Who We Are
We are a non-profit organization serving cancer patients in Southern California.
Is to revive, renew and restore confidence, empowerment and self-esteem in every individual facing a cancer diagnosis.
To be the community's organization of choice in promoting health
education, early detection, cancer awareness and, comprehensive
care management to all cancer patients and their love ones.
Is to improve cancer prevention, screening and survival among underserved, 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.
Gustavo Padilla is a Labor Relations Representative & Organizer representing classified school employees in K-12 school districts, community colleges, and county offices of education in the State of California. He previously worked for the San Diego Unified School District for over 12 years in many capacities at different school sites and programs, where he provided education support to students ranging from elementary to high school level. While working for the school district, he was very involved in his association where he served as the Vice President, Public Relations Officer, and other elected positions of the local chapter. He also served as a Regional Public Relations Officer, and was appointed to serve at the state level on the California Paraeducator Conference Committee, which is responsible for coordinating the statewide conference that provides educational workshops and training for all participants. He has been a strong supporter for education and health care, and continues his work by being involved in the community. Gustavo is a cancer survivor, and wants to use his experience and struggles to help people and provide hope to everyone who faces a cancer diagnosis.
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.
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.
Ms. Margarita Holguin is the Executive Director of the Chula Vista Community Collaborative (CVCC). The CVCC operates five Family Resource Centers and seeks to increase access to health and services for underserved populations.
Ms. Holguin works closely with local schools and service providers to ensure families in Chula Vista have access to needed resources. Ms. Holguin believes and practices the philosophy of the Family Resource Centers in addressing the “whole child” and providing comprehensive support service to the family so that the family can support the child’s learning and improve outcomes. Ms. Holguin has been passionate about working with the community, and empowering community residents. As the Director for CVCC, she developed capacity building opportunities for Promotores, including the Promotores Academy, an annual Promotores Conference, and various opportunities for Promotores. Ms. Holguin received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Development. She also received her undergraduate degree in Management, and graduated magna cum laude. Ms. Holguin dedicated over 20 years of service to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services, where she last served for six years as the South Region’s Assistant Deputy Director, with oversight for various social service programs including public assistance, public health, child welfare services, and California children services.
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.
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.
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.
Silvia A. Aldama
Oncology practice of Dr. Kousay Al-Kourainy
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
Dr. Kevin Murphy is a Board Certified in radiation oncology. Dr. Murphy received his medical degree at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He then completed his post-graduate training in the Department of Chicago. In 2005, he was recruited to the Department of Radiation Oncology at UC San Diego, where he now holds an academic appointment as associate professor. In addition to his work at UCSD, Dr. Murphy is an active member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, American College of Radiation Oncology and Children’s.
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.
Carlos DeCarvalho M.D.
Dr. De Carvalho has been practicing medicine since 1983. Dr. De Carvalho received his medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in 1976.
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.