The Foundation is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Trustees:  nine members appointed by the Governor, one member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one member appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and two members appointed by the Medical Board of California.  The Chair of the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission serves as an ex-officio member.

Governor’s Appointments#

Nuriel Moghavem, MD, President

Mountain View, CA
Nuriel Moghavem, 30, of Mountain View, has been appointed to the Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees.  Moghavem has been a resident physician at the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences since 2018.  He was a resident physician in internal medicine at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center form 2017 to 2018 and a legislative assistant in the Office of California State Assembly member Richard Gordon form 2015 to 2016.  Moghavem earned a Doctor of Medicine degree concentrated in health services and policy research from the Stanford School of Medicine.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Moghavem is a Democrat.

Cynthia J. Cotharn, MD

Playa Vista, CA
Dr. Cynthia Joy Cotharn has been a special projects medical consultant since 2002. She was a medical director at the Watts Health Foundation Inc. Substance Abuse Division from 1996 to 2001 and at the General Motors Luxury Car Division from 1994 to 1995. Cotharn was a research and project assistant and an assistant medical director at the Chicago Park District in 1994.  She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Chicago Medical School.

Cinthia Flores, JD

Los Angeles, CA
Cinthia Flores is a Staff Attorney with the Coalition for Humane Immigration (CHIRLA) where she practices immigration law with a focus on removal defense. Cinthia formerly practiced labor law representing private and public-sector unions.

Cinthia is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine School of Law. In recognition of her academic record and commitment to public service, she was awarded numerous scholarships, including: the California Bar Foundation Diversity Scholarship, the MALDEF Law School Scholarship, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Earl Warren Scholarship, and the prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship. In law school, she served on the UCI Law Review and participated in the Community and Economic Development clinic. During law school, Cinthia served as a Regent on the University of California Board of Regents where she secured funding for undocumented student service centers and diversity enhancement programs. Cinthia graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science and minored in Chicana/o Studies and Labor and Workplace. During her time at UCLA, she served as the first Latina Student Body President.

In 2015, Governor Brown appointed Cinthia to the Health Professions Education Foundation. Currently, Cinthia also serves on the board for Latinas Lead California Political Action Committee, an organization dedicated to electing Latinas to local, state, and federal office. Cinthia is a graduate of the Front Line Leaders Academy and the New American Leaders Project – electoral campaign leadership development programs focused on training progressive and immigrant communities to run for office.

William C. Hendry

Los Angeles, CA
William Hendry has been principal at Strategic Development Solutions since 2003. He was vice president and a private client advisor at First Foundation Advisors from 2010 to 2013 and an executive director of external affairs and director of development at the Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker Institute and Peter F. Ducker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management from 2008 to 2010. Hendry was director of development at the California State University, Long Beach College of Business Administration from 2003 to 2008 and an assistant dean of external relations and executive director of development at the University of Southern California, School of Theatre from 1998 to 2002.

Shaheen E. Lakhan, MD

Redlands, CA
Dr. Shaheen Lakhan is a physician, scientist, educator, advocate, and philanthropist. He is dual board-certified in neurology and pain medicine with clinical training from the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital, respectively. He has served on the faculty and medical staff of leading institutions (Harvard Medical School, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, City of Hope), as founding neurology department chair and assistant dean of an allopathic medical school he guided to accreditation (California University of Science and Medicine), as chair of an active institutional review board of an academic tertiary care medical center (Arrowhead Regional Medical Center), and as chief of pain management at a multi-hospital academic healthcare system in the center of the opioid epidemic (Virginia Tech – Carilion Clinic). As medical director, Dr. Lakhan is now advancing neuroscience drug discovery, development, and delivery (Sage Therapeutics).

In addition to exemplary clinical service as a neurologist and pain specialist, Dr. Lakhan has an extensive research, education, advocacy, and philanthropy portfolio. He has over 100 peer-reviewed journal publications, books, and book chapters. For founding the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, he was bestowed the Harvard Medical School Dean’s Community Service Award. He was also conferred the President’s Call to Service Award for Lifetime Achievement by Pres. George W. Bush and The U.S. Congressional Award Gold Medal by Sen. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid. In 2017, he was recognized by his peers and inducted as Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the Academy’s highest designation.

Janet Widmann 

Lafayette, CA

Alexander Ding, MD

Belmont, CA
Alexander Ding, 39, of Belmont, has been appointed to the Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees.  Ding has been a managing partner at California Advanced Imaging, and attending physician at San Mateo Medical Center and at Mills Peninsula Medical Center since 2013.   Ding served in several positions in the Navy Reserve Medical Corps from 2009 to 2019, including lieutenant and lieutenant commander.  He held multiple positions at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 2008 to 2013, including chief fellow, fellow physician and resident physician.  He was an intern physician at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center from 2007 to 2008.  Ding is a member of the American Medical Association and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2013.  Ding earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and a Master of Science degree in health and medical sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Ding is a Democrat.

Audrey Dow

Los Angeles, CA
Audrey Dow, 44, of Hacienda Heights, has been appointed to the Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees.  Dow has been senior vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity since 2016, where she held several positions from 2009 to 2016, including vice president of external affairs and operations and community affairs director.  She was a consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2008 and program and policy director of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality from 2002 to 2007.  Dow was special assistant to the secretary at the California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2002 and a client services representative for Contreras-Sweet Communications from 1997 to 1999. She earned a Master of Arts degree in public affairs from Princeton University.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Dow is a Democrat.

Assembly Speaker Appointments#

Aaron J. Byzak

Oceanside, CA
Aaron serves as the Chief External Affairs Officer for Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside where he is responsible for marketing, communications, government affairs, community engagement, and special events on behalf of the 388-bed general acute care medical center and a healthcare district serving more than 400,000 residents.

