Who We Are
We Support U is a community-based nonprofit organization providing a support services for individuals and families in San Diego County.
To revive, renew, and restore confidence, empowerment and self-esteem in every individual facing a cancer diagnosis.
Is to improve cancer prevention, screening and survival among
under served, low-income communities and to be comprehensive
link between healthcare providers, cancer patients and their families and community resources.
Is to improve health prevention, screening and survival among undeserved, low-income communities and to be the comprehensive link between healthcare providers, cancer patients and their families and community resources.
Bertha Tiznado, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, relocated to San Diego after completing her basic education to begin a profession in health as a Certified Medical Assistant. While growing her career, she discovered her true calling in working with cancer patients as a case manager. Her passion and dedication to her patients earned her an invitation to join the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. The following sixteen years, she gained recognition within this community by participating on lead committees for Celebrando MANA “Dia de la Mujer”, National Training Partnership Advisory board, San Diego County Promotores Coalition, Study Advisory Committee at the San Diego Biomedical Research Institute and the Mexican Consulate’s BiNational Health Week; as well as contributing to numerous local and national conferences, newspapers, radio, and television shows. Her experiences at Y-ME strengthened her commitment to finding new research and technologies that would better serve those in need. Bertha quickly recognized the need for better education, preventative measures, and treatment options in the South Bay, and created a Health Promoter Program for San Diego. The program is comprised of over thirty young enthusiastic volunteers and cancer survivors who strive to educate the community on the benefits of prevention and early detection of cancer. Currently, Ms. Tiznado serves as the Business Liaison for UC San Diego Radiation Oncology South Bay. There, she utilizes her skills and experience through business development and marketing in the US and Mexico. At the same time, she manages the Health Promoter Program, offering care and support to its patients. Bertha begins each day striving to help patients in need and further educate the community. Her job allows her to take a holistic approach while tending to her patients and continuously improve their medical care. She describes her work as very rewarding and feels fortunate that her co-workers share her passion and devotion. Bertha believes everyone deserves to understand their options and opportunities, and to realize they are not alone. She serves as an inspiration to those she works with, and continues to bring hope to many people in the fight against cancer.
Oscar Medina has over 26 years of experience in the healthcare field. He has successfully managed all aspects of international business development for healthcare firms involved in expansion of services to Latin American countries. His expertise in contract evaluation and negotiations, financial analysis, and development of business plans has resulted in the development of various successful strategic enterprises. Mr. Medina has successfully negotiated with many high profile healthcare companies, as well as state and county agencies in the United States and Mexico. Most recently, Mr. Medina has successfully developed, as founding partner, Strategic P.E.T Solutions International, a California Limited Liability Corporation. Mr. Medina’s analytical skills have been instrumental in identifying critical issues and effectively implementing solutions that have international business experience in the private sector. He has expertise is in contract evaluation and negotiations, financial analysis, development of business proforma, development of business plans and initiating strategic successful enterprises. During Mr. Medina’s tenure he has led to successfully obtaining all necessary regulatory nuclear commission licenses and permits to practice P.E.T scan diagnostic testing in Tijuana, Baja California, the first P.E.T scan in all Northern Mexico.
Mr. Medina is currently the President and one of the founders of Cancer Circle Network of Healing, dba “We Support U” a non-profit organization to help cancer patients and their families deal with this devastating disease. In addition, he currently serves as a board member at the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation and has served on sub-committees for the Department of Health Services for the State of California, San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, KPBS Committee for Better Education, and Coachella Valley Health Partnership. He also has served as a Board member for the Border View YMCA and as Honorary Chairman for the Business Advisory Council.
Mr. Garcia has been founder and President of different groups that assist the Latino community. He has more than eighteen years of experience in this area.
Mr. Garcia understands first-hand how difficult it can be to get to the United States, without speaking the language or without knowledge of immigration laws and the American system. He arrived in the United States undocumented and with the dream of success. This dream and this experience impelled him to understand the needs and to feel compassion for the Latino community.
It was due to these experiences that he realized the need of our Latino community to receive correct information from honest professionals who will not take advantage of their situation.
Rafael Garcia has fought and achieved an extensive and successful career in marketing. Working with large companies such as Telemundo San Diego, Telemundo Las Vegas, Univision Radio, Azteca America, NBC Universal, Zulaica Media, and currently performing successfully at Talamantes Immigration Law Firm. This experience has helped him to build important relationships with these great companies by helping the community by getting honest professionals to represent and benefit people in their different needs.
Liliana Osorio is the Deputy Director of the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA), at the School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley. Since joining HIA in 2002, Liliana has led and collaborated on several projects, including the coordination of the annual Binational Health Week, one of the largest mobilization efforts in the Americas to improve the wellbeing of Latino immigrants. Ms. Osorio has coordinated and implemented several other projects including the Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Public Health, the Summer Institute on Migration and Global Health, the Research Program in Migration and Health, and the Binational Promotores Program. She has also managed several statewide campaigns in California targeting Spanish-speaking Latinos, including campaigns to increase influenza vaccinations, enroll in Covered California and to prevent the spread of Zika.
