Jeffrey S. Oxendine, MPH, MBA

Co-founder and President

Jeff is the President and co-founder of HCC. He has been a health executive, educator and consultant for 27 years. Since his own undergraduate internship in 1982, in HCC’s predecessor program, he has held senior administrative positions in hospitals, medical groups, academic institutions and his own consulting firm. He is currently the Associate Dean of Public Health Practice at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He also is a leader in California Health Workforce and Diversity efforts as Co-Director of the California Health Professions Consortium and The California Health Workforce Alliance. Jeff teaches healthcare management at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and previously taught for 5 years at Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to coming to Berkeley he held executive roles in leading organizations including Partners Healthcare System, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Bay Imaging Consultants Medical Group and Alta Bates Medical Center.  Jeff obtained his masters degrees in Business Administration and Public Health from U.C. Berkeley. where he met HCC’s other Founders.


Mai Mai Cantos, MPH

Vice President

With over 20 years of experience in non-profit and local county health systems, providing access to affordable health insurance, managing prevention programs, and providing health services to underserved, uninsured communities in Northern California, Mai Mai has always maintained her commitment to growing the next generation of health leaders.  She does so as a part-time faculty member in the Health Sciences and Recreation Department at San Jose State University and in her role as Vice President of Health Career Connection.  Mai Mai completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and received her Master of Public Health from San Jose State University. Mai Mai credits internship experiences in college and graduate school to career opportunities and connections afforded her.

When not working with HCC or students, Mai Mai can be found on a basketball or volleyball court with her husband supporting their favorite players: their two daughters!  She might even handle a ball or two!


Alivia Shorter, MPH, MA

Director of Programming & Strategic Initiatives

Alivia has held various research, evaluation, and project management positions with public health organizations and academic institutions, and has a passion for student mentoring and youth leadership development. Her research and areas of interest include community-driven health advocacy related to access to resources, violence prevention, trauma-informed programming and resident engagement, particularly in her hometown of Seaside, CA. Prior to joining the HCC team Alivia served in various roles at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in the Center for Public Health Practice, Graduate Recruitment & Student Services, and was a Graduate Student Instructor at Goldman  School of Public Policy. Alivia received her Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley, Master of Arts in Sociology from Stanford University, and Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in Human Biology. Alivia loves playing volleyball (sometimes with Mai Mai and her two daughters), playing with her beautiful nieces, and discovering new places through travel.


Huda Adem, MPH

Site Recruitment and Placement Manager, Regional Program Manager, Northern California

Huda Adem is passionate about interdisciplinary research, and its ability to effect positive change in organizations and communities. Motivated by innovative praxis, her experience in participatory research, evaluation, and programming has led to her participation at institutions such as Kaiser Permanente, The Kaiser Family Foundation, the World Health Organization, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In these roles Huda used her background in Public Health and Social Psychology to facilitate workshops, manage projects, and analyze data to communicate effective outcomes and processes. Huda received her B.A in International Health and Development from UC Berkeley and MSc in Health and Community Development from The London School of Economics. She is currently the Site Recruitment and Northern California Program Manager for HCC and as an HCC alumna is excited and motivated to continue giving back to a program that has helped her build her authentic career path in the hopes that others find theirs as well!


Patricia S. Etem, MPH

Regional Program Manager, Southern California

Patricia S. Etem, MPH, has developed, directed and evaluated Public Health programs and initiatives for hospitals, city health and youth development divisions, and non-profit organizations for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include program design and implementation, strategic partnership development, health policy, stakeholder training, resource development, and program evaluation.  Ms. Etem has consulted for Health Career Connection since 2015 to engage Southern California health agency, business, and higher education partners in health pathway program success and internship placements to build the next generation of diverse health profession leaders.


