The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) advances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County. ODE works to empower communities; influence policy and system changes; develop strategic and meaningful partnerships; and promote workforce development and transformation within the County’s behavioral health service system.
Meet Our Staff
Maria Lorente- Foresti
She/ Her/ Hers
Office of Diversity and Equity Director
(650) 573-2714 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Brittany is supporting the Technology Suite Innovation Project, supporting the introduction and use of two mental health apps and Suicide Prevention Efforts throughout the county. She received her Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied health care systems and international public health. She is passionate about working at the intersection of social work and public health and ensuring every individual has the ability to reach their optimal level of health. Specifically, she is interested in how technology can equitably and sustainably fit in to the public health world.
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.
Committed to advancing health equity, Sylvia focuses on building coalitions that cultivate self love, community empowerment and social justice. Her main areas of work are stigma discrimination reduction, suicide prevention and evaluation support. She co-chairs the Suicide Prevention Committee and Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee. She is also a member of the 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 passions also include spending time with family, organizing/decorating spaces and making gifts.
Tania is supporting the work with the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and BHRS’s Multicultural Organizational Development Plan. She received her Master’s in Public Health from University of California, Los Angeles with special interest on the intersection of health and educational disparities. She is passionate about racial equity, systems change, and increasing access to quality services to historically marginalized communities.
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.
Karin coordinates the Office of Diversity and Equity Internship Program and the Cultural Competency Stipend Internship Program. These programs provide work opportunities and practical learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students in order to enhance their academic preparation and expose them to public service at the county level. She has facilitated Youth Mental Health First Aid for three years. Karin has a background in event planning and education.
Kristie supports a variety of ODE programs and projects as well as the production of several ODE resources with the intention of building inclusion and cultural humility practices in the San Mateo County. She also oversees ODE Communications to bring discussions of inequities, disparities and injustice in ODE’s work. 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.
He/ Him/ His
Community Program Specialist II
PI Outreach Worker
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.
Maria Martinez Resendiz
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.
Elise is an Office Support Specialist for the Workforce, Education, and Training (WET) program with BHRS. She supports the WET program’s training, assist in CE coordination, and also supports activities focused on addressing behavioral health inequities in San Mateo County. She is a first-generation Chinese-American born and was raised in the Bay Area. She also has interest in youth empowerment, educational justice, and mental health awareness. She is grounded in work that serves and reflects her purpose of providing individuals of different cultural, ethnic, and neurodiverse communities a voice. Elise received a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State East Bay in 2015.