|2019 FEATURED SPEAKERS
Sara Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with her widely successful hit "Love Song,” which reached No. 1 in 22 countries, from her debut album “Little Voice.” Since then, Sara has gone on to receive seven Grammy nominations, which include Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Love Song” and Album of the Year for her highly acclaimed third studio album, “The Blessed Unrest.” Her book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, was released in fall 2015 by Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times best-seller. Making her Broadway debut, Sara composed the music and lyrics for “Waitress,” for which she received her first Tony Award nomination for Best Score and a 2017 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. She also made her Broadway acting debut in 2017 by stepping into the lead role in “Waitress.”
In 2018, Sara co-hosted the Tony Awards, was nominated for an Emmy and Grammy for her role in “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” and was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Sara also teamed up with Apple as an executive producer for “Little Voice,” a 10-episode series, for which she will create the original music. “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress,” her most recent solo studio album, is out on Epic Records.
On April 5, 2019, Sara will release her fifth full-length album and first album of original material since 2013, entitled “Amidst The Chaos.” For this latest body of work, she joined forces in the studio with legendary Academy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett. As a result, the album spotlights her voice as a singer and storyteller like never before, while making an enduring statement.
|ROBIN BERMAN, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Robin Berman, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is a founding board member of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and an advisory board member of Matthew McConaughey’s Just Keep Livin Foundation. Dr. Berman is the author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love & Limits. She has appeared on “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America,” and her book has been featured in The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Times of London, and Time magazine online. Permission to Parent has also been published in the UK under the title Hate Me Now, Thank Me Later. Dr. Berman serves on the Parents magazine advisory board, is a featured contributor to The TODAY Parenting Team online, and is a regular contributor to Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP online blog.
|CATHERINE BIRNDORF, M.D.
Dr. Catherine Birndorf is Co-Founder and Medical Director of The Motherhood Center, a first-of-its-kind treatment center in New York City for pregnant and new moms experiencing anxiety and depression. Dr. Birndorf is Founding Director of the Payne Whitney Women's Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Birndorf is a board member of Postpartum Support International, a nonprofit organization for awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing worldwide. For 10 years, Dr. Birndorf was a regular mental health columnist for Self magazine and has appeared on numerous television programs, including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, “CBS Evening News” and CNN. Her first book, The Nine Rooms of Happiness, co-authored with Lucy Danziger and published in 2010, was a New York Times bestseller. She is the author, with Alexandra Sacks, of What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood, to be published by Simon & Schuster on April 23, 2019.
Food coach Lori Corbin is a nutrition and fitness reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News. Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition along with certifications in personal training and group exercise and is a member of the American Council on Exercise, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine. She once owned and operated a chain of exercise studios, along with a low-fat catering business. Her "Food Coach" program slimmed down notables like Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Billy Zane and a cast of soap stars. She also spent three years reporting on nutrition and fitness at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona. Lori continues to teach nutrition and fitness through consulting, personal training and group exercise classes.
|JUDY BELL JOHNSON CUSACK
Judy Bell Johnson Cusack was born in St. George, South Carolina, a small town of 2,084 people located in the “Lowcountry” of South Carolina between Charleston and the state’s capital, Columbia. Judy worked for her entire 28-year professional career as an educator in the same school district in which she grew up.
