Dr. Byron Patterson – Dr. Patterson graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine, and completed his residency at UCLA Medical Center. This extensive training provided him with knowledge in various aspects of internal medicine and pediatrics, a branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. After finishing his residency, he served as an Assistant Professor in the department of pediatrics, and he started the pediatric sports medicine clinic. Dr. Patterson has treated NFL athletes, provided on-site medical coverage for Olympic events, and is now one of the team physicians for the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team. He is a single parent, and the proud father of a son and daughter. He has a deep commitment to helping members of low-income and minority communities.
Dr. Spencer Adams – Dr. Adams specializes in Internal Medicine. He earned his medical degree from USC School of Medicine. Dr. Adams did his internship in Internal Medicine at UCLA School of Medicine, and he completed his residency at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has hospital affiliations with the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Dr. Adams is a single parent, and the proud father of a daughter. He is passionate about issues affecting low-income communities.
Dr. Suzanne R. Merlis – Dr. Merlis received her clinical doctorate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and she completed her post-doctoral work in Family Systems and Health through the University of Chicago. She specializes in clinical health psychology focusing on helping clients understand the interface between health and behavior, and the psychological and behavioral risk factors for disease. Some of the Health problems that she works with are pre and post-partum, PMS, pain, headaches, cardiovascular, and chronic and terminal illness. She also addresses high risk factors for disease including weight and substance abuse. Along with her concentration in health psychology, she conducts individual, couples, family, and group therapy with adolescents and adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, loss, trauma, and women’s issues. Dr. Merlis resides in Los Angeles with her husband and twin baby girls.
Chaka Zulu – He is the Founder and CEO of Disturbing tha Peace Records, a label that fosters multi-platinum selling and Grammy award-winning recording artists. He serves as the Manager of recording artists, such as ‘Ludacris.’ Chaka was the inspiration for the development of The Ludacris Foundation, a non-profit organization that was named one of the top 20 ‘Leading Philanthropy Foundations’ by Black Enterprise magazine. Chaka is a single parent, and the proud father of a son and daughter. Chaka is dedicated to supporting underserved communities.
Alexis hoag – Alexis is an attorney and a graduate of Yale. She earned her law degree from New York University School of Law. At Yale she received the Roosevelt L. Thompson Award for Public Service. She is currently working as an attorney in the Capital Habeas unit at the Federal Public Defender’s Office. She served as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the middle district of Tennessee. While growing up, Alexis witnessed firsthand some of the struggles her mother encountered raising her and her sister as a single mother who was receiving public assistance. Her own personal history has made her a strong advocate for homeless and low-income mothers.
Sharon Greene – Sharon is a licensed clinical social worker at St. John’s Health Center, one of the nation’s premier hospitals. She earned her degree in social work from the University of California. Sharon works at Saint John’s Child and Family Development center, where she coordinates the ‘Families and Schools Together’ team, which is a school-based mental health program that provides individual, group, and family therapy onsite at four Los Angeles Unified public schools. Her areas of expertise are structural family therapy, school-based mental health services, and crisis intervention. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and baby girl.
Jonathan Grahm – He is the CEO of Compartes, a chocolate company in Los Angeles that has been featured in Time Magazine, Forbes Magazine, and The New York Times. He was raised by a single mother, so he understands some of the struggles it entails. In his mother’s memory, he wanted to help mothers who are enduring some of the same struggles his mom endured when she was alive. At our Baby Showers, Jonathan brings joy to homeless and low-income pregnant women by giving them star treatment. He showers them with beautiful chocolate arrangements – the same arrangements that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars receive as Baby Shower gifts.
Esther Kim Varet – Esther is a graduate of Yale, and she is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. Esther owns and directs a contemporary gallery in Venice, California called “Various Small Fires.” Her creative art space works with New York and Los Angeles artists.
Helena Ajudua – Helena is an attorney and graduate of Yale. She is an Associate at Jones Day law firm in New York, and she practices primarily in the area of complex commercial litigation. During her time at the University of Southern California Law School, she served as the President of the Black Law Students Association. She is committed to pro bono service.
Lauren Lawrence – Lauren is a graduate of Harvard University, and she is studying to become a Doctor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She served as a Child Psychiatry Research Liason for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a Research Assistant at the Huntington Medical Research Institute, an Assistant at the Bennett Surgery Center, and a Research Assistant for the Geschwind Lab at UCLA.