Dr. Mark Ghaly was appointed Secretary of the California Health and Human Services by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. In this role, Dr. Ghaly will oversee California’s largest Agency which includes many key departments that are integral to supporting the implementation of the Governor’s vision to expand health coverage and access to all Californians. Dr. Ghaly will work across State government, along with County, City, and private sector partners, to ensure the most vulnerable Californians have access to the resources and services they need to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives.
Before joining Governor Newsom’s team, Dr. Ghaly worked for 15 years in County health leadership roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In San Francisco, he was Medical Director of the Southeast Health Center, a public health clinic located in the Bayview Hunters Point community. In addition to having a large primary care pediatrics practice, Dr. Ghaly led the clinic’s transition to the patient-centered medical home model of care, expanded specialty care and diagnostics services, and addressed issues such as teen health, youth violence, food security, and environmental health issues.
Dr. Ghaly is honored to serve Governor Gavin Newsom and looks forward to forging partnerships and relationships across California to make the Governor’s vision a reality for the benefit of all Californians.
Dr. Buttlaire has over 30 years of clinical and management experience providing leadership and direction in health care delivery in both the public and private sectors. Currently, at Kaiser Permanente, he designs and oversees a broad continuum of services and programs for both inpatient, ambulatory, and emergency settings for mental health and addiction medicine. These programs treat adults, teens, and children with behavioral health conditions. He is the lead Mental Health Representative within Kaiser Permanente’s State Program Initiatives including Medicaid and Medicare and is the designated Regional Director of Resource Management for Behavioral Health. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Buttlaire was Program Manager of Acute Services, for Marin County Mental Health in Marin County, California.
Dr. Buttlaire provides expertise and consultation on state and federal legislation and their impact on behavioral health within Kaiser Permanente, the State of California, and nationally. Dr. Buttlaire’s work in suicide prevention has led to his selection on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) and NIMH workgroup on strategies for managing suicidal behavior with mental health and substance abuse disorders in the emergency department. He currently serves on the State of California’s Workforce Commission Subgroup on Behavioral Health. He is a contributor to Manatt Consulting and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts who have been working on a Model Behavioral Health System to improve the State’s Behavioral Health Delivery System. He was selected by the National Qualify Forum (NQF) for its workgroup on program design for the Seriously Mentally Ill. March of 2019, Dr. Buttlaire was selected to the California Mental Health Oversight Accountably Commissions (MHSOAC) advisory workgroup on early interventions in psychosis. In 2020, Dr. Buttlaire was appointed to the State Medicaid (Medi-cal) reorganization workgroup for Behavioral Health.
James Bell is the Founder and President of the W. Haywood Burns Institute.
The Burns Institute has worked in over 200 counties in 23 states to engage justice stakeholders and communities across the country to build equity in the administration of justice. He has trained and addressed thousands of human services professionals and community members on a vision of well-being as the preferred and most effective way to achieve community safety.
James has appeared on numerous national television shows, conducted several radio interviews and written blogs for the Huffington Post. He has authored sections of published anthologies on school discipline, youth justice history, and health.
James has extensive experience in the international justice arena: he assisted the African National Congress in the administration of the juvenile justice system in South Africa and consulted with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He has worked with government officials and activists on the human rights of children and restorative justice in Cambodia, Kenya, Brazil, New Zealand and China.
He attended California State Polytechnic University and Hastings College of Law.
As a result of this keynote session, participants will take away:
Christopher Gibson is a Family Support Case Manager for the Alameda County Public Health Department Fatherhood Initiative Program. Chris’s focus is to encourage dads to be Resilient, Present, and consistent with their parenting. Currently, he is serving as the oversee of supervisor of two fatherhood being held at WIC sites in Oakland, Ca. He is a member of the Alameda County Fathers Corps, where he works with other fatherhood service providers to influences system-wide change, in family court, Social Services, Child support, and others that have a biased view of men and fatherhood. Chris also provides technical assistance to health clinics to become father-friendly and help with outreach and group facilitation.Chris is a native of Richmond, California. He is also a father of three children. Chris received his Bachelor of Science from California State University East Bay and will be starting his Masters’ in Public Administration in Fall 2020. Chris also currently serves as a Youth Pastor at Bethel Church in Richmond.
