We are extremely proud to have a dedicated and hard-working team of staff and volunteers.
Rosa Soto has served as Executive Director of the LAC+USC Medical Center Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) and The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital in Los Angeles, California since 2015. In her role, Rosa is responsible for guiding the organizational policies, programs, partnerships and infrastructure to support the mission, vision, and direction of the Foundation, The Wellness Center and the LAC+USC Medical Center.
For more than 20 years, Ms. Soto has focused her passion to empower underserved children and their families by improving health and wellness opportunities across the community. She has championed important public health issues including: teen pregnancy prevention, relationship violence, child safety, mentoring, and addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. Before joining the Foundation, Rosa served as Assistant Director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) where she was responsible for guiding and directing programs, operations and policy and led the efforts to create CCPHA’s evidence-based community engagement and advocacy model. In addition, she advocated for the passage of the strongest sugary beverage and snack food policies in the county of Los Angeles and the State as well as led the development of a national model for local health policies and initiatives.
Dr. Janina Morrison, MD, MPH
Dr. Janina Lord Morrison, MD, MPH, is the Director of Clinical and Preventive Services for the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Dr. Morrison also acts as the Medical Director of The Wellness Center at the Los Angeles County+University of Southern California (LAC+USC) medical center and a physician in the LAC+USC primary care clinic. The Wellness Center (TWC) is an innovative prevention-oriented community center on the campus of LAC+USC, housing 23 community-based organizations that provide programming and services to the patients of the medical center and the surrounding community. Since opening in March 2014, TWC has seen more than 20,000 clients with special focus on programming to address the social determinants of health and lifestyle modification. Dr. Morrison completed medical school at UCSF and training in internal medicine and preventive medicine at Columbia University and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Heather Hays is Associate Director of the LAC+USC Medical Center Foundation, Inc. and The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital. Heather is a non-profit professional with 20 years' experience leading teams, programs and projects designed to improve the quality of life for community residents in Los Angeles. Heather is proud of the collective work achieved by the Foundation and its partners to address issues of health equity and improve systems of care. At The Wellness Center, Heather is privileged to work with an incredible team of community-health advocates who work tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of our clients every day. Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather worked at FAME Corporations as the Director of Health Services, as Director of Chapter Education for the Young President's Organization, and at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in several roles including program manager of Executive Education.
Communications & Development Manager
Anna brings more than 25 years of experience in leading successful communications, community engagement, public affairs and development initiatives in the legislative, corporate and nonprofit environments. In her current role as Communications and Development Manager, she oversees the development and implementation of the Foundation’s communications plan, strategy, and tactics that highlight the Foundation’s successes and inform the broader community of the various wellness programs and services offered at The Wellness Center.
Anna joined the Foundation after successfully working with local municipalities to secure more than $7.5 million in grant funding in support of projects focused on creating healthy built environments and active transportation options, such as new light rail and bus routes, urban greening, stormwater capture and groundwater recharge, creating new or rehabilitating existing parks, creating bike and pedestrian paths and trails, and developing Safe Routes to School and Complete/Green Streets plans.
Previous to that, Anna served as the Communications and Development Manager for Public Health Advocates (formally the California Center for Public Health Advocacy – CCPHA) providing leadership over communications, grant writing and grant implementation strategies and tactics, and secured more than $4 million in grant funds to support healthy eating and active living initiatives. Preceding her work with CCPHA, Anna was the Regional Director of Public Affairs for Time Warner Cable’s (now Spectrum)) West Region where she managed a public affairs and community investment budget of $15 million in monetary and in-kind assets as well as led a multi-state communication and community investment team to integrate the company’s communications and corporate social responsibility strategy into their overall business objectives. Additionally, Anna created and implemented communications, community relations and corporate giving initiatives for Warner Bros. Studios, served as director of Latino programs for the American Heart Association and began her career in public affairs as a field representative for retired California State Senator Hilda L. Solis.
Ms. Cardenas serves as a Program Manager at LAC USC Medical Center Foundation, a sub-contractor of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tobacco Control and Prevention program focused on addressing tobacco-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Ms. Cardenas is working to assess the public’s opinion in the cities of South Pasadena and Baldwin Park about tobacco products and the smoke they produce to address tobacco-related diseases and create educational resources and systems change at the local level to help make Los Angeles County a healthier place for all residents. Prior to joining the LAC USC Wellness Center, Ms. Cardenas served as a senior-level Project Manager at Evan Brooks Associates, leading large-scale community-based transportation planning to elevate multi-lingual voices for equitable active transportation policy planning and active living through Open Streets event planning. Ms. Cardenas has dedicated her career to managing policy-based campaigns and statewide initiatives, including the Healthy Eating Active Communities Initiative (California Endowment), Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiatives (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative (First 5 LA) and Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (US Department of Agriculture) to advance systems and policy change to improve public health outcomes in communities of color. Her roots in health education, case management, and community organizing have given her unique insights into the community engagement process at a much deeper, scientific and holistic level. Ms. Cardenas earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology from California State University Northridge. She loves to dance and travel with her family and daughter Mila.
MEET THE CARE COORDINATION TEAM!
This amazing team will greet you as you enter The Wellness Center and are eager to provide the best service to clients.
Cecilia’s first employment as a Registered Nurse was at LAC/USC at Orthopedics 3200; and then at EMCHC at Adult clinic [Renal Charge Nurse], Lupus Foundation of America [Navigator Western USA] and most recently The Wellness Center LA [Health Care Advocate]. She learned from her Pediatrician and Nurse how to care for each patient individually at the age of 14. Cecilia has SLE so her mission is to aid clients with Chronic Illnesses maintain the ability to perform ADL’s (activities of daily living) and increase their self-esteem.
Carmen was born in Guatemala City and raised there for 13 happy years. She loves helping others, anything public health, our community, and linking clients to quality care that helps to improve their overall health. This lead her to the doors of The Wellness Center where she has been working for two years now. Carmen's goal for the near future is to become a nurse in the OB/GYN department and help with childbirth. In her free time, I enjoy reading and playing Animal Crossing.
Mariana is a Consultant with The Wellness Center and INN2, creating and providing wellness groups. She enjoys working with the community and promoting art as a vehicle for good health.
Sofia T. Alvarez
Communications + Development
Community Health Worker Lead
Cecilia Lorena Picasso
Cecilia Lorena Picasso es mama de 6 hijos y trabaja en El Wellness Center. Le gusta ayudar a la comunidad y se siente muy activa como una mamá fuerte. Cecilia sabe que Dios la hizo fuerte porque le ha puesto gente de gran corazón y humildad en su camino.