The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is dedicated to advancing health equity in San Mateo County. Demonstrating a commitment to social justice and a focus on social determinants of health; ODE works to empower communities, influence institutional and system changes, develop strategic and meaningful partnerships and promote cultural humility and inclusion within the County’s behavioral health service system, in the community and across the county, region and state.
- Cultural competence and cultural humility
- Shared and multicultural leadership
- Building bridges and sustainability of partnerships
- Forward and out-of-the-box thinking
- Advocacy and community capacity
- Using data to determine outcomes
Meet Our Staff
Dr. Jei Africa is the director and creator of the Office of Diversity and Equity where he has been a leader and advocate in promoting social justice and health equity. As director, he developed the Health Equity Initiatives and led efforts to design services and curricula to address linguistic barriers for individuals and families who are limited English proficient. He also leads county wide efforts to integrate cultural competence and humility practices and services to every department in San Mateo County. Dr. Jei Africa is one of the few Tagalog-speaking clinical psychologists in the San Francisco Bay Area who is also certified as a domestic violence and addiction counselor. Outside of work, Dr. Jei Africa enjoys traveling and being with nature.
Doris is the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) Manager for San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services providing oversight to the MHSA planning, stakeholder engagement, reporting and evaluation activities. Doris began working for the San Mateo County Health System in 2003 as an Outreach Worker and has since led strategic planning projects in language access, cultural competence, youth development, public information and risk communication, social marketing, community engagement and partnerships in health policy work.
Nancy oversees the following community education programs: Parent Project®, Mental Health First Aid, and the Health Ambassador Program. Nancy has 12 plus years of experience working with youth and families from marginalized communities in Alameda and San Mateo County. She has provided mental health therapy in community-based settings and has witnessed firsthand the important role education plays in intervention, prevention, and wellness.
Sylvia is committed to empowering local communities to shape public health policies that affect them. Her main areas of work are stigma discrimination reduction, suicide prevention and evaluation support. She co-chairs the Suicide Prevention Committee and Chinese Health Initiative. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Health at UC Berkeley and Master in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her other passions include spending time with family, organizing/decorating spaces, and making gifts.
Frances coordinates the Parent Project, a program that helps families build stronger relationships. She is also a Co-Chair of the Latino Collaborative, which is dedicated to reducing social and health disparities in the Latino community. She is passionate about preventive programs and expanding access to health care for vulnerable communities.
Natalie coordinates the Mental Health First Aid program to ensure all San Mateo County residents and workers have the skills to recognize warning signs of mental health challenges and provide support and reassurance to those in crisis. Natalie received a B.S. in Health Education from San Francisco State University.
Siavash runs ODE’s Storytelling program, which is a space of people to share their stories to make a meaningful impact on themselves and others. He received his B.A. at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied Sociology, Economics, and Applied Psychology. There, he began sharing his story and realizing the profound impact it had on himself and his peers, and is grateful to continue helping others share their stories in San Mateo County.
Hillary is briefly supporting ODE in work related to the Mental Health Services Act. She is a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Kristie oversees ODE Communications to bring discussions of inequities, disparities and injustice in ODE’s work. She also supports the production of a variety of ODE resources with the intention of building inclusion and cultural humility practices in the San Mateo County. Kristie received her B.S in Community Health Science from California State University, East Bay.
Annette J Pakhchian
Annette serves as the LGBTQ+ Community Outreach Worker for San Mateo County, promoting equitable access and culturally appropriate services across the health system for LGBTQ+ community members. With 10 years of experience in LGBTQ+ community organizing across California, Annette aims to collaborate with the San Mateo County Pride Center, Pride Initiative, LGBTQ Commission and community partners to foster the continual growth of San Mateo County’s LGBTQ+ community. Annette received her Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University, focusing on reducing health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ older adults.
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Community Program Specialist II
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650-372-6139 | email@example.com
DannyBoy serves as the Community Outreach Worker intentionally focused on the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community to provide culturally relevant behavioral health outreach and engagement services for NHPI’s living in San Mateo County. He also serves as the co-chair for the Pacific Islander Initiative. DannyBoy has 8 years of experience serving the NHPI community in Southern California as a community organizer and program coordinator and is happy to return home to San Mateo County to serve his people.
Camille provides administrative and office support for ODE. She brings 10 years of experience as a former San Francisco Unified School District educator. Born and raised in San Mateo, Camille is grateful to be part of a team whose work empowers the diverse communities throughout the County.