Alumni Association Board of Directors

Public Health Alumni Association board members attend the October 15, 2019 Scholarship Tea. From left to right: Bo Chung MPH/MCP ’18, Sarah Ismail MPH ’11, Zahwa Amad PhD ’92, MA ’84, Lila Sheira MPH ’15 and 2nd year student representative, Gathenji Njoroge (not pictured, Bob Frangenberg MPH ’78).

Dennise Rosas MPH ’11


Dennise Rosas earned her MPH degree in Health Policy and Management. She is a director with the Sutter Health Improvement System supporting the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where she manages a group of consultants to support clinical and operational leaders in process improvement, strategic planning, goal deployment, and implementation of a Lean management and operating system. She facilitates and teaches design and improvement events, coaches and leads implementation of system strategy, and influences senior leaders. She previously served as strategic planning and kaizen promotion office manager at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she began as a summer graduate intern while at Berkeley. Her interests include diversity in higher education and the health professions, going on road trips, wine tasting, and traveling.

Charis Baz MPH ’17

Vice President/President-elect

Charis earned her MPH degree through the Online MPH program. She also has a certificate in Health Informatics. She works on Marin County Health and Human Service’s Whole Person Care program, a Medicaid demonstration project coordinating care and sharing data across housing, public benefits, medical, and behavioral health care with a focus on people experiencing homelessness. Previously, as a project/policy analyst at UC Berkeley’s Tang Center, she co-led the integration of Behavioral Health services into Primary Care, including strategy development, implementation team facilitation, workflow design, program evaluation planning, and a major space renovation to support the new model of care. Managing high-stakes, complex projects with multidisciplinary teams is her specialty. Other interests include using human centered design, Lean process improvement, and facilitation for collaborative decision making to improve the social determinants of health for the underserved.

Marta Cieslak MPH ’10

Past President

Marta Cieslak received her MPH degree in Health Policy and Management.  Her background and experience is focused on ambulatory care operations within large academic medical centers as well as large medical groups. She worked in an operational leadership role at DaVita Medical Group (DMG), formerly known as HealthCare Partners, where she oversaw primary care outpatient clinics in the Southern California market. She also worked in a consulting capacity at DMG to identify population health strategies and drive these strategies toward implementation. Before her work at DMG, Cieslak was part of the Performance Excellence team at Stanford HealthCare, where she was responsible for implementing a Lean operational model of excellence for the organization’s ambulatory care network. Her interests include Lean methodology, operational excellence, coaching / mentoring, and population health.  She also serves as an advisor to early stage health technology startups.

Sara S. Ortega BA ’18


Sara graduated with a BA in Public Health and a minor in Public Policy in 2018. She is currently the Special Assistant to the President at Children Now, a national research and advocacy organization based in Oakland. She supports the president on administrative, communication, and project management efforts, as well as recruitment and engagement for the Children’s Movement. As a student, Ms. Ortega interned for Congresswoman Barbara Lee in her Oakland offices, where she conducted research in health and immigration policy areas, as well as provided support to the East Bay’s constituents. While in school, she also worked in the Dean’s office at the School of Public Health, where she supported major events and managed communications to the school’s alumni and student networks and volunteered with the Public Health Alumni Association. Sara is a proud alumna of the Health Career Connections program, where she interned for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional offices and spearheaded a regional project to improve front-office workflow and improve patient experiences.

Praneetha Mullangi BA ’14

Communications Officer

Praneetha Mullangi holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and Economics from UC Berkeley and hopes to make an impact at the intersection of these fields. She is a senior consultant for the healthcare/life sciences practice at Saama Technologies, a data analytics consulting firm. In this role, she empowers healthcare and life science executives with strategic, data driven solutions that optimize their processes and help them function more effectively. Previously she worked with UCSF’s Institute for Health Policy Studies to create an interactive online tool for global health policy makers, leveraging cost-benefit analyses on HIV/AIDS interventions. She has held executive leadership positions with the American Red Cross chapter of UC Berkeley, organizing public health programs for the Berkeley community.

Amia Nash MS

Doctoral Student Representative

Amia Nash is a first year DrPH student. She attended Santa Clara University for her undergraduate education where she was a public health major and triple minor in biology, sociology, and religious studies. Her diverse coursework challenged her to think critically about the intersections between public health and social justice. Amia earned her Master of Science in Community Health and Prevention Research from Stanford University School of Medicine. Her past research was at the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Well-being where she conducted qualitative research focused on the mental health needs and concerns of Asian-American adolescents and parents in Palo Alto. Amia’s primary academic interests are with marginalized youth populations and bringing youth voice to the development and implementation of health programs.

