Anthony E. Wright
ANTHONY E. WRIGHT has served as Executive Director for Health Access, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition since 2002. Health Access has led state and national efforts to win consumer protections, fight budget cuts and invest in our safety-net, encourage prevention, and advance coverage expansions and comprehensive health reform. Wright led California’s coalition effort to help pass the Affordable Care Act and state laws to implement and improve it, and campaigns to successfully pass first-in-the-nation laws to ensure timely access to care, and to stop hospital overcharging of the uninsured.
As a consumer advocate and community organizer, Wright has been widely quoted in state and national media. He has also worked for New Jersey Citizen Action, the Center for Media Education, The Nation magazine, and in Vice President Gore's office in the White House.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Wright graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude in both English and Sociology. He lives in Davis with his wife Jessica, and his son Jefferson.
CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Program Coordinator
DANNIE CESEÑA, CA LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network Program Coordinator, joined Health Access in 2018. Dannie has worked with non-profits for over 10 years in program development and advocacy. He is passionate about LGBT Healthcare and is a World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) member. Prior to joining Health Access, Dannie strengthened the Trans*itions Health and Wellness Program while creating the LGBT Health Department at the LGBT Center Orange County. He has trained major hospitals and community clinics on LGBT healthcare disparities with recommendations on fixing the system, guest lectured at area universities and medical schools, and provided pro bono legal services with a volunteer legal team.
Dannie has been awarded Community Icon of the Year by Orange County Pride, Pro Bono Community Partner of the Year by UC Irvine School of Law, and the Diversity Spirit Achievement Award by City Career Fair.
He is a graduate of CSU Long Beach with Bachelor Degrees in English and Political Science, and is a graduate of National University with a Master Degree in Public Health. On his spare time, he enjoys hiking and traveling with his wife and dog.
Director of Operations & Development
SERINA CORREA, Director of Operations and Development, joined Health Access in 2018. She has extensive experience in operations and communications. Before joining Health Access, she worked as communications operations manager for the Public Policy Institute of California. She worked in public affairs at Alza Media and previously as operations and grants manager at the Latino Community Foundation. She is a founding member of the Sacramento Latino Giving Circle and sits on California’s LGC network leadership council as well as on Sacramento’s LGBTQ Center speaker panel. She is a member of the HOPE Leadership Institute’s class of 2018.
She holds an MS in community development from the University of California, Davis and a BS from California State University, Sacramento.
Mary June G. Diaz (Flores)
Policy & Legislative Advocate
MARY JUNE G. FLORES, Policy & Legislative Advocate, joined Health Access in 2016. She represents health care consumers and supports the legislative advocacy efforts in the Legislature. Mary June most recently worked for Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, where she managed and coordinated the county’s Health Committee policy and administrative oversight hearings, as well as monitored the county’s public, safety-net hospital system. In addition to her local government experience, Mary June worked in state government as a California Assembly Fellow and legislative aide in the State Assembly. She staffed the health, human services, higher education, business and professions, jobs economic development, revenue and tax, Asian Pacific Islander, and Women’s issue areas.
A social justice community organizer by training, Mary June is committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged Californians through effective public policy making and community empowerment. She serves on the Goldman School of Public Policy Alumni Association Board. Mary June received her Bachelor degrees in Asian American Studies and Comparative Ethnic Studies, and dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. “Triple bear” – GO BEARS!
Nancy M. Gomez
Senior Consumer Advocate/Community Organizer
NANCY M. GOMEZ, Senior Consumer Advocate/Organizer, joined the Health Access Staff in 2008. Educated in North and South America, she brings a cross-cultural perspective and twenty years of experience in the social/human service field. She has worked for organizations focused on pediatric AIDS, chronic illness, domestic/spousal/child abuse, and affordable housing. Most recently she served as the Director of Social Services for a service enriched affordable housing development organization serving hundreds of at-risk families, youth, children, and seniors.
In 2011 she received La Opinion’s “Mujer Destacada” award for her advocacy in Health Care Reform. Nancy also specializes in Spanish media, having made numerous appearances on national and local news programs including radio, television, and print media.
A pragmatic and creative problem solver, she credits her tenacity and resourcefulness to having served in the U.S. Navy, and counting on the support of a loving and passionately opinionated family. Nancy enjoys graphic design and solving the Sunday Times crossword without assistance.
CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Organizer
ISAIAS GUZMAN, CA LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network organizer, joined Health Access in 2018. Isaias received a B.A. in Political Science and Chicano Studies with an emphasis on issues of race, gender, and sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the team, Isaias was a paralegal with a non-profit organization advocating on behalf of low-income, homeless, and/or HIV+ people in obtaining public disability benefits. Isaias also has an extensive experience organizing with queer and trans youth for racial and gender justice in the education system across local, state, and national boundaries. As a youth trainer for the GSA Network, he assisted in empowering LGBTQ youth and youth of color to become agents of change in their communities through youth-adult partnerships. At the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Isaias worked with LifeWorks LA to introduce culturally competent and comprehensive sexual health curriculum addressing issues of HIV/AIDs, PrEP, PEP, and youth legal rights. Most recently, he has organized the first-ever leadership summit in the East Bay tailored to the unique needs of LGBTQ youth of color. Isaias is excited to continue and advance the health and well-being of the queer and trans* community by advocating for LGBTQ health equity.
