San Diego State University

Advisory Board

SDSU Graduate School of Public Health Advisory Board

Amy Adome, MD

Senior Vice President of Clinical Effectiveness
Sharp HealthCare

Irma Cota

Irma Cota

Irma Cota, MPH

President and CEO
North County Health Services

Irma Cota, MPH, is the president and chief executive officer of North County Health Services (NCHS). For more than 20 years, Irma has had experience working in executive management, strategic program planning, finance, and operational management. Under her leadership, NCHS serves more than 62,000 individuals annually at eleven clinic locations, providing comprehensive medical, dental, mental and other related health services. Irma oversees more than a $60 million budget, more than 700 employees, and a variety of programs to provide health services and outreach to the community.

Irma is an active member of the San Diego Community. She serves as the Chair for the Board of Managers for Integrated Health Partners of the San Diego Council of Clinics and Secretary for the Board of Health Center Partners (HCP) of Southern California. In addition, Irma is a member of the Board of Directors for the Elizabeth Hospice; City National Bank Advisory Board; California State University, San Marcos University Council; Palomar College President’s Circle; California Department of Public Health, Office of Binational Boarder Health; and Latino Health Coalition.

Along with her Master’s Degree in Public Health from San Diego State University and certificates in health administration, Irma has been recognized several times for her outstanding service to the community. In April of 2016, Irma was awarded the San Diego State University- Cesar Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award for Service. She has also received the Union Tribune Healthcare Latino Champion Award in 2014, The Bill Uhland Ethics Award for the San Marcos Rotary Club in 2012, was a Finalist for “Most Admired CEO” in The San Diego Business Journal in 2009, was nominated as one of the region’s “50 People to watch” in North San Diego Lifestyle magazine, San Diego County’s Public Health Champion Award in 2003, and “Distinguished Alumni” from San Diego State University’s School of Public Health 1993.

Jennifer Covin

Jennifer Covin

Jennifer Covin, MPH

Director of Programs
Health Quality Partners

Jennifer Covin is the Director of Programs at Health Quality Partners of Southern California, a subsidiary of Health Center Partners.  Health Center Partners serves as the primary voice and health care policy advocate for community health centers that serve the health needs of communities throughout Southern California (San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties). In collaboration with a team of Program Managers, Jennifer oversees grant sponsored programs and services aimed at meeting the needs of patients in the Health Center Partners member organizations.  Prior to joining HQP, she worked in the academic arena at both SDSU and UCSD for 20+ years managing federal and state funded public health research studies and programs aimed at preventing the leading causes of disease and managing chronic health issues in the primary care setting with adolescents and adults.  Jennifer is a graduate of San Diego State University.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and a Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion.

Kenneth C. Earhart, MD

Scientific Director
Naval Health Research Center

Rosemarie Johnson

Rosemarie Johnson

Rosemarie Marshall Johnson, MD

Board Trustee
Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Dr. Rosemarie Marshall Johnson is an anesthesiologist whose career and reputation transcend her medical background and reflect a broad range of applications in the health care industry.

Concerned about the many issues confronting community and public health, Doctor Johnson has been a passionate advocate dedicated to improving effective communication among patients, health care providers, insurers and government agencies, especially for the needs of the underserved population of our region. This includes appointment by both President Clinton and President Bush to the binational U.S.- Mexico Border Health Commission, whose unique mission is to improve health care delivery and develop pertinent health policy through effective binational collaboration.

Nick Macchione

Nick Macchione

Nick Macchione, MPH

Director and Deputy Chief Administrator
HHSA, County of San Diego

With over 30 years’ experience in the delivery, management and public policy of health and human services, Nick Macchione serves as San Diego County’s Director of the Health and Human Services Agency. He helps improve the lives of over one million San Diegans through a professional workforce of 6,400 employees and $2+ billion annual operating budget, including 166 citizen advisory boards/commissions and over 500 contracted community service providers.  With a county population of 3.3 million, his agency is one of the largest, integrated health and human services networks in the nation. With a passionate focus on practical innovation for improving the quality of life of people, Macchione directs the delivery of health and social service safety net programs, including public health services; emergency medical services and disaster response; behavioral health services; Medicaid managed care and other safety net health insurance programs; nutrition assistance for the indigent; child welfare, adult protective services; family and community violence prevention, public housing and community development services, parenting and early childhood development programs, support services for active duty military, veterans and their families. Also, he oversees the operations of the County’s Psychiatric Hospital; Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility; Children’s Emergency Shelter; and a residential high school for foster youth. Macchione implements policy direction for an elected Board of Supervisors and works closely with other elected leaders, including executive/legislative branches from states, federal, and international governments, city mayors/councilmen, district attorney, sheriff and superior court judges.

Throughout his entire public service career, Macchione has served as a community strategist, convener, and leader of large scale population-based improvements. Most notably, during the past nearly 9 years in his role as Agency Director, he has helped develop, implement and grow a bold and ambitious county- wide “social movement” known as Live Well San Diego. This groundbreaking data-driven strategy is a high level, collective impact for population health and social well-being improvement.  Live Well San  Diego is being implemented countywide with over 250 public-private partnerships representing over 2.2 million residents across all industry sectors. As a result of this community transformation, his Agency and community partners have earned numerous accolades for their innovative, cost effective solutions in improving the health, safety and well-being for San Diegans. In addition, Macchione has received numerous leadership awards and honors. Most recently, he was named by Governing Magazine as a national Public Official of the Year for his career accomplishments in developing innovative health, housing and human services.

