Core Faculty and Staff
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine; Director of CRHD
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is a professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and serves as Director of the Community Engagement program and Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations, and was recently honored with a National Minority Health Community Leadership Award (Hispanic Community) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one of ten that recognize excellence and outstanding accomplishments of pioneering leaders dedicated to improving health in specific minority populations. He is P.I. of the Mexican American Prevalance and Services survey, the largest mental health study conducted in the U.S. on Mexican Americans, and the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the WHO (World Health Organization) Mental Health survey. In this capacity, he coordinates the work of the National Mental Health Institute surveys in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, and Portugal. His experience in developing culturally and linguistically sensitive diagnostic mental health measures and translating research into practical information for consumers and their families will strengthen the CTSC Community Engagement Program.
Lina Mendez, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Scholar
Oanh Meyer, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Scholar
Assistant to the Director of CRHD and IMPART Coordinator
Marbella Sala, B.A.
Operations and Program Manager
Marbella Sala has over 19 years of experience working for the University of California, Davis and is the current Operations and Research Manager for the Center. In this capacity, she directs the day to day administrative, fiscal and research operations for the Center. Sala is an active participant on many research grants bringing her expertise on community outreach and cultural and linguistic competence in health care. Before her work with the Center, she was the Director of Medical Interpreting Services for UC Davis Health System. As the director, she advanced a new direction for the department by automating the way in which clinics and hospital staff requested interpreters and documented language needs. Additionally, she collaborated with the Center for Health and Technology to develop one of the first Video Interpreting programs in the country. Due to her passion for teaching, she continued coaching as a Connecting World Trainer and a Trainer for the Cross Cultural Heath Care Program on Cultural Competency. As a founding member of the California Health Care Interpreter Association (CHIA) as well as the Northern California CHIA President, Sala collaborated with Impact Research to conduct patient and community focus groups on Latino health services for the Sacramento area.
Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S.
Director of Education
Hendry Ton received his A.B. degree in Psychology and Molecular Cell Biology at the University of CA, Berkeley. He graduated from the U.C. Berkeley-San Francisco Joint Medical Program where he attained a M.S. degree in Health and Medical Science, a Division of Public Health and an M.D. Degree and completed his residency at U.C. San Francisco. Currently, Dr. Ton is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is also the Director of Education at the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis, where he has authored “Providing Quality Care with CLAS: A Curriculum Toolkit For Healthcare Leaders.” Dr. Ton is the co-founder and Medical Director of the Transcultural Wellness Center, an Asian and Pacific Islander focused community mental health clinic. He has received the UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community in 2005 and the 2007 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement for his work with communities, ethnic minorities, and cultural competence. Dr. Ton is also the Director of the Psychiatry Clerkship and Electives Program and he leads the UC Davis medical school curriculum on cultural competence. This effort helped the Department of Psychiatry receive the prestigious American College of Psychiatrist’s Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education for its work on cultural competence in resident and medical student education. Dr. Ton has also received teaching awards for his work with medical students, residents, and faculty.
Linda Ziegahn, Ph.D.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Linda Ziegahn, Ph.D., is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator with the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Clinical and Translational Science Center. She earned a doctorate in Adult Education from Michigan State University. Through her work at UC Davis Medical Center, Dr. Ziegahn is able to apply her academic preparation in adult learning, community development, and intercultural communication to the many training and coaching situations that arise when clinical researchers, practitioners, and the community at large come together to engage in dialogue around the translational research process. Prior experience includes teaching and administration for 12 years at Antioch University, where she directed the Individualized Liberal and Professional Studies program and chaired the Intercultural Relations Master of Arts program; three years at Syracuse University in the Department of Adult Education; and consultant work in Rwanda, Lesotho, Ivory Coast, and Bangladesh.
Affiliated Faculty and Staff
Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Ph.D.
Estella Geraghty, M.D.
Jaesu Han, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor, UC Davis SOM
Dr. Han is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UC Davis departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine. He graduated from the UC Davis combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry residency program in 2002 and has been the program director for the program since 2008. He is a staff psychiatrist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center and also practices primary care and consultation psychiatry at the Sacramento County Primary Care Clinic and UC Davis Family Medicine Clinic.
Mary Lou de Leon Saintz, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Robert McCarron, D.O.
Robert McCarron, D.O. completed a dual residency in internal medicine and psychiatry at Rush University and is now board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and internal medicine. While on faculty as Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, he serves as the founding Training Director of the only California based combined internal medicine / psychiatry residency program. He is the Associate Medical Director for the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center Emergency Psychiatry Unit. Dr. McCarron also oversees the UC Davis Med Psych clinic where he serves as a primary care psychiatry consultant. Dr. McCarron has numerous publications in the areas of unexplained physical complaints, depression and anxiety in the primary care setting, metabolic syndrome and medical education. He recently edited a textbook titled, Lippincott’s Primary Care Psychiatry and he spends much of his time training primary care practitioners in this area. He is currently the President-elect of the Central California Psychiatric Society and he sits on the American Psychiatric Association Assembly. Dr. McCarron is the Section Medicine / Psychiatry Editor for Current Psychiatry.
John Onate, M.D.
Dr. Onate graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and trained in combined psychiatry and internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently the site director for general and combined psychiatry residents at the Sacramento Primary Care Center and CARES HIV treatment clinic. He supervises psychiatry residents in a unique outpatient internal medicine rotation addressing the coordination of medical care in uninsured and indigent patients with mental illness. He is involved in developing the Hepatitis C treatment team of the Sacramento County Primary Care Center. Dr. Onate supervises psychiatry residents at the CARES HIV clinic. He is strongly interested in the collaboration and integration of psychiatric care in primary care and disease management settings. He is a co-instructor of record for the first year medical school course, Doctoring One.
Glen Xiong, M.D.
Dr. Xiong is a graduate from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. He completed combined residency training from Duke University Medicine Center in 2006 and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (2006) and American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry (2008). He is an Assistant Clinical Profession with the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Internal Medicine. His works primarily at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center as an inpatient attending psychiatrist and also practices medicine and psychiatry at the Sacramento County Primary Care Clinic and Norwood Pines Care Center (skilled nursing facility). His academic interests are in the interfaces where medicine and psychiatry overlap, with research experience in dementia, psychopharmacology in medical settings, and primary medical care of persons with severe mental illness.
Mark Yarborough, M.D.