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Trainees are the foundation of this network. A core feature of the MCHB is to develop leaders in the field who will create and promote critical and groundbreaking research and policy, transforming the health and lives of children and families. This network supports MCH trainees to be such leaders through statewide collaboration. Past trainee liaisons can be found here. Meet our dynamic trainee liaisons below: 

2017-2018 Trainee Liaisons

CA-LEND Trainee: Diwata Macalin

Diwata Macalino, MS, DTR

California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


I am currently in my second year as a Nutrition Fellow at CA-LEND and dietetic intern at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I also volunteer time with Special Olympics Southern California as a Clinical Director for the Health Promotions arm of Healthy Athletes where we provide athletes with health screenings and education they would likely not receive otherwise. 

Education & Training:

  • B.S. General Biology minor in Health Care and Social Issues, UC San Diego, 2007

  • A.A. Nutrition & Fitness, Mesa College San Diego, 2013

  • M.S. Family and Consumer Sciences emphasis in Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016

  • Dietetic Intern, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 2018



Professional Goals:

Previously a research associate trying to find a cure for cancer, I realized I wanted more face-to-face interaction. I took my first-hand experience in changing my lifestyle for the better and began my dietetics journey. In my childhood, I used to exclaim I wanted to be a pediatrician. While that specific dream faded, my affinity for children did not. I plan to take my training from CHLA and CA-LEND to serve and advocate for children and families with and without disabilities as a part of an interdisciplinary team.


As a participant of the network, I hope to make connections with other trainees for future research collaborations and professional resources of experience and knowledge.

Cheralynn Corsack, MPH Candidate

Centers of Excellence in MCH with MCH Academic Postdoctoral Enhancement at UC Berkeley

I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at University of California, Berkeley. Previously, I completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at University of South Florida and then served as an AmeriCorps Service Member outside Atlanta, GA where I focused on adolescent health and sustainable food sources.


My areas of interests include access to lactation services and adolescent health specifically relating to nutrition, pregnant and parenting adolescents and father involvement. I hope to work closely with communities to develop and implement programs addressing and serving their needs through improving access to and efficacy of resources around lactation services and/or adolescent health. UC Berkeley’s MCH training program will provide me with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the previously mentioned issues and use evidence-based research along with community involvement to create innovative solutions to improve overall health outcomes of families.


Hannah Perrin, MD

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at Stanford University


  • Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at Brown University in Providence, RI

  • Medical School:

  • Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI

  • Pediatrics Internship and Residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA


Professional Goals:

Hannah has a strong interest in identifying and understanding disparities in access to health care services; learning about policy implications for health care access; and advocating for patients with disabilities, their families, and their communities. Her prior experiences include working with local NGOs in Guatemala to organize community health fairs in rural villages, helping coordinate health fairs for women from disadvantaged backgrounds, creating an educational curriculum for a support group for adolescents with HIV in the Dominican Republic, and providing sustainable health education workshops and medical services to children and adults in Quito, Ecuador. She also helped develop curricula related to health disparities during medical school and residency. The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship at Stanford allows her to pursue her academic interests while also preparing her for a career as a leader in clinical practice, medical education and community advocacy.

Kelly Schifsky, DO

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Born and raised in Des Moines, IA



  • Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL

  • Major: Biology Pre-Medicine


  • MS: Bioethics from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL

Medical School:

  • Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, IA


  • 3 year Pediatric Residency at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, IA


Developmental Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship at CHLA in Los Angeles, CA


Motivation for DBP:

I have a passion for serving and working alongside children and families with developmental disabilities. My goal is to see each of these children reach their full developmental potential and THRIVING.


Motivation for LEND:

This training will impact how I view and utilize interdisciplinary skills and teams in my approach and practice.

Danielle Scholze, MD

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at UC Davis



  • Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in La Crosse, WI

  • Doctor of Medicine from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, WI

Postgraduate Training:

  • Pediatric Internship and Residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH

  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship at UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, CA


During my seven years as a general pediatrician, I found that my true passion was working with children with developmental disabilities and their families.  Unfortunately, I found that I lacked the training and time to provide these families with the help that they needed and deserved.  I chose to pursue a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship so that I would better be able to care for this population and advocate for their rights.

Theodora Nelson, MD

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at UC San Diego

I am originally from San Diego and trained here for residency. I was a general pediatrician for about 25 years before becoming a fellow in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. My interests are in ACEs and how to intervene and help in the development of early parental-child relationships despite these early challenges.

Sandra Valdovinos-Heredia, MSW, ACSW

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training Project at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Sandra is one of two Clinical Social Workers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’(CHLA) Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center (HTC). Once upon a time, Sandra worked in community mental health and social service agencies within Los Angeles county, and in between these years, received a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.


As a Clinical Social Worker, Sandra works with all patients and families who are seen at CHLA’s HTC, and is the designated Social Worker for a combined Hematology and Adolescent Medicine Clinic. This highly specialized combined clinic primarily sees girls and women with bleeding disorders.


Grateful for the wonderful multidisciplinary HTC colleagues, Sandra takes dedicated time in welcoming new patients and their families in a way that is heartfelt and customary. She counts spending quality time with her three children and husband, exploring new bike and running trails, and drinking her morning coffee among her myriad interests.



Erin Jones, MD

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training Project at UC San Francisco


I completed my training in Family and Community Medicine at the University of Maryland prior to joining the Adolescent and Young Adult Fellowship and LEAH training program at UCSF. I strive to provide the holistic and thoughtful care to our patients to allow them to live their best life. The LEAH program is refining my clinical skills as well as supporting my research interest in contraception care for young adults.

