Digital Therapeutics Alliance

Shelby is the membership manager at Digital Therapeutics Alliance. She establishes strong relationships with the members of the Alliance — connecting them to resources and ensuring they have a seat at the table as the industry evolves.

Session Speaker for:

Qui-Shawn Tran

Qui-Shawn Tran '23
Student, UC San Diego

Qui-Shawn Tran (pronounced KEY-Shawn), 20, is a songwriter, music producer and poet.

As a fourth-year student at UC San Diego studying Interdisciplinary Music, Visual Media, and Computing, he’s performed for TEDx, the Department of Music, and the Alumni Association.

In 2020, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to independently fundraise $1,500 for the East West Players, a Los Angeles based Asian American theater.

In 2022, he was awarded the Breaking Barriers Scholarship by UC San Diego for activism and diversity through his music, poetry performances and audiovisual content, as seen on youtube.

His journey continues as a fundraiser for the Stop AAPI Hate movement, a storyteller for the Vietnamese Boat People Podcast, a fellow in the OASIS Creative Arts Fellowship at UC San Diego and as a keynote speaker for the 20th annual Asian American Youth Leadership Conference at Stanford.

End of Conference Day 2 Performance:

  • Poetry Reading


Learn from thought leaders and alumni working in diverse fields within the health care landscape, as they share their expertise and offer new perspectives.