Ms. Osorio is the editor of four editions of the “English - Spanish Dictionary of Health Related Terms.” She has also co-authored several other publications including educational manuals for community health workers and fact sheets on migrant health issues. Ms. Osorio is Advisory Committee Member of the Promotores de Salud Initiative at HHS Office of Minority Health, Member of the National Diabetes Education Program Hispanic/Latino Stakeholder Group, and Member of the San Diego Promotores Coalition where she currently serves as Treasurer. Ms. Osorio received her bachelor’s degree in Social Communication and Journalism in Colombia, and her master’s degree in Public Health at San Diego State University.
Chantal Tovar is a second generation Mexican/American who was born in Los Angeles, CA. Her family moved to San Diego when she was 9 years old. She grew up in the community of Logan Heights and is bilingual/bicultural. She loves to travel, read personal development books, and help animals. She is married and has four sons (two biological, two step sons). Hobbies include roller derby/roller skating, hiking, meditation, and practicing minimalism.
Chantal has worked for Family Health Centers of San Diego for 20 years. During those years she has worked in adult health education around topics such as adolescent reproductive health, family violence prevention, and mental health access. For the past 5 years she has been Clinic Director for the Lemon Grove Family Health Center.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College. She also has a certificate in Meeting and Events Planning from San Diego State University and is certified through Honsha as a LEAN Instructor for 5S and Kaizen. She is the first person in her family to earn a college education.
She has the goal of becoming a certified financial coach in the near future so that she can help others get out of personal debt.
Chantal believes in servant leadership, compassion for others, and setting a good example for those around her.
Michelle Darnelle is the Operations Business Development Manager and 340-B Hospital and Clinic Director for Medical Center Pharmacy and has been in the pharmacy business for over 35 Year. She has had responsibilities for business planning enterprise accountability, research and development, marketing sales and services, managing of 340-B accounts for hospitals and clinics in San Diego County and North County. Prior to joining Medical Center Pharmacy, Michelle Darnelle worked at Community Medical Center Pharmacy as the Operations Manager with responsibilities for servicing 340-B clinics, doctor clinics, discharge hospitals, and over 400 residential care facilities in San Diego County.
Jesus Omar Partida
Jesus Omar Partida is the founder and CEO of Molecular iQ Corp. He holds a postgraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego in Nuclear Medicine. He was also trained in nuclear pharmacology and as a cyclotron operator. He has successfully launched more than 50 cancer centers and molecular imaging facilities throughout the United States, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Mr. Partida creates strategic partnerships with healthcare systems, governments, medical equipment manufacturers, and clinicians. He brings years of experience in physician training, contracting, sales and marketing, and clinical operations to these agreements, bringing a realistic, yet visionary approach to joint venture goals. His entrepreneurial skills were integral in many of RadNet, Inc., initiatives, where he worked for 13 years as a Director of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT, Director of Operations, Vice President of International Development, and Vice President of Strategic Development. Mr. Partida launched and managed RadNet’s largest international partnership with the State of Qatar for delivery of a nationwide, population based cancer screening program. His successful management of all clinical, regulatory, operational, and multilingual
media initiatives in the project resulted in an increase in screening—in line with the KPIs.
Mr. Partida has led many clinical research initiatives with many pharmaceutical companies. He has successfully launched and commercialized Molecular Imaging and Therapies in diverse patient populations—resulting in new medical advances in the marketplace.
LaShawn Williams, a native of Chester, South Carolina, entered active Naval Service on 05 March 1990. Her first tour of duty was to USS MCKEE (AS 41), where she deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. She later reported to the USS CAPE COD (AD 43) and was approved for a career conversion to Religious Program Specialist.
In August 2001, she reported to Commander, Amphibious Group THREE where she earned her Associates Degree in Business Administration and Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration. She was also Commander, Naval South West Region Woman of the Year 2002 and Commander, Amphibious Group THREE Sailor of the Year 2003.
Her next tour of duty was to NEW ORLEANS (LPD 18) where she was selected as Commander, Pacific Fleet Religious Program Specialist of the Year 2006 and promoted to Chief Petty Officer. In July 2007, she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Prior to her last military assignment at Commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific, Senior Chief Williams was assigned as the Alcohol and Drug Control Officer for Commander, THIRD Fleet. In 2013, she earned a Master of Science in Health Administration and a Master of Business Administration. Her military decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Volunteer Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and various other unit awards.
In March 2016, LaShawn concluded over 26 years of honorable military service. In her current position, she operates as a Medical and Dental Clinic Services Manager with San Ysidro Health and also as an Adjunct Professor with California College San Diego. In her spare time, she volunteers and serve as a member of Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary.
Laura Hernandez is a San Diego native with deep Texas roots. She is from a very large blended family, her siblings range from 1 year younger to 6-20 years older than her, talk about diversity; it was built-in with her family. Laura states she is married to her best friend for 34 years now – Laura stated early on Mr. Hernandez was a lot of work, but a keeper; they both continue to put in the in the work and from my experience, it is a joy to be around them both. Laura is the mother to three intelligent, loving adults, and “Nani” to the most amazing little girls; 10-year old Maleiah Lorie and baby sister 9-month old Olivia Esperanza.