Previously, Aaron served as Chief Strategist for Galvanized Strategies, a full-spectrum strategic public affairs firm offering external affairs and consulting services for its clients and led the organization’s health care and social services portfolio. In this position, Aaron provided strategic government affairs, community engagement, marketing, communications, and business development support for clients including academic health systems, health districts, medical groups, hospices, durable medical equipment providers, educational institutions, political candidates, and non-profit organizations, among others.

Additionally, Aaron is the founder and chief advocate of Hazel’s Army, a community advocacy and education group that in 2014 helped pass the most comprehensive assisted living reform agenda in California’s history. He also serves on a wide array of non-profit boards focused on business, health care, and law enforcement issues.

From 2009 to 2017, Aaron served as the head of government and community affairs for one of America’s top academic health systems and is widely recognized as an expert in health policy and community engagement. Additionally, from 2013 to 2015 Aaron simultaneously led the organization’s patient experience and guest relations department.

Between 2001 and 2009, Aaron worked as an adviser on policy and political matters for elected officials at the state and county levels, served as a surrogate speaker on health care reform for a presidential campaign, and worked in strategy for a local hospital district. Early in his career, Aaron spent more than six years working as an EMT and Senior Field Training Officer on ambulances in San Diego County.

Aaron has received numerous best practice awards for his leadership and work in health care, public health, advocacy, and communications including four Emmy Awards.

He earned his master of business administration in health care management and policy from UC Irvine’s Merage School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in social science from Chapman University. Additionally, Aaron earned certificates in leadership from Cornell University and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He is Board Certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

He lives in Vista with his wife, Amanda, and their children, Adam and Cassandra.

Senate Rules Committee Appointments#

Jennie Carreon

Los Angeles, CA
From Government advocacy to non-profit health care systems and educational programs for high-risk families to clean air coalitions and social justice movements; there is no one more passionate about our community than Jennie Carreón.

Jennie is the Assistant Vice President for Civic Engagement at AltaMed, which delivers more than 930,000 annual patient visits through its 49 sites in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She is also a Founder and Executive Director of

AltaMed’s PAC and oversees fundraising and the endorsement process for Elected Officials in all levels of office for the State of California.

Working closely with AltaMed’s CEO and SVP, Jennie actively participates in multiple phases of Civic Engagement and community power building initiatives. She also builds and implements strategies to achieve AltaMed’s political priorities and represents the company to promote eliminating disparities in healthcare access in underserved communities.

Prior to joining AltaMed, Jennie served as Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. In this position she served as a liaison to environmental officials and business groups; as well as local, state, and national elected officials and oversaw the largest open space Park initiative in the County. Jennie has also been active in numerous statewide and local political campaigns, and in 2005 Jennie worked as East Side Field Director for the historic Villaraigosa for Mayor Campaign which produced record voter registration and turnout in low-income communities.

Jennie was also on Governor Davis’s team of International Relations and worked under the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with an emphasis in Latin America. Her strong ties with Labor and being a daughter of Farm Workers motivated her to work on a State Wide Arbitration Campaign with the United Farm Workers of America. Along with UFW President Arturo Rodriguez and Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Dolores Huerta, Jennie helped to organize a 150-mile, 10-day march from the Bakersfield to Sacramento that resulted in Governor Gray Davis signing the historic Labor Arbitration Legislation.

Jennie was recently appointed by Senate President Pro Temp Kevin de Leon to The Health Professions Education Foundation whose mission is to encourage and support medical professionals to practice in California’s medically underserved communities. Jennie studied International Relations in 15 different countries around the world and when she isn’t busy with her philanthropic efforts, she enjoys spending time with her 9-year-old daughter, Isabela, on the soccer field.


Medical Board Appointment#

Randy W. Hawkins, MD

Los Angeles, CA
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Dr. Randy W. Hawkins, of Los Angeles, California, to the Medical Board in 2015. He has been in private practice since 1985. His medical practice is composed of primary care, pulmonary and critical care medicine, and hospice care. He is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary and critical care medicine. He is clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Hawkins represents the Medical Board on the Health Professions Education Foundation. He is a member of a Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Hahnemann Medical College in 1979 and completed his pulmonary and critical care fellowship at the University of California at San Diego in 1985.

Dev GnanaDev, MD

Upland, CA
Dr. Dev GnanaDev is a trauma, vascular and general surgeon who has been practicing for more than 35 years.  He is Associate Medical Director at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC), a large, acute-care, not-for-profit hospital in Colton, and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, a position he has held since 1989.  Dr. GnanaDev was ARMC’s Medical Director from 2000-2012, when he helped to expand the Medical Center’s patient services and physician training programs.

Dr. GnanaDev has held numerous positions of leadership in health care.  He was appointed by Gov. Brown to the Medical Board of California in 2012 and now serves as Medical Board president; he also serves as the president of the California Medical Association (CMA) form 2008-2009.  In addition to his extensive work as a surgeon and physician leader, Dr. GnanaDev is vitally involved in medical education.  He is founding President and Chief Executive Officer of California University of Science and Medicine (CalMed), which received preliminary accreditation in February and will welcome its first class of medical students in July of this year.  Dr. GnanaDev is also a clinical professor of surgery at Western University of Heath Science and associate professor of surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Dr. GnanaDev has received various honors and recognition for his outstanding work in medicine.  His honors include: the John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award form the Harris County Medical Society/Houston Academy of Medicine; American Medical Association Foundation’s Pride in the Profession Award; the Physician Recognition Award from the Medical Board of California; Outstanding Physician Award form San Bernardino County Medical Society; and Lifetime Achievement Award form Burn Institute of Inland Empire.

Ex-Officio Members#

William Henning, DO 

Yorba Linda, CA


Public Meetings#

View upcoming HPEF meetings.