Gathenji Njoroge

Student Representative

Gathenji is a second-year MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology concentration at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. While volunteering in medically-underserved regions of Kenya and Argentina, Gathenji developed an interest in public health and health equity. Gathenji is a community health research intern in the lab of Stanford University School of Medicine physician-scientist/professor Dr. LaBeaud. In this role, Gathenji has been working on school- and community-based programs to reduce mosquito breeding via source reduction in coastal Kenya. He conducted field work for these projects in summer 2019 and supports the team by mapping and performing data analyses. At Berkeley, Gathenji has served as founding secretary of Black Advocates for Equity in Health (BAEH), board member of the Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL), student representative of the Public Health Alumni Association (PHAA), and Graduate Advising and Diversity Services (GRADS) Coordinator for the DREAM Office. Gathenji is passionate about using data analytics and data-driven solutions to promote patient and community-level health, particularly in medically-underserved communities. In his free time, Gathenji enjoys reading, gardening and watching rugby.

Navya Pothamsetty

Undergraduate Student Representative

Navya is an undergraduate majoring in public health UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she has been involved in many organizations related to health education and equity including Peer Health Exchange, the Health Service Internship, the Community Health and Adolescent Program for Success (CHAMPS), and the Health Advocates with Alameda Health System. She also loves to write and has contributed to The Public Health Advocate magazine, the Planet Forward consortium, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces’ blogs section. Navya hopes to apply the knowledge she learned interning in Glide’s Harm Reduction department in her graduate study of epidemiology and biostatistics. In her free time, Navya loves to run, listen to live music, play basketball, and explore Berkeley with her friends.

Zahwa K. Amad PhD ’92, MA ’84

Zahwa Amad earned her doctorate degree in Infectious Diseases and Immunology, with a concentration on the latency of HIV. She earned her master’s degree at UC Berkeley with a focus on mosquito-borne viruses. She worked over two decades at California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In her role as the section chief of the Personnel Licensing Section, she oversaw the licensure of over 30 clinical laboratory personnel licenses, and approvals of training schools, national certifying examinations organizations, and continuing education programs. Previously, Amad held positions as an examiner, research scientist, and public health microbiologist at CDPH. Prior to joining CDPH, Amad worked for Chiron Corporation (currently Novartis) on HIV vaccine and for UCSF and Irwin Memorial Blood Centers on HIV molecular assays. Her outside work interests include documentary films, photography, travel, Latin culture, and languages.

Annie Chang MS ’13, MD ’15

Annie is a graduate of the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program and now a family medicine physician. With experiences in HIV/AIDS research, public health, and community medicine, she works to foster community-based participatory research as well as translational research and implementation science to enhance community collaboration and health care delivery. Her career started at Kaiser Permanente National Diversity working to advance the National Standards for Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care throughout the health system and nationally. Later in the Joint Medical Program, she completed a Master’s of Health and Medical Sciences (MS) in global health research, examining the intersection of HIV and socioeconomic determinants amongst rural Kenyan communities. Integrating both global and local experiences, she has worked with extensive multidisciplinary collaborations, including the following: UCSF multisectoral agricultural intervention Shamba Maisha, San Francisco General Hospital Newcomers Health Program/Survivors International/UCSF Trauma Recovery Center in refugee health, Santa Clara County/Veggielution Community Farm in local food systems, Ventura County Public Health in diabetes prevention, and Ventura Family Medicine Residency in addiction medicine. She is passionate about planetary health, sustainability, and interdependent syndemics that share social determinants contributing to emergence and clustering of disease processes, and how these interactions contribute to increased risk, vulnerability, and adverse health outcomes. Annie cherishes time with her family and friends, all whom strengthen her journey in life. She rejuvenates outdoors by exploring and appreciating the wonders of our marvelous world. She enjoys learning about cultural history, food heritage, culinary arts, and sharing conversation and company by breaking bread together.

Bo Chung MPH/MCP ’18

Bo is a graduate from the master of city planning and public health dual degree program. He is passionate about creating healthy and equitable urban spaces through policy and narrative change. With a diverse experience in program and project management in sustainable development and urban planning, Bo hopes to bring a big picture perspective to the alumni board. His last experience working with the Dellums Institute was focused on identifying creative solutions to the homelessness crisis happening in Oakland and expanding local organizations’ capacity to work with formerly incarcerated people. Bo’s interests include travel, photography, and capoeira.

