Executive Director: Margaret Lynn Yonekura, MD
In addition to leading LA Best Babies Network, Dr. Yonekura is Director of Community Benefits for California Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Yonekura is an Associate Professor of Clinical Ob-Gyn of both USC and UCLA Schools of Medicine, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, with a research focus in infectious diseases in Ob-Gyn and perinatal substance abuse. She continues to oversee Options for Recovery: Harbor-South Bay, the comprehensive perinatal substance abuse treatment program she established over 20 years ago at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She also teaches Ob-Gyn residents and Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellows at Harbor-UCLA. Over the course of her career, Dr. Yonekura has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, and has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for her service to the community and for the programs that she directs. Dr. Yonekura serves on the Los Angeles County Women’s Health Policy Council, the Board of Trustees of Pomona College, and the Good Hope Medical Foundation.

Director of Programs: Janice French, CNM, MS
With a long history of working clinically as a nurse-midwife and as a researcher in the areas of women's health and preterm birth prevention, Janice is a nationally recognized speaker on the prevention of preterm birth. She is a past faculty member at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, Nurse Midwifery faculty and School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her passion is to translate information from research into practice in order to help more women have healthy pregnancies, and to see more babies be born healthy.

Amber Aviles, MPP, is the Director of Policy and Coordinator of the Los Angeles County Perinatal and Early Childhood Home Visitation Consortium. She earned her Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University. Before joining LABBN, Amber served as a Legislative Assistant in the United States House of Representatives, and as a Lead Operations Specialist in the Department of the Army. Working as a civilian in the Army, she was the liaison between Bavaria Medical Activity Command in Germany and Regional Health Command Europe, which aimed to bring optimal health services for soldiers and their families. Amber believes in health equity and hopes to contribute to the overall expansion of home visiting programs across Los Angeles County.

Terrie-May Anciano, BS, is the Public Health Research and Training Coordinator. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a concentration in Health Education. Prior to working at LABBN, she interned at Kaiser Permanente, Riverside, as a Diabetes Health Educator, helping patients maintain a healthy lifestyle by helping them develop a diabetic-friendly meal plan and by making sure they know how and when to take their medication. She also volunteered at Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center in the postpartum, pediatrics and emergency trauma departments, where she enhanced her practical knowledge and experience in health care. She always wanted to have a career that enabled her to help people in need, and she is grateful to have that opportunity at LABBN. 

Mallika Bhandarkar, MPH, is Public Health Research Associate. She earned her Master of Public Health in Health Promotion from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Mallika has worked on a variety of community-based public health research projects from an academic setting. She is passionate about finding public health solutions that contribute to more equitable health outcomes for all.

Monica Charles, MPH, is Data Analyst. She earned her Master of Public Health from the George Washington University. Before joining LABBN, she worked at the Peace Corps Headquarters Office of Health Services on electronic medical record implementation, training, evaluation, and reporting. In her graduate work she focused on improving health outcomes in underserved populations in the Washington, DC, metro area. Monica is passionate about utilizing IT innovations and data to find evidence-based solutions to public health issues.

Thorony (Toni) Chy, BA, is Data Technical Assistance Coordinator. She conducts Stronger Families LA Database trainings, provides technical support, and performs database management. Prior to joining LABBN, she was a Research Assistant at Matrix Institute on Addictions. She also assisted in research for the NIH STEM lab at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she earned her BA in Psychology. There she assisted with research on stigma and stereotype and its relationship to health, education and career achievement among women in STEM. Toni believes in empowering underprivileged and underserved populations through education and social support. She plans to further her education in Psychology and continue her work serving the community.

Vanessa Delgadillo, BS, is Database Administrative Coordinator. She provides database development support, facilitation of meetings, and project timeline management for the Stronger Families LA Database, the case management and data collection system for the Welcome Baby and home visiting programs. She received her BS in Community Health Education from California State University Long Beach. Prior to joining LABBN, she provided family support in a domestic violence shelter serving women and children. She provided research and data assistance during an internship at Partners in Care Foundation. She also was a Data Manager for the Best Babies Collaborative and assisted the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP), Title X, and EMR during her time at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. Her passion is working with underserved communities and women and children.

