Laura Elizabeth López
Laura Lopez (previously Laura Perez – name changed as of November 2009) started out as a volunteer at Street Level, was invited to be board treasurer, and is now the Director of Street Level Health Project and a founding member of the Oakland Workers’ Center Consortium. Laura immigrated to the US at the age of 18. Working as a housecleaner and childcare worker in these early years gave her firsthand experience of the challenges and discrimination faced by low-wage and immigrant workers.
Director of Development and Communications
Joel was born in Mexico, but he immigrated to the US at a young age. Having been an undocumented laborer himself, he experienced the barriers many immigrants face in accessing health care and obtaining employment. While he worked in unsafe conditions for less than minimum wage because of his immigration status, his dad was exposed to pesticides in the field as a farm worker and his mom has been denied health services because of her lack of insurance.
Health Access Program Manager
Kim grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Oakland in 2003, with a desire to continue working in the areas of community health and youth education. Kim came to Street Level as a volunteer in February 2008, and volunteered in the health screening clinic before joining the staff in October 2008. Kim worked for 3½ years at the Women’s Choice Clinic in downtown Oakland, as a health worker, clinic coordinator, office manager, and laboratory coordinator.
Mam and Spanish Interpreter
I am a Mam speaker. I came here to better my life. I was born in Guatemala, and I feel proud of my roots and I give thanks to my parents for giving me life. I have faith. I believe in God who has given me everything I have. I’m surrounded by people who are understanding and hard working. Besides working in Street Level, I also work in the East Bay Agency for Children helping interpret for Mam speakers and assisting teachers.
Read In Spanish
Mongolian Health Access Program Coordinator
Otgonchimeg moved from her native country of Mongolia 6 years ago. In California, she completed a Certificate Program in Finance from UC Berkeley as well as a Health Care Interpreter Program from City College San Francisco. Otgo has been active in the Mongolian Community since her arrival. She developed healthcare experience and an understanding of the Mongolian health care system while taking care of a young niece when her widowed mom was working as a nurse at a Mongolian hospital.
Community Resources and Meal Program Coordinator
Leah is an East Bay native and came to Street Level Health Project in 2012, serving as a volunteer in the clinic for nearly a year before joining the staff. Prior to Street Level, Leah worked for the City of San Francisco, helping City Departments improve their services through research, evaluation and training. Leah studied Public Policy and Economics at Brown University, where she also served as a tutor for recently immigrated refugees, organized conferences on international affairs and supported women forming cooperatives in rural Nicaragua. Read More
Community Relations Manager
Jessica immigrated to the Bay Area from Mexico at the age of four. She is the eldest of two sisters, and a first generation college graduate from UC Berkeley. The barriers she and her family faced in accessing health and higher education opportunities have shaped Jessica into an immigrant rights leader. As an undergraduate, she advocated for undocumented student rights’ to higher education, volunteered at various bay area health organizations, and spent a semester in Washington D.C. interning and researching the intersection between health and immigration policies. Read More
Community Engagement Program Manager
Gabriela graduated from UC Berkeley in December 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Chicano Studies. For the past five years she has been involved in fighting for social justice with student groups at UC Berkeley, working in areas such as immigrant rights, the DREAM Act and other local Bay Area issues. Her interest for the community continues with her work at Street Level Health Project, working with different immigrant communities in the Fruitvale / San Antonio area. In the future, Gabriela wants to pursue a law degree in public interest law, with an emphasis in civil rights and immigration, to continue fighting against the struggles that immigrant communities face.
Francisco Pablo Matias
Francisco Pablo is from Todos Santos, Guatemala, and he has lived in California for more than twenty years. He speaks Mam, Spanish and English. He began work with Street Level as a volunteer, and is now a member of our street outreach team and works in the clinic as a trilingual translator. “I love talking to people and building trust with Mam-speakers, who are more comfortable speaking in their own language, and often do not have access to healthcare and other social services because many organizations and institutions speak only Spanish and English. I hope to serve my community with Street Level for many years to come.”Francisco lives in Oakland with his wife, Isábel, and his children.
Office Manager and Financial Assistant
Maria manages the office, assists with the finances, and currently volunteers as a health worker in Street Level’s screening clinic. She was first given the opportunity to volunteer at Street Level Health Project in November 2006, and soon became a member of the staff. Over the past year and a half, Maria has received training in basic bookkeeping and utilizing QuickBooks for non-profits. Maria is interested in the medical field and aspires to one day become a pediatrician. “Every day is a new beginning here at Street Level Health Project,” says Maria, “every day brings something new to learn.”
Mental Health Program Coordinator
Doris Molina emigrated from Mexico City to the United States in 2003. She graduated from the Iberoamericana University (U.I.A) with a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s degree in Orientation and Development of Couples. Looking for a support group, she found La Clínica de la Raza where she volunteered as a Health Promoter for three years, giving health, mental and personal development trainings to the Latino community.
William Wallin, M.D.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Wallin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and then spent several more years studying Buddhist Meditation and traveling through Asia. He received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota medical school and completed his family practice residency at San Francisco General Hospital. While serving in the National Health Service, he set up a non-profit medical clinic 50 miles from the nearest hospital.
Michelle Steinberg, M.S.
