Welcome to the State of California 
 Fresno Regional Forum

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
2233 Ventura Street
Fresno, CA 93721



Regional Forum Agenda
Invited Speakers 


Narinder Dhaliwal, M.S.


Narinder Dhaliwal is the Director of California's Clean Air Project (CCAP), a statewide project of ETR Associates providing training and technical support on all aspects of secondhand smoke in tribal casinos throughout California. Narinder has made presentations at numerous conferences on various topics regarding exposure to secondhand smoke.  Narinder has presented at the World Tobacco Conference, the California Association for Homes and Services for the Aging, the Statewide Smokefree California Conference and most recently at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health.  CCAP is an associate member of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA). Narinder holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences and a Masters degree in Gerontology from Warwick University. She has worked in the Health Education field for the past 21 years, with the last 8 in the tobacco control field.



Stephen Hansen, M.D.


Dr. Hansen practices internal medicine in San Luis Obispo, California.  His tobacco control credentials include 3 terms on UC’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program’s Scientific Advisory Committee; 15 years as coordinator of American Medical Association’s Tobacco Control Coalition; co-author of San Luis Obispo’s world’s first smokefree law to include all public workplaces including bars; 25 years as director of a hospital cardiopulmonary dept.; past Prop 10 Children and Families Commissioner; Three terms as a Trustee on the Calif. Med. Assn. Board; Sponsor of a successful 2002 Ballot Initiative to devote tobacco Master Settlement Agreement money to tobacco control and healthcare; and membership on the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and California Tobacco Control Alliance Boards. 




Leslie Zellers, J.D.



Since 1998, Leslie Zellers, JD, has been the Legal Director of the Technical Assistance Legal Center (TALC), a California-based project that provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control policy issues. Leslie directs all aspects of TALC’s work and has focused in particular on the legal issues involved in regulating tobacco advertising and promotion. TALC is a project of the nonprofit Public Health Law & Policy (www.phlpnet.org), which works to help build the capacity of advocates, local public health and planning departments, schools, government attorneys, elected officials, and others to advance their public health goals through policy change. Prior to joining PHLP, Leslie conducted legal and policy work on tobacco prevention and childhood lead poisoning prevention for Contra Costa County and several nonprofit organizations. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and a graduate of the UC Hastings College of the Law.


Terry Pechacek, Ph.D.



Terry F. Pechacek, PhD, is the Associate Director for Science for the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH). He is responsible for monitoring all scientific work within the office including the preparation of Surgeon General Reports on the health consequences of tobacco use. Dr. Pechacek has served CDC′s Office on Smoking and Health as a visiting scientist and senior biomedical research scientist since 1995. In 1999, he was appointed the Associate Director for Science. He is the senior author of the 1999 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs and the 2007 Update, and has also been involved in the preparation of Surgeon General Reports on Smoking and Health since 1979. Dr. Pechacek received his PhD in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin in 1977. He completed a three-year Post doctoral fellowship in Preventive Cardiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dr. Pechacek has been involved in tobacco prevention and control research and public health activities since the 1970′s. In 2006, Dr. Pechacek was awarded the Surgeon General′s Medallion in recognition of his work to support the Office of the Surgeon General in communicating the risk of tobacco use.


Paul Knepprath

Paul Knepprath is the Vice President of Advocacy and Health Initiatives for the American Lung Association in California, where he directs the organization’s statewide public policy and health initiatives programs.  Paul has been engaged in the government relations profession for more than 25 years, working at the local, regional and state level in California.  As a registered lobbyist, Paul represents the American Lung Association before the California Legislature and executive branches of government in the areas of tobacco control, asthma, tuberculosis, health care and issues affecting nonprofit organizations. 
 Paul has been a leader in California’s tobacco control movement and has helped pass numerous state and local laws to protect workers and the public against exposure to secondhand smoke, restrict tobacco access to minors, and protect funding for the state’s Proposition 99 tobacco control program. 
Paul also serves as a media spokesperson on lung health issues and has appeared in hundreds of state and national print publications as well as on radio and television.


Todd Rogers Ph.D.

Todd Rogers, Ph.D., is a Research Program Director with the Public Health Institute specializing in evaluation of large-scale public health programs and policy initiatives.  Since 1989 Dr. Rogers has contributed to the implementation and evaluation of the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP), including efforts to modify the impact of tobacco marketing at the point of sale, provide support for and evaluation of local and regional tobacco control agencies and coalitions, assess tobacco control policy enforcement actions, evaluate the uptake and utilization of legal technical assistance, and develop policy strategies to address tobacco price manipulation.  Among other national and international tobacco control activities, Dr. Rogers works with the CDC Office on Smoking and Health on evaluation of the National Tobacco Control Program, through which he is developing feasible methods to monitor tobacco industry influences.  Dr. Rogers is a member of the CTCP Evaluation Task Force, and is on the editorial board of Tobacco Control where he recently served as editor for a special supplement devoted to a 20-year retrospective of the CTCP.


Evi Hernandez, B.A.

Evi Hernandez counts with 15 years of work experience in the field of public health, with nine of those years working within the non-profit sector at the California Health Collaborative (CHC).   His primary emphasis as a public health educator has been in the areas of tobacco control, teen pregnancy prevention, and the prevention and management of chronic diseases.  He currently serves as the Director of Program Services for CHC.  He is affiliated with various health initiatives and community service/volunteer organizations throughout California.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, Community Health option and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano/Latino Studies from California State University, Fresno. 


Liz Williams

Liz Williams, Project Manager for the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation provides technical assistance support to public health professionals and advocates in multiple states on issues related to secondhand smoke and smokefree policy change. Ms. Williams conducts legislative analysis and tracking of pending statewide legislation, and has a focus on providing technical assistance and resources to advocates and members of the public on emerging smokefree issues such as multi-housing and outdoor public places. Ms. Williams has worked for ANR Foundation for eight years.  Ms. Williams holds a bachelors of science in Health Policy and Management from Providence College. Liz lives in Oakland, CA.


James. T. Howard


Mr. Howard recently retired from the California Department of Public Health after 36 year career in public service. He is a long-time volunteer with the American Lung Association. He currently serves on the ALA in California Board of Directors as the Vice Chair and serves as the Chair of its Advocacy Committee. In addition, he is a member of the national ALA Assembly and serves on the national ALA Advocacy Committee. He has previously been on the national ALA Council and Board. He has been actively involved in the tobacco control arena since 1979.

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Last modified on: 2/9/2011 2:55 PM