In 1990 her husband started a business, they had no capital, no real equipment, three babies, a mortgage, two car notes and no health insurance- WHAT, they had faith and were willing to go against the grain,- by Laura returning to the workforce; In 1991 Laura pursued a job with the County of San Diego which she insisted was for a little while until the business could meet all of their financial needs. 29 years later she continued to work for Health and Human Services. She has served in several positions working on the front line, a Human Services Supervisor, a State Fair Hearing Representative, a County Administrative Hearing Officer, an Agency Operations Program Specialist, (at which point she was also a full time student), a Project Manager responsible for the first conversion of 250,000 cases being converted to virtual files as cornerstone for the largest business process redesign HHSA had undergone in its history, a Human Services Program Manager with oversight of CalWORKs and Welfare to Work locally and representing San Diego for those Programs in Sacramento, and for the last three years she was a Human Services Operations Manager with a staff of approximately 180 employees until she retired on February 27, 2020.
In 2009 when her youngest child was a sophomore at SDSU, she decided to go back to school with him and get her bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Public Administration, she completed her education in 2014.
One of the greatest opportunities in her career has been to become one of five Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructors for her Agency. MHFA... think of it as CPR for Mental Health. Laura has a love for people and has always exhibited a willingness to serve. Her meekness is controlled strength as she will advocate for people struggling. Her love and desire to serve is what pushed her towards wanting to ensure the clients/participants served on her watch had their emotional and physical needs met as well as their financial needs. Mental wellness became a passion of Laura’s long before it was politically correct to speak of it.
Silvia A. Aldama
Oncology practice of Dr. Kousay Al-Kourainy
Silvia is a graduate of Concord Business College in San Diego with a degree in Medical Office Management. After completing her externship she joined the Oncology practice of Dr. Kousay Al-Kourainy in 1988 as the receptionist and soon became the Practice Administrator. Silvia has a passion for helping patients and in the past 25 years with the practice she has helped them achieve positive outcomes during their cancer care experience.
Mery Lopez Gallo
Dr. Community Affairs / Univision Radio
Graduate student from San Diego School of Broadcasting: this year marks her 15th anniversary with Univision Radio where she originally started as the creative writer/translator for their two stations and transitioned to radio personality and current Director of Community Affairs. Mery has been instrumental in helping to raise $5.1 million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (through annual Radio-thons). She is a dedicated supporter of several non-profit organizations, currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Foundation for the Children of the California’s, The Chicano Federation and the Teatro Mascara Magica. Mery was invited by the Mexican Government to serve on their nationwide advisory board for the Institute of the Mexicans Abroad from 2009 to 2012. As part of that effort, she headed the Media commission and was recognized by IFE, Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute, for her instrumental role in creating a campaign to promote the vote among Mexicans living in the US during the 2012 Mexican presidential elections. She is the Executive Producer /host of “De Viva Voz”, Univision Radio’s Sunday morning Community Affairs show. With her approximately 700 shows to date, she has empowered the Hispanic community with important information, interviewing representatives from major government agencies and other organizations from both sides of the border.
MEDICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Kevin Murphy M.D.
UCSD Radiation Oncology and Associate Professor
Kevin Murphy MD, is a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in treating tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord. Dr. Murphy founded the Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program at UC San Diego Health in 2005. His expertise including using novel technologies such as frameless stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), intensity modulated stereotactic radiosurgery (IM-SRS) and hypo-fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery to treat the brain tumors in both adults and children.
He received his bachelor's in science from University of Notre Dame and a master's in neurophysiology from Purdue University. He earned degree his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzer School of Medicine and completed his radiation oncology residency at University of Chicago School of Medicine.
More recently, Dr. Murphy has gained wide expertise in the emerging field of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and has created a propietary, personalized approach to rTMS treatment termed PrTMSTM approach with exceptional athletes and active duty personnel who have an interest in maintaining high-level human performance. Dr. Murphy also is working with third parties who are interested in performing the first clinical studies to formally assess the effect of PrTMSTM on sleep, focus, reaction time, and other human performance metrics.
Carlos DeCarvalho M.D.
Kousay Al-Kourainy M.D.
Oncology & Hematology
Dr. Kourainy is one of the pioneers in cancer treatment in the southern area of San Diego County. After completing his medical studies in Iraq and Egypt, he did his Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology residency at Wayne State in Michigan. He has treated cancer patients in Chula Vista since 1985. He was Vice Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff at Scripps Chula Vista hospital from 1999 to 2002.
Ignacio Iturbe M.D.
Oncology & Hematology
Dr. Ignacio Iturbe Alessio is a graduate of the School of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He did his specialty training in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He returned to Mexico to take the position of Chief of Hematology at the National Institute of Cardiology and since 1987 has practiced medicine in San Diego County. He worked at San Ysidro Health Center, where he became Medical Director and later concentrated all his efforts caring for patients with cancer and hematological diseases in the South Bay.
Dr. De Carvalho has been practicing medicine since 1983. Dr. De Carvalho received his medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in 1976.