Meet The Restuccia Health Justice Fellows

Better Family Life

Candace Brown, MSW, LMSW

Candace Brown, MSW, LMSW is a Licensed Master of Social Work. She has 5 years of experience working with diverse children, youth, and families within legal, academic, and community-based settings. She has background experience in law, policy, and social work. She is passionate and committed to serving underserved communities by meeting their holistic and socioemotional needs. Candace currently serves as a Therapist/Practicum Coordinator at Better Family Life, Inc., located in St. Louis, MO. 

Terrance L. Cauley

Terrance L. Cauley is a former teacher and principal with over 20 years of experience in the field of education and positive youth development. Currently, he is the Sr. Director of the Department of Youth, Family & Clinical Services at Better Family Life. He is also a recent 2019 NIOST Fellow at Wellesley College, of Boston, M.A. where his research assessed cultural socialization in a study titled, "The Positive Effects of Cultural Pride Reinforcement (CPR) for African American Youth," which analyzed racial/ethnic cultural identity development techniques as employed and experienced by African American youth. 

Simona J Charles, MSW, BBM (Shoshone/Paiute/Latina)

Simona J Charles, MSW, BBM (Shoshone/Paiute/Latina) is a member of the sovereign nations of Mexico and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Simona currently serves as the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Project Manager/Job and Training Coordinator for Better Family Life’s Youth, Family, and Clinical Services. In Simona’s downtime she enjoys traveling, a designer, dancing, public speaker, activist, educator, volunteer, event coordinator, mother, grandmother, and Gamma Delta Pi member. Simona is also the proud owner of Kwe’na’a Heights Consulting, LLC.

Disability Policy Consortium (DPC)

Kimberly Bradshaw

Kimberly Bradshaw currently works as the Human Resources Manager for Disability Policy Consortium, she has over 20 years of experience working with small companies, public agencies and non-profit organizations. Kimberly is passionate about connection, inclusion, the power of human kindness, fair access and creating environments that foster connection and support. She is a solo mom who enjoys being with her 8-year-old son, exploring their multi-cultural heritage, dancing, volunteering and being in nature. 

Leslie Diaz

Leslie Diaz serves as DPC's Director of My Ombudsman, a program that helps Medicaid recipients in Massachusetts (MassHealth members) exercise their rights so they can access the healthcare services they need. My Ombudsman aims to help strengthen MassHealth policies that will lead to equitable and accessible health care. Prior to working at DPC, Leslie was a vision therapist, assisting all age groups with vision issues that arose from disability or traumatic brain injury. She also volunteered as a Spanish-English medical interpreter at a health clinic aiding migrant farm workers in Connecticut. Leslie is a proud Peruvian-American, a daughter of immigrants, and an advocate for health equity. 

Jerry John Marcel

Jerry is the lead ombudsman for the My Ombudsman program at the Disability Policy Consortium. Prior to this position, Jerry maintains a strong case management background and has worked with the homeless population, veterans, elderly, people with disabilities, and people struggling with addiction. He is an advocate for the fair and equal treatment of any marginalized community.

Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC)

Seciah Aquino, DrPH, MS

Dr. Seciah Aquino is the Deputy Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. Throughout her career, Dr. Aquino has worked to address health inequities across the nation. From serving as a promotora in LA County to advancing policy work at the State level through the Legislative and Executive branches of the Massachusetts State Government. Most recently, she led the public benefits portfolio at the California Immigrant Policy Center where she successfully advanced affirmative policy strategies to address social determinants of health and led over 150 organizations in the state-wide response to the Federal Public Charge threats as the chair of the California Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition. 

Rosa Flores

Rosa Flores is the Director of Programs at LCHC. With roots as a community organizer, she brings years of experience to our team on community mobilization on issues relating to health equity, migrant rights, education, climate action, and youth and women's leadership development. Most recently, Rosa was the Migrant Health Program Supervisor at Vista Community Clinic, where she led multiple health programs that elevated farmworkers' access to comprehensive healthcare services and that enacted community-led policy, systems, and environmental changes around healthy food access, the creation of safer community spaces, and public transit infrastructure improvement. 

Mar Velez, MPH, MCP

Mar Velez is Director of State Policy at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. Mar’s expansive experience in advocacy, research, and local, state, and federal government provides her with unique insight to advance equity, justice, and accountability for public good. Previously Mar was a Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Barbara Lee where she oversaw the criminal justice, Latinx, and women’s rights district issues portfolio. She has worked with grassroots leaders and organizations, particularly in the criminal and youth justice field, to pass and promote public safety measures at the state and local levels for positive health and life outcomes for youth. 

 

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