Judy was diagnosed with depression in 2011 after the joint deployments of her daughter, SPC Kia Shalon Cusack (U.S. Army, Veteran) to Iraq and her son SSG Darius Lerone Johnson (U.S. Army, Retired) to Afghanistan. During his deployment to Afghanistan, Darius was wounded in action by an improvised explosive device, sustaining burns over 30 percent of his body, a punctured lung, fractured jaw, a traumatic brain injury and the loss of his left arm from the shoulder down. Judy retired at the end of 2014 to become a full-time caregiver to Darius, but never received treatment for her depression or the trauma she suffered at the time of his injury until 2017 when she and Darius came to UCLA Operation Mend to participate together in Operation Mend’s innovative Intensive Treatment Program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Winner of Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama “Selma,” the criminal justice documentary “13th” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which made her the highest grossing African-American woman director in domestic box office history. She is currently in production on her next project based on the infamous crime case known as “Central Park Five,” while overseeing production of her critically-acclaimed TV series “Queen Sugar.” Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her indie distribution collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. DuVernay sits on the boards of Sundance Institute and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and chairs the Diversity Council for Prada. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
|VALORIE KONDOS FIELD
Valorie Kondos Field is head coach of the seven-time NCAA Champion, 22-time Regional and 18-time Pac-12 Champion UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. One of only two active coaches to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, the four-time “National Coach of the Year” was recently named “West Region Coach” of the Year and Pac-12 “Coach of the Century” for her solid track record as a preeminent coach.
Affectionately known by her gymnasts as “Miss Val,” her reputation is only one reason that 46 former U.S. National Team members have come through her program and why half of the last two U.S. Olympic teams have committed to UCLA. Valorie’s coaching success is due to her extraordinary leadership and mentorship of young student-athletes, and the way in which she uses gymnastics as an avenue through which to teach valuable life lessons, while encouraging individuality and joy—something Valorie learned from the late John Wooden, the legendary and most successful collegiate basketball coach of all time, who was one of her biggest inspirations, as well as a close mentor and friend. Valorie began her career as a professional ballet dancer and choreographer for the Washington, D.C. and Sacramento Ballet companies. Although never a gymnast herself, she’s transferred to her student-athletes all she learned in the world of classical dance—the result of which has been nearly three decades of coaching one of the premiere athletic programs in any sport, and mentoring hundreds of elite athletes, including Olympic champions Simone Biles, Jordan Wieber, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Nastia Liukin.
Also known as the nation’s foremost gymnastics choreographer, Miss Val’s many credits include
choreographing and directing a myriad of live variety shows, such as the NCAA Opening Ceremonies for Women’s Basketball, a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar roast, CBS’s “Jump, Jive & Thrive” Breast Cancer Research Foundation benefit, and 26 years of cirque-type shows for SeaWorld’s Summer Nights and the San Diego Zoo. Current projects include additional live stage shows, TV specials, events and the development of a theatrical musical. She also is a dynamic and charismatic speaker with an extensive schedule of corporate coaching events for national companies including JPMorgan Chase.
As a recent breast cancer survivor, Valorie’s positive outlook and hope-filled message is impactful. She empowers her athletes to use their voices, to celebrate themselves, and to enjoy the elite sport that has damaged so many in the past. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share motivational and inspirational messages with the world through her book, Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance: Advice and Inspiration from the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame Coach of 7 NCAA Championship Teams, which was released in fall 2018 by the Hachette Book Group. It expounds on her life philosophy: “Don’t wait to see what life is going to hand you, take control of your life and design—choreograph it exactly how you want it to turn out.”
|MING GUO, M.D., Ph.D.
P. Gene & Elaine Smith Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Professor in Neurology and Pharmacology
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Ming Guo is a physician-scientist specializing in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dr. Guo sees internationally referred patients and runs a research laboratory. To find cures for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders, researchers employ two strategies: one is to investigate individual diseases and the other is to reverse aging to delay the onset of several age-related diseases. Dr. Guo works on both fronts. Her lab was the first in the world to discover that two PD genes function together to control mitochondrial quality and health. Dr. Guo has identified key genes that promote healthy mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) in PD and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Her work has far-reaching implications for therapies for age-related diseases, including AD, PD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and muscle frailty.
A sought-after speaker nationally and internationally, Dr. Guo has received numerous awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Foundation, the American Neurological Association (ANA), the National Institutes of Health (Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration), the John H. Walsh Young Investigator Research Prize, and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.