Patrick Flippin-Weston, BA, is the Training Coordinator. With a degree in Psychology, he has worked in the social services field in northern and southern California. Prior to joining LABBN, he was an Outreach Caseworker at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, where he assisted with connecting individuals and families with federal nutrition programs. He also worked at the University of California Los Angeles, as a Training Coordinator for the emerging California Hub and Spoke Program. There, he assisted with statewide trainings regarding the tools, medication, and resources needed to combat the opioid crisis. Patrick is a true believer that knowledge is power and passionately aims to connect individuals and communities with the resources they need to thrive.

Sharlene Gozalians, DrPH, MPH, CHES, is Assistant Director of Programs. She earned her Masters of Public Health in Health Education and Promotion at the University of Southern California; she continued her education to earn her Doctorate in Public Health at Loma Linda University. Her professional background includes working with healthy food access and the built environment issues in Los Angeles County, creating healthy communities, youth empowerment and advocacy, corner store conversions, program planning and evaluation and teaching. Her volunteer experience includes working in Tanzania, Brazil and Armenia addressing prevention, health education and maternal and child health issues. Sharlene’s passion for public health addresses the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations.

Jonathan Jimenez, BA, is Data Technical Assistance Coordinator. Prior to joining LA Best Babies Network, he was a data analyst for a cloud-based POS company. With a background in volunteer work for immigrant groups and others in need, Jonathan says he is happy to be working for an organization whose mission comports with his passion for helping underserved communities. He earned his degree in Business Management from California State University Northridge and hopes to pursue an MBA in the healthcare field in the near future.

Larisa Malek, BS, is Grants Manager. Larisa studied accounting at California State University, Los Angeles, and is responsible for LABBN's financial budget. She works closely with the Director of Administration managing day-to-day operations. Larisa is an innovative and driven accounting professional who is eager to take on new challenges.

Amie Miramontes Franco, BA, is a Communications Specialist. She has progressive experience in communications, community outreach, and public relations with a demonstrated record of developing innovative communication strategies that strengthen brand awareness. The majority of her work has been focused in the education and healthcare fields. She has always been passionate about finding ways to leave a lasting, positive impact through her work — especially within her local community. She is happy to be working toward advancing the mission of LABBN and is committed to ensuring all the wonderful work being done is showcased. Amie is an alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she earned her BA in Communication Studies.

Laurel Murray, BA, is the Policy Administrative Coordinator. Prior to joining LABBN, she worked as a coordinator in several acute units at California Hospital Medical Center. As a firm believer that the mission of LABBN is incredibly important for the future of Los Angeles County and for the state of California, she feels fortunate to be part of a team with so much dedication to help the community. She is passionate about improving the quality of care and quality of life for the underserved population of Los Angeles County. She is a southern California native who received her BA in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton.

Steve Nish, MA, is Communications Specialist. With 20 years of experience in the communications field, he has led national and global communications campaigns in education, corporate ethics, and community building. Prior to working with LABBN, he was Senior Editor of the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute, where he focused on sustainability and ethics in business and on character development in schools and youth service programs. He did his undergraduate work at UC Santa Barbara and has a master's from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Angie Perez is the Administrative Coordinator. Prior to joining LABBN, she worked in the compliance, human resources, and staffing departments for various healthcare agencies. She is currently studying Health Information Technology and is passionate about the field of public health. In addition to her administrative duties, she researches training opportunities and compiles the weekly email of Upcoming Events on Perinatal Health and Family Strengthening.

Jessica Perez is Office Manager. She has a wide range of experience in the administrative and medical fields. Prior to joining LABBN, she was an administrative coordinator at a family planning and reproductive health office. With skills in graphic arts and photography, she works closely with the communications team to produce support materials as well as managing their inventory and distribution through the network of Welcome Baby hospitals, community organizations, and home visiting services.

Delisa Young, MA, is Senior Research Analyst. Delisa earned her master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino. Her professional background includes working as a Research Specialist at Five Acres, a child welfare agency that promotes permanency, safety, and well-being for children and families. She supported continuous quality improvement efforts by partnering with the IT department to make the electronic health record system useful for all staff to meet the agency’s mission goals, and by providing useful reports to senior leadership to make data-informed decisions. Delisa also has experience conducting health disparities research, which has helped frame her interpretation of data when examining underserved populations. Delisa is passionate about eliminating education and health disparities, and wants to contribute to this cause by using her research and data skills.