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Centering Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations – Bay Area Health Funders Group

Monday, March 1, 2021 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm PST
Zoom Meeting
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The COVID-19 vaccine will help keep communities healthy and safe and holds promise to bring an end to the pandemic that has had the most severe impacts on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant, and low-income people. Structural racism created the conditions that put people of color at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing more severe health outcomes, making it critically important that equity is centered in the vaccination effort. We must reach and authentically engage local communities to address concerns at the root of vaccine hesitancy, and increase vaccine acceptance and access.

Join the Bay Area Health Funders Group to:

Hear from public sector leaders and community partners to discuss how philanthropy can respond to support this massive effort to vaccinate all Californians.


Dr. Noha Aboelata, Chief Executive Officer, ROOTS Community Health Center
Noha Aboelata, MD, Founder/CEO, Roots Community Health Center has devoted her career to eliminating health disparities and improving the health of marginalized communities. Through Roots, founded in East Oakland, she has pioneered the delivery of culturally responsive “Whole Health,” and championed the integration of physical and behavioral health care, workforce enterprises, health navigation, and mobile medical services, to address the needs of over 10,000 members. She has overseen Roots’ growth from a 2-person volunteer effort to a multi-campus, multi-county non-profit with over 175 staff. Dr. Aboelata serves on the Board of Governors for the Alameda Alliance for Health and is the immediate past Chair of the Alameda Health System Board of Trustees. Prior to Roots, Dr. Aboelata, an Oakland native, served in senior executive roles for Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, the Native American Health Center in Oakland, and expanded publicly funded primary care services throughout the Bay Area. Dr. Aboelata earned her medical doctorate from Howard University School of Medicine and served as a National Health Service Corps Fellow.
Pedro Arista, Director, Hirsch Philanthropy Partners (moderator)
Pedro has dedicated his career to strengthening the most impactful cross-sector collaborations and community-based organizations in California and across the U.S. He has more than 15 years of experience eliminating health disparities in diverse communities by designing and implementing innovative initiatives with measurable outcomes. At the Hellman Foundation, managed by Hirsch Philanthropy Partners, Pedro evaluates the best and brightest cross-sector initiatives working on improving equity in the Bay Area and partners with them to achieve lasting success. Prior to his work with Hirsch, Pedro led the healthy eating and active living portfolio of grantmaking initiatives for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. To improve social determinants of health, he directed resources to outstanding community-based organizations while boosting their effectiveness with culturally relevant capacity-building support. He also advanced President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by providing capacity building to non-profits across the U.S. Pedro holds an M.P.H. from San Francisco State University, where he also served as faculty in the Department of Health Education, teaching courses on health policy and equity.
Sabra Matovsky, President & CEOSan Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
Ms. Matovsky joined San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium (SFCCC) in October 2017. She has worked with health center networks in San Diego for 13 years in progressive leadership positions, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Integrated Health Partners. Previously, she was the Administrator/Market Leader for the Care1st and Molina Health Care, Medi-Cal managed care plans, for a total of 8 years. She has a B.A. majoring in both Economics and Psychology from Oberlin College and an Executive MBA from San Diego State.
Dr. Rita Nguyen, Assistant Health Officer, and Chronic Disease Physician Specialist, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Dr. Rita Nguyen is an Assistant Health Officer for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Population Health Division and serves as the Chronic Disease Physician Specialist. In this role, she supports and provides thought leadership to chronic disease prevention efforts for the City and County of San Francisco. In 2015 she founded and has led the Food as Medicine Collaborative, which is a multisector collaboration that bridges healthcare and food systems to address food insecurity, support nutritional behavior change, and advance health equity. She is a practicing hospitalist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF.
Susan Watson, MPH, Director, Together Toward Health & CA4Health
Susan Watson is the Program Director for the COVID-19 equity initiative Together Toward Health, the CA4Health community of practice to advance chronic disease prevention and health equity across California, and the California Adolescent Health Collaborative that works to improve the wellness of youth across California. She is also managing a Community Health Fellowship program for The Health Trust. Previously, Ms. Watson has worked on projects with local health departments on accreditation and strategic planning, managed PHI’s Community Transformation Grant Initiative, worked at Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) on asthma disparities, and at the University of California, San Francisco and California Department of Public Health, Sexually Transmitted Control Branch on reproductive health issues. Her career has prioritized working on issues related to equity, community health, and the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement in San Francisco. Watson holds a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG members and nonmember funders.

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