Dr. Guo is actively involved in the medical and scientific community at the national level. She has served as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and on the ANA Scientific Program Advisory Committee and the Program Committee for the Society for Neuroscience. She currently serves as a board member and Chair of the selection committee for the McKnight Foundation Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award, on the Scientific Advisory Committee and as the Leadership Coach for the A.P. Giannini Medical Foundation, and on the editorial board of the scientific journals Aging Cell and Current Opinion in Neurobiology.
|LAURIE BURROWS GRAD
Laurie Burrows Grad is a cookbook author, television chef, food journalist, and activist/fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association. She hosted her own cable TV cooking show, “Laurie Cooks Light & Easy,” which aired on The Learning Channel as well as The Travel and Living Channel. She is currently the editor-in-chief for one of the top food sites on the web, Epicurus.com, where she contributes regular features on travel and food. In the humanitarian arena, she is a highly regarded activist for the Alzheimer's Association of Los Angeles. Along with her husband Peter Grad, she created the annual, star-studded A Night at Sardi's fundraising dinner, and served as the event's chairperson for 24 years, raising more than 28 million dollars.
Since Peter’s sudden death in 2015, after 47 years of marriage, Laurie has written more than 120 blogs about grief on The Huffington Post and Thrive Global that have helped her and others around the world navigate their journeys through grief. In March 2018, Laurie’s book The Joke’s Over You Can Come Back Now: How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived was released. Also in 2018, Laurie joined the board of Our House Grief Center. Her website Lauriegrad.com has been a haven of support for widows and widowers.
Julianne Hough is an actress, dancer, singer, producer and Emmy Award-winning choreographer. She is a two-time professional champion and has appeared as a judge on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and has starred in such films as “Footloose,” “Rock of Ages,” “Safe Haven” and the recent “Bigger.” She earned rave reviews in the Emmy-winning live broadcast, “Grease: Live” and has hosted and produced two Miss USA broadcasts and various Disney holiday specials for ABC. She has been featured in numerous high-profile campaigns and is active in a wide range of philanthropic endeavors, charities and humanitarian efforts.
British entrepreneur, Forbes’ 30 under 30, and TV host Poppy Jamie is the founder of the mental well-being app Happy Not Perfect, and co-founder of the accessories line Pop & Suki. Poppy moved to the U.S. in 2013 and hosted the first talk show on Snapchat, “Pillow Talk with Poppy.” The following year, she set up her two enterprises with a dedicated focus on creating accessible tools to help the stress and anxiety levels of young people. Poppy recently joined the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors.
|DANA PEREL KATZ
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Dana graduated from Tufts University in 1987 with a degree in Political Science, subsequently returning home to start a career in commercial real estate. After 17 years, primarily involved with landlord and tenant representation at CBRE, she retired from commercial real estate. Throughout her career at CBRE, Dana actively participated in volunteer work, but most of her service work was at the Westside Family Y, where she is in her 23rd year on the board and served two non-consecutive terms as Board Chair for a total of 11 years. She and her husband also volunteer one week each summer to direct a YMCA resident camp program in Big Bear, California.
In 2007, the Katz Family Foundation established its most important philanthropic achievement to date: UCLA Operation Mend, a program for our nation’s most severely injured warriors who require specialty medical care. At the outset, Dana and her husband, Todd Katz, created a vital component of UCLA Operation Mend, known as the Operation Mend Buddy Family Program, which has grown significantly since the inception of Operation Mend. Dana currently serves as UCLA Operation Mend’s Volunteer Director of Community Engagement & Buddy Programs, building opportunities for organizations within the Los Angeles community (e.g., the Hammer Museum, UCLA Athletics, the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, the Geffen Playhouse, the Automobile Driving Museum, and the Los Angeles Rams) to engage the program’s participants. In her role with Operation Mend, Dana oversees the Buddy Program, which engages more than 300 volunteers, who are specifically matched with wounded warriors and their families in order to provide them with social support when visiting Los Angeles for evaluations and treatment at UCLA. In addition, she plays an active daily role in strategic initiatives and development.