Macchione has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the national and regional level. Macchione is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, having  previously served a 3-year term as the elected Regent for San Diego/Imperial Counties. He is a Public Health Leadership Scholar with the Public Health Institute/federal CDC and a Creating Healthier Communities Fellow of the American Hospital Association. He serves on numerous national and regional boards, including serving as co-chair of the Milbank Memorial Funds’ Reforming States Group, National Association of Counties’ health committees, executive steering committee for Harvard University’s Human & Human Services Summit, and Aspen Institute’s TeamWorks project for state health departments. Macchione holds dual masters’ degrees from Columbia University and New York University where he specialized in health services management and health policy. Also, he earned a senior healthcare leadership certificate from Harvard University. For the past 19 years, he has been an instructor and  faculty member at San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health and holds the endowed position of the John Hanlon Executive Scholar for the division of health management and policy.

Cheryl Moder

Cheryl Moder

Cheryl L. Moder

Vice President
Community Health Improvement Partners

Cheryl Moder is Vice President of Collective Impact at Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP), a San Diego non-profit organization. Using a collective impact model, Cheryl is responsible for mobilizing partnerships among multiple sectors and coordinating countywide efforts to prevent and reduce childhood obesity in a county of 3.2 million. Cheryl oversees multiple programs including the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, the Chula Vista Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, and a robust food systems department. Prior to her work with CHIP, Cheryl 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., and worked for many years in the field of tobacco control and prevention.

Barb Robinette

Barb Robinette

Barb Robinette, MPH

Marketing Communications Vice President
Coventry & GSPH Alumni Board Chair

Barb graduated with an MPH from the GSPH in 1989, with an emphasis in Health Services Administration – now better known as HMP.  She is the Vice President of Marketing for the Coventry Workers’ Comp Services division of Aetna.   Barb is a strategic marketing leader with 25+ years of experience leading high-growth initiatives in B2B health care and insurance markets through the development of first-ever integrated marketing strategies.  She has responsibility for a nearly $1 billion insurance division, building and leading teams in overall marketing practices, marketing organization/leadership, business development, market positioning, multi-channel advertising, social engagement, customer database, digital and traditional marketing initiatives, and e-commerce.  She has expertise in B2B Marketing, Product Development, Marketing Strategy and Operations in Healthcare, Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Managed Care.

Elise Rothschild, BS

Department of Environmental Health, County of San Diego



Douglas Scutchfield

Douglas Scutchfield, MD

Former GSPH Director
Professor, University of Kentucky

F. Douglas Scutchfield, M.D., was the initial incumbent in the Peter P Bosomworth Professorship in Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Kentucky. He held faulty appointments in the College of Public Health and the College of Medicine. He now is Emeritus faculty at the University of Kentucky and San Diego State University, having retired in January 2017. He received his MD degree from the University of Kentucky, where he was elected to AOA medical honorary. He completed post graduate medical education at Northwestern University, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Kentucky. Dr. Scutchfield is a diplomat of the American Board of Preventive Medicine and was, from 1972-1985 a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. He holds fellowships in both the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Academy of Family Practice. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Pikeville. He was one of the founders of the College of Community Health Science at the University of Alabama and founded the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, he founded the school, now college, of public health at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Scutchfield has held many national positions in professional organizations, including President of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and received several awards from those organizations, including the American Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He is a skilled editor and has served as editor, guest editor and on the editorial board of many journals. He is the author of over 200 referred papers, book chapters, and technical reports and has edited several books. He has consulted broadly both in the US and abroad.


Wilma Wooten

Wilma J. Wooten, MD

Public Health Officer
HHSA, County of San Diego



Judith Yates

Judith Yates

Judith Yates, MPH

Senior Vice President
Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Judith R. Yates is Senior Vice President of Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, a non-profit trade association representing hospitals and health systems in the two-county area.  Using her expertise in strategic planning, communications, team development, and program development, Yates’ efforts support Hospital Association’s members as an advocate for affordable, medically necessary, quality health care services in the San Diego and Imperial County communities.

Yates represents hospital members on numerous state-level issues through meetings of the California Hospital Association (CHA) including public affairs, disaster preparedness, emergency medical services/trauma, governance, workforce, rural health, behavioral health, homelessness, stroke, continuing care, medical rehabilitation, payor relations, and accreditation/licensing.  She contributed to California Institute for Nursing & Health Care’s (CINHC) white paper on nursing education re-design in California and serves on HEALTH Impact’s Advisory Committee focusing on inter-professional education and collaborative practice in the healthcare workforce.

Yates participates locally in the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Advisory Board, Health Services Advisory Board, LPS Task Force, Managed Care Advisory Group, East County Chamber of Commerce, Long Term Care Integration Project, and regional efforts involving workforce/shortages, behavioral health issues, homelessness, emergency medical services, and disaster planning.

Yates holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Masters in Public Health.  Prior to joining Hospital Association in 1997, Yates was Assistant Director of the Orange County Health Planning Council; Assistant to The Medical Center CEO/Associate Director of Clinical Service Planning at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center; and Special Assistant to the CEO at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center.






last updated: 2/28/2017