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: 

2020-2021 Trainee Liaisons


Enya Meng, MPH, DTR

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

Education & Training:

  • BS Clinical Nutrition at UC Davis

  • MPH in Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

  • Dietetic Internship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles



Professional Goals:

Enya is currently a dietetic intern and a long-term trainee in LEND at CHLA. She is passionate about nutrition in the life course and is especially interested in maternal and child nutrition. Her ultimate goal is to become a dietitian who is holistic in her approach to health, taking into account genetics, social factors, and physical environment when addressing the nutrition concerns of her patrons. She is also interested in gaining an IBCLC certification to advocate for breastfeeding.  


Sofia Martinez, LCSW

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

Education & Training:

  • ​BA Sociology California State University, Fullerton

  • MSW Social Work, The University of Southern California 

Professional Goals:

Sofia is a long-term trainee in the LEND program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and passionate about working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. 





Talia Roshini Lester, M.D.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at Stanford University

Education & Training:

  • Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at University of California Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA 

  • Doctor of Medicine from David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA 

  • Pediatrics Internship and Residency at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA 

Current Training:

  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA 

Professional Goals: 

Talia is currently a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow at Stanford. She is passionate about community advocacy and medical education. The MCH leadership program will help train her to become a leader in these areas. She is interested in developing ways to support easy communication among the multidisciplinary team members who care for children with developmental and behavioral conditions. Her current research focuses on medication management for anxiety and depression in primary care. 

Sairam Kumar, M.D.

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

Education & Training:

  • Medical School: Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India 

  • Internship: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 

  • Residency: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY



Professional Goals:

Dr. Kumar is a current CA-LEND long-term trainee at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. His research interests involve high-risk infant follow up, early childhood, autism, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is passionate about improving system-based practices and healthcare disparities in the community with regards to the treatment and management of developmental-behavioral conditions. 


Melissa Gallardo, MS

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

Education & Training:

  • A.A. in General Studies, Natural Science - East Los Angeles College, 2015

  • B.S. in Nutritional Science - California State University, Los Angeles, 2018

  • M.S. in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Candidate - University of Southern California, Spring 2021

Professional Goals:

Melissa is a long-term trainee in the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Dietetic Intern. She is a first generation Chicana, born and raised in Los Angeles. Coming from a community that is disproportionately underserved, the intersections of race, class and access to nutrition, which have always been a part of her life, have led her to pursue community nutrition. She hopes to continue to serve working class communities and make dietetics more accessible.



Chelsea Garnett, M.D.

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training Project at UC San Francisco


Education & Training:

  • Undergraduate: BA in Human Biology, Stanford University, 2010

  • Medical School: MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2015

  • Residency: Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 2015-2018

  • Fellowship: Adolescent Medicine, UCSF, 2018-Present

Professional Goals:

I grew up in and completed my pediatrics training in Los Angeles and am currently in my third year of adolescent medicine fellowship and LEAH training program at UCSF. I have a particular interest in bolstering provision of reproductive and mental health care for teens and young adults. 

Ryan Farquahar

Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Training Program at UC Berkeley

Education & Training:

  • BS: Nutritional Sciences - UC Berkeley 2018

  • BS: Molecular Environmental Biology - UC Berkeley 2018

  • MPH: Public Health Nutrition - UC Berkeley 2021

Professional Goals: 

Coming from Modesto, California, Ryan has seen the impacts of food insecurity from a young age as a foster youth. Since moving to Berkeley, Ryan worked to give back to his Berkeley community through the creation of Food for Thought. This program combined life skills courses to help students learn strategies to address basic needs insecurity. As well, Ryan worked to address stigma around houselessness as a Class Director in the Suitcase Clinic. Ryan now works to learn more about nutrition policy and advocacy in his MPH in Public Health Nutrition (while also working towards his RD credentials and Food System Certificate). He also is an intern at the San Francisco Department of Public Health: Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch where he worked on virtual implementation and program evaluation of the Intentional Walk Program. From these experiences, Ryan hopes to continue learning about the impacts of food insecurity on foster youth and youth facing houselessness. 


Stephanie Tangsombatvisit

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

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program at UC Davis

Education & Training:

  • TBA

Professional Goals:

I’m a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) fellow at UC Davis MIND Institute. Prior to fellowship, I worked as a general pediatrician at Highland Wellness, a community clinic in Oakland. I am a Bay Area native, and I love my community. I saw a huge gap in our mental health services and knew I needed DBP fellowship training to best serve my community.