Dana is a member of the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors and UCLA Women & Philanthropy. Her husband is an active partner in all of her work, as are her two children, Gracen (23) and Sara (22), and Todd’s two children, Hailey (23) and Sean (21). They live in West Los Angeles with their three dogs and a tank full of fish!
Lisa graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. She is an actress, producer and writer. Lisa is best known for her acting role as Phoebe Buffay on the television series “Friends.” She has also appeared in numerous films including "Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion," "Analyze This," and "The Opposite of Sex." Following her decade-long run of "Friends," Lisa and Dan Bucatinsky ("Scandal") co-founded Is or Isn’t Entertainment, through which she starred in and co-created the HBO series "The Comeback" with Michael Patrick King ("Sex and the City," "2 Broke Girls"). Lisa also co-created "Web Therapy" with Bucatinsky and Don Roos ("Single White Female," "The Opposite of Sex"), which was the first web series to move to the premium cable channel Showtime. Under the banner of Is or Isn’t Entertainment, Lisa and Dan Bucatinsky also are executive producers of the U.S. version of "Who Do You Think You Are?", a genealogy documentary series currently in its tenth season on TLC.
|ZHAOPING LI, M.D., Ph.D.
Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Human Nutrition
Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition
Chief, Division of Clinical Nutrition
Professor of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
Dr. Zhaoping Li is a Professor of Medicine, the Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and a Physician Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Li’s primary areas of research are the role of nutrition, phytochemicals, and microbiota in the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and common forms of cancer. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Journal of American Dietetic Association.
|LINDA M. LIAU, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Neurosurgery
Co-Director, UCLA Brain Tumor Center
W. Eugene Stern Chair in Neurosurgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Linda Liau is a Professor and the W. Eugene Stern Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Co-Director of the UCLA Brain Tumor Center. She is the Principal Investigator and Director of the NCI-designated UCLA Brain Cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence). She received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry and B.A. degree in Political Science, both with honors, from Brown University in 1987. She then received her M.D. degree from Stanford University in 1991, and a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from UCLA in 1999. After completing her residency and fellowship training in neurosurgery at UCLA, she joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine. She also has a M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Dr. Liau is currently a tenured Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a board-certified neurosurgeon with both an active research laboratory and a busy clinical practice in the field of brain tumors and neurosurgical oncology.
Dr. Liau has been the Principal Investigator on several research grants and clinical trials, and her work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past 20 years. She is the mentor for several NIH training grants for residents, fellows, and postdoctoral researchers in her laboratory. Her research interests include translational experimental therapeutics of cell-based immunotherapy for brain tumors and the characterization of biomarkers of response to immune-based therapies. She is internationally recognized for her achievements in understanding the immunology of malignant brain tumors and pioneering the use of dendritic cell-based vaccines for glioblastoma. Clinically, she has developed novel ways to map brain function during awake brain tumor surgeries, and specializes in surgery for brain tumors in eloquent areas. Dr. Liau has authored over 170 peer-reviewed research articles, along with several book chapters, and a textbook entitled Brain Tumor Immunotherapy. She is on the editorial boards of several scientific/medical journals and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology (2007–2017). She was the first woman President of the Western Neurosurgical Society (WNS), and currently serves as the Treasurer of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS). She has received numerous awards for her academic accomplishments and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2018.
