Cheryl Moder
Vice President,
Collective Impact

Cheryl Moder is Vice President of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, a public/private partnership whose mission is to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in San Diego County by creating healthy environments for all children and families through advocacy, education, policy development, and environmental change. Working with Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP), Ms. Moder is responsible for mobilizing partnerships among multiple domains and coordinating countywide efforts to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. Prior to her work with the Initiative, Ms. Moder served as a consultant to many health and human service organizations in the field of health promotion, communications, grant writing and research as vice president of Moder Research & Communications, Inc. She also worked for Sharp HealthCare providing leadership in tobacco control and prevention.

Stan Miller
Senior Director,
San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative

For the past 23 years, Stan has enjoyed working with a wide range of non-profit, government, and volunteer organizations in a variety of leadership, community development, and fundraising capacities.  Each of these opportunities included experiences in organizational management, program design, funding development, implementation, and evaluation; as well as opportunities to work with a variety of skilled professionals dealing with a diverse set of issues. For the past 16 years Stan has worked in Southern California (primarily San Diego County) with a number of organizations focused on health, hunger and food insecurity, early childhood education, homelessness, refugee resettlement, employment development and meeting basic needs. For the past eight years Stan served as the executive director for North County Community Services, and as the fiscal agent for the Alliance for Regional Solutions in Northern San Diego County. A foodie with a passion for nutrition and growing vegetables, Stan lives in Coronado with his wife Charai.

Nina Ghatan
San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative

Nina is originally from the St. Louis, Missouri area. Prior to relocating to San Diego, she worked as the Program Manager and Housing Counselor for a small nonprofit organization. For over two years, her work involved improving the health of homes through the home repair program, and the health of the individuals though health assessment and one-on-one counseling. Prior to that, she worked for the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department where she conducted a needs assessment, evaluated the assessment results, developed programs, and provided emergency support. Nina is also experienced at providing prenatal and postnatal education and case management to at-risk mothers. She has a Master in Social Work with a concentration in Social and Economic Development from Washington University in St. Louis.

Melanie Briones, MPH, MBA
Lemon Grove HEAL Zone

Melanie Briones is the Director for the Community Health Improvement Partners HEAL Zone project in Lemon Grove with the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative.  She has several years of public health community research, program evaluation, health policy research and analysis, and strategic planning experience.  Prior to her position at CHIP, Ms. Briones worked as the Sr. Health Policy Analyst for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute where she facilitated a regional collaborative effort between the eight San Joaquin Valley county Public Health Departments.  Prior to this, she provided data analysis and program evaluation expertise for the Stanislaus County Public Health Department, USCF-Fresno Latino Center for Medical Research, and California Public Health Department Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch.  Ms. Briones earned her BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPH from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, and an MBA from St. Mary's College, Moraga.

Mauri Hamilton
Project Assistant
Lemon Grove HEAL Zone

Mauri is originally from Northern California, a beachside town called, "Seaside", on the Monterey Peninsula. After high school graduation, Mauri moved down to San Diego to attend school at San Diego State University. While a student at State, Mauri majored in Women's Studies and minored in Africana Studies. Mauri's passion for wanting healthier communities comes from the unfortunate loss of both her mother, to heart disease and then her maternal grandmother to diabetes and liver cancer. Working with the Lemon Grove HEAL Zone as the Program Assistant Mauri has been able to help educate community residents that through simple lifestyle changes, longer lives will occur and therefore families will have more years to create loving memories. Mauri enjoys working alongside Melanie and the community of Lemon Grove.

Dan Fesperman
REACH Chula Vista

Dan most recently worked with UC San Diego on public health programs focused on business- and clinic-based breastfeeding friendly environments and worksite-based initiatives to improve cardiovascular health and increase access to clinical preventive services.  Prior to moving to San Diego, Dan was instrumental in managing Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's statewide obesity initiative, Georgia SHAPE. As the Obesity Program Manager in the Office of the Commissioner at the Georgia Department of Public Health, Dan played a large role in the development and implementation of the initiative covering a wide range of obesity prevention programs.  Previously, Dan was part of the team at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta that designed, developed, and implemented the Strong4Life program, a wellness movement designed to ignite societal change and reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity and its associated diseases in Georgia.  Dan has an incredible passion for working with individuals and organizations to improve wellness and health outcomes. Dan has over a decade of experience working with health and wellness programs and extensive experience in program management, development, implementation, evaluation, and the development and delivery of trainings and training materials.

Susana Lopez-Adolph
Program Manager
REACH Chula Vista

Susana has over ten years of public, private and nonprofit sector experience and has worked with some of the most highly regarded government and nonprofit organizations in the San Diego region. As a young professional and an active community participant Susana has had many successes in establishing long-lasting and meaningful relationships with and amongst seasoned professionals, community organizations, donors and businesses on both sides of the border.Susana's true passion and appreciation for public health, public service, community relations, community outreach, public policy, health promotion and disease prevention as well as her previous work and personal experience will help strengthen existing policies and systems through REACH Chula Vista and the collaborating partners.

Colin Cureton
Food Systems

Colin comes to CHIP and the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative and with a long history of working to build a better food system. Colin's previous work includes serving as program director for a community food project, an analyst for a city's food policy council, a community-based university researcher, a consultant for food systems organizations and start-ups, and a research fellow for a major early childhood nutrition funder. Simultaneous to this he completed a Masters in Public Policy (M.P.P) concentrating in food policy and a Masters in Applied Economics (M.S.). A recent transplant to San Diego from the upper Midwest, Colin is eager  to continue this work in Southern California. Colin is recently married and in his spare time enjoys cooking up a storm, training Capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art), biking, traveling, and kiteboarding.

Elizabeth Vaughan
Food Systems

As the Food Systems Coordinator for Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) and the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, Elizabeth works with schools, hospitals, produce distributors, local farmers and other key stakeholders to increase the availability of healthy, local food across San Diego County.  Previously, Elizabeth served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a Business Advisor in Uganda.  After her service, the fourth generation San Diegan returned to her hometown and started working for CHIP, whose vision is that every San Diegan deserves the opportunity to achieve optimal health.   Elizabeth is currently pursuing a certificate in sustainable horticulture, and enjoys cooking, biking and yoga.

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Quick Facts

  • Overweight children are far more likely to be obese as adults (California Center of Public Health Advocacy, 2009)
  • In 2006 alone, overweight; obesity; and physical inactivity cost California $41 billion in healthcare and productivity loss
  • One in four children in San Diego County is overweight or obese; this is slightly higher than the national average (California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 2009)

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