Jimmy Jean-Baptiste, MPH

Alumni Relations Program Manager, Regional Program Manager, North Carolina

Jimmy was inspired to pursue a career in public health as an HCC intern placed at Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities. That experience allowed him to discover that channeling his passion for social justice through a public health career can be a powerful way to improve the health and development of underserved communities. Following his HCC experience and obtaining his BA from Brown University, Jimmy gained varied experiences working at the cross section of education and health. He obtained his MPH from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health, where he furthered his interest in developing interdisciplinary innovations to achieve health equity. In his current position, Jimmy is excited to give back to HCC by building pathways for HCC alumni to advance professionally and for young people from underserved backgrounds to lead their communities to a healthier, more prosperous future.


Thomas Luten, MA

Regional Manager, Business Development Manager

Tom has a broad and eclectic background, with more than 30 years’ experience in diversity recruitment and college relations consulting, leadership and career development, graduate and professional school admissions, minority affairs and financial aid in higher education.

Working throughout the North Carolina and Washington, DC regions, Tom sees himself as a conduit for accurate academic advising and career information for college-aged young persons from disadvantaged and minority communities. His passions are graduate and professional school advising, with a particular interest in working toward eliminating health disparities through health education and workforce diversity.

On a personal level, Tom has sung and acted professionally, he likes to “play in the dirt” with a love of gardening and day lilies, and is a certifiable golf and baseball nut! Oh, and he likes salsa dancing, too…


Katy Cushman, MPH

Regional Program Manager, New England

Katy’s interest in healthcare began when she started to work on the Wellfleet Rescue Squad. After college, she worked for various organizations (ambulance, hospital, VNA, HMO). Katy was a Governor’s Intern at the MA Department of Mental Health and worked at the MA Division of Insurance for 8.5 years in the health policy section. Katy established Cushman Insurance Solutions and sold long term care insurance (LTCI) for 20 years. As HCC New England Program Manager, she finds it rewarding to promote diversity in healthcare and launching the next generation of health leaders. She obtained two B.A. degrees in Economics and Classics from UMass Amherst and an MPH from Boston University.

Katy has 3 grown children and enjoys riding her horse, kayaking and daily walks with her tennis ball obsessed Labrador Retriever.


Cara Stephenson-Hunter, MS

Regional Program Manager, New York/New Jersey

As the New York – New Jersey Region’s Program Manager for HCC and Program Manager for the Department of Family and Social Medicine and Bronx Health Occupations Partnership at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx HOPE), an educational pipeline program serving minority, economically and educationally underserved students with health career aspirations, Cara is passionate about eliminating racial, economic and health disparities, especially in her hometown, the Bronx.

Before joining HCC and Bronx HOPE, Cara worked with the Special Initiative Department at Montefiore Community Pediatric Program, where she led and evaluated health promotion programs, curricula development and facilitation of health education groups within the community, primary care and homeless healthcare settings –including obesity prevention and asthma education. Being a non-traditional, working mom and published student, she hopes to open doors and minds to increase opportunities for others like herself.

Education: Herbert H. Lehman College, Walden University School of Psychology, MS, Health Psychology, PhD Candidate


Angel Alvarez

Program Coordinator, Central Valley & California Special Initiatives

Originally from a small farm town in the Central Valley known as Raisin City California, Angel has experienced first-hand the major health disparities that occur in his community and similar communities throughout the region. As an alumni of  HCC, Angel has received the opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of health disciplines, including the healing informed approach La Cultura Cura (The Culture Heals) where he became a certified facilitator, and has been facilitating healing circles for the past 2 years. Through the experience and opportunities created by HCC, Angel hopes to continue working with the students in the Central Valley and help generate the future health leaders of tomorrow. Aside from HCC, Angel usually spends his time with his family on a variety of sports fields cheering on his daughter and brothers.


Aileen Babadjanians, MPH

Program Coordinator, Southern California

Aileen has over five years of professional experience in the non-profit sector. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, with an emphasis on Applied Fitness and Active Lifestyle Development. Aileen believes that the secret to a healthy lifestyle is a proactive approach versus a reactive one. Her passion for promoting healthy lifestyles led her to pursue her Master’s in Public Health at the California State University of Northridge. She spends her time inspiring, motivating and educating the youth of her community that health and fitness should be long-term goals. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, playing competitive basketball and hiking.