Aliyah Moradi, MPH Candidate


Partners in Excellence for Leadership in MCH Nutrition at UCLA

Education & Training:

  • B.S. in Foods and Nutrition and Minor in Spanish from San Diego State University (SDSU)

  • M.P.H. Student, Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (expected December 2021) 

  • Dietetic Intern, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Professional Goals:

I am currently part of the combined Masters of Public Health Program at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Dietetic Internship with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. I also work as a DTR for UC San Diego Health for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Nutrition Services Department. I enjoy working with a wide variety of health care professionals to provide excellent care for all patients, from the youngest neonates to the elderly.  During my time at SDSU, I was able to volunteer for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) Head Start which primed my interest in public health and maternal and child nutrition. Through this experience, I became aware of how critical pregnancy and early childhood is to overall health as well as the social determinants that affect food access and diet choices. After graduating from SDSU with a Foods and Nutrition degree, I wanted to gain a broader perspective on nutrition and health by studying public health. After completion of the combined program, I plan to become a Registered Dietitian, working with mothers and children, as well as immigrant and military families. I hope to become a Lactation Consultant to promote breastfeeding and make a difference for families in such a critical life period.


Pearl Omo-Sowho

UCLA Pathways for Students into Health Professionals

Education & Training:

  • Associate of Science, Biology, Laney college (2017-2019)

  • B.S. in Human Biology and Society, minor in African-American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Goals:

This program speaks personally to me as my mother faced some difficulties during my childbirth and this led to some health issues in my life up to date. As an immigrant child, I felt the need to further my education focusing on ways I could address maternal and child health, here in the United States and in my home country.  After joining the Pathways for Students in Health Professions, and taking a class that focused on maternal and child health, I knew there was a need for me to be more involved and learn more about maternal and child health. As a member of the UCLA All Brains program, I mentor neurodiverse students both at UCLA and in Santa Monica high school and am still learning ways to make the transition process for neurodiverse students smooth. I became involved in programs that study and implement better structures for maternal and child health especially for women of color, knowing the high mortality rates of African-American women we see today. I plan to go to medical school and become an Obstetrics and Gynecology doctor so as to bridge the gap we see in underrepresented in medicine as well as in the specialty of OGBYN, and also encourage the future generation of black and brown children. I also plan to pursue my MPH degree in conjunction with my MD degree. 

Currently Unfilled

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






Jacqueline Carranza 

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

Education & Training

  • BA in Spanish and International Relations at the University of California, Davis

  • MPH in Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (Expected June 2021)


Professional Goals: 

Jacqueline completed a global health internship in Tarija, Bolivia where she did a clinical rotation with an obstetrician. This experience made her want to pursue a career in maternal and child health. She was also a fellow for the Global Health Disparities Research Training program through the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She conducted a content analysis on “My COVID-19 Birth Stories” that expecting mothers in the U.S. and Brazil uploaded onto YouTube and looked at maternal health disparities. Specifically, she is interested in working with Latinx communities in Los Angeles, CA and in Latin America.

Elizabeth Baker

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


Education & Training:

  • Undergraduate: BA, Psychology and Sociology; UCLA

  • Graduate: MA, Education, Specialization in School Psychology; UCR

  • In Progress: PhD, Education, Specialization in School Psychology; UCR

Professional Goals:

Elizabeth (Liz) is a current UC-LEND long-term trainee at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Her passion for maternal and child health stems from a commitment to translational research and familial experiences, as her older sister has an Intellectual Disability. Liz grew up admiring her mother’s perseverance and determination to obtain developmental services. Her research interests are focused on the identification of neural correlates of social communication and reward processing in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is currently examining reward processing to measure treatment efficacy of a social skills intervention for adolescents with ASD and exploring predictors of adaptive behavior in neurodevelopmental disorders. She hopes to continue this work to improve social outcomes and disseminate research findings from diverse families of Southern California.

Sanaz Vaziri, MD

Pediatric Pulmonary Center at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF PPC)


  • Undergraduate: BS, Neurobiology, African Studies, University of Florida (2011)

  • Medical School: MD, Florida State University College of Medicine (2017)

  • Residency: General pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center (2017-2020)

  • Fellowship: Pediatric pulmonology, University of California, San Francisco (2020-present)

Dr. Vaziri is a pediatric pulmonology fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and a long-term trainee at the UCSF Pediatric Pulmonary Center. Her clinical and scholarly interests relate to global health and sleep medicine. She is interested in identifying ways to optimize coordination of care for children and youth with special health care needs, regardless of clinical setting.

Currently Unfilled

Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles 

Currently Unfilled

Center of Excellence in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health @ UCB

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