Our Mission

We are working with community residents and stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to: 

  • Advance opportunities for improved health and access to comprehensive health care services;
  • Promote the long-term viability of safety net providers;
  • Increase prevention, education, and early intervention services; and
  • Partner with Medi-Cal managed care plans to monitor and improve the local healthcare system.

Lee Hindman

Lee Hindman Chairperson

Representative of the general public and the Joint Chambers of Commerce

Mr. Lee Hindman is a Certified Public Accountant with over 35 years’ experience in the refuse and related businesses. He has lived in Imperial Valley for 40 years where he raised his 3 children. He has been involved in all aspects of the business in municipal contracting, management, operations, financing, and ownership. He was instrumental in the growth and ultimate sale of Suburban Sanitation in 1997 which operated in five counties and two states.  Several years after the sale, he came out of retirement and co-founded Palo Verde Sanitation in 2007.  In 2011, he negotiated the sale of Palo Verde Sanitation to CR & R.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business from San Diego State University.

He currently serves the Chair of the Imperial County Local Health Authority.  He also serves as Treasurer for the California Mid-Winter Fair, Treasurer of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Brawley, President and Treasurer of the Joint Chambers of Commerce for Imperial Valley, Secretary of the El Centro Rotary Club, and Vice-President of the Navy League of Imperial Valley.

Yvonne Bell Vice-Chair of the Commission

Innercare, Chief Executive Officer

Provides leadership and oversight of the operational, administrative, and financial management of the organization. Serves as an agent of charge for the organization and interprets board policy for staff to certify implementation. Assures program conformity to the mission, strategic plan and policies. Advises and informs board members. In conjunction with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), is jointly responsible for coordination of patient care and activities. Ensures compliance with federal, state and local government regulations and grant requirements. Evaluates staff performance and determines equitable compensation schedules. Oversees the Independent Physicians Association and managed care plans. Reports directly to the Board of Directors

Appointed Commissioner for the Imperial County Local Health Authority Commission and is the Finance Chairperson and an Executive Member of this Commission. In recognition of her leadership, Ms. Bell received the 2006 Las Primeras award from MANA of Imperial County and the 2011 Woman of the Year Award from the Center for Family Solutions of Imperial Valley. In 2018, she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Stone of Hope Award and the Campesinos Unidos, Inc. Community Recognition Award.

Ryan E. Kelley Imperial County Board of Supervisors, District 4 Supervisor

Ryan E. Kelley was elected to represent District #4 (Brawley, Bombay Beach, Calipatria, Desert Shores, Niland, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, Vista Del Mar, and Westmorland) in 2012. He is a lifelong and third generation resident of Imperial Valley. His civic commitment began as an Eagle Scout with Troop 22, Boy Scouts of America, and continued as Exalted Ruler of the Brawley Elk’s Lodge #1420. It was his desire to make a positive change that prompted him to become involved in local government; and today, he strives to make decisions that benefit our communities. As an Imperial County and Brawley Firefighter, he fought fires across Imperial County. As a Paramedic, he treated and cared for patients from Bombay Beach to Salton City. As an Imperial Valley College Instructor, he taught fire science and emergency medical services to the next generation of firefighters and EMTs. As the Imperial County Emergency Medical Services Administrator, he developed and enhanced the Emergency Medical Services system and capabilities. Beyond attending Brawley Union High School, Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Beach State University and an Associate’s of Science degree from Miramar College, as well as a Paramedic Certificate from Imperial Valley College. Education and educational opportunities are important to Ryan, as he wants to build upon the options available to our youth.

Miguel Figueroa County of Imperial, CEO

Miguel Figueroa was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as the County Executive Officer on March 8, 2022.

Prior to becoming the County CEO, Figueroa served as the Executive Director of the non-profit Calexico New River Committee from 2006 to 2013 and worked extensively with community-based organizations and government agencies from Mexico, the State of California, and U.S. Federal government to develop the New River Improvement Strategic Plan in order to mitigate negative public health impacts and provide a vehicle for project funding. Figueroa then joined the Imperial County Workforce Development Board in 2013 as an Administrative Analyst and was appointed as Director a year later in which he served a three-year term. In 2018, he was named Assistant City Manager of the City of Calexico and was tasked with providing oversight of management responsibilities, supervised and implemented economic workforce strategies, and made strategic efforts to target social and business development programs through local and regional initiatives. Upon the resignation of then-City Manager David Dale in 2020, Figueroa was appointed as interim City Manager and served until his appointment as permanent City Manager in July of 2020. As City Manager, Figueroa balanced the city’s budget after being in a $4 million deficit, secured millions of state grant funds to redevelop Heber Park, prioritized the modernization of infrastructure by advocating for hundreds of millions of federal funds for the completion of the Calexico West Port of Entry, supported local law enforcement by expanding communication services for the city’s police department, established ordinances to incentivize economic development, and successfully negotiated and executed a contract between the California Department of Water Resources and city for the disbursement of $28 million of state funds to implement the New River Improvement Project.

