The Community Advisory Board (CAB) of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) serves a variety of critically important roles in support of the Center’s mission to prevent and reduce the burden of health disparities on the overall quality of life among communities of the Southwest. 

CAB Mission:

To advise SIRC leadership and serve as a liaison between SIRC and the larger community.

CAB Goals:

  • To facilitate the communication and collaboration between university-based researchers and community-based partners about health disparities.
  • To improve outcomes of interventions and services through the implementation of research projects that foster innovation, sustainability and translations into real-world settings and daily practice.
  • To enhance public information, outreach and dissemination between community health representatives and healthcare providers, policymakers, the lay community and research investigators to develop appropriate research, education and delivery of programs.

CAB Meetings:

The CAB meets four times a year in the SIRC office. Additionally, members are expected to participate on at least one of the four standing subcommittees listed below.

CAB Committees:


Recruits and nominates potential Board members. Defines criteria for membership and reviews
Board structure as indicated in the CAB Manual. Oversees the general direction of the CAB as
well as implementation of the work plan described in SIRC’s Community Dissemination and
Engagement Core. Ensures that CAB members understand the full range and scope of SIRC’s
programs and projects. Responsible for the Board Alignment Survey. Membership is comprised
of the CAB Chair, Vice Chair and Subcommittee Chairs.


Increases the visibility of SIRC in the local community by providing opportunities for collaboration, presentation and partnership for SIRC faculty, students and fellows. Participates in the development of a strategic dissemination plan of research findings with special emphasis on social media. Reviews and comments on materials developed for local community, health care providers and the media.  

Strategic Planning

Develops a strategic dissemination plan which identifies stakeholders, dissemination pathways, appropriate activities and mechanisms to ensure the sustained impact of research findings locally and nationally. 

Research and Education

Identifies critical health-related issues for public policy forums. Develops an annual calendar of events and activities for use in targeted dissemination materials.  Responsible for the development of the annual Board Accomplishment and Satisfaction Survey and implementation of its findings.   


Current Members:

Michelle Cabanillas, LMSW
Social Worker
Roosevelt School District

Shayna Diamond, MA
Director, Community Affairs
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association

Eileen Eisen-Cohen, PhD
Offices of Performance Improvement and Public Health Policy 
Maricopa County Department of Public Health

Maggie Eng
Program Manager
Chinese Senior Center, City of Phoenix

Zepporah Fuller, MHA/ED
Quality Improvement Coordinator 
Native Health

Jason D. Gillette
Executive Director
Guild Health Consulting LLC

Arjelia Gomez, MBA
President and CEO
Open Hearts Family Wellness

Shawna Green, MA
Marketing Specialist and Partner Liaison
Dignity Health

Patti Hibbeler, MA (Interim Chair)
Chief Executive Officer CEO
Phoenix Indian Center

Dawn McReynolds

Gregorio Montes de Oca, MPA
Diversity and Community Affairs Manager
Mountain Park Health Center

Jeanne Nizigiyimana, MSW, MA
Co-founder and Program Manager
Refugee Women's Health Clinic
Maricopa Integrated Health System

Farhia Omar, MPH
Senior Research Program Coordinator
Mayo Clinic

Zona Pacheco, LCSW
Housing Supportive Services Coordinator
City of Phoenix Housing Department

Teresa Peña, MEd
Cultural Sensitivity Administrator
Mercy Care

Dulce Maria Ruelas, MPH
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, Grand Canyon University

Jennifer Weller, PhD
Research Director, Child Psychiatry 
District Medical Group

Xochitl Wilson
Community Oral Health Liaison/Educator
Esperanca, Inc


Emeritus Members:

Anne Marie Cardinal, LCSW
Yvonne Fortier, LPC, LISAC
Elizabeth Ortiz de Valdez, MD
Manuel Medina
RJ Shannon


SIRC, Community Engagement and Dissemination Core (CEDC)

James Herbert Williams, PhD
Principal Investigator, CEDC

Migs Woodside
Senior Advisor, Community Engagement