Mental Health California Logo.png
SHF Logo.png
New EMM Logo.png

March 21, 2019 community forum

This discussion will focus on current issues, strategies, and solutions with emphasis on introducing innovation in mental health programming, interventions, clinical solutions, communications, and technology. We will also highlight successful regional and national campaigns and initiatives to extract best practices and solutions toward meeting the mental health needs of California’s boys and men of color. Presented by Mental Health California and the Sierra Health Foundation. Breakfast refreshments generously sponsored by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). Event location generously provided by The California Endowment, The Center for Healthy Communities Sacramento.

Boys and Men of Color Flyer.jpg

thank you for your interest in attending our forum. we are sold out at this time. please join our waitlist on eventbrite. should tickets become available, you will be notified via email. Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam folder or eventbrite account. for entry, please bring your printed or electronic ticket to the event.


Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director
UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola is a Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the UC Davis Health System, and the Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UCD Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC). He is a past member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He has held several World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) advisory board and consulting appointments and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Consortium (WMH) and its Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has expertise translating community-engaged research aimed at improving population health and reducing health care disparities of local underserved communities.  

Julio Cruz, Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist 
Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc.

Julio Cruz is an Integrated Behavioral Health Provider at the Sacramento Native American Health Center. In his work, he collaborates with a team of primary care providers, psychiatrists, therapists, community resources, and patients to identify behavioral and social stressors that have an impact on patients’ health, utilizing a holistic approach. Before joining the center, Julio worked for the Native American Health Center in Oakland, California in the behavioral health department. Prior to receiving the opportunity to work directly with patients, Julio worked for eight years with a nonprofit organization in San Francisco, California as a manager, supervisor, and coach to a very diverse staff faced with social and personal barriers.

Chet P. Hewitt, President & CEO 
Sierra Health Foundation

Chet P. Hewitt is President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, a nonprofit intermediary. Since beginning his tenure at Sierra Health, Chet has worked with the foundation’s board of directors to craft a bold collective impact strategy focused on promoting health equity in underserved communities and improving the well-being of child and youth populations. Known for his willingness to take thoughtful risk, Chet has made the foundation’s connection to local communities and nonprofits the centerpiece of Sierra Health’s strategy for change. Prior to joining Sierra Health Foundation, Chet held several senior positions including Director of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, and Director at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. Chet has received numerous awards for his service to children and families, and serves on several boards including Roberts Enterprise Development Fund, Public Policy Institute of California, Advance Peace and CalNonprofits.

Jaymes Hines, President 
Jaymes Hines Ventures

An expert on innovation, content, new media, and technology, including for critically acclaimed Director Spike Lee's Oscar nominated documentary "4 Little Girls", Jaymes has served with other industry professionals as a member of various arts, entertainment and technology advisory boards and panels, such as: California Arts Council (CAC), Newmedia Forum, Association of Internet Professionals, AFI's Enhanced Television Workshop, Development Board of National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), Fespaco Paul Robeson Award Initiative, and Digital Hollywood’s On-Demandees. In partnership with Mental Health California, Jaymes will share his perspective on Silicon Valley-level innovation opportunities to benefit the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color's mental health initiative.

Dr. Michael Houston, LCSW, CEO 
Treatment and Training Consultants

Dr. Michael Houston has over 14 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provides real life tools and effective strategies in coping with behavioral and life issues. He brings a collaborative effort to understanding problems and conflicts, using evidence and strength-based strategies for behavioral health success. His approaches are straightforward and engaged while his therapeutic skills address crisis intervention, anger management, PTSD, anxiety, depression, ADHD, ADD, life transitions, Veterans issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, men’s issues, re-entry to the community from incarceration, and by providing linkages to helpful resources. Dr. Houston also leads “Interdependent Accountable Men” workshops, which provide a safe environment for men to discuss issues, engage in meaningful, therapeutic dialogue, and helps participants gain needed skills for successful living. Retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Biomedical Services Corps Officer, Dr. Houston is also a Doctor of Divinity with Universal Life Church in Elk Grove, California.

