2016 – 2017
Board of Directors.
Hawai‘i Island Community Coordinator (CTFH/HEAL)
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then press “1”
Sally has been the East Hawai‘i Coalition Coordinator since September 2010. She holds a B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Sally previously worked for the American Lung Association as the Hawai‘i Island Program Coordinator and brings a wealth of experience in tobacco prevention and control, as well as history with her local Coalition.
Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui Coordinator
(808) 591-6508 ext.9, then press “9”
Lydi has over a decade of experience building school garden programs and growing Hawaii’s farm to school movement. In 2014, she became the founding Coordinator of the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui. Prior to her role as Hui Coordinator, Lydi served as Garden Education Coordinator with the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation where she was the lead author of the ʻĀINA In Schools garden and compost curricula and led trainings for several hundred teachers and volunteers annually. She is a certified O‘ahu Master Gardener, Permaculture Designer, and graduate of Hawaii’s Agricultural Leadership Program. Lydi was raised in Honolulu, graduated from Punahou School, and earned her B.A. in Biology at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Outreach and Research Specialist
Kayla Carlisle is our Outreach and Research Specialist; one of three new positions at HIPHI that will help expand our food systems work. Kayla was first an intern at HIPHI in the summer of 2020, and worked on policy research and infographic designs. Kayla has experience as a Public Health Research and Project Manager, and is a recent graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy. Kayla moved to Hawaiʻi after spending a semester here on an exchange program, knowing she wanted to come back.
Director, Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth
Rick Collins is a Cincinnati, Ohio native who has lived and worked in Hawai’i since 2003. He currently serves as the Director of the Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth. Rick’s career passion is in creating responsible drug and alcohol policies that keep youth safe and drug-free. He enjoys playing hockey, is a father of two and husband to one, and partakes in as many outdoor activities as time allows. Rick has an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University and a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Prevention Specialist.
West Hawaiʻi Community Coordinator (CTFH/HEAL)
Lisa brings diverse experience with marketing, community networking, local food production and distribution, as well as a background in the coordination of food donations and waste programs with volunteers. Lisa also has an educational background in film and video production which she leverages to assist her in outreach and promotion, focusing on environmental and public health awareness issues.
Maui Community Coordinator (CTFH)
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then press “6”
Katie received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. She moved to Hawai‘i ten years ago and worked as an archaeologist and anthropologist here on Maui for close to a decade until she joined HIPHI in 2018. She is a competitive outrigger canoe paddler, mother of two, and former smoker. She feels passionately about the work HIPHI is doing to promote health in our community.
Roella Foronda, MPH
(808) 591-6508 ext. 5
Roella has more than a decade of experience with program and contract management, philanthropy, grant development and administration, budget management and community relations through her work at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. She was part of the oversight and management team for the Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund, serving as a liaison with grantees, partners and stakeholders. She received her undergraduate degree in Health Science from San Francisco State University in 2000 and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 2011.
Kirsty Gallaher, MS
Kirsty has a scientific background but focused her career where she believes she can have the greatest impact: connecting diverse groups of people with organizations doing compelling work. Motivated by innovative ways to broaden the reach and impact of social good projects, she builds understanding around complex topics in the public health sector, blending scientific and creative approaches to drive policy change for some of Hawaii’s most pressing challenges.
Policy/Youth Council Assistant (CTFH)
Chelsea recently graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Public Health. She was the President of the Breathe Aloha Club (which provides health education and outreach about tobacco issues and policies on campus/statewide), and worked to designate all 10 UH campuses tobacco-free in 2018. Chelsea’s work with HIPHI focuses on policy change, raising public awareness and assessing the youth cessation landscape in Hawaiʻi.
Finance Director(CTFH/ HEAL)
(808) 591-6508 ext. 8
Michelle joined Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i in 2007 and has spent the last 10+ years working in the non-profit sector mainly overseeing the fiscal and accounting departments for various non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the board of directors of PHOCUSED. In her spare time, she can be found biking around Hawai‘i Kai, enjoying Makapuʻu Beach or curled up with a good book.
