Dr. Ilan Shapiro
Dr. Ilan Shapiro’s passion as a physician is to make health information actionable to improve the wellbeing of our communities. Dr Shapiro is Senior Vice President and Chief Health Correspondent and Medical Affairs officer for a one of the largest (serving over 350,000 patients) national Federal Qualified Health Centers in Southern California, AltaMed Health Services.
Dr. Shapiro joined AltaMed in 2016 as the Medical Director of Health Education and Wellness, where he helped to create programs that prevent and manage chronic disease in children and adults, as well as assisting patients facing economic hardship, food insecurity, and mental health challenges. Most recently, Dr. Shapiro has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as a leading source of education and information and a trusted media resource on both national and international news outlets, including CNN, NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, and Univision.
Trained as a Pediatric Resident at Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital in Chicago, he has practiced as a pediatrician in Florida and California. He is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics; a creator of Binational Public Health Programs to reach Latino communities on both sides of the border; a member of the White House Hispanic Policy Group; and a member of the board (and Treasurer) at LA Care, the largest public nonprofit health plan in the United States.
Born and raised in Mexico City, where he received his medical education, he was the liaison between Mexico and the World Health Organization (WHO). He was recognized for his commitment to public health with the highest Mexico national award for service to Mexican citizens abroad: The Othli.
Dr. Elisa Nicholas
Elisa Nicholas, MD, MSPH is a pediatrician and CEO of TCC Family Health (TCC)* and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Nicholas’ long-term passionate commitment and experience in partnering with underserved, vulnerable patients and families to lead healthier and happier lives has driven her career and the success of TCC, as an innovative and inclusive federally qualified health center system with 13 sites and a mobile medical clinic, serving over 40,000 patients of all ages in 140,000 visits per year. She has dedicated her life to serving and advocating for the multicultural and multiethnic community of Long Beach for over 30 years. As a child, Dr. Nicholas dreamed of improving the world and thought the best way to do that was through medicine. She attended UCLA School of Medicine, completed her pediatrics residency at Yale University and her preventative medicine residency and a Master of Science of Public Health (MSPH) as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA. She has lived, worked, and studied throughout the world, including Lebanon, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti, before settling closer to family. Dr. Nicholas advocates for and strives for health equity and embraces, honors and celebrates the strengths of and resiliency of the ethnically diverse, multicultural community that TCC serves.
Dr. Nicholas has designed, led and overseen pioneering projects and initiatives in childhood obesity and asthma and is leading contributor to the field of trauma informed care and resiliency building with a strong presence in Long Beach and throughout the state as an educator, organizer, and partner. Early on in her career noting increasing rates of childhood obesity, Dr. Nicholas lead efforts focusing on addressing childhood obesity at the clinical sites revising practices, developing healthy lifestyles goal sheets, training staff in motivational interviewing and engaging patients and families as partners to raise awareness and address the issues. She developed relationships with programs in LA County and beyond to link families with external programs like Kids Shape and Healthy Eating, Active Living projects. Pivotal to holistically addressing the obesity epidemic was the creation of the Long Beach Alliance for Food and Fitness, funded in 2005 as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Fitness Initiative. Focusing systems and policy changes to make the “healthy choice the easy choice”, TCC partnered with and provided opportunities for community members to discover their power and voice and mentor each other, build skills in leadership, advocacy and to speak to policy issues and solutions. Many advocacy efforts have been successful such as park funding, limiting sugary drinks in vending machines at parks and making school meals healthier.
Most recently, Dr. Nicholas has been focusing on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the food insecurity our families face. TCC recently broke ground on a new site, TCC Family Health and Wellness, which will be located in Cambodia Town, Long Beach, CA, adjacent to a local park and library. This new site will bring 10,000 sq. ft. health center space and an 8,000 sq. ft. wellness space, including a teaching kitchen and 4,000 sq. foot open courtyard and will partner with BRIDGE Housing to provide affordable housing above the health and wellness center. In this new site, Dr. Nicholas looks forward to celebrating diversity and addressing health, economic and social inequities and to promote healing and wellness. As the granddaughter of a produce man and the great granddaughter of a French Chef, Dr. Nicholas enjoys cooking, adapting recipes to be healthier, and cooking and sharing food with others.
Dr. David Skaggs
Dr. Skaggs is renowned for his expertise in the treatment of children with spinal deformity and trauma. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and delivered over 750 national and international lectures. Dr. Skaggs has designed 5 lines of spinal implants and developed numerous surgical techniques adopted world-wide. He has trained over 30 pediatric orthopaedic fellows, and hundreds of residents and medical students. He greatly enjoys mentoring, teambuilding and engaging in leadership topics.
