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Executives

Luisa Buada, RN, MPH

Chief Executive Officer

Since 1980, Buada has been instrumental in providing health care to the neediest residents of in San Mateo County and the larger Bay Area region. For over three decades, Luisa has expanded access to health care to tens of thousands of residents who would not have care otherwise. With limited resources, Luisa is creating healthier communities, one patient at a time. The daughter of a Filipino farm worker and a registered nurse, Buada has been a lifelong advocate for farmworker’s rights and health care for all. As a teenager, she witnessed the poor health conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers while volunteering with the United Farm Workers’ Union alongside Cesar Chavez. Just out of nursing school, Buada founded a community health center for farmworkers in the Salinas Valley – Clínica Popular del Valle de Salinas. She also founded the Berkeley Primary Access Clinic and was integral in the establishment of LifeLong Medical Care.

As Chief Executive Officer for that last 15 years, Buada energized the Ravenswood Family Health Center, which provides critically-needed health care services to predominantly low-income, uninsured, and undocumented residents in East Palo Alto, and south San Mateo County. Under her leadership, Ravenswood Family Health Center has grown from 13 employees to over 200 and from a modular building into a 38,300 sq. ft. custom-built facility. Today, Ravenswood Family Health Center offers comprehensive, multigenerational health care, along with dental, optometry, pharmacy, and preventative health services. Ravenswood Family Health Center also connects patients to additional resources that impact one’s health – food, shelter, clothing, special education, and intimate partner violence and parenting support.

In March of 2010, Buada was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2013 she received the California Senate Woman of the Year Award for the 13th District from Senator Jerry Hill. She was a 2016 Visionary of the Year Award Honoree sponsored by The San Francisco Chronicle and the School of Economics and Business Administration at St. Mary’s College and received the 2016 John W. Gardner Exemplary Leadership Award from the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley. In 2018, she received the California State Assembly Woman of the Year award for the 24th District from Assemblyman Marc Berman.

Wayne Yost, CPA, CFE

Chief Financial Officer

Wayne Yost has extensive experience in financial management of community hospitals, regulatory compliance, internal and external audit program development, compliance management, financial analysis, and investigation. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Northern California Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management, the American College of Forensic Examiners and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Healthcare Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.

Jaime Chavarria, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jaime Chavarria has been in family practice for over 17 years. He was Chief Resident at the Family Practice department at University of Southern California/California Medical Center and received his Medical Degree at the University of California, San Diego, Medical School.  From 1994 to 2002, he worked with the San Jose Medical Center and prior to that he worked in a four family-physician medical group in Los Angeles that served a multi-cultural population. He served as a faculty member and preceptor for the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Family Practice Program at California Medical Center, and was a part-time faculty member at the Whittier Family Practice Program. He is very interested in redesigning healthcare to be more patient centric, efficient, effective and in working with more closely with clinical partners to coordinate care and community groups to address the social determinants of health.

Justin Wu, MD

Associate Medical Director, Family Practice, Clinical Informatics Officer

Originally from the Bay Area, Dr. Justin Wu received his Medical Degree at New York Medical College, and completed his residency training in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital in 2007.  He joined a community clinic in Denver, CO, and served on the faculty at the University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency Program before joining the RFHC medical team at our Belle Haven Clinic (which is now closed and part of our main health center).  He has done international medical outreach and missions in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Yogita Butani Thakur DDS, MS

Chief Dental Officer

Dr. Yogita Thakur trained as a dentist in India at the VYWS Dental College and Hospital (1991-1996). She received her Masters of Science in Dental Public Health at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She then completed a fellowship at UCSF School of Dentistry’s Centers to Address Disparities in Oral Health and obtained her certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at UCSF School of Dentistry and was chief resident. She was also a Clinical Scholar at UCSF’s School of Global Health from 2008-2010. She has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the AAPHD leveret Award and an NIH funded COHORT Training Grant. Her key interests include childhood caries.

