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Executives

Luisa Buada, RN, MPH

Chief Executive Officer

Luisa Buada has 30 years experience in health care administration, management and organizational development. She was the founding Executive Director of both Clinicas de Salud in the Salinas Valley and of Berkeley Primary Care Access Clinic. She co-founded Life Long Medical Care in Berkeley as part of a merger with over 60 Health Centers in 1996. She participated as a consultant in the development of Ravenswood Family Health Center (RFHC) in East Palo Alto, After serving 12 months as Interim CEO in November of 2003 became the Permanent CEO for RFHC. From 1986-1991 and again from 1997 to 2002, as a consultant, Luisa worked with community health centers on strategic and financial planning, organizational development, architectural planning and bilingual board training. Luisa received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing in 1977 and her Masters degree in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990. In March 2010 she was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Mercury News Profile of Luisa Buada

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 CPA 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 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He received a B.A. in Healthcare Administration from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA.

Jaime Chavarria, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Chavarria has been in family practice for over seventeen years. He was Chief Resident in Family Practice at USC/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 also was part-time faculty at the Whittier Family Practice Program.

Justin Wu, MD

Belle Haven Associate Medical Director

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 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.  He has done international medical outreach and missions in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Yogita Butani Thakur DDS, MS

Dental Director, Ravenswood Family Dentistry

Dr. Thakur trained as a dentist in India at the VYWS Dental College and Hospital (1991-96). She received her MS at the College of Dentistry, University of Iowa and then completed a fellowship at UCSF School of Dentistry’s Centers to Address Disparities in Oral Health. She has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the AAPHD Leverett Award and an NIH funded COHORT Training Grant. Her key interests include children’s oral health, access to care, oral health disparities, children with special needs, and early childhood caries. She trained in pediatric dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco and was the chief resident from 2009-10. She was also a Clinical Scholar at UCSF’s School of Global Health from 2008-2010.

Catherine Benedict

Compliance Officer

Catherine is a veteran in healthcare administration and in development and training related to compliance and fraud prevention. Most recently, she provided compliance oversight for the Alameda Alliance for Health and prior to that served as the Corporate Compliance Specialist for Blue Shield of California.  From 1999-2006 she was Associate Administrator at the Chinese Community Health Plan in San Francisco.  Catherine received a B.A.at Mount Holyoke College and a Masters of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Laila Gulzar, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN

Quality Improvement & RN Training Officer

Laila has extensive experience and training in nursing and oversight of quality improvement. After RN and Midwifery training from the Aga Khan University School of Nursing, in her homeland of Pakistan, she came to the United States and completed her MSN at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, then received a Master in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Nursing at University of Illinois, Chicago. Most recently she served as Health Center Manager at Santa Clara County’s Sunnyvale Clinic and prior to that was the Director of Nursing & Manager of Quality Improvement at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco, and Director, Quality at Mayview Community Health Center in Palo Alto.

Jessica Chiu, MURP

Director of Development, Planning and Evaluation

Jessica 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 as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis.

Gralyn Jacques

Controller

Gralyn served as the 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 B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from San Francisco State University.

Erika Simpson

Senior Operations Director

Erika is a native of East Palo Alto and a graduate of Howard University where she majored in Anthropology and Spanish. She worked first with Community Breast Health Project, now called Breast Cancer Connections, in Palo Alto, as Programs and Outreach Coordinator.  In 2003 she joined RFHC as a Volunteer Coordinator, where she established our Volunteer Program. She then served as Interim Clinic Manager at our Bay Road site. In 2006 she helped set up our Belle Haven site and became its Clinic Manager. In 2007 Erika was 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. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health at Touro University in Vallejo.