Meet the Team

Meet the dedicated volunteers of YHAA's Board of Directors, and its hard-working team of staff and interns.

JIM PROVENZA

Chair

“The health and wellbeing of older adults in Yolo County is very important. I am glad to be a part of this effort.”

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Supervisor Jim Provenza began his service on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors January 2009. His priorities at Yolo County include the preservation and protection of open space and farm land in Yolo County, and the promotion of services for children, crime victims, seniors, and the disabled. Supervisor Provenza earned his law degree from UC Davis and is a member of the California State Bar Association. He has 29 years of county and state government experience, and a long career in public interest law, including serving in positions such as a special assistant district attorney, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, and president of the DJUSD Board of Education.

DAWN MYERS

Board Member

“Aging services have been my passion for my entire career. As a social worker I know only too well that system change requires advocacy, coordination and education, and this is exactly what YHAA provides."

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Dawn Myers has been the Program Director of Woodland Healthcare’s Yolo Adult Day Health Center since 1996. Before joining YADHC, Dawn was a Program Manager for the Area 4 Agency on Aging for two years, providing oversight to over 15 social service programs serving older adults. Dawn also serves on the board of the California Association of Adult Day Services after completing her term as statewide Board President. She is an appointee to the CA Dept. of HHS Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders Committee, a 2005 graduate of the Sierra Health Foundation Health Leadership Program, a longtime member of the Yolo County Adult and Aging Commission, and was recognized as the 2011 Woman of the Year.

NANCY PENNEBAKER

Board Member

“Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance is a gathering place for ensuring quality programs and services that our elders need and deserve. Serving our aging community is an honor I wholeheartedly.”

As a community volunteer and passionate advocate for both underserved young children and aging adults, Nancy works to increase and enhance social services for aging adults. She served as Executive Director of Capay Valley Vision and is a tireless advocate for residents in rural areas of Yolo County. Nancy has over thirty years of experience in higher education and non-profit administration with positions at various colleges, universities, and nonprofits, including Pathways for Veterans, Inc and RISE, Inc. Nancy currently also serves as a representative on the Agency on Aging-Area 4 Governing Board and is on their Executive Committee. She has served as an EUSD Board Trustee and as event manager of Taste of Capay.

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DENISE PEACH

Board Member

"YHAA does critical work for seniors in Yolo County that no other organization does. After 30 years of aging and MediCal services at the state level, I’m happy to join the efforts of YHAA and more directly impact my own community."

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Denise serves as chair of the YHAA Advocacy Committee and the Development/Fundraising Committee and is playing a key role in the planning of the Davis Adult Day Program and expansion of the Yolo Adult Day Health Center. As the former Chief of the Community-Based Adult Services at the California Department of Aging, Denise developed and implemented legislation and policy focused on the needs of and services for the elderly and disabled adults.  Denise was the 2016 recipient of the Senator John Heinz Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Adult Day Services (awarded by the National Adult Day Services Association [NADSA]). Denise is an avid organic gardener and loves to cook for family and friends using local, seasonal ingredients.

PAT LEARY

Board Member

“I welcome the opportunity to assist as a Board member in meeting community challenges, through building strong relationships, leveraging existing resources in new ways to multiply their impact, and to support our aging residents as vibrant, thriving and integrated members of our community.”

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Pat has lived in Yolo County for two decades, most recently serving as a Chief Deputy Director for the California Department of Social Services. Prior to that role, she was the Assistant County Administrator for Yolo County for 6 years. Pat also had the privilege of working in the Legislature as a staff to the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services where aging issues were heard and supported. On a personal level, Pat served as the caregiver for her mother for seven years. Pat understand that the services and supports for this population have not grown commensurately with their increase as a share of the population, and although access to services has improved, for many, help remains out of reach. Innovation, collaboration and creativity are critical at the local level to ensure to meet their current and future needs. Pat welcomes the opportunity to assist as a Board member in meeting those challenges, supporting our aging residents as vibrant, thriving and integrated members of our community.

JON SUGARMAN

Board Member

"My objective as a Board member of YHAA is to ensure that older community-dwelling patients have easy access to medical, behavioral and psychosocial care, as well as appropriate follow-on services to improve and protect the quality of their lives."

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Jon and his wife, Jean, both recently retired, moved from Westfield, NJ to Davis in March, 2019. After a varied business career of 35 years, Jon entered the nursing profession, earning Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in nursing at Rutgers University. He worked as an advanced practice nurse, board certified in adult medicine, gerontology, psychiatry/behavioral health and dementia care. Jon focused his medical practice on older adults in both acute, hospital-based and long-term care settings in an effort to improve and protect their health, maximize the quality of their lives and provide end-of-life care that reflects their values and wishes.

RAMON ALTAMIRANO

Treasurer

"My wife and I are over 65 and I am committed to assuring the services and challenges for older adults will be addressed in Yolo County. I am happy to be a part of Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, an organization that is working to address these challenges."

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Ramon serves as the YHAA treasurer and is a Winters resident who is a family small business owner.  He is a member of the City of Winters Planning Commission and Hispanic Advisory Committee and the treasurer of the Winters Health Foundation Board of Directors.  He also is the former CFO of the Sacramento Latino Center of Arts and Culture and the American Agents Alliance.

PATTI HUSTON

Board Member

As a YHAA Board member, I am learning from hundreds of experts on aging issues while contributing and connecting to our aging community.