On a personal note, Dr. Liau has been married to Dr. Marvin Bergsneider, also a neurosurgeon, for the past 21 years. She is the proud mother of two children: Brandon (age 20), currently a junior at Stanford University; and Bianca (age 17), who is now a senior in high school.
|KELSEY MARTIN, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Gerald S. Levey, M.D., Endowed Chair
Dr. Kelsey Martin is the Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Under her visionary leadership, scientific discoveries are being translated into innovative cures, health care injustice is being understood and addressed, and the next generation of scientific thought leaders and biotech entrepreneurs is being cultivated. Dr. Martin studied English and American Language and Literature at Harvard University as an undergraduate; went on to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she implemented a life-saving vaccine program; earned her M.D.-Ph.D. at Yale University; and did postdoctoral training with Eric Kandel at Columbia University. She has directed a molecular neurobiology laboratory studying learning and memory at UCLA as a faculty member since 1999.
Katelyn Ohashi a senior student-athlete on the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. She is a 2018 NCAA Team Champion, 2018 NCAA and Pac-12 Floor Exercise Co-Champion, 2018 Pac-12 Specialist of the Year, and a six-time All-American. Katelyn has scored seven career perfect 10s, including one at the 2019 Collegiate Challenge, which went viral. Among many other career highlights, Katelyn was the 2013 AT&T American Cup all-around champion and was a four-time member of USA Gymnastics' Junior National Team. She is a gender studies major, whose hobbies include writing, poetry, photography, working with homeless shelters, and going to the beach.
|TARA PERIS, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
Program Director, UCLA ABC Partial Hospitalization Program
Co-Director, UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program
Dr. Tara Peris is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She is the Program Director of the UCLA Achievement, Behavior, Cognition (ABC) Partial Hospitalization Program and the Co-Director of the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program. Her clinical interests are in developmental psychopathology, with a particular focus on evidence-based treatments for child and adolescent anxiety and related disorders. Her research interests center on developing strategies for optimizing treatment outcomes for difficult-to-treat cases of anxiety, OCD, and related conditions. Dr. Peris completed her graduate training at the University of Virginia and her clinical internship at the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. She is the recipient of a career development award from NIMH, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and awards from the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (OCF), the TLC Foundation, and The Friends of the Semel Institute, and she was the recipient of the 2016 early career award from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
|MAJOR (RET.) YOLANDA K. POULLARD
Major (Ret.) Yolanda Poullard hails from Jennings, Louisiana. She was commissioned Signal Corp Branch as a second lieutenant in 1996 upon graduation from Grambling State University. In addition to her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology, Yolanda holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from Trident University, with a certificate in Human Resources.
Yolanda Poullard served in the military for more than 18 years in a wide variety of different commands (jobs), including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Her military education includes the Signal Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Command and General Staff College and Defense Language Institute. In 2013, when stationed in Afghanistan, Yolanda sent her female engagement team on a regular mission to deliver books and personal hygiene items to a girls’ school in Zabul. Her team was attacked, resulting in the death of three of her comrades. In 2015, Yolanda medically retired from the Army.
Yolanda is married to Stacy Poullard. They have one daughter, Alanah, and one canine son, Boris.
Michele Ruiz is an entrepreneur, an author of a best-seller, a social media influencer, and a keynote speaker. She is CEO of several companies, BiasSync and Ruiz Strategies. She is an advisor to senior executives at Fortune 20 multinational corporations as well as to some of the highest-profile thought leaders and elected officials. She is a subject matter expert and a sought-after professional speaker. She has presented at events to international audiences including B2B businesses, women, entrepreneurs, lawyers, real estate professionals, corporate executives, entertainment groups, government contractors, government agencies, professional associations, nonprofit groups and more. Michele presents on topics including inspirational and motivational themes based on her life story. She also speaks on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, business communication, content marketing, crisis communications, social media, entrepreneurship, and thought leadership. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Michele Ruiz enjoyed a long career as an award-winning broadcast journalist and received 16 Emmy nominations during her news broadcasting career, five Emmy's, and four Golden Mikes, as well as Los Angeles Press Club Awards.
|NINA SHAPIRO, M.D.