Jessica Chiu, MURP

Development, Planning and Evaluation Director

Jessica Chiu is highly experienced in grant writing and management as well as program planning and evaluation. She joined RFHC in 2013 as its Grants Development Manager, where she not only wrote and packaged grant proposals, but also managed grants throughout their entire life cycles. Prior to joining RFHC, she worked at another federally qualified health center in the Bay Area where she wrote and managed an extensive portfolio of government, foundation, and corporate grants. Jessica holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis. She is getting her second Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Gralyn Jacques

Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Gralyn Jacques served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Haight Asbury Free Clinics, Inc. for four years, serving as a Senior Manager of the organization, managing a $12M budget, overseeing contracts and grants management, compliance,  audits, and was responsible for all internal and external reporting.  Prior to this, he was an internal auditor for Old Republic Title Company where he performed tests of the company’s internal controls and also conducted special investigations relating to fraud and defalcations.  Gralyn is also a licensed real estate broker and has represented both buyers and sellers since 2002. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from San Francisco State University. He is in the process of obtaining certifications in Wellness Coaching, Personal and Group Fitness Training, and Nutrition Education.

Erika Simpson

Chief Operations Officer

Erika Simpson is a native of East Palo Alto. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, with a focus on global health, from Touro University in Vallejo, CA, and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Howard University in Washington D.C. Erika has worked with underserved populations throughout her life. She has worked as a mentor and counselor to East Palo Alto youth through the Leadership Training Academy’s summer Community Government Institute, as well as the Programs and Outreach Coordinator of the Community Breast Health Project where she worked with young women under 40 in need of breast cancer screening and diagnostic services.  In 2003 she joined RFHC as the Volunteer Program Coordinator where she established RFHC’s Volunteer Program. She then moved on to hold various roles at RFHC including Interim Clinic Manager and Health Educator. In 2006 she helped establish our second clinic site (which is now closed and part of our main health center) in the Menlo Park Belle Haven neighborhood where she was the Clinic Manager. In 2007 Erika was named the first awardee of the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader award, presented by the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, giving national recognition for her accomplishments as an emerging leader in community health.

Theresa Devonshire

Staff Development Director

Theresa Devonshire has over 20 years of experience working in health care. She worked as a critical care nurse for 13 years before moving to the administrative side of health care. She graduated from University of San Francisco with a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration. Prior to RFHC, she worked as a Facility Administrator at DaVita Dialysis Clinic. She has also worked at Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, and Align Technology.

Sandra Escobar, PhD

Integrated Behavioral Health Services Clinical Director

Dr. Sandy Escobar obtained her BA in Psychology at UCLA, and completed her doctoral in Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. Since 1995, Dr. Escobar has held several leadership and clinical positions working in community behavioral health programs serving the neediest and most disadvantage individuals in our communities. Her professional track record includes successful advocacy of an integrative approach to services, building community partnerships, implementing new programs and advocacy for community culturally appropriate evidenced-based clinical therapies, outcome driven services and clinical supervision for postdoctoral students.  Before joining Ravenswood, Dr. Escobar was the Senior Division Director for a large nonprofit community organization providing leadership and managing a large-scale multi-million-dollar health division.

LaRae Garrigan, CPC, NCP

Director of the Billing Cycle

LaRae Garrigan moved to San Francisco from a small farming community in Nebraska with a population of 720 people. She started working as a Medical Receptionist in a private doctors office in 1989, and within a year had worked her way up to Office Manager/Practice Administrator.  LaRae joined Ravenswood in 2009, bringing over 20 years of medical billing knowledge, successful staff management and efficient workflow processes to our team.  She is a Certified NextGen Software Professional, as well as a Certified Professional Coder. LaRae is also a Certified Private Investigator and California Licensed Real Estate Agent.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Jaclyn Czaja, M.D.

Associate Medical Director, Pediatrics

Dr. Jaclyn Czaja completed medical training at the University of Michigan’s Medical School in 2007, followed by a three year pediatric residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. In addition to hospital duties, she worked with an inner city, and largely immigrant, population at the Harborview Children and Teen’s clinic. During her residency, she also participated in Seattle Children’s Global Health Pathway; working on a pediatric ward assessing the chronically ill children in Kisii, Kenya. Dr. Czaja is a Stanford graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology.