Nutritionist and Herbalist
Michelle Steinberg began Consultas Naturistas, the nutrition and herbal medicine program at Street Level Health Project, in November 2009. The program has since flourished, providing free client-centered holistic healthcare to those who could not otherwise access it. Michelle graduated with her Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in December 2011 and completed a three-year course in herbal medicine at the Ohlone Center of Herbal Studies in 2009, with subsequent supervision from the Northeastern School of Botanical Medicine. Read More
Juan was born in Guatemala and immigrated to Los Angeles with his family at age six. Juan is a doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley in the department of Ethnic Studies, with a focus on analyzing immigrant experiences, particularly of Latino day laborers in Oakland. “I have always been influenced by my parent’s hard work and this has definitely shaped my academic interests in Oakland’s informal labor economy…I think part of my commitment to doing work on immigration is this desire to make my work personal, political, and always engaged with the insights and experiences of people like my own family members whose stories sometimes unintentionally inform much of my academic research.”
Andrew Herring, MD
Board Vice President and SLHP Co-founder
“Working with Kathy and our other partners to get the Street Level Health Project off the ground was one the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done,” says Andrew Herring, emergency physician at Highland General Hospital and co-founder of Street Level Health Project.
John Puccini is an East Bay native who came to Street Level Health Project in 2005 while working on the science pre-requisites that would ultimately allow him to change careers into a medical field after spending 8 years at PeopleSoft Inc. working as a software consultant. He had had no prior medical experience, but had studied abroad in Spanish speaking countries on multiple occasions and had a desire to work in the local Latino community.
“The wonderful people from many different immigrant backgrounds that we see and the small bit of support that we may provide are what give me satisfaction at Street Level. Giving folks access to health care and some control over how they want their health care to be performed is very empowering for our visitors. It is also really inspiring to see all of the other folks who are committed and devote so much of their free time to keeping this organization going strong. I’m happy to be a part of that”. John is currently a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA working towards a Masters of Physician Assistant. He enjoys coaching youth with Special Olympics of Alameda, and instructing snow and water skiing with Disabled Sports Far West in Lake Tahoe. He is constantly changing diapers on his newborn son and is an avid snow skier and cyclist.
Robert Harrison, MD, MPH
Robert graduated from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in 1979, and is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF, in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Stephen’s career included collateral production and promotions for national producers of various consumer products. His clients included Coca Cola USA, Stewart Andersons, The Southland Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, Sprint, Continental Airlines, Ford Motor Company and The Ford Dealer Advertising Association, Shell – Consumer Oil Products Division, and Exxon Chemical.
His experience in serving those in need has ranged from Project Coordinator of an IPTC (In Prison Therapeutic Community) based on the behavior modification of Therapeutic Community to the management of 170-bed social model detoxification and recovery program for street alcoholics.Stephen became involved with the UCSF Community Health Project, and later joined the board of became Street Level Health Project because of the organization’s tangible efforts to reach and provide the systemic support needed by the underserved through the provision of resources and navigation to the most vulnerable; the recent immigrants in Fruitvale and beyond.
For the last ten years, Stephen has been part of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in positions ranging from program development of the Champion Guidance Center to his current position as Director of Vincentian Support for the parish-based branches of the Society in Contra Costa County.
Meggie Woods graduated from Brown University with a degree in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Afterwards, she worked for two years as a bilingual HIV Case Manager outside of Boston. Meggie is currently a second year medical student at University of California San Francisco. She spent the summer of 2009 in Kenya working on pregnant women’s adherence rates to HIV/AIDS treatment.Read More
Marc Philpart, Senior Program Associate, supports the Boys and Men of Color team and leads the PolicyLink Black Male Achievement team. He has specific expertise in supporting and developing networks that advance policy and practice to strengthen the field and further race and gender equity in the areas of health, education, employment and juvenile justice. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Philpart worked in the president’s office at PATH, a non-profit global health organization. He holds masters degrees in public affairs and public health from the University of Washington in Seattle and earned his BA in History from Xavier University of Louisiana.
SLHP Founder and Public Health Nursing Partner
Kathy Ahoy, Public Health Nurse of Alameda County, co-founded Street Level Health Project to serve the communities of Oakland in 2000, and the project quickly became more than health care. Kathy actively nurtured the sharing of knowledge, resources and skills, built relationships that bonded all together in the work of caring for and responding to the particular health disparities and health issues of the growing immigration population. Through her work, Kathy is committed to human flourishing and working for the common good of all. Her passion and compassion to serve the most vulnerable people in our community derives from her own life history and background.
She graduated from UCSF with a Masters in Community and Cross-cultural Nursing. Currently, she is mentor/preceptor for many health care students. Hunger and homelessness are no stranger to Kathy. Her history/memory of poverty, hunger and injustice equips Kathy with a fierce determination to bring justice, understanding and compassion to the underprivileged and disadvantaged whom she seeks out and serves. In 1986, she worked in Africa (Sudan and Eritrea) with the famine refugees. Kathy has put her eager energy into implementing the vision of Public Health, trying to find, motivate and collaborate with willing and resourceful partners to provide and improve health and quality of life for the whole community.
Dennis Hsieh is a PGY-1 in the Emergency Medicine training program at the Alameda County Medical Center, Highland General Hospital. He is originally from Southern California and has an interest in the social and economic determinants of health. Dennis spent 2 years working in South Los Angeles and Compton as a legal services attorney at two different federally qualified health centers prior to starting residency.