Professor of Head and Neck Surgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director, Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat
UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
Dr. Nina Shapiro is Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Director of Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. As a medical communicator, she has appeared on CNN, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, and is a regular guest on the Emmy-award winning show "The Doctors." She is devoted to providing non-medical audiences with tools to better decipher the rapid-fire health information coming at us from all angles, and her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Business Insider, Marketwatch, and The Daily Beast, to name a few. She is a regular contributor to Forbes Health. Her book HYPE: A Doctor's Guide To Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims and Bad Advice—How to Tell What's Real and What's Not was named a Publisher's Weekly "Best Book of 2018."
Lisa Sigell is a multiple Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter/producer who is passionate about her work. For almost two decades her stories for CBS2 and KCAL9 focused on health and wellness and advances in medicine, as well as courageous people dealing with health issues and life-threatening illnesses. Her goal has always been to educate and inspire others to give back to those who need it most. Sigell’s “People Making A Difference” segment spotlighted people of all ages who were giving back or making the world a better place.
Lisa is involved in many philanthropic organizations, including Beauty Bus; Augie's Quest (ALS); the Children's Diabetes Foundation, supporting the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes; Race to Erase MS; Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and El Nido Family Centers. Sigell has been a strong advocate of organizations that promote mental health awareness and work to erase the stigma, promote research, and find new treatments. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Southern California and is originally from Portland, OR.
Maria Shriver is a mother of four, an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, a seven-time New York Times best-selling author, an NBC News Special Anchor, and the founder of the nonprofit The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.
A trailblazer for empowering women, Shriver uses her voice and her platforms to advance some of our nation’s most pressing issues affecting women and women’s health. In 2010, she partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association for the groundbreaking The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, which reported for the first time that women are at an increased risk for the disease. She founded The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement to raise awareness and funds to determine why women make up two-thirds of those with the disease.
Shriver is also executive producer of the Academy Award-winning film “Still Alice” and the Emmy Award-winning HBO series “The Alzheimer’s Project.” She also authored the first-ever coloring book for people with Alzheimer’s, Color Your Mind, and a children’s book about Alzheimer’s called What’s Happening to Grandpa?
She is the former First Lady of California and was just appointed to lead the state’s new Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force.
|JO SORNBORGER, Psy.D.
Director, Psychological Health Programs
UCLA Operation Mend
Dr. Jo Sornborger is the Director of the Operation Mend-FOCUS Psychological Health Program. As the Family Care Manager for UCLA Operation Mend, Dr. Sornborger provides family-centered psychological health care and resilience training to Wounded Warriors and their families. She served as Project Director of the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center’s Welcome Back Veterans research project that is studying the effectiveness of innovative interventions that promote resilience and help mitigate the negative psychological health effects of deployment for veterans and their families. Dr. Sornborger has expertise in the development and adaption of classroom and technology-based trauma-focused curricula and training programs. She served as project developer for Psychological First Aid (PFA) Online for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD), a highly interactive customized six-hour web-based training course to introduce relief workers and other professionals to the concepts of PFA. Dr. Sornborger has provided professional training and consultation to national, state, and local agencies on PFA and issues related to pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster interventions. She has provided training to Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and LAUSD in trauma and co-occurring disorders, specifically trauma and substance abuse. Dr. Sornborger is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has published her clinical research in a variety of academic and professional journals.
|JOHNESE SPISSO, M.P.A.
President, UCLA Health
CEO, UCLA Hospital System
Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
Johnese Spisso assumed the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy.
Before coming to UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years at UW Medicine where she was chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. While there, she played a major role in expanding collaborations with regional hospitals and helped to lead development of a statewide trauma system.
Spisso received a master’s degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College. She earned her R.N. at the St. Francis School of Nursing. She is a published author and
serves on several national boards.
|WENDY A. SUZUKI, Ph.D.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University, where she studies the effects of physical aerobic exercise on brain function. She is an award-winning scientist and teacher, sought after lecturer and author of the popular book Healthy Brain, Happy Life that was recently made into a PBS science special. Her TED talk was one of the top five most popular TED talks of 2018.
