Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine; Director of CRHD
Phone: (916) 703-9211
Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the UC Davis Health System, the Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UCD Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC), the co-Director of the UC Davis Latino Aging Research and Resource Center (LARRC), and co-chair of the NIH’s Community Engagement Key Function Committee for the NIH-funded Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). In 2007, he completed a four-year term as a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mental Health America (MHA) for a two year-term (2008-2010). He is currently a Steering Committee and Research Scientist member of the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN), a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Autism Speaks, a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Carlos Slim Health Institute, a member of the Board of the Latino Physicians of California, First Vice President of NAMI California, and a member of the California Medical Board’s Cultural and Linguistic Competency Program Workgroup. He has held several World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) advisory board and consulting positions and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys Consortium (WMHSC) and its Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola’s applied research program has focused on identifying unmet mental health needs and associated risk and protective factors to better understand and meet population mental health needs and reduce mental health disparities primarily in underserved populations. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the author of over 110 scientific publications. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Vanderbilt University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Medal of Congress (“Medalla de la Cámara de Diputados”) of Chile for work related to mental health research, the DHHS' Office of Minority Health's 2005 National Minority Health Community Leader Award (Hispanic Community), Washington, DC, the 2007 UC Davis Academic Senate Scholarly Distinguished Service Award, the 2008 Latino Mental Health Conference Excellence in Science and Research Award from NYU Univ., the 2009 National Award of Excellence in Blending Research and Practice from the National Hispanic Science Network, and the 2012-2013 UC Davis Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community in the Academic Senate category. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola was a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine/National Research Council (IOM/NRC) Committee on Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Health Development of Young Children (2007-2009) report and the IOM/NRC Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise (2010) report.
Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S.
Director of Education
Marbella Sala has over 20 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.
Lisa Stenhouse has worked for UC Davis for over 10 years and is currently the assistant to the Director as well as the IMPART coordinator. She assists both the leadership and staff within the Center for Reducing Disparities as well as the faculty and residents of the IMPART Combined Medical Residency Program.
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.
Dr. Lina R. Mendez is a Postdoctoral Scholar of Internal Medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center, at the Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD).She is currently the project manager for the Covered California Project to conduct outreach and education to the Latino community in the Sacramento and San Joaquin area about the Health Benefit Exchange. Previously, Dr. Méndez was the project manager for the California Reducing Disparities Project and a trainer for Providing Quality Health Care with Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). She has conducted numerous community-based forums across California to investigate the unmet mental health needs of Latinos and has collaborated in developing training workshops statewide. She has engaged participants from rural and urban areas and the Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questionable (LGBTQ) community as well as students.
David Patron holds a bachelor of science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. He has worked on the CTSA Sentinel Network Project, which examines the health concerns of the community, and motivations and barriers to health research participation of community members in Sacramento. He also works on a study that examines utilization patterns of routine cancer screenings and preventive health services in persons with psychiatric disorders at Sacramento county mental health clinics. He has experience in research on psychological distress among community college students.
Mauricio Rodriguez has a strong public health background including academic and work experience. During his studies at California State University, Fresno and Drexel School of Public Health, he was actively involved with the data collection phase of several projects. These projects included working with diverse socioeconomic and cultural populations concerning obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, depression, and heart failure. He joined the Center for Reducing Health Disparities on July 2013 to begin working on Covered California. Mauricio works with a multidisciplinary team, collaborating with project stakeholders, such as schools, community clinics, and academic institutions to improve the overall health for the community through outreach and education, particularly for underserved populations.