Cal-IHEA Team

Camille Cooley

Health Policy Fellow

Camille Cooley is a first-year MPH student in Health Policy and Management. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University, where she studied Human Development and Psychological Services, with a minor in Global Health studies. Camille has experience conducting health services research focused on delivery system transformation. Prior to graduate school, Camille spent time at Northshore University Health Systems’ Research Institute where she focused on research aimed at optimizing disease diagnosis and care management. She later transitioned into a role at NORC at the University of Chicago where she spent two years working as a research analyst in their healthcare department, supporting federal and state evaluations for agencies like CMS and PCORI. Her interests include disability policy, particularly for adults and their aging caregivers, improving access to care for low-income populations and immigrant communities, accountable care organizations, alternative payment models, and Medicaid policy.

Luis Garay

Undergraduate Assistant

Luis Garay is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced studying Public Health and completing his pre-requisites for medical school. He is currently involved with the Health Promotion department on campus as a Peer Health Educator where he can connect, educate, and advocate for student wellbeing. His interests include learning about community health and how social factors such as health determinants, health disparities and many other factors contribute to the lack of quality healthcare for Latinx communities, specifically in the Central Valley.

Alein Y. Haro, MPH

Research Fellow sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail) 

Alein Y. Haro, MPH is a Cal-IHEA research fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Health Policy at University of California, Berkeley, who aims to develop avenues for change in health policy and healthcare practice to improve equity. Alein is a UCLA MPH and BA graduate whose area of study focuses on the manner in which immigrants navigate through the health sector despite federal laws that limit their healthcare access. Most recently, she conducted immigrant health research at the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.  She also worked with the General Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles to explore how local agencies collaborated along with the consulate’s Ventanillas de Salud to integrate and facilitate the access of health services for low-income Latino populations.  Her research interests include legal status as a social determinant, health policy, and structural racism, and seeks to use her training to effectively address health inequalities and enable structural change across the nation.  

Camila Hurtado, MS

Research Fellow sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Camila Hurtado, MS is a research fellow with Cal-IHEA and a medical and graduate student of the UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program and PRIME-US program. Her graduate work is focused on developing policy solutions to increase the affordability of insulin for low-income populations across California. Camila also serves as the Vice President of Policy for the northwest region of the Latino Medical Student Association, and is a founding member and grant writer of the White Coats for Black Lives chapter at UC Berkeley. She became dedicated to working towards equity through health administration and policy after working at a Federally Qualified Health Center and earning an MS from UCSF in Global Health Sciences. Her interests include addressing social determinants of health through medicine, health administration, and health policy. 

Martin Kyalwazi

Research Fellow

Martin Kyalwazi is a research fellow with the California Initiative for Health Equity and Action (Cal-IHEA) and a MD/PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. Originally from Sacramento, California, Martin's research examines how state and national policies can incentivize innovation in  healthcare delivery systems serving marginalized communities. Prior to joining Cal-IHEA, Martin had wide range of health care and research experiences, including but not limited to work with the NYC Department of Health, Ariadne Labs of Harvard University’s School of Public Health , and ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  Martin earned his BA in Nueroscience and Behavior from Columbia University.

Teja Pattabhiraman

Program Policy Analyst sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Teja Pattabhiraman is a policy analyst with Cal-IHEA, responsible for evidence briefings and project management. Teja is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Neurobiology.  She is interested in environmental justice and environmental health policy, and aims to drive change in this domain by engaging in research and policy.

Denise D. Payán, PhD, MPP

Deputy Director and Assistant Professor of Health Policy

Dr. Denise D. Payán is Cal-IHEA’s Deputy Director and is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Public Health at UC Merced. Her research interests include examining the health policymaking process; evaluating interventions to address obesity and nutrition-related health disparities; and understanding how policy impacts health behavior. She also conducts state and local policy surveillance research and is committed to advancing community health and policy research to address existing health inequities.

Dr. Payán obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and an M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School. She received a B.A. in History and Science from Harvard College. She was also a Health Services Research post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the RAND Corporation.

Hector P. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Faculty Director and Professor of Health Policy and Management sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

(510) 642-4578

Dr. Hector P. Rodriguez is Cal-IHEA's Faculty Director and the Kaiser Permanente Endowed Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research (CHOIR) at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  His expertise is in organizational analysis and performance measurement in health care delivery and local public health systems. He has published extensively on the measurement of patient care experiences, the impact of delivery system interventions on patient outcomes, and health care disparities among U.S. Latinos. He received is BA in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego, MPH in Health Policy and Administration from UC Berkeley, and PhD in Health Policy/ Medical Sociology from Harvard University.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and recipient of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration’s Prize.

Karen Shore, PhD

Policy and Evaluation Consultant sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail) 

(510) 384-2509

Karen Shore, PhD, is a Cal-IHEA consultant and has over 25 years of experience in health policy and health services research. Prior to her work with Cal-IHEA, she led the California Health Policy Forum, which provided an independent platform for education, idea sharing, and conversations among legislative and executive branch staff on health policy issues. She previously directed a project supporting 24 communities across the U.S. working to improve health care quality and manage costs.  Dr. Shore was also previously a principal research scientist with the American Institutes for Research's Health Program, a consultant at Reden & Anders, a senior project manager at the Pacific Business Group on Health, and a health policy analyst for the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission in Washington, DC. Dr. Shore has a master's degree in health services.

Denzel Tongue

Health Policy Fellow sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Denzel Tongue is an Oakland native and a first-year MPP student at the Goldman School of Public Policy. He graduated Cum Laude from Occidental College with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Public Health. Following graduation, he returned to his hometown to work on health equity initiatives in Alameda County. While serving as the Health Equity Fellow at The Greenlining Institute he led Greenlining's workforce development and Boys and Men of Color portfolios. Following the completion of his fellowship, he transitioned into a role with The California Immigrant Policy center where he spent two years helping lead a statewide campaign focused on expanding Medi-Cal access to undocumented immigrants. Denzel is a dogged health equity advocate who aspires to improve health outcomes for BIPOC and low-income communities in the East Bay Area. He currently serves as an opinion columnist with The California Health Report. Denzel's interests include eliminating structural health inequities through health policy and racial equity initiatives.