Sonia Gupta, DDS
Oral Health Manager
Sonia Gupta is HIPHI’s full-time Oral Health Manager. She is a practicing dentist based in Maui, and continues her practice one day a week. She has a one-year old son, loves policy and data, is well-connected with various healthcare groups, and has been doing a lot of COVID-19 mobilization work. She also loves to write and is interested in technology.
Lindsey Ilagan coordinates and facilitates the Kūpuna Food Security Coalition, as well as outreach and data management work related to food security / food systems. Lindsey’s role is one of three new positions at HIPHI, to help expand our food systems work. Lindsey has also worked with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health in the Chronic Disease / Diabetes Prevention, Heart Disease and Stroke Division. She has extensive knowledge in public health, contract management, grant writing, communications, community building and engagement.
Coalition Coordinator, Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then “*”
Ashlee received her Master’s in Social Work from Portland State University. Ashlee has over 10 years of experience in social work, public health, community organizing, prevention work, coalition building and youth engagement. Since 2016, she has worked with local community organizations in Hawaiʻi. Formed in 2013, the MCDFY, now fiscally managed by HIPHI, is a local community coalition of partner organizations and individuals committed to reducing underage alcohol use and youth substance use in Maui County. Ashlee is a community driven individual who works on community prevention through policy change.
Rie Kuhaulua, MPH, PsyD
Research and Development Specialist
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then press “2”
Rie has more than a decade of experience serving marginalized communities in Hawaiʻi, the Pacific Islands, and California as a public health and mental health professional. She began her career working with grassroot coalitions to develop cancer and diabetes prevention and education programs. She also worked in community mental health clinics and in-home programs before returning to public health. Rie is researching emerging public health issues, providing technical assistance for research and writing projects, fund development projects, and HIPHI’s internship program.
Trish La Chica, MPA
Policy and Advocacy Director
(808) 591-6508 ext. 6
Prior to joining HIPHI in January 2016, Trish worked in the Governor’s Office to develop the State Health Care Innovation Plan to help improve health systems performance, increase quality of care, and decrease costs for the residents of Hawai‘i. Trish has more than eight years of experience working on both state and federal policy solutions in public health, advocating particularly for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Trish earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and received her B.A. from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. She is currently earning her certification in Healthcare Analytics from the University of California, Davis.
Lauren Loor, MPH, INHC
Maui Community Coordinator (HEAL)
(808) 591-6508 ext.9, then press “3”
Lauren is originally from New York City and has her M.P.H. from Long Island University in Brooklyn. She has worked with various non-profit organizations such as the New York Common Pantry and The Partnership for a Healthier New York City. Lauren is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been living on Maui for just over a year in the hopes of contributing to wellness on Maui.
Grants and Operations Coordinator
Ananda joined HIPHI in August of 2020. She previously served as an academic program manager at Colorado State University for nearly ten years, where she worked to increase access and success for nontraditional and first generation students. She has worked and volunteered in the public and nonprofit sectors including with LGBTQ, active transportation advocacy, and affordable housing organizations. She’s excited to continue focusing on social justice, health equity, and supporting vibrant, healthy, sustainable communities as part of the HIPHI team.
Susan Mercado, MD, MPH
Food Systems Director
Susan Mercado (Susy) is our new Food Systems Director. This forms one of three new positions to help manage HIPHI’s food systems work. Susy has diverse experience of over 20 years in public health, welfare services, humanitarian action, teaching, and medicine. She is an M.D. and an M.P.H. and has served as a specialist in international, government and NGO health organizations, helping to shape policies and program agendas on a global and regional scale. She is a passionate advocate for public health with a focus on prevention and control of noncommunicable disease and risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, substance abuse, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. She has leadership experience in COVID-19 pandemic response, and solid experience in outbreak preparedness, readiness and response in the Red Cross Movement, especially in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific.
Steph Moir, MPH
Community Initiatives and Training Coordinator
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then press “4”
Steph was born and raised in Alewa Heights on the island of Oʻahu. She attended college in Colorado where she received her Bachelors degree from the University of Northern Colorado and her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Steph previously served as the Tobacco Control Program Coordinator for Kōkua Kalihi Valley for three and half years, before joining the HIPHI team.
Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator
(808) 591-6508 ext. 7
Jaylen is the Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at HIPHI, where she helps to support policy efforts at the state and county level and promote smoke-free housing. She originally joined the HIPHI team as the Programs Assistant, and in July 2016 transitioned to her current role as Advocacy ad Outreach Coordinator. Jaylen graduated from Stony Brook University in 2014 with a B.S. in Health Science with a concentration in Public Health/Community Health Education.
Grants, Contracts, Operations Assistant
Maka was born and raised in Hilo on the island of Hawaiʻi. She recently joined HIPHI after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Master’s Degree in Public Administration on Long Island.
Community Coordinator, East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition
Jana has extensive background in health education and program implementation with more than fifteen years hands-on experience in prevention programming, community health and coalition building. Determined to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug use in the community, Jana joins HIPHI as the East Hawai‘i Community Coordinator on Hawai‘i Island, focusing on finding solutions through community collaboration. Prior to joining HIPHI, she worked as the Organization Lead for Blue Zones Project Hawai‘i.
(808) 591-6508 ext. 0
Lia graduated from Hawaiʻi Pacific University in May of 2008 with a B.S.B.A. in Business Marketing and then again in December 2011 with an M.B.A. in Business Management.
Youth ESD Prevention Project Coordinator
(808) 591-6508 ext. 3
Kevin joined the HIPHI team in January 2017 and has over sixteen years of experience coordinating youth programs and doing community organizing and prevention work in Philadelphia, PA. A recent transplant to Honolulu, Kevin spent the past eight years directing award winning after-school and summer programs utilizing Hip Hop arts and culture for high school students highlighting the intersection of artistic and creative expression with individual and community health.
Valerie K. Saiki
Kaua‘i Community Coordinator (CTFH)
(808) 591-6508 ext. 9, then 8
Valerie has been an active member of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i since 2003 and spent the past 14 years working in various platforms of tobacco-control on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. In July 2010, Valerie joined the staff of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i as the Kaua‘i Community Coalition Coordinator. In 2017, Valerie – after a year hiatus – returned to her passion in tobacco-control as the Kaua‘i Community Coordinator.
Community Coordinator, Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth
Andrea is an experienced program coordinator, educator, researcher and advocate for healthy policies. She has worked with educators across the state (and country) to incorporate culturally relevant, restorative, garden-enhanced nutrition education in schools, and looks forward to drawing from this expertise to help build drug-free communities on Maui and statewide.
Statewide Youth Coordinator
(808) 591-6508 ext. 2
Prior to joining HIPHI as staff, Scott had previously worked with the Institute on multiple policy committees as Executive Director for Community Programs with Blue Zones Project Hawai‘i. A resident for more than 25 years, Scott has been very involved in youth-focused activities, ranging from working 20+ years at Hawai‘i Pacific University in enrollment management to volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America and the American Youth Soccer Organization. He has an M.A. in Leadership from Augsburg College and a B.A. in Business Administration from Coe College.
Public Health Education and Communications Coordinator
Alana Thomas is our Public Health Education and Communications Coordinator, and joins HIPHI with a B.A. in Communications and experience in this realm. She is passionate about educating local communities on health equity. Alana believes the voices of local families can have a profound impact on public policy, and educating and empowering people in Hawaiʻi to engage in conversations on public health is a key value of hers. Alana spends her free time surfing and enjoying the beautiful hikes on Oʻahu.
Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui Special Projects Coordinator
Olivia is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui, providing coordination support for the Hawai‘i Youth Food Council (HYFC) and other Hui projects. Originally from coastal Massachusetts, she earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Relations from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She has worked extensively in the non-profit sector with a focused mission to enhance local food systems as a farmer, 4-H counselor, and community organizer. She looks forward to drawing from these experiences to support Hawaii’s farm to school movement from her new home on O‘ahu.
Jessica Yamauchi, MA
(808) 591-6508 ext. 1
Jessica has been the Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute since 2012. She graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a B.A. and M.A. in speech communication, with an emphasis in health communication. Prior to becoming the executive director, she served as the policy director for the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i and worked to advance tobacco control policy initiatives in an effort to reduce smoking rates. Jessica has worked in the non-profit sector for over ten years and has worked for the University of Hawai‘i, Office of Public Health Studies and the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center. Jessica currently serves as co-chair of the Obesity Prevention Task Force.