Ravenswood Family Health Center is governed by a dedicated 12-member Board of Directors (including one Board Liaison). The Board of Directors exercises policy oversight and provides direction for our organization. Our board members also sit on our Board Development, Quality, Finance, Audit, Personnel, Advocacy, Compliance, and Strategic Planning committees.

As a federally funded community health center, the majority of our Board members are from the community and/or are registered patients of the clinic.

The operation of a community health center is challenging given the constant changes and increasing complexity of healthcare. All of our Board members receive training from the National Association of Community Health Center’s Board Member Boot Camp, from which they learn the legal, administrative, financial, and clinical aspects of governing a health center.

Public Notice / Aviso Público

Ravenswood Family Health Center’s Board of Directors meets monthly on the third Tuesday at 6:30pm at 1842 Bay Road, East Palo Alto, California.

La Junta Directiva de la Clinica “Ravenswood Family Health Center” se reúne cada tercer Martes a las 6:30 de la tarde en el edificio 1842 Bay Road, East Palo Alto, California, el cual es el Centro de Recursos en el cuarto de conferencia, que se llama “California”.

Melieni Falemaka Talakai, Chair. Ambulatory Care Nurse, San Mateo County Mobile Clinic.

Melieni has served on our Board from the beginning, and has made major contributions in guiding Ravenswood’s development.  In April 2010 she received the Nonprofit Board Leader Award, given annually by the Volunteer Center to recognize the achievements of outstanding nonprofit board members in the Bay Area. Her background in public health has given her a thorough understanding of community health, and her Tongan heritage has made her an invaluable resource in our development of culturally appropriate methods for addressing chronic disease issues in Tongan communities.  Melieni is the co-founder of Taulama for Tongans, a volunteer nonprofit that provides health education to the Pacific Islander community.

Senseria Conley, Vice Chair. Community Advocate

Senseria Conley brings a wealth of community involvement spanning over 40 years as a resident of East Palo Alto. Ms. Conley has been an avid volunteer for several local organizations, including Bread of Life EPA, Mid-Peninsula Housing, and Palo Alto Farmers Market to name a few. Ms. Conley has raised two young adults which has given her valuable experience in dealing with the many challenges that arise in the process: health, education, nutrition and employment. Ms. Conley’s devotion to her community is witnessed in her every day walk through this community she calls “home”.

Julio Garcia, Treasurer. Program Director, Nuestra Casa

Julio has been one of our Board Members since 2001. With over 24 years of experience in grassroots organizations, he is aware of the needs of the community, particularly regarding immigrant issues and community education. Julio is currently the Program Director at Nuestra Casa, an East Palo Alto community education organization that promotes civic engagement and parent involvement.

Manuel Arteaga, Secretary. Social Worker, County Child Support Services

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Manuel became an elementary school teacher in Redwood City. In 1998, he moved to Barcelona to teach English and work with the Centre Integral de Serveis, where he coordinated group therapy and managed a caseload of patients in a mental health clinic. He now works with San Mateo County Child Support Services as a social worker. He has well-developed cross-cultural skills, and is an adept and thoughtful communicator.

Nancy Alvarez, College Access Family Liaison, East Palo Alto Academy Foundation

Nancy has been living in East Palo Alto for the past 20 years, and is actively involved in her community and is the proud mom of a Stanford University student and an UC Merced student. She is actively involved in the education of her two daughters, is passionate about social work, and strongly believes in the power of education to break the cycle of injustice in low-income communities. Nancy worked as a parent liaison at Cesar Chavez Elementary School for 13 years, and has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in May 2018. She is currently working at East Palo Alto Academy Foundation. She loves to advocate for families and refer them to resources to help them improve their well-being. As a Board Member of Ravenswood Family Health Center she feels responsible for making sure that individuals receive high-quality health care services.

