Center for Health Equity Research Team

Laura D'Anna, DrPH
Director, CHER

Dr. Laura Hoyt D’Anna is Director of the Center for Health Equity Research and an Assistant Professor in the CSULB Department of Health Science. Her primary research interests are racial and ethnic health disparities and specifically, the relationships between social discrimination and health. Dr. D’Anna serves as the lead for The California Endowment’s Building Health Communities, Long Beach Learning and Evaluation Team, and she has over twenty years’ experience in the development, administration, and evaluation of public and community health agencies and programs. She gained extensive experience designing, implementing, and evaluating clinic-based behavioral STI/HIV risk-reduction interventions in her role as project manager for Project RESPECT. Project RESPECT was a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded multi-site randomized trial comparing the effect of a theory-driven HIV counseling and testing intervention with the CDC standard intervention and a minimalist intervention. Dr. D’Anna holds a doctorate in Public Health with an emphasis in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA School of Public Health, and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Long Beach.

Parichart Sabado, PhD
Director of Community Engagement & Evaluation

Dr. Parichart Sabado is Director of Community Engagement & Evaluation at the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) and a member of the Learning & Evaluation team of Building Healthy Communities Long Beach (BHCLB), a 10-year place-based initiative funded by The California Endowment to reduce health disparities in Central/West Long Beach. She has 8 years of experience in research and evaluation, most of which has been dedicated to working with community partners throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Prior to joining CHER, Dr. Sabado was the Project Director of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training (AANCART), the first research initiative funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to reduce cancer health disparities among Asian Americans.

Dr. Sabado holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California, a Master of Public Health degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Carol Canjura, PhD
Center Coordinator

Ms. Canjura is a program manager with over 15 years experience in health equity research related activities, program management, and administration. This includes qualitative and quantitative data collection among underserved, high risk populations in diverse settings, and the preparation of NIH proposal documents and IRB submissions. She currently serves as the Administrative Coordinator and Budget Manager for the RIMI Project, and is bicultural and bilingual

Annalyn Valdez-Dadia, DrPH, MPH
Evaluation Manager

Dr. Annalyn Valdez-Dadia is an Evaluation Manager at the Center for Health Equity Research. Current projects include research programs in Long Beach aimed at assisting victims of gang related human trafficking, and developing an evaluation plan to assess truancy rates in four schools. Prior to CSULB, she served as a Staff Research Associate at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Marjorie Kagawa-Singer. For nearly 14 years, she assisted with and implemented various mixed methods projects aimed at reducing breast and cervical cancer health disparities among diverse Asian American communities in Los Angeles and Orange County. Annalyn holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees (Asian American Studies and Social Sciences) from the University of California, Irvine, a Master of Public Health degree in International Health (now Global Health) from Loma Linda University, and a Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Services from UCLA. Her research interests are in cancer survivorship, cancer support groups, and patient navigation, in which direct access to cancer support services for patients and caregivers are of primary focus, as well as managing and developing healthcare access programs targeting underserved communities.

Jeff Wood
IT/ Data and Technical Resources Coordinator

Jeff Wood provides technical and data management support to CHER and the RIMI Project staff and faculty. Mr. Wood holds a BA degree in Sociology from Chapman University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Applied Sociology at CSULB. He has managed data collection, storage, and security, technical resources, and service delivery for HIV and STD prevention research programs for underserved populations since 1991.

C. Malotte, DrPH, MPH, MA
Founding Director & Current Scientific Advisor

Dr. C. Kevin Malotte, Professor Emeritus of Health Science at CSULB, is the Founder and former Director of the Center for Health Equity Research. With a career devoted to the development, implementation, and rigorous evaluation of theory-based behavioral interventions, he has been included as an author in over 85 peer-reviewed publications and was the principal investigator on three HIV prevention studies that were designated Effective Behavioral Interventions (EBIs) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was also a co-investigator on a CDC HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis study in Botswana, Africa, and was presented with the CSULB Academic Affairs Award for Impact Accomplishment of the Year in Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activity in 2013.

Jaelen Owens
Health Educator & Outreach Specialist

Jaelen currently works as a Health Educator & Outreach Specialist for the PPOWER Project. He is passionate about working and helping individuals within the LGBTQ Community. Jaelen will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education from CSULB.

Stephanie Sumstine
Graduate Research Assistant

Stephanie Sumstine is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for Health Equity Research. She received her Bachelor in Science degree from CSULB in Community Health Education and is finishing her Master in Public Health (MPH) degree from CSULB. Stephanie is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and has a profound interest in reducing health disparities among under-served populations. Stephanie’s MPH research experience involves racial/ethnic differences in mental health correlates of substance use and prescription stimulants among undergraduate college students. Her other research interests are in HIV prevention/risk reduction and youth development.