Steering Committee

Sarah Fine, MPH, Co-Chair has over ten years of experience in health communications and policy, media, program management, youth engagement, and the nonprofit sector. She is deeply committed to mission-driven, collective impact approaches to social justice, and has delivered training sessions, workshops and high-level presentations about her visionary work. Sarah serves on the Diabetes Coalition of California’s Advisory Board and the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco Health Advisory Board.She currently oversees multiple projects for UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations’ Health Communications Program at San Francisco General Hospital. Most notably, she directs the award-winning The Bigger Picture campaign, which has been lauded nationally under her leadership.

Roberto Vargas, MPH, Co-Chair – is a Navigator for the Community Engagement and Health Policy Program of the Clinical Translational Science Institute at UCSF, working to leverage UCSF’s research resources toward health equity, primarily by building multi-sector partnerships between UCSF and local public and community-based health systems and organizations.

Franny Wong, Vice-Chair - is the Health and Nutrition Manager with Children’s Council of San Francisco. Franny works on improving the quality of childcare by supporting childcare providers in promoting and establishing lifelong healthy habits among the children in care. She received her B.A. in Biology and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and her M.S. in Human Nutrition from the University of Sheffield. In her spare time, Franny is an avid rock climber and a triathlete.

Bea Cardenas Duncan, Development Chair & SUSFC Ambassador – served as Co-Chair of the Coalition from 2012-2015. Bea immigrated to the US at the age of fifteen where she has worked with community organizations, nonprofits, and local and state governments for over 30 years. An active retiree, she serves as a Legislative Ambassador for the American Cancer Society.

Ana Validzic, MPH – is the Director for Safe Routes to School in San Francisco. She has been managing several active transportation and traffic safety programs at the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 2002. She also coordinates various educational programs and encouragement activities focused on safe and active walking and bicycling including Vision Zero and Safe Streets for Seniors. She received her Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cassie Ray  is the Northern California Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), working on cancer related policies at the federal, state and local levels in 17 Northern California counties.  With an undergraduate degree in dietetics and the awareness that obesity, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are major risk factors for cancer—second only to tobacco use–nutrition policy is an area of particular interest in Cassie’s work.

Emily Turpin is the Director of Health Initiatives for the YMCA of San Francisco. With an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, Emily holds a particular interest in obesity prevention and intervention and manages the Y’s evidence based health interventions, including the Diabetes Prevention Program. She works closely with community and health care partners to ensure SF residents receive a continuum of care between the doctor’s office and where they live, work and play. She is currently working on her Master’s in Organization Development and in her free time likes to camp, hike and kayak.

Jim Illig – is the Bay Area Community Benefit Manager for Kaiser Permanente, responsible for investments to improve community health, including programs and services that promote healthy eating and active living (HEAL).  Jim is former President of the SF Health Commission, Board Chair of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Government Relations Director for Project Open Hand, and Executive Director of Baker Places then Continuum HIV Day Services.

Patricia Erwin, MPH – has significant experience working directly on and providing leadership to public health promotion and prevention programs both in the US and abroad.  Since 1998 she has worked for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  In current position as Deputy Director for Community Health Equity & Promotion Brach of the San Francisco Department of Public Health she leads a team of professional public health staff who plan, implement and evaluate various community-based health education programs, and provides technical expertise on health education and prevention to colleagues and community-based agency partners.  Patricia Erwin has an M.P.H. in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in International Studies from The School for International Training.

Rita Nguyen, MD is an Assistant Health Officer for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Population Health Division and serves as the Chronic Disease Physician Specialist. In this role, she supports and provides thought leadership to chronic disease prevention efforts for the City and County of San Francisco. This includes supporting community-based initiatives, working collaboratively with health systems to advance population health, and informing efforts that promote policy, systems, and environmental changes that support health. She is a practicing hospitalist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF.

Saeeda Hafiz – is the Wellness Policy Project Manager at the San Francisco Unified School District. For the past 14 years, she has been facilitating and teachiing basic holistic wellness classes to staff, teachers and kids. Since 1990, Saeeda has been experiencing the power of her yoga practice and the benefits of eating a whole foods diet. Saeeda is also the author of an award-winning book called The Healing: A Memoir of Food, Family and Yoga. Saeeda is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Business and Management Information Systems. She has studied at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams, and Natural Gourmet in New York City.

Sarah Nelson has worked on food-related projects in the Bay Area since 2008. She launched the Bay Area’s first Market Match, which gives farmers’ market customers who use food stamps extra funds to spend at the market, and a Veggie Rx program that helped diabetes patients increase their produce consumption while measuring positive health outcomes. In 2011, she founded the nonprofit Three Squares, which merged with 18 Reasons in 2013. 

Tom Radulovich joined Transportation for a Livable City as executive director in June 2004.He played an important role in voter initiatives to create the Octavia Boulevard and to create a “Grand Central Station” at San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal that connects regional and intercity rail and bus lines. Tom has served as an elected director of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District since 1996, where he has advocated for reinvestment and renovation of the BART system, and improving BART practices in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, customer service, architecture and urban design, and the creation of transit villages at BART stations.

Lizzie Velten, MPH, is the Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, Greater Bay Area division. She has a B.A. from Pomona College and a Master of Public Health from U.C. Berkeley with a specialty in Nutrition. In her public health policy career, she has developed expertise in coalition building, media advocacy, lobbying and strategic research. Lizzie has advocated for state-level soda taxes, healthy vending standards, sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels, and funding for prediabetes interventions. On the local policy front, she has worked on soda tax implementation, healthy default drinks in kids’ meals, and tobacco control.

Shape Up SF Coalition Backbone:

Christina Goette, MPH – co-founded the Shape Up SF initiative in 2006. She works for the SF Department of Public Health as a Senior Health Program Planner focusing on chronic disease prevention. Her job includes directing the SUSF initiative and its projects, which includes staffing the SUSF Coalition, the Health SouthEast Coalition and directing related projects. In her spare time, Christina enjoys working out with her friends and daughter; going to the beach and cheering on the Giants.

Marianne Szeto, MPH –  has served as the Shape Up SF Program Specialist since 2008. She has helped elevate healthy eating and active living for San Franciscans through a variety of projects including Sunday Streets, Safe Routes to School, Rethink Your Drink, Open Truth and working to bring daily, quality PE for all SF elementary students. She tries to model healthy eating and gets lots of physical activity chasing after her young daughter. Marianne earned her B.A. in Classical Civilization with a specialization in Business and Administration from University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Public Health from San Jose State University.

Arletha Murray, MPH - works for the SF Department of Public Health in the Community Health Equity and Promotion Branch of the Public Health Division. Arletha has over 10 years of educational experience as a teacher and curriculum writer. Her job duties include education implementation, community engagement, outreach, technical assistance to partners, and coalition support. Arletha earned both Bachelor of Science in Health Science, and her Master of Public Health with emphasis in Community Health Education, from San Jose State University. In her spare time, Arletha enjoys attending Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games.

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