Ronli Levi, RD, MPH Candidate

Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Training Program at UC Berkeley



  • Master of Public Health Nutrition Candidate 2018, UC-Berkeley School of Public Health

  • Graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 with a degree in Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics

  • Obtained Registered Dietitian credential in 2011

  • Prior professional experience:

  • Community Education and Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA member at the food bank for Humboldt County, five years experience as a hospital, clinical dietitian

Professional Interests:

My area of interest includes food insecurity and how it relates to later health outcomes. In particular, I am interested in working on nutrition related policies that focus on improving the health of individuals and families living in poverty. The MPH curriculum and MCH traineeship will provide me with the skills necessary to look at these issues critically and develop an upstream approach to solving these public health problems.

Marissa Swain, MA

Northern California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) at the University of California Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities)

I am currently completing my pre-doctoral internship at the UC Davis Medical Center within the area of Infant Mental Health. I am also pursuing my doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in Los Angeles, CA.

• B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education from the University of California, Berkeley
• M.A. in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology—Los Angeles (C.S.P.P.) at Alliant International University

I was introduced to neurodevelopmental disorders in children during her undergraduate course in Child Psychopathology at UC Berkeley and developed an immediate interest in this population. My experience working with this population spans over 10 years and includes being an undergraduate research assistance in the ADHD lab, a volunteer in a Special Day class for children diagnosed with autism, an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in-home therapist and interventionist, and a doctoral-level psychological trainee who provided therapeutic services and administered standardized assessments to children with neurodevelopmental disorders. I have a passion and professional interest in continuing my understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, especially early childhood.

Sakura Takahashi, MPH Candidate

Partners in Excellence for Leadership in MCH Nutrition at UCLA

Sakura is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health degree in the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. She is also a dietetic intern as part of the Combined Program with the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program. Originally from the Bay Area, she attended San Diego State University where she completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics and received a Bachelor’s in Science, Foods and Nutrition degree.



Sakura became a Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Trainee because she was eager to gain exposure to the interdisciplinary and collaborative methods for improving the health and well-being of the maternal, infant, and child populations from a nutritional standpoint.


The MCH Nutrition Leadership Trainee program is helping to shape her leadership skills in the field of Maternal and Child Nutrition, as well as in the field of Public Health, both on the UCLA campus and off-campus. One of her interests includes the development and implementation of nutrition and physical activity interventions and programs in reducing school-aged obesity rates. She hopes to utilize the knowledge and skills gained from the training to become an experienced health professional and a more effective leader.


Miranda Westfall, RD, MPH


Partners in Excellence for Leadership in MCH Nutrition at UCLA

Miranda is a second year PhD student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on evaluating the impact of a teaching kitchen on health professional students' nutrition knowledge, cooking skills, and self-efficacy in providing nutrition counseling to patients. Originally from Northern California, Miranda received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences at San Jose State University and a Master of Public Health at UCLA.  Before returning to pursue her doctorate, Miranda worked with the UCLA Fit for Health Program, a multidisciplinary effort of pediatricians, dietitians, and psychologists to reduce pediatric obesity through providing direct clinical care to patients and families as well as training the next generation of providers in evidenced-based, culturally competent and compassionate care for children with overweight and obesity. She has also worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to implement healthy purchasing standards in County-operated facilities. Miranda joined the Partners in Excellence for Leadership in MCH Nutrition Program to gain skills to effectively engage in advocacy efforts at the community, state and national level to promote policies and programs that support the health of the maternal and child population.

Currently Unfilled

Pathways for Students into Health Professions at UCLA

Soe Maw, MD

UCSF Fresno Pediatrics-Child Psychiatry Collaborative Office Rounds (COR): A Longitudinal Curriculum for Pediatric Practitioners in the San Joaquin Valley


2014-2017   UCSF Fresno Pediatric Residency (Fresno, CA)

2010-2014   University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Miami, FL)

2005-2009   University of California Davis (Davis, CA)



The San Joaquin Valley of Central California has an underserved population that continues to inspire me in my role as an advocate, educator, and physician. Collaborative Office Rounds during my pediatric residency highlighted the challenges my patients face and how healthcare is an interconnected web that requires understanding and partnership between pediatricians, children, families, and the community that nurtures them. Collaborative Office Rounds with public health experts and guests from various community organizations were motivating and integral to my desire to pursue an academic career path in community pediatrics and public health.


Professional Goals:

My goal is to pursue advanced training in community pediatrics, obtain a Masters in Public Health, use my knowledge and passion to improve child health and health care in the Central Valley of California, strengthen community partnerships, and learn the skills to become a leader in medical education.

Currently Unfilled

UCLA Center for Excellence in Child and Family Health (CECFH) and MCH Academic

Sarahli Necoechea

University of California - Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (UC-LEND) at UCLA/UC Riverside

MCH Post Doc UCB Trainee: Cheralynn Corsack
DBP Stanford Trainee: Hannah Perrin
DBP CHLA Trainee: Kelly Schifsky
DBP UCD Trainee: Danielle Scholze
DBP UCSD Trainee: Theodora Nelson
LEAH CHLA Trainee: Sandra Valdovinos-Heredia
LEAH UCSF Trainee: Erin Jones
MCH Nutriton Trainee: Ronli Levi
LEND UCD Trainee: Marissa Swain
Partners UCLA Trainee: Sakura Takahashi
Partners UCLA Trainee: Miranda Westfall
Pathways UCLA Trainee:
COR UCSF Fresno Trainee: Soe Maw
UC-LEND UCLA Trainee: Sarahli Necoechea
CECFH @ UCLA Trainee:
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