Director, Mindfulness Education
Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)
Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at the Semel Institute’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA. She is the author of The Little Book of Being and the co-author of Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness. She has taught mindfulness for health and well-being since 1999 in a range of settings, including healthcare, universities, businesses, nonprofits, and schools in the U.S. and internationally. Her work has been mentioned in The New York Times, O Magazine, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Allure, and Women’s Health, among others. She created the evidence-based Mindful Awareness Practices Program (MAPs), is the founding director of UCLA’s Training in Mindfulness Facilitation, and is a founding board member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. The LA Times calls her “one of the nation’s best-known teachers of mindfulness.”
|GAIL WYATT, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
Director, UCLA Sexual Health Program
Director, Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities
Associate Director, UCLA AIDS Institute
Dr. Gail Wyatt, building on her experience in developing measures that assess historical trauma, culturally congruent research methods, and conceptual frameworks, was the first American woman of color to be funded to lead the FIC-funded Phodiso (Healing) Project that has focused on the effects of Trauma and Mental Health on adults and children in South Africa since 2005. She works with universities and research centers across the country with a South African team of six and a UCLA team of four to train and mentor emerging scientists to conduct culturally congruent research on their people and in their own country. Nine of those first-authored articles were published in May 2017 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Policy and Practice, an APA journal, by Phodiso graduates. Their research datasets are now used to teach more than 200 undergraduate and 11 predoctoral scholars (thus far) from across the country to conduct research on the effects of trauma and mental health on risks for HIV/AIDS in the NIMH-funded Tirisano (working together) Project. They have established a pipeline to foster academic scientists, who are mentored by Phodiso faculty and past scholars, to identify issues—relevant to their life experience—that serve as barriers to health but also promote resilience. The success of these programs has supported Dr. Wyatt’s more than 250 publications, six books and 10 Congressional testimonies addressing health disparities domestically and internationally, and how to minimize inequities in health and in those who are funded to conduct research with underserved populations.
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Cece Feiler, MFT
Terry Hyman Hamermesh
RESNICK NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Laurie Gordon, Chair
Nancy Glaser, M.D., Founding Chair
Robin Berman, M.D.
Cece Feiler, MFT
Artha Gillis, M.D., Ph.D.
Terry Hyman Hamermesh
| David Lebowitz
Irwin Lehrhoff, Ph.D.
Huey Merchant, M.D.
Joshua Pretsky, M.D.
William J. Resnick, M.D.
Linda Samuels Victor
FRIENDS OF THE SEMEL INSTITUTE
Vicky Goodman, Founder and President
Carol Halperin, Vice President
Margot Calabrese, Vice President
Robyn Mandelberg, Ph.D., Secretary
Mary Burgoyne Snyder, Treasurer
Wendy Kelman, Director of Philanthropy
Deborah Davidson, Ph.D.
Nancy Glaser, M.D.
Jaega Haralambus, Esq.
Mary Ridings Herman
| Stephanie D. Lushing
Jun Oh, Esq.
Marvin S. Putnam, Esq.
Pardis Zomorodi, Esq.
FRIENDS OF THE SEMEL INSTITUTE
Donald S. Goodman
Rabbi Sherre Hirsch
Gail Kamer Lieberfarb
The Honorable Nancy Rubin
Elyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D.
|DIRECTOR, JANE AND TERRY SEMEL INSTITUTE FOR NEUROSCIENCE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR AT UCLA
Peter C. Whybrow, M.D.
Director, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology
Director, Mindful Awareness Research Center
Faculty Advisor, Friends of the Semel Institute
Michael R. Irwin, M.D.
DIRECTOR, STEWART AND LYNDA RESNICK NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL AT UCLA
FACULTY ADVISOR, UCLA RESNICK HOSPITAL BOARD OF ADVISORS
Thomas Strouse, M.D.