There are many heroes in our world! We recognize the excellent work of our chapter members.

2022 Recipients

After School Program Mental Wellness

Sarah Bourne, MD, FAAP and Amber Gautam, MD, MPH

Our goal is to provide training for the after-school teachers in GLIDE’s program so that they have a better understanding of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders that occur with children and strategies to support children in developing healthy social and coping skills.

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Trauma Screening in Afghan Refugee Community

Christina Callas, MD

We propose to conduct and analyze results of 8 focus groups with stakeholders, including 4 focus groups of Afghan refugees (2 Dari-speaking, 2 Pashto-speaking), 2 focus groups of providers, 2 focus groups of community organizations.

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Food is Medicine for Youth

Anh Vo, MD, Sonia Subudhi, MD, and Walid Sherif, MD

This project plans to educate and create a community for adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD); a place to laugh, play and grow with individuals who understand what it’s like to grow up with a transformed, upgraded heart (hence My Heart 2.0).

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2021 Recipients

Equitable Health through Mindfulness, Movement, Cooking

Caren Vance, MD, FAAP & Miriam Rhew, MD, MPH, FAAP

This projects plans to address the epidemic of unhealthy lifestyle often presenting as obesity, and hopes to develop an online group health visit for primary care pediatric offices.

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Healing Through Art Therapy: HART Approach

Sarah Benke, DO

This project will implement an educational workshop discussing its current research and benefits will be presented to the CBOs, allowing the opportunity to identify gaps in knowledge and better understand barriers to art therapy integration.

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My Heart 2.0

Alexandra Curry, DO

This project plans to educate and create a community for adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD); a place to laugh, play and grow with individuals who understand what it’s like to grow up with a transformed, upgraded heart (hence My Heart 2.0).

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Helping Hands: School Nurses on Frontlines

Anahita Emamian, MD

This project seeks to raise awareness among families and school nurses on common mental health issues encountered by children through a series family centered handouts in English and Spanish.

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The Crucial Role of Foster Parents

Keenia Tappin, MD

This project aims to evaluate the knowledge, awareness and understanding among foster families about ACEs and the impact of ACEs on foster children.

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2020 Recipients

Inyo County Family Strengthening Project

Charlotte Helvie, MD, FAAP

This project seeks to formalize the interaction between various providers and agencies in Inyo County who work with children in order to improve the identification of families who are at increased risk of child abuse or neglect and the ability of these families to access supportive services.

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Mental Health Among South Asian Girls

Priya Shankar, MD

This project seeks to address the high burden of mental health issues among women and girls in the South Asian community, by working to raise awareness about key community issues, including cultural and social shame surrounding the topics of mental health, sexuality, and gender identity.

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Nutrition and Garden Club

Vanessa Boshuizen, MD & Xing Wang, MD

This project focuses on developing a sustainable, peer-ambassador nutrition behavior curriculum and implementing training among interested students to broaden the reach of an existing after school gardening program to promote positive nutrition behavioral changes for the school community at large.

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A Video Based Bridge to ABA

Maya Raman, MD & Clarissa Camarillo, MD

This project aims to support families waiting for access to ABA by demonstrating hands-on strategies for implementing behavioral interventions, to improve families’ understanding of behavioral strategies, and timely initiation of early intervention for children with ASD via a web-based video series that will be publicly available to families/caregivers.

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Promoting Childhood Literacy & Anti-Bias Development

Iván Marquez, MD

This project aims to adapt the Reach Out and Read (ROR) model to reflect the inclusive and culturally responsive care model practiced at the Sacramento Native American Health Center (SNAHC), by contributing to the workplace culture essential to SNAHC’s care model.

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The VOICE Project

Stephanie Fong Gomez, MD, MS & Noor Chadha, MS3

The VOICE Project will take a strengths-based approach by bringing local student leaders from underserved backgrounds to our clinic waiting rooms to register, educate, and empower adolescents and family members to vote.

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Special Achievement Awards


  • Gena Lewis, MD, FAAP - For an ongoing dedication and service to our chapter in various roles, including as President, and for ongoing commitment to addressing social health and early childhood wellness through our ASHEW Quality Improvement project.
  • Morgan Leighton MD, MPH, FAAP - For engaging with high school students directly to explore and transform their perception of the COVID-19 vaccine, she created messaging addressing COVID vaccine misinformation and elevated our chapter‘s social media and marketing.
  • Janice Kim, MD, MPH, FAAP - For reinvigorating and transforming our chapter social media and communications, and broadening our engagement with chapter members and our followers. She brought new meaning to the role of Communication Director.



  • Dayna Long, MD, FAAP - For being an outstanding and inspirational teacher and leader in community health and equity. We especially honor her leadership as our subject matter expert for our ASHEW grant.
  • Jacques-Emmanuel Corriveau, MD, FAAP - For chair of the AAP California State Government Advocacy (SGA) Committee. He is an outstanding advocate for children. He deserves special thanks for leadership during difficult challenges this past year.
  • Renee Wachtel, MD, FAAP - For
 impressively leading the writing and winning of grants for the chapter this year and for helping to lead many projects. We greatly appreciate her numerous skills and amazing contributions.


  • Lena Rothstein, DO - For demonstrating impressive leadership by developing an advocacy training curriculum focused on media for residents at UC Davis. She is also an outstanding Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) representative.
  • Aaron Nayfack, MD, MPH, FAAP - For co-chairing our Advocacy Committee for years, served on our State Government Affairs (SGA) committee, and continues to be an amazing advocate for children and inspirational for pediatricians as an elected official.
  • Jolie Limon, MD, FAAP - For being a phenomenal leader and advocate for children, particularly children in the Central Valley. We applaud her service and her leadership in bringing our Mental Health Day to Madera.


  • Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH, FAAP - For passion and persistence in advocating for equity and inclusion both within the chapter as well as nationally; and for leadership and insight in developing and facilitating practical workshops and discussions to address diversity and inclusion in organizations.
  • Diane Dooley, MD, FAAP - For charismatic leadership for the Mental Health Access Ad Hoc Committee in addressing the current barriers that pediatricians face when referring children and youth for behavioral and mental health services.
  • J. Raul Gutierrez, MD, FAAP - For advocating on behalf of immigrant children and communities, for leadership in creating a conference on immigrant health and forming collaborative relationships with community partners to protect our children and families and to empower all of us to become more engaged advocates.


  • Renee C. Wachtel, MD, FAAP - For spirited leadership of the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Committee and fervent advocacy on behalf of children with autism.
  • Mika Hiramatsu, MD, FAAP - For inspirational leadership of the Medical Education Committee (and tireless and detailed editing of chapter newsletters before publication).
  • Jolie Limon, MD, FAAP - For unparalleled leadership, exquisite teaching and thoughtful mentoring at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, California.


  • Eileen Aicardi, MD, FAAP - For creating and implementing our first budget process to ensure financial responsibility for our chapter.
  • Aaron Nayfack, MD, MPH, FAAP - For steadfast advocacy for children and families in his role as Advocacy Co-chair and member of the SGA.
  • Mark Simonian, MD, FAAP - For 22 years of service on the Board, as webmaster, creator of our database system, and all-around technical skills.