He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College where he was a NCAA All-American in the 400M hurdles. He completed his medical degree, residency, and research fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His Pediatric and Spine Fellowship was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Dr. Skaggs serves as the Co-Editor in Chief of Orthobullets, the top orthopedic educational internet presence with over one hundred million page views annually. He has edited multiple editions of the top selling textbook in the field of pediatric orthopaedics, and well as editing 2 other texts which are purchased for trainees throughout the country’s top institutions. He is the Founding President of the Pediatric Spine Foundation and is the Treasurer of the Scoliosis Research Society and served on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.
Dr. Skaggs is quick to say his most important job is his family. His daughter Kira is a orthopaedic resident at Stanford University. Jamie is the first employee of a start-up biotech hedge fund, and Clay is on an Air Force scholarship at Yale. His wife Valerie Ulene is the principle of Clear View Health, a health care navigation company. He also enjoys working out, socializing, bad jokes, and playing golf poorly.
Dr. Roger Brossmer has been a part of the Downey educational team since 1995, beginning as a science teacher and continuing as a vice-principal, principal, and director of the Downey Adult School before moving onto the district level in Certificated Personnel and Secondary Education. His work has touched hundreds of employees and thousands of students over the decades, from earning grants in the millions of dollars, establishing new and innovative CTE pathways, and working on using essential standards to ensure students can demonstrate proficiency in subject requirements by the end of their current grade.
In his role overseeing the technology department since 2011, Brossmer has led this team to develop and implement a district-wide technology integration plan that enabled Downey to apply for and receive five Apple Distinguished Schools recognitions. In 2020 he helped create a smooth transition to distance learning with Canvas Learning Management System, empowering teachers to lead and learn through the use of technology best practices and ongoing training. He was instrumental in implementing specialized schedules in secondary schools by working with site and union leaders, adding periods to the school day to allow students to receive interventions during the social-emotional and academic challenges of the pandemic.
In addition to his dedicated work in the district, Brossmer served as mayor of Downey from 2008 to 2016 and on the Planning Commission for the city from 2001 to 2008, working not only to foster stronger relationships between the city and schools but to help develop collaborative responses to the needs and issues within the greater community.
Georgia Ann Lazo
Georgia Ann Lazo has a broad range of experience in educational leadership including teaching, instructional coaching, counseling, and administration. She has taught at the elementary and secondary levels and has taught graduate level courses for aspiring school administrators at UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute for the past ten years. Georgia currently co-teaches a course in Democracy, Democratic Leadership, and Public Accountability. She is currently the Principal of UCLA Lab School, a historic school with a mission of research and public engagement. She is also the founding principal of the UCLA Community School, a unique partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and UCLA supporting UCLA’s initiative of civic engagement and public scholarship. Georgia also has expertise in schooling experiences that address juvenile justice issues. Georgia earned her doctorate from UCLA where she also obtained a Masters degree in Urban School Leadership. She holds a separate Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and earned her Bachelors degree in English from the University of California, Irvine. Georgia is fluent in Spanish and loves reading, dance, concerts, sports events and travel. She lives with her teenage son in Los Angeles.
Dr. Tonikiaa Orange
Dr. Tonikiaa Orange serves as the Director for the Culture and Equity Project (CEP) and is the Assistant Director for the Principal leadership Institute (PLI) at UCLA Center X. Her commitment to education spans over 25 years and she has a focus on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy and is the co-developer of the Reciprocal Learning Partnerships for Equity Coaching Framework. As the Director for CEP and Assistant Director for PLI, her work focuses on preparing the next generation of social justice leaders to transform and create equitable and culturally responsive educational spaces for all students.
Prior to UCLA, she was a math and science teacher and principal of a k-8 school in Los Angeles that was specifically designed to serve Standard English Learners and Emergent Bi-Lingual Learners through culturally linguistic and responsive pedagogy. She served as a Program Manager for Chicago Public Schools in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, and was a Senior Program Officer for the Los Angeles California Children and Families First Commission where she co-developed initiatives and grant giving priorities for school readiness, child abuse, and strategic planning. In addition, she worked as a Senior Evaluation Consultant for an evaluation firm based in New York where she conducted evaluations on urban school reform initiatives across the country.
Dr. Orange received her Ed.D in Administrative and Policy Studies, with a concentration in evaluation, from the University of Pittsburgh. She received a M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Politics and Education and a M.A. from UCLA in Education.
The Gasol Foundation US’ Advisory Board provides expertise and a professional network focused on children’s wellness. These medical and educational experts — all are doctors in their field — help Gasol Foundation US improve our service to children (and their families).