Bob Frangenberg MPH ’78

Bob Frangenberg is retired after working for more than 35 years in the fields of public health and education. He served on the School of Public Health Alumni Association Board in the mid-1980s and was board president in 1986-87. He worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services from 1987 to 2004, in several capacities. He was the director of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health; director of HIV/AIDS; and director of Children’s Medical Services, which included oversight of California Children’s Services, The Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, and Foster Children Health Programs. Prior to working in Los Angeles County, Frangenberg was the assistant director of public health in San Mateo County for seven years. His first public health position was as director of health and social services for the Washoe Indian Tribe of California and Nevada. He also has a professional interest in education. He founded and operated an independent school in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has served on the Los Angeles County Planned Parenthood Board of Directors and on the board of the national Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

Sarah Ismail MPH ’11

Sarah Ismail earned her MPH degree in Maternal and Child Health. She currently works as a scaling-up consultant with ExpandNet, where she consults on reproductive health, girls’ education, and environmental projects in order to see that the work serves more people on a lasting basis. Prior to that, Ismail was a UC Berkeley lecturer and public health consultant for the Population Council office in Egypt, where she worked on a national survey for youth and other sexual and reproductive health issues of marginalized populations, particularly those affected by HIV. She is a Bay Area native who grew up in both the United States and Egypt and is a proud and practicing Muslim who wears hijab. She is also a raja yoga instructor, KonMari tidying consultant, loves to be in nature, participates in drop-in improv classes, and has been to 30+ countries.

Erin Keitel MPH ’17

Erin is a graduate of the UC Berkeley MPH program with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. She is currently a Program Manager at Blue Shield of California working to develop new, high-value care models throughout the state. Erin recently completed a leadership development program at Blue Shield which allowed her to rotate through different departments across the organization as well as participate in numerous professional development opportunities. She is passionate about transforming the healthcare system to create high quality, affordable care that supports healthy communities. Outside of work, Erin enjoys coaching youth lacrosse in Berkeley and spending time outdoors, especially hiking and camping.

Hue Le MPH ’12

Hue earned her MPH degree in Health Policy and Management. She is currently a manager on the Business Development team at Kaiser Permanente, supporting the organization’s new growth efforts. Prior to Kaiser Permanente, she worked at Omnicell supporting strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions. She also held prior roles at Arch Health Partners, a multispecialty physician group, in strategy and business development and at Palomar Health as an Administrative Fellow. Her healthcare interests include improving health disparities and increasing access to mental health. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking and traveling.

Elizabeth Ly MPH ’19

Elizabeth earned her MPH in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health. She also earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a major in Public Health and a minor in Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, she worked at UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health with ob/gyns across the U.S. to support family planning training in academic medicine. Most recently, Ly was a Research Intern at Hopelab where who led the qualitative research coordination, collection, and analysis for the Goal Mama project with the National Family Partnership. While earning her MPH, Ly was heavily involved in student organizing and was a board member for the Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL), DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity), and Asian Pacific Islander Women’s Circle (APIWC) as well as serving as a Graduate Advising and Diversity Services (GRADS) Ambassador and a Graduate Student Instructor/Mentor for the undergraduate Health Service Internship Program. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys finding the best bites a neighborhood has to offer, playing tennis or going for a run, cooking, and gaming with her friends.

Nerissa Nance MPH ’16

Nerissa received her MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Berkeley in 2016. She is a Senior Consulting Data Analyst at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research, where she works on a diverse portfolio of statistical analyses utilizing electronic health record data. Prior to her time at Kaiser, Nerissa worked at the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico and at UC Berkeley, where she led international research projects focused on HIV transmission prevention. She’s passionate about data-driven decision-making in healthcare, and is excited to have the opportunity to engage more directly with the alumni community through PHAA. Outside of work she enjoys reading, baking, and wandering the great outdoors.

Leslie Safier MPH ’10

Leslie received her MPH degree in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology. She is the Director of Performance Improvement at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG). In her role, she partners with hospital departments and the medical staff to develop, manage, and monitor performance improvement projects, manages external quality data reporting requirements, and provides strategic planning, coaching and practical assistance for hospital leadership in performance improvement. Prior to joining ZSFG, she was the Director of Research at Healthy Communities Institute where she partnered with public health departments, hospitals, and community groups to measure and improve community health outcomes. She is LEAN certified and a graduate of the America’s Essential Hospitals 2018 Essential Woman’s Leadership Academy. Outside of work, interests include hiking, travel, reading, and cooking.

Lila Sheira MPH ’15

Lila Sheira earned her MPH in Maternal and Child Health. She is a data analyst at UCSF, responsible for the development of study tools, data collection, and data analysis mainly for RCTs and cohort studies among people living with HIV. Prior to her role at UCSF, Sheira worked as a global health consultant for the Population Council, Best Babies Zone, The Sea Change Program, and Venture Strategies for Health and Development, where she analyzed and supported the dissemination of data, wrote policy briefs, and supported fundraising. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador for three years as a rural community health volunteer, where she primarily focused on adolescent sexual and reproductive health education and nutritional health. Sheira likes to stay involved in her community and served on the executive board of the Empowering Women of Color Conference for three years. She also volunteers with the International Rescue Committee and reviews scholarships for the Marcus Foster Education Institute. Sheira served as a Graduate Advising and Diversity Services (GRADS) Coordinator while earning her MPH and often represented the School at outreach events.