Genesis Cerna. Partnership Coordinator, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

Genesis grew up in East Palo Alto and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Psychology degree in 2015. She has actively worked with many non-profits throughout San Mateo County. She is passionate about social justice and the needs of the community around her. Healthcare is a topic that is close to the heart for Genesis due to having struggled before with getting healthcare for herself and her family. Access to quality healthcare is important to her which is why she wanted to join a board that would allow her to serve the community in a different capacity. She currently works as a Partnership Coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank building and establishing relationships with agencies to ensure they have everything they need to close the gap of food insecurity in San Mateo and Santa Clara county.

Marcelline Combs. Community Advocate

A resident of East Palo Alto since 1955, Marcelline and her husband have raised her family in this community, and knows firsthand how important it is that Ravenswood continues to provide access to quality health care and culturally sensitive services. She attended Foothill and Cañada Colleges and worked at Sequoia Union High School District for many years before retiring.

Esmeralda Garcia. Financial Coordinator/Credit Specialist, Peninsula Family Service

Esmeralda grew up in East Palo Alto, CA. She completed an Associate’s degree in Business at Cañada College in 2016, and then proceeded to complete a Bachelor’s in Business, with an emphasis in Marketing, at Menlo College in 2018. In addition to pursuing an education, Esmeralda is a single mother of two young children which has given her valuable experience in overcoming many challenges that arise in education, nutrition and employment. She also supported the success of her fellow students during their college journeys. With her experience as a first-generation student, she helped recruit students to participate in the Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) at Cañada College. Esmeralda is currently a Finance Empowerment Coordinator for Peninsula Family Service, where she dedicates her time in strengthening the community by providing children, families, and older adults the support and tools to realize their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives. Her passion for connecting individuals to the services they need to succeed inspired her to join Ravenswood Family Health Center’s Board of Directors in March 2019.

Siteri Maravou. President, Ultimate Homecare Services

Siteri was born and raised in Fiji. Prior to coming to the United States, she worked in broadcasting as a producer and journalist for Fiji Television. She founded Ultimate Homecare Services in Silicon Valley in 2001. In addition to her commitment to Ravenswood, Siteri is also a Board Member of the East Palo Alto YMCA, and a member of the Pacific Island Community Center.

Fred Mondragon. Vice President of Business Development, Medallia, Inc.

Fred’s career spans 25 years doing Alliances and Business Development for technology companies in Silicon Valley including Sun Microsystems, Netscape, Oracle, and Netbase. Fred is currently in his 6th year as Vice President of Business Development (alliances) at Medallia where he has helped build the partner ecosystem as the company has grown from 200 to 1,400 employees. He is fluent in Spanish, speaks some Portuguese, and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Stanford University. Fred is extremely passionate about transferring his skills, experience, and expertise from his work to helping low-income, underserved communities in Silicon Valley access affordable health care services.


VJ Periyakoil, MD. Director, Stanford Aging and Ethnogeriatrics Center

VJ Periyakoil, MD,  is a nationally recognized leader in aging and end-of-life care. She founded and directs the Stanford Aging, Geriatrics and Ethnogeriatrics transdisciplinary collaborative center (SAGE Center), the Stanford Palliative Care Education & Training Program & the Stanford Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program.

Dr. Periyakoil is a member of the study section for the National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health, the Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Palliative Medicine and Associate Editor, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In addition to her role in Ravenswood’s Board of Directors, she serves as the Chair of the Ethnogeriatrics Committee of the American Geriatrics Society, as a Board member of the Council of faculty and Societies, founding Chair, Diversity Committee of the American Association of Medical Colleges. She has a deep and abiding passion for mitigating health disparities. Her work has been and is funded by grants from NIH, HRSA, foundations as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Board Liaison

Sherri Sager. Chief Government & Community Relations Officer, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Sherri Sager has represented Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) since the inception of our community health center, and has acted as Board Liaison since our first Board meeting in 2000. As the Chief Government Relations Officer she is responsible for developing and advocating for positions on legislation and public policies that impact LPCH and the children they serve. An advocate and leader in the public arena for over 30 years, she is widely recognized for her political acumen and understanding of public health care policy.