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Patti has lived in Yolo County for 20 years and served the State of California for 40 years in policy and legislative roles for both the Department of Social Services and Department of Health Care Services. She served as the Deputy Director for legislation at Social Services for 11 years, where she oversaw the analysis of hundreds of bills annually affecting programs and policies for aging and disabled populations, families, and children. Since retiring in 2015, Patti has been an active aging participant within our community, immersing herself in educational, creative, and health-centered activities to promote healthy aging. As a board member, Patti seeks to use her energy and experience as a public servant and as a member of our aging community to engage and enhance the well-being of our growing aging population.

MANUEL ROMERO

Board Member

I am proud to be part of an organization that strives to enhance the quality of life of the dynamic and the geographically and ethnically diverse aging population of Yolo County.

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Manuel recently retired from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) after 23 years of serving as Assistant Chief Counsel in the Legal Division for 10 years and 13 years as the Deputy Director and Chief Administrative Law Judge of the State Hearings Division. Prior to CDSS, Manuel was a public interest and civil rights attorney, including working as an Managing Attorney & Regional Counsel with the Legal Services of Northern California; as Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and as Executive Director of the National Housing Law Project. As an advocate he has sought to serve the interests of poor and vulnerable communities. On a personal level, Manuel is a native New Mexican but has been a Californian since 1981 when he followed his wife Elizabeth to Marysville. They have been married nearly 40 years and have lived most of that time in Woodland. Manuel enjoys cooking New Mexican food but his favorite activity is spending time with family and his grandchildren, including helping to coach his granddaughters sport teams.

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

STAFF

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SHEILA ALLEN

Executive Director

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that brings together the community to addresses real issues. We are making a difference!”

Sheila Allen, RN, PhD is the Executive Director of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance (YHAA).  Dr. Allen received her Master’s and PhD in Nursing from the University of California-San Francisco and a BS in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her research and clinical practice is in home care and public health policy.  She is a member of the American Nurses Association/California and served two terms as an elected school board member for the Davis Joint Unified School District. Dr. Allen also serves as staff to the Yolo County Commission on Aging and Adult Services.

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NANCY GIFFORD

Person-Centered Resource Counselor

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that brings together the community to addresses real issues. We are making a difference!”

Nancy Gifford obtained her Bachelor of Science degree, with summa cum laude honors, in Gerontology from Sacramento State in 2015. She has worked as the Social Services Coordinator at Margaret McDowell Manor in West Sacramento for the last few years, where she was responsible for annual assessments, care planning, one-on-one counseling, and providing resources for 90-104 residents in independent low-income housing. She completed a one-year internship with the Medical Social Worker at Yolo County Adult Day Center with similar duties. She volunteered at Eskaton Live Well, Eskaton at Carmichael, and Chateau at Rivers Edge. She was Vice President of the Gerontology Club at Sacramento State University where she provided Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for low-income residents in the community.  

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JULIE LANGSTON

Program Coordinator

"YHAA brings together the many services for elderly in Yolo county and helps bridge the gap for seniors and their families. I'm proud to be part of YHAA and can share my healthcare background to provide holistic services."

Julie graduated from UCD with a degree in Nutrition, before going on to receive her Nursing degree at CSUS and Masters in Nursing from UCSF. Julie is a native Californian and has lived in Yolo County for over 35 years. She is an active member of the community through her volunteer work in the local school district, Explorit Science Center, local food banks, CASA/NURSING ORGS and Davis Aquatic Masters. She has worked as a nurse with people of all ages and knows the need for clear and easily accessible information to local resources. She brings her wide variety of experiences to YHAA to help our community.

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SARAH ALLEN-SUTTER

Webmaster/Director of Digital Media

"I am proud to be part of a team working to better the livelihoods of our aging population."

Sarah graduated from UCSB in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Professional Editing. She designed and developed YHAA's website and continues to keep it updated. She also produces videos, updates social media, writes articles, and works on other miscellaneous projects for the Alliance. 

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AHMED KIRAN

Research and Outreach

"I hope to learn more about the unique health issues of the community that YHAA serves and apply my own experiences to help the community."

Ahmed graduated from UC Davis with a B.S in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior in 2020. He has a strong interest in public health and clinical sciences and is an active member of his community in Fresno and Sacramento. Ahmed has worked as a board member at Shifa Community Clinic, a free clinic in Sacramento that provides healthcare to the underserved community, and has previous lab and research experience at UC Davis. His aspirations include becoming a physician in the future with a public health focus.

 

INTERNS

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ALEX ASERA

Outreach and Translation

"As an Aggie and a resident of Davis for most of my life, I am looking forward to working with YHAA to promote healthy aging in our community.

Alex graduated from UC Davis in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and is currently pursuing an MPH, also at UCD. Her masters' practicum this year will focus on Alzheimer's and dementia-related issues within Yolo County.

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MARIA SOLORIO

Outreach and Translation

"I am proud to be part of an organization that cares about and promotes the well-being of our elderly population."

Maria graduated from the University of California Merced in 2021 with a B.A. in Public Health and a minor in psychology. She moved to Davis in July 2021 and is currently in the Masters of Public Health program at UC Davis. Maria is passionate about working with underserved communities to improve their health and well-being through educational programs and making sure resources are accessible.