Dr. Carlos Ramirez Non-physician provider representative, DCRC Consulting

Dr. Carlos Ramirez is a resident of El Centro for over 35 years, he is the CEO and Senior Consultant of his company Dr. Carlos Ramirez Consulting LLC (DCRC LLC) providing operational, clinical, and service excellence training and consulting to his clients including Hospitals, Home Health, Hospice, Clinics, and Private Medical Practices. He is also a RCFE Administrator for Rose Crest Assisted Living in El Centro. Dr. Ramirez previous experience includes working as Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Operational Officer, Motivational speaker, Regional Director of Operations, Executive Director, Nurse Director, Nursing Professor, Critical Care Nurse, and Emergency Nurse for diverse businesses including UniCare, AccentCare,  Imperial Valley College, PMHD, and ECRMC.

Dr. Ramirez completed his Associate Degree in Nursing in 1996 from the Imperial Valley College (IVC), a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) in 2006, a Master Degree in Nursing (MSN) in 2009, and a Doctoral degree in Health Administration (DHA) in 2021, all postgraduate degrees from the University of Phoenix (UOP).

Damon Sorenson CEO, Pioneers

Providing part-time and project CFO/COO services for all aspects of financial management and profitability improvement: financial and operations analysis, pricing strategy and financing. Damon is an experienced CFO providing a broad range of business advice and service nationwide. Damon is available on an as-needed and cost-effective basis. Damon is committed to adding value to your organization.

A leader with over twenty years producing results in the healthcare industry. Strong interpersonal skills and comfortably interacts with multiple stakeholders including company executives, the Board of Directors, outside clients and front line staff. Masters prepared CPA with a positive, team oriented leadership style and proven success improving the profitability of organizations. A calm, deliberative, self assured, proactive and energetic personality with demonstrated ability to work effectively with multiple stakeholders.
Damon brings wide experience, including hands-on accounting, financial, process implementation and operations management expertise, as well as a deep understanding of big picture issues like strategy, financing, and growth.
Damon is an expert in developing, implementing, monitoring and reporting KPIs, both operationally and financially. This provides insight of the “important” things happening in the business. Damon offers keen financial acumen to lead businesses to profitability and growth in both lean times and periods of growth.

Paula Llanas Director of Social Services

Ms. Llanas plans, organizes, and directs the operations of the Imperial County Department Social Services. Throughout her two-decade tenure, she has built strong partnerships at a local, state, federal, and international level to best serve the most vulnerable population of our community with a focus on social justice and equity.  Ms. Llanas has directed and implemented various specialized programs, including working with the International Social Service, U.S. Consulate, Desarrollo Internacional de la Familia, and Instituto Nacional de Migración on repatriation processes for children and adults.  In addition, the Department of Social Services serves as the Administrative Entity for the Imperial Valley Continuum of Care Council (IVCCC). Ms. Llanas provides executive leadership to programs within the department to include the IVCCC, CalWorks, Cal-Fresh, MediCal, Children and Family Services, Administration, Aging and Disability Services Divisions and the Family Justice Center.  In partnership with other agencies, the Department of Social Services promotes and safeguards the stability, self-sufficiency and well-being of Imperial County residents.

Dr. Allan Wu Chief Medical Officer, Innercare

Dr. Bushra Ahmad Chief Medical Officer – BH

Bushra Ahmad MD is a board-certified adult psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. She has been working as an adult psychiatrist at Imperial County Behavioral Health Services since 2004 and as a medical director since 2011.  She has her Master’s in Public administration with an emphasis on health to learn more about organizational skills and people’s behavior and how to improve job performance and reduce burn out which is very common among doctors.  She stresses on positive psychiatry and gratitude approach to improve employees’ morale and patients’ health. She emphasizes on working collaboratively with other agencies in the community. She believes saving lives, one life at a time, by helping people with mental health and substance use problem.

She has a passion to give back to poor communities in Pakistan and here in the US.  In the US, she is an active member of local health authority which works to improve overall health of the community with emphases on prevention of asthma and opioid epidemic. In Pakistan, she has established a nonprofit hospital and a scholarship fund for poor students. She is also an active member of interfaith community of Imperial Valley.

In her spare time, she loves to do gardening, cooking and sightseeing. Rest of the time she spends with her husband and 2 kids.

Unnati Sampat M.D, FACP Imperial County Medical Society Representative

Dr. Unnati Sampat, MD, FACP is a Geriatrician and an Internist serving patients in Imperial Valley since 2011. She obtained her Geriatrics Fellowship from UCLA, Fellowship in Cardiac Imaging from UCSD and did her Internal Medicine residency at Loma Linda University after her medical school in India. Dr. Sampat provides consultation in her medical offices in El Centro and Calexico. She is the Medical Director of the Rural Health Clinic in Brawley. Dr. Sampat is a National Award-winning researcher and has been recognized by the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology. She was given the Special Recognition Award for leadership to improve Geriatric Care for patients in Imperial County by the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties in November 2022. She was also recognized with a Best Physician Award by California Health and Wellness for Medi-Cal.

