Staff Bios

Staff Bios

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Jesus Verduzco

Jesus Verduzco is the BB4HE Unit Manager. Jesus brings with him fifteen years of experience facilitating community capacity building, implementing local and regional planning efforts, and developing social media campaigns with underserved communities locally and statewide. He holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Systems Technology from Cornell University. Jesus is a world traveler and loves creating community through food and shared experiences.

Tanya Rovira-Osterwalder

Tanya Rovira-Osterwalder is the Community Engagement and Communications Manager for the Building Blocks for Health Equity Unit. She coordinates the work of the Building Blocks Collaborative, and supports BB4HE’s efforts at the intersection of health, equity and civic engagement. Tanya has over 20 years of experience working with community-based strategies advancing equity. She managed the local efforts in San Diego County for two of The California Endowment statewide initiatives.  Most recently, she worked for Contra Costa Health Services coordinating two place-based projects in the City of Richmond and in East Contra Costa County. Tanya is originally from Ecuador, she is a native Spanish speaker, and holds a Masters in Counseling/Family Therapy. Cooking with seasonal, local ingredients, and traveling are two of her passions.

Simone Saldanha

Simone Saldanha joined BB4HE as the Community Engagement and Innovation Associate Program Specialist, and is passionate about using human centered design to address public health challenges. Simone holds a multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma with a focus on anthropology and health and an MPH in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley. Simone served as an AmeriCorps member in Oklahoma City (2013-2015) and was a Berkeley Food Institute Community Engagement Fellow (2016-2017). In her free time, Simone enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, cooking and writing.

Mariela Uribe Mariela Uribe is a consultant for BB4HE, previously she managed all aspects of the Best Babies Zone Initiative. Growing up as a Xicana in East Oakland, California has laid the foundation for Mariela’s aspirations and passion for social justice, community health, economic justice, and health equity. Mariela obtained her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. In her free time she enjoys painting, spending time with her friends and family, and traveling!
Jacqueline Belloso

Jacqueline Belloso is a Program Coordinator for the Financial Tools & Solutions Project (an initiative under Health Equity and Resource Advocates, Building Blocks for Health Equity). Her areas of work for the Public Health Department of Alameda County include primarily working for Health Equity and Resources Advocates but also assisting to Building Blocks Collaborative and Best Babies Zone. She completed her B. A. in Sociology from Saint Mary’s College of California in May 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys attending concerts, visiting museums, and watching horror films.

Jose Caballero

Jose Caballero is a Program Coordinator and leads the Health Equity & Resource Advocates (HERA) at Alameda County Public Health Department. His project areas include coordinating strategic partnerships, community engagement, and collaboration. Growing up as a Xicano in East Oakland, California has been the driving force for Jose to seek opportunities to continue to grow a self-sustainable project. Jose completed his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Merced in Spring 2017 and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Health Care Administration at California State University, East Bay. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and hiking.


Silvia Guzman Head Shot Silvia Guzman is the Community Outreach Worker for BB4HE. She has lived in Oakland for 16 years, and has been a community leader since age 14. When her first child was 5 years old, she became a parent leader at Head Start; she went on to serve as a parent liaison on her daughter's School Board, helped to fund a parent council at the school, and became actively involved in activity and dialogue around the school's budget. She now sits on the Unity Council Board of Directors representing over 900 Head Start families. She has been actively involved with the Best Babies Zone since 2014, vending at the Castlemont Community Market, supporting the Castlemont Playtime Mini Grant, and serving as a community leader within the East Oakland Innovators program in the Small Business Development group. As a Community Engagement Associate, she connects with residents and resources in and around the Castlemont neighborhood to enhance BBZ’s ability to effectively connect with, support, and engage with community members in the Zone. She is also working to support our future community engagement efforts, including resident leadership opportunities, community forums, and partnership connections.

2017 BB4HE Public Health Interns

Ahmer Israr

Ahmer Israr is a Program Associate with the Financial Tools and Solutions Project, a Health Equity and Resource Advocates initiative, at Alameda County Public Health Department. This newly launched program aims to address the social determinants of public health by providing resources and coaching to the most vulnerable segments of society, enabling them to chart their own path to prosperity. He received his B.S. in Public Health from Santa Clara University in the summer of 2017. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, heading to the nearest movie theater, and spending time with friends and family.

Atmaja Aswadhati

Atmaja Aswadhati is a Summer Intern for the BB4HE unit. She is working on BBC & HERA evaluation focus groups, creating an infrastructure for collecting stories, and creating a Roadmap for BBZ’S Castlemont Community Market. She worked as a community organizer in the context of Health and Gender equity at her community college, where she practiced community based participatory intervention. She will receive her B.A. in Public Health from UC Berkeley in the Spring of 2018. She thrives in her spare time through caring for houseplants and loved ones.

Niko Martinez

Niko Martinez graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, and a minor in Asian American Studies. Born in Michigan and raised in the Bay Area, he was influenced and raised by many Pilipinx community organizations that sought to improve wellness and overall success – whether it be academically, personally, or professionally. As a recent graduate, Niko hopes to continue the work of these spaces that were so critical to his own development, empowering the next generation to take up new leadership positions at home, and across the country. Aside from his career interests in public and mental health, youth empowerment, and counseling, Niko enjoys listening and creating music!

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