Adam D’Amico, MPH

D’Amico is an environmental epidemiologist with Biomonitoring California, at the California Department of Public Health. His work has centered on the collection and analysis of biomonitoring surveillance data with a focus in metal and endocrine disrupting chemical exposures. He received his Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015

Lydia Garcia-Usry, DNP, PHN, RN

Garcia-Usry is a faculty member for the Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing at the High Desert Regional Campus in Victorville. Her presentation is based on her DNP dissertation: Impact of Food Distribution Sites in Rural Neighborhoods at Risk for Food Insecurity in San Bernardino County. The purpose of this presentation is to show how the social determinates of health can affect the health of a community. Research shows that residents in rural neighborhoods have less accessibility to grocery stores and have to drive longer distances to purchase food that is fresh and affordable. Health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, are correlated with a lack of accessibility to healthy food resources. The study included community residents that get food from food banks in order to determine if the food banks have a positive impact on healthy food accessibility

Maura Garcia, MD

Garcia is a family practice physician in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, and a champion of health equity at the US-Mexico border. She is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Public Health, and she has served as a program specialist at San Diego State University and the Institute for Public Health, respectively. She has also served as an educator, evaluator, research scientist, and consultant for the California Office of Binational Border Health. She was a member of the Steering Committee for the California Border Health Collaborative. Garcia has worked tirelessly for maternal child, cardiovascular, and respiratory health in vulnerable communities. In addition, she has worked on multiple projects for combating air pollution and prevention of mercury and lead poisoning at the US-Mexico border.

Duyen Kauffman

Kauffman is a health program specialist with Biomonitoring California at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). She has over 20 years of experience working in public and environmental health in the U.S. and abroad. She has been with Biomonitoring California since 2012, and the focus of her work has been on individual results return, health education, and community engagement. Prior to joining CDPH, Duyen worked as a case manager for low-income Latinx and Vietnamese immigrants at the County of Marin’s public health clinics.


Lama is a family nurse practitioner, an instructor in higher education, and an advocate for vulnerable populations. She is a family nurse practitioner at a private practice in San Bernardino and an Assistant Professor for the Department of Nursing in the College of Natural Sciences at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB). She received her BSN from CUNY Hunter College/Bellevue School of Nursing, MSN/Ed and MSN in population health at CSUSB, her FNP post-master’s certificate and DNP at Azusa Pacific University, School of Nursing. A past fellow with the Randall Lewis Health and Policy Fellowship, Lama has examined gaps in educational policies surrounding alcohol use in young Hispanic adult women. Furthermore, she has examined cultural competence and inclusivity in health policies related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) with MotherToBaby California and the UCSD Institute for FASD Discovery, which was the CDC-designated Western Practice and Implementation Center for FASD. Since Fall 2020,Lama has served as a coordinator of the CSUSB Nursing Street Medicine Program. Lama is dedicated to promoting health equity and provides nurse-run clinics with nursing students contributing primary care to sheltered and unsheltered homeless people.

Colleen Leners, APRN, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP

Leners is the director of policy at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) which serves as the national voice of academic nursing. Leners was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in the office of Senator John Thune. Leners serves on the board of Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, Case Western Reserve Alumni Board, and many committees for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has maintained an active family nurse practice for over 26 years and has served our country in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She has many notable achievements, both civilian and military, including induction as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She was also awarded the Bronze Star for her service overseas. Leners received her DNP in Leadership from Case Western Reserve University.

Amanda Thurman, MSN, DNP(c), FNP-BC

Thurman is a family nurse practitioner and full-time faculty at Azusa Pacific University. Her Doctorate of Nursing Practice studies focus on training healthcare providers to screen for food insecurity in the clinical setting. Food insecurity, defined as insufficient food to meet the demands of an active and healthy lifestyle, exists in one in five households in California and disproportionately affects low-income, Hispanic and Black families; especially those with children. Food insecurity causes poor health outcomes including obesity, poor control of blood sugar, depression, difficulty concentrating in children, and low birth weight. Integration of food insecurity screening and appropriate food resource referrals in the healthcare setting is imperative for the health and well-being of all patients who suffer the ill health effects of food insecurity.

Aja Tulleners Lesh, PhD, RN

Lesh serves as dean and professor at APU’s School of Nursing. She has a BSN and MN from the University of California, Los Angeles and a PhD from Claremont Graduate University. She received her OB/Gynecological Nurse Practitioner Certificate from California State University, Los Angeles and has held clinical positions in both acute and primary care. During her 15-year tenure as dean, the school has expanded the span and the breadth of nursing education at the university from the traditional Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing to encompass a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs including the Entry Level Master’s, the MSN with Advance Practice specializations, Education, and Health Care Administration, Fellowships, as well as the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Lesh also has a passion for international health. Since 1993, she has traveled extensively to support the professional expansion of nursing in areas such as China, South Africa, and Vietnam. She developed study abroad opportunities and exchange opportunities for nurses and has developed research collaborations with nursing leadership in Brazil, China, Norway, South Africa, and Vietnam.