Dr. Aubrey-Pierre Keys 
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Dr. Aubrey-Pierre Keys, LMFT is a Couple & Family Therapist with a decade of expertise in working with families dealing with divorce and remarriage; and with step-parenting and co-parenting in separate households. He works with families and individuals with substance abuse struggles, diverse school-aged adolescents that have emotional difficulties, families from diverse faith experiences, and individuals of the LGBT communities. Aubrey-Pierre Keys, LMFT is a graduate of Argosy University, San Francisco also with specific expertise in providing clinical care to diverse communities and individuals of color.

Lakshmi Malroutu, Ph.D., Chief Operations Officer 
Asian Pacific Community Counseling

Dr. Lakshmi Malroutu is the COO of Asian Pacific Community Counseling, a mental health and counseling service for persons of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent. Formally known as “Stepping Stones”, APCC incorporated in 1977 as a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency to provide culturally and linguistically relevant outreach, prevention, education, therapy, counseling, and recovery support services. APCC is fortunate to have a multi-cultural and multilingual staff. Through this diversity, APCC is capable of serving the majority of API communities directly or with interpreters from partner agencies in Sacramento. The stigma associated with mental illness remains strong in the API community and in the larger society. Through a culturally and linguistically relevant approach, individuals and their families receive services and participate in programs that address their unique needs. This person-centered approach effectively serves clients, families, and the community while reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

Kristene (K.N.) Smith, Founder & CEO 
Mental Health California

Kristene (K.N.) Smith is a 7-time author and 20+-year communications consultant, writer, creative director, and strategist behind successful campaigns in mental health, mental-wellness, independent living, government, education, entertainment, and other sectors. Her non-profit venture, Mental Health California™, is her signature community project. In 2018, she joined the Behavioral Health Subcommittee of the California Future Health Workforce Commission. She is nationally-certified to teach Mental Health First Aid™ and is a popular speaker and trainer for organizations including cities, counties, child protective services, housing authorities, schools and universities, inpatient settings, and business districts. She is also the editor, creative director, and publisher of Mental Health California Magazine.

Stephen Nicholas Symes, M.D., FACP, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion 
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Stephen Symes, board certified in Internal Medicine, has an established track record in medical education dating back to his first year in medical school, tutoring classmates and prospective minority medical students at Howard University School of Medicine's summer academic enhancement program. He is the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Symes is also the Program Director of the Jay Weiss Residency in Global Health and Social Medicine, and Honorary Lecturer, Department of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica. Dr. Symes' has significant clinical experience in primary care working with disadvantaged populations. He is also the Medical Director and Consultant at the UM/PHR Human Rights Clinic at the San Juan Bosco center in Miami, Florida, and is a Mentor at the University of Miami MSHCMP (Minority Students Health Career Motivation Program), a seven-week summer program that provides 30 college minority participants an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about medicine as a career.

Joining via conference line:

Ms. Kelli Carrington, Director of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health

Ms. Kelli Carrington is Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and principal advisor to the NIMHD Director and senior staff on all communication matters concerning minority health and health disparities. As communications director, she also oversees and directs the Institute’s online communications, media relations, public affairs, and outreach programs in support of the Institute’s mission.

Ms. Shelly Pollard, Outreach Coordinator
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health

Ms. Shelly Pollard works in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) as the outreach coordinator and the NIMHD Insights blog editor. As the outreach coordinator, she helps strengthen NIMHD’s engagement with two of its major programs: Brother, You’re on My Mind and Fuel Up to Play 60. She is also developing a framework to expand the Institute’s outreach activities. As blog editor, Ms. Pollard works with program staff and grantees to raise national awareness of the prevalence and impact of health disparities and efforts to help reduce and eliminate those disparities.

Daphne C. Watkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Michigan, School of Social Work 
Director, Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health Project

Dr. Daphne C. Watkins studies gender disparities and mental health over the adult life course using mixed methods research approaches. To date, her research has focused on understanding the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; developing evidence-based strategies to improve the physical and mental health of black men; and increasing knowledge about the intersection of culture, ethnicity, age, and gender. Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Professor Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research and a NIH career development award in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both at the University of Michigan. In addition to her research and teaching obligations, Dr. Watkins is also the Director of the U-M Gender and Health Research Lab and the Director of the Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research at the University of Michigan.