Our Directors

Joan Abrahamson (Los Angeles, CA): Joan Abrahamson is president of the Jefferson Institute, a public policy institute that identifies and implements innovative approaches to current policy problems. She was assistant chief of staff to Vice President George H. W. Bush from 1981 to 1985. She worked with the U.N. Human Rights Commission and UNESCO’s Division of Human Rights and Peace, where she designed new procedures for the treatment of alleged violations of human rights. She planned and implemented the Vienna International Congress on the Teaching of Human Rights and the International Symposium on the Political Participation of Women. In 1985 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Hank Abrons, MD, MPH (Berkeley, CA): Dr. Hank Abrons is a retired physician in Berkeley, CA. He was previously associate professor of medicine at West Virginia University, where his research focused on epidemiology, physiology and clinical features of occupational lung disease. His clinical practice focused on critical care, chronic lung disease and cystic fibrosis. Prior to his appointment at WVU, Dr. Abrons worked three years in the U.S. Public Health Service. He is a board member of Physicians for a National Health Plan, a national organization of physicians supporting Medicare for All.

Jeanne Ertle – Vice Chair (Chico, CA): Jeanne was Director of the Office for Justice and Peace, Diocese of San Diego, She co-chaired San Diego Housing Trust Fund Coalition which led to creation of the San Diego Housing Trust Fund for lower income families. In 1990 she was honored as a Community Peacemaker by the Community Mediation Center of San Diego and was a recipient of the San Diego Housing Commission’s Shelter Award as Housing Advocate of the Year. Jeanne has been an advocate for universal health care for several organizations.

Kathy Lander: (Los Angeles) Kathy began her career as an actress in feature films, stage and television. She worked on more that two dozen motion pictures. She was trained as a fellow at the American Film Institute, one of two female directors in the late 1970s. Kathy has been a community advocate and activist for decades, for the past 12 years on healthcare reform in California. She chairs the California OneCare Entertainment Strategy Task Force, educating and enlisting the entertainment industry to bring awareness to Californians about the Healthy California Act (SB 562).

Michael A. Rodríguez, MD –  Treasurer (Los Angeles, CA): Michael is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the Network for Multicultural Health & Healthcare Research and Associate Director of the UCLA Primary Care Research Fellowship. He is also a Board Member for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and an Advisor for the Latino Medical Student Association. Michael was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University.

Alberto Saavedra (Sherman Oaks, CA): Al is a computer industry executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience. He is the co-founder of a number of online support websites: Automated Training Systems which provides hands-on training for computer professionals; Fax Star which assists companies in streamlining their communications and more efficiently delivering documents to their customers; and Debates.com, an online community which allows users to debate people from around the world. He is a progressive political blogger at Daily Kos, My Left Wing and Calitics. He is a native of Uruguay and a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and Colorado State University.

George Savage – Recording Secretary (Pacific Palisades, CA): With degrees in advertising and marketing from Michigan State University, George began as an automotive advertising copywriter with Leo Burnett and held several corporate marketing posts before starting his own ad agency in 1982. Over twenty years, his advertising agencies helped guide many new enterprises to success  In 1997, Kalis & Savage was named “LA’s Internet Hot Shop” as it launched some nine new internet brands in 12 months, nationally and internationally.

Don Schroeder – Chair (North Hollywood, CA): Don has been a writer, producer, and director for more than thirty years, winning dozens of  awards around the world including a national Emmy for writing and directing the one-hour PBS documentary, “No Greater Love,” about the miracle of organ donation. He also wrote, produced and directed “California OneCare: Full Care, For All, For Less.” Don holds a PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, an MFA in Cinema Production from USC’s School of Cinema-Television, and an MS degree in TV/Radio from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.