Center for Health Equity Research Team

Laura D'Anna, DrPH

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 currently serves as the principal investigator of an NIH-funded research training grant and a study funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. 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 and 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, BA
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

Jeff Wood, BA

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.

Kevin Pinkerton, MFA
Media Production Specialist

Kevin Pinkerton designs graphics for print and web media, produces and edits video for CHER, PPOWER and IPERT, and coordinates teleconferences for the CSULB Social Work Distance Ed MSW program. Mr. Pinkerton holds a BA in Film Production from the University of Alabama, an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Texas, and is currently pursuing an MS in Interactive Information Technology. Mr. Pinkerton produced several short films for the NIH-funded TIM Project, had projects selected for the Sidewalk, Austin and LA Film Festivals; and worked at Miramax Films, Wild West, Ghost House and other studios on screenplay development.

Laurie Jorgensen
Health Educator & Outreach Specialist

Laurie Jorgensen is a Health Education and Outreach Specialist for the PPOWER Project. She began her career in the field of human services 15 years ago at a drug and alcohol recovery center in Long Beach, CA. While attending Long Beach City College she realized her passion for helping others, and in 2013 began working at Behavioral Health Services (BHS) as a Case Manager/ Outreach Specialist for an HIV prevention project, identifying and providing services for young men who have sex with men (YMSM). She completed her Associates Degree in Human Services in 2016, followed by an Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Certificate in 2017. Her main goal is to empower young Black MSM with knowledge, education and tools, so they can make safe choices in their lives.

Jaelen Owens, BA
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 earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education from CSULB.

Lyka Trinidad, RN, MPH, PHN
Research Assistant

Lyka Trinidad has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of the Philippines and a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree from CSULB. She has a strong research and public health background with a demonstrated experience in managing surveillance systems, and monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS, and STI programs in the Philippines. Her other areas of interest include mental health, adolescent health and health education.

Wendy Nomura, Ed.D, M.P.H., P.T.
Event Coordinator

Dr. Wendy Nomura is a licensed Physical Therapist and faculty instructor in the CSULB Department of Health Science. Her research interests include transportation barriers and exercise benefits for seniors, condom usage, and multicultural health education. She has also served on committees for curriculum and lecturer development, program improvement and assessment, and technology accessibility. Dr. Nomura is a member of the CHER Institute and Webinar Series team, supporting research endeavors for proposal and manuscript development. Dr. Nomura holds a BS in Physical Therapy and a Masters of Public Health from CSULB, and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.

Zina Ogunnaya

Zina Ogunnaya serves as a Health Educator and Outreach Specialist for the PPOWER2 project. She matriculated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Public Health and Dance, Performance Studies. Her work in youth mentorship and research propelled her to combat health disparities through preventative health workshops. Zina has three years of youth engagement experience through Truth initiative- a national non-profit that has prevented over a million youth from smoking. She facilitates workshops that employs art as a creative gateway into mental health and substance prevention dialogue.