Isaias was born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. He enjoys dancing, learning about Queer Latinx art, culture and performance, and exploring new hiking trails during his free time.
LARRY HANSEN, Finance Manager, joined Health Access in 2017. His varied background includes non-profit service as Director of Finance for California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Manager of Grants and Contracts for Public Health Institute, California Community College System service as Director of Fiscal Services for the Solano District and Chief Accountant for the Contra Costa District, and University of California service as Department Manager on the Davis campus. Larry received his MBA from UC Davis with concentrations in Accounting and Public Sector Management.
Rachel Linn Gish
Director of Communications
RACHEL LINN GISH, Director of Communications, joined Health Access in 2016. Utilizing her passion for social justice and expertise in strategic communication, she manages the media and advocacy outreach for the coalition. She returned to Sacramento after nearly four years in Washington D.C., where she earned her Masters from the George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs and worked as part of the communications team for various national non-profit and political organizations including the AFL-CIO and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, where she helped build multiple websites to highlight the data on the status of women in the United States. Prior to living on the east coast, she worked at the State Capitol as Press Secretary for former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, Press Aide for then-Assemblymember Mark Leno, and Press Intern for former Speaker Fabian Nunez.
She is originally from Roseville, CA and graduated from UC Davis with a dual degree in Communications and Sociology. She is a licensed Zumba instructor and enjoys spending weekends visiting local restaurants and wineries with her husband.
Peter Harbage Fellow
JESSICA MORAN, Peter Harbage Fellow, joined Health Access in 2018. She recently received her Master in Public Health, with an emphasis in health policy from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the team, Jessica interned at The Children’s Partnership where she was part of the policy team and worked on their Healthy Mind, Healthy Future study to assess the effects of hostile immigration policy on children’s mental health. She has also held intern positions at the Arthritis Foundation and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Jessica is interested in a variety of issues ranging from improving healthcare delivery systems, telehealth and children’s health.
Jessica is a first generation college student and was the first in her family to obtain a graduate degree.
She received her B.S. in Public Health from California State University, Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and attending music festivals.
Campaign Communications Coordinator
YASMIN PELED, Campaign Communications Coordinator, joined Health Access in 2016. Yasmin received her BS in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). While studying at UCSC, Yasmin got her start in health care advocacy running a mobile health care clinic for the homeless and underserved in Santa Cruz County. Prior to joining Health Access, Yasmin worked with Families USA in Washington, D.C., with a focus on health equity issues.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Yasmin has always had a strong commitment to social justice. In her spare time, Yasmin enjoys hiking around the Bay Area, testing out new recipes, and spending time with friends and family.
ERIN REYNOSO, Organizing Director, joined Health Access in 2018.
CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Communications Associate
MARCELA SALVADOR, CA LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network Communications Associate, joined Health Access in 2018. Marcela received her B.A. in Multimedia Journalism from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Prior to joining the team, she served as a Production Facilitator at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) in New York City where she developed a branding strategy for several in-house shows, including Health Action TV hosted by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS Inc., and taught media classes at MNN’s Youth Media Center. During her time in NYC, Marcela also worked as a News Writer and Control Room Producer at Spectrum NY1 Noticias, where she produced local and international news, as well as special coverage on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
Marcela became interested in LGBTQ health care advocacy as an exchange student at Michigan State University, where she was part of a team that won a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Journalism Award for their multimedia project “The LGBT Mind”, which covered mental health challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in Michigan.
Marcela grew up in Ecuador with a strong interest in human rights and environmental protection. She enjoys spending her free time in nature and art exhibits.
Mandy Taylor, MSW
CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator
MANDY TAYLOR, CA LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, joined Health Access in 2017. Prior to joining the team, Ms. Taylor provided case management services at Transitional Living and Community Services, helped develop WEAVE’s Anti-Trafficking Program for minors, supported foster youth with clinical therapy at The Children’s Receiving Home, and was the first Director of Programs at The Sacramento LGBT Community Center. With ten years of experience providing mental health and community services, Mandy looks forward to using her expertise to advocate for LGBTQ mental health policy.
Ms. Taylor uses social justice and strengths based approaches to empower community involvement. She believes supporting the mental health of the LGBTQ community includes approaching issues through a lens of intersectionality. Mandy eagerly collaborates with stakeholders in marginalized LGBTQ communities to develop culturally supportive interventions, training, and policy. She believes that queer people of color, the trans community, the economically disadvantaged, and folks living with disabilities deserve comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of their experience.