Dr. Sampat has been the President of the largest private Medical Group in Imperial Valley, IVFCMG. Dr. Sampat has volunteered as Commissioner for the Local Health Authority since its inception. She has also volunteered to serve on the Quality Improvement committee for IVFCMG in collaboration with UCSD, and currently an ACO with Aledade.

She is the President-elect for the Imperial County Medical Society.

Dr. Sampat is committed to improving the health care of the community – she loves the patient population and demographics of the Valley.

She enjoys traveling, gardening and spending time with her husband and two children.

Dr. Theodore Affue Imperial County Medical Society Representative

Larry Lewis, CEO of CHPIV

Larry Lewis  Chief Executive Officer

Larry Lewis was Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District’s Chief Executive Officer since September 6th, 2012. Throughout his career he’s worked in executive management positions within the healthcare field. This is one of the many reasons he will succeed at taking the Local Health Authority to the next level. He received his MBA from the University of Colorado- Denver, and a BS in Accounting from Arizona State University. Lewis was a board member and Chairman of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. He was also Board Chair of BETAlliance Insurance Services (BAIS), a risk retention group that writes healthcare professional liability insurance in the state of California, and the BETA and the BETA Healthcare Group board of directors (BETA Council); he served as a board member of the California Association of Hospitals and Health System; , and the California Hospital Association. He is the Past-President of the Brawley Rotary Club.

Dr. Gordon Arakawa, Chief Medical Officer of CHPIV

Dr. Gordon Arakawa Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Gordon Arakawa joined CHPIV as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Health Equity Officer (CHEO), having previously served as Medical Director at the Central California Alliance for Health and County Health Officer in Merced and San Joaquin Counties. Dr. Arakawa’s experience in tertiary medicine, primary medicine, public health, and managed care has provided a strong foundation to lead CHPIV’s direct mission: to ensure the availability and quality of health care services for CHPIV’s members through leadership of the Health Services Department. Furthermore, Dr. Arakawa’s expertise in Population Health Management and data science will help CHPIV attain broad healthcare system goals: identify and manage comprehensive needs through whole person care approaches and social drivers of health and improve quality outcomes, reduce health disparities, and transform the health delivery system through value-based approaches. Dr. Arakawa completed his Diagnostic Radiology Residency and Nuclear Radiology Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree and Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from Boston University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Harvard University.

Elysse Tarabola Chief Compliance Officer 

Elysse Tarabola is a seasoned professional in compliance and regulatory affairs, bringing a wealth of expertise and knowledge to her role as Chief Compliance Officer. With a strong background in healthcare compliance, including a Bachelor’s in Public Health Policy from University of California Irvine and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, she has established herself as a trusted leader in the industry. Prior to her current position, Elysse served as the Senior Director of Regulatory Compliance for L.A. Care Health Plan, one of the largest publicly operated health plans in the nation. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in developing and implementing comprehensive compliance programs, transforming reactive compliance approaches into proactive strategies. With a deep understanding of managed care operations, she goes beyond traditional compliance roles to become a true partner with business owners, seamlessly integrating compliance into daily operations. Her ability to bridge the gap between compliance and operations allows her to champion compliance initiatives that not only meet regulatory requirements but also contribute to operational efficiencies and improved patient care. What sets Elysse apart is her genuine passion for serving Medi-Cal members and making a positive impact in delivering quality care. She firmly believes in the power of compliance to enhance patient outcomes. Elysse’s strategic vision and commitment to excellence make her an invaluable asset to the organization, driving forward the mission of delivering high-quality care while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and compliance.

Michelle Stephanie Trujillo-Ortiz, Office & Human Resources Manager for CHPIV

Michelle Stephanie Ortiz-Trujillo Senior Director of Human Resources & Community Relations

Michelle Stephanie Ortiz-Trujillo, Senior Director of Human Resources and Community Relations with more than five years of experience in the fields. She is currently responsible for the development and execution of HR strategies that align with the company’s business objectives at the Community Health Plan of Imperial Valley. Her duties encompass organizational development, performance management, employee relations, and talent acquisition.

During her tenure, she’s effectively led initiatives that improved employee engagement, streamlined HR processes, and enhanced organizational culture. She has a demonstrated history of promoting a positive work environment and driving change. She has also led community involvement initiatives by being the leader of the Community Advisory Committee, and working hands-on with her community.

Michelle is a member of SHRM and possesses a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona. She is enthusiastic about the promotion of employee inclusivity and is actively involved in professional organizations and industry conferences.