Melvin Calaway Jr. is a Family Support Case Manager for the Alameda County Public Health Department Fatherhood Initiative Program. Where he strives to strengthen the personal and professional growth of fathers. As a member of the Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition Steering Committee, Melvin is able to utilize his skills of support and empowerment to foster the education while empathizing the importance of the fathers’ role in the process of breastfeeding. He has ten years of experience as a community service provider, throughout Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Alameda Counties. Melvin is a native of Oakland, California. He is also a father of five children. Melvin received his Bachelor of Art in Psychology from San Francisco State University, and recently completed his Masters’ in Social Work at Walden University. He is an experienced public speaker, group facilitator, and mental health consultant. Melvin has a passion for uplifting and empowering diverse individuals and families in need.
Monica Nepomuceno is an Education Programs Consultant at the California Department of Education (CDE). In this capacity, Monica oversees the Mental Health Services Program, co-chairs the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup (SMHPW), is the Project Cal-Well Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Coordinator and a YMHFA Instructor, and represents the voice of K-12 students on several committees, including the California Behavioral Health Planning Council (CBHPC) and the California Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY).
Monica is passionate about creating a better public understanding of the mental health needs of California K-12 students. This includes helping all school staff, parents, and community members increase their knowledge and awareness of student mental health. She is highly committed to helping schools and districts build capacity to support student-centered mental health programs, which include the identification of students in need, improving school climate, providing direct services, staff training, student training, opportunities for youth engagement and a role for peer support.
She understands firsthand the effects that an undiagnosed and untreated mental health issue can have on a person’s life. Her lived experience has helped her advocate for students’ diverse needs and the ability for youth-serving adults to intervene timely, respectful, and culturally appropriate manner. Monica stresses the importance of recognizing symptoms early on and before they interfere with daily functioning or become debilitating.
Monica is most proud of her ability to build relationships with local, state, and national partners to increase awareness of and supports for student mental health. Her role at the CDE helps foster connections and leverage resources to engage non-traditional partners with schools and students.
Michelle Carlson, MScPH, is the Executive Director for Teen Line, a Los Angeles based non-profit providing peer education and support for teens through a national teen-to-teen hotline, peer support app and community outreach program. She is a member of the L.A. County Child & Adolescent Death Review Team and serves as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network Youth Workgroup, who has recently developed the county’s first strategic plan for suicide prevention for youth. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Mental Health Association of Orange County.
Michelle has a strong commitment to prevention and early intervention, after losing 4 loved ones, including her father, a mental health professional, to suicide.
Tony Thurmond was sworn in as the 28th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 7, 2019. Superintendent Thurmond is an educator, social worker, and public school parent, who has served the people of California for more than ten years in elected office. Previously, Superintendent Thurmond served on the Richmond City Council, West Contra Costa Unified School Board, and in the California State Assembly, representing District 15.
Like many of California’s public school students, Superintendent Thurmond came from humble beginnings. His mother was an immigrant from Panama who came to San Jose, California, to be a teacher. His father was a soldier who didn’t return to his family after the Vietnam War. Superintendent Thurmond met him for the first time when he was an adult. After Superintendent Thurmond’s mother died when he was 6, he and his brother were raised by a cousin who they had never met.
Superintendent Thurmond’s family relied on public assistance programs and great public schools to get out of poverty. Superintendent Thurmond’s public school education allowed him to attend Temple University. He went on to earn dual master’s degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work (MSW) from Bryn Mawr College and began a career dedicated to service. Much of Superintendent Thurmond’s social service work has focused on improving the services provided to foster youth and directing programs that provide job training to at-risk youth. He also led programs to provide help for individuals with developmental disabilities. Tony has 12 years of direct experience in education, teaching life skills classes, after-school programs, and career training.
Education is at the core of Superintendent Thurmond’s legislative record. He authored legislation that successfully expanded the free lunch program, bilingual education, and the Chafee Grant college scholarship program for foster youth. Additionally, Superintendent Thurmond’s legislation guaranteed preferential voting rights for student school board members, improved access to families for early education and childcare, and shifted millions of dollars directly from prisons to schools. Superintendent Thurmond introduced legislation to expand STEM education, improve school conditions for LGBTQ youth, and tax private prisons to fund early education and afterschool programs.
Superintendent Thurmond lives in Richmond with his two daughters who attend local public schools. They are his inspiration and a constant reminder about the promise of our neighborhood schools and the strong future that every child deserves.