Mandy has a Master of Social Work from California State University, Sacramento, where she is currently and an adjunct instructor.
Jose Torres Casillas
Administrative & Legislative Assistant, Internship Program Coordinator
JOSE TORRES CASILLAS, Administrative & Legislative Assistant, joined Health Access in 2017. Jose works with Health Access to tackle on the administrative duties of the office and works with the legislative team. Prior to joining Health Access, he worked in the office of Engrossing and Enrolling with the Secretary of the State Senate where he gained the knowledge of the legislative process firsthand. He also previously worked with the California Democratic Party in their Sacramento Headquarters.
Jose was raised in San Bernardino before moving to northern California for school. Jose received his BA in Sociology and a minor Chicano/a Studies from the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, Jose focused on how to best apply his social justice background and work with his community.
In his spare time, Jose enjoys working out and training for various obstacle races, eating different foods, and watching movies.
Policy & Legislative Advocate
Myriam M. Valdez is a Policy and Legislative Advocate with Health Access, where she advocates for issues related to Medi-Cal, state budget proposals, prescription drugs, and oral and public health issues. Myriam was formerly a Legislative Aide for State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, staffing Health, Education, Labor, Housing, and Immigrant issues. She graduated from CSU Bakersfield with honors, is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, and a former California Senate Fellow. She currently serves as a Board Member for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), an organization committed to the reproductive health and rights of Latinas/xs.
Myriam became involved with public policy as an intern for U.S. Congressman Jim Costa and during her time the University of Bristol in England, where she studied Western Political Systems. Prior to her time in the California State Legislature, Myriam worked as a Program Manager for Chevron, managing their Students Training for Achievement, Reward & Success (STARS) Program, which aims to help “high potential, low opportunity” students succeed in collegiate and professional work. Myriam is particularly interested in helping vulnerable Latinx youth and has helped organize the annual mentorship program for the Women’s Policy Summit, organized by the California Center for Research on Women & Families, has been a “Familia” mentor for the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP), and a mentor for the Puente Project in Sacramento. The most important role models for Myriam have been her mother and father, who were farmworkers in the Central Valley town of Arvin, California and taught her the values of hard work, perseverance, and helping others.
Amanda M. Wallner
CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Director
AMANDA M. WALLNER, CA LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Director, joined Health Access in 2016. Amanda has been fighting for LGBTQ equality since attempting to start a GSA at her Catholic high school. Her passion for LGBTQ community organizing only grew in 2008, when she was a student organizer against Proposition 8. Amanda worked as Health Policy Fellow at the Los Angeles LGBT Center while finishing a Master of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. After she graduated, Amanda worked as the organization’s Policy and Operations Manager, coordinating research, advocacy on coalition work on a variety of policy issues affecting the LGBTQ community, including immigration, women’s health, youth homelessness, and regulating the "troubled teen industry." Prior to graduate school, Amanda worked for Sierra Club California as a legislative aide and organizer. Amanda also worked on a number of campaigns ranging from county supervisor to Congress, and volunteered on marriage equality ballot initiatives in Maine and North Carolina.
Amanda has a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she headed the nationally recognized Campus Democrats organization and served as chair of the California Young Democrats’ LGBTQ Caucus.
Southern CA Consumer Advocate/Community Organizer
AMY A WIWUGA, Southern CA Consumer Advocate/ Community Organizer, joined Health Access in 2017. Her Arizona State University communications studies provide the perfect background for her to work on advancing state and federal legislative policy to ensure all Californians have access to quality affordable healthcare.
Amy began her organizing career with President Obama's Organizing for Action (OFA). As the Southern California Deputy Field Director for OFA Amy supported legislation on key issues of President Obama's administration's agenda. Most notably, Amy worked to manage California's education and enrollment efforts for the Affordable Care Act. After OFA Amy served as a Global Health Organizer at RESULTS, where she generated grassroots support around legislative solutions to global poverty.
Amy speaks at colleges and universities, and has served on collegiate advisory boards relating to topics including, civic engagement, political issues and advocacy. As a volunteer Amy dedicates time to the YMCA, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, Organizing for Action, The Townhall Project and Pantsuit Nation.
Capell & Assoc - Beth Capell
BETH CAPELL, principal with Capell & Assoc., provides policy analysis, legislative advocacy, and other strategic input to Health Access and to other consumer, labor and public interest organizations on health care issues.
Ms. Capell has headed Capell & Assoc. and represented Health Access since 1996. During those years, Health Access fought for and won the HMO Patient Bill of Rights as well as expansions of health coverage, including the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. She has worked on a number of ballot measures related to health care. Ms. Capell has worked in and around the State Capitol since 1977, working on legislative staff, in the executive branch, and in campaign consulting. Since 1984, she has been a legislative advocate working on health care issues.
Ms. Capell has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and has also served as a Visiting Scholar, research associate and teaching assistant at that campus.