Sonia Menchavez, OD, MPH

Optometry Director

Dr. Sonia Menchavez received her Doctor of Optometry degree as well as her Master in Public Health at University of California, Berkeley. While studying at UC Berkeley, she was the first optometry student to receive the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship which is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders to address underlying causes of health inequities. Dr. Menchavez is passionate about developing sustainable vision care for underserved communities. As the Optometry Director at Ravenswood, she has played an integral part in developing the clinic’s first in-house optometry department. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, salsa dancing and spending time with family.

Joseph Ohens, JSD, LL.M, CHC

Compliance Officer

Joseph Ohens is a certified health care compliance and privacy professional with broad experience in developing and implementing an effective compliance program and navigating health care administrative and clinical operations through standards development, deployment, and change management. He joined RFHC from Dignity Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, where as Director of Programs and a member of the hospital’s nine-member leadership team (2012-2016) he had oversight of Administrative Operations; Regulatory Compliance; Patient Relations & Satisfaction; Physician Relations, Contracts & Payments; Business Development, Strategy & Sales; Telecommunications; Security & Parking Services; and Interpreter Services.  Joseph holds a Juris Scientiae (Doctor of the Science of Law, JSD) and Legum Magister (Master of Laws, LL.M) degrees from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a Legum Baccalaureus (LL.B) degree (JD equivalent) from Lagos State University, Nigeria. He is a member of the Health Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM), and the National Association Medical Staff Services. Joseph is certified in healthcare compliance (CHC), privacy compliance (CHPC), and compliance and ethics (CCEP).

Sonia Santana, MD, OB/GYN

Associate Medical Director, Women’s Health

Dr. Sonia Santana was born in Bogota, Colombia and immigrated to the United States in 1987.  She completed medical school at York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY in 2001 and finished her OB/GYN residency at Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT in 2005. Dr. Santana worked in private practice in the East Bay before joining RFHC in 2015. She is also a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Santana has a passion for women’s health and is results-driven in her practice. Her goal is to provide the highest quality care to effectively meet the needs of her patients. In her practice, she emphasizes educating her patients on self-management while involving their families and the community which are at the heart of RFHC’s mission. 

Christy Silva, MBA

Director of Project Planning

Christy Silva had a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences when she worked in the government in El Salvador as a communication advisor. When she moved to the Bay Area she started in an entry-level position at RFHC as a Patient Service Assistant registering patients and checking their insurance. Within a few months she moved to the Billing department and then to the Finance department. She liked finance and decided to go for a Master’s in Business Administration degree, which she earned with honors. Working full-time by day and studying by night, she graduated after two and a half years with a concentration in Project Management. Within a year she was promoted to Project Planning Manager. Her expertise met a critical need to help manage two major projects – the implementation of electronic health records, and project oversight of a major Health Care Innovation grant awarded by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services that has intensive reporting requirements on multiple indicators related to management and health outcomes of chronic disease patients. As the Director of Project Planning she continues to work on new initiatives and improvement projects with the vision of whole person care and value based health care.

Kim Rufus

Director of Decision Support and Front Office Operation

Kim Rufus is a native of East Menlo Park, and she is passionate about serving the community that she grew up in. She began her career working at Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) in 1998 as a Patient Services Representative, and within a year became the lead in her department. In 2001 Kim transferred to the Quality & Planning department, and after five years became a System Analyst III (senior analyst). In 2008, through PAMF’s Community Health Partnership program, Kim began working with RFHC to set up their reporting systems and their databases. In 2010 Kim joined RFHC as a full-time staff. Kim oversees seven departments in RFHC. The departments consist of Decision Support, Health Information Management Systems, IT, Audio Visual, Enrollment and Eligibility, Front Desk, and Call Center. Kim is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is expected to receive her degree in December of 2017.