ADVISORY COMMITTEE BIOS
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Each member of the Advisory Committee has been carefully selected to provide valuable recommendations and assistance in making Linked by Love a success.
VINCENT ANTHONY, MD, MPH, SCH, FASN, CPE, CHCQM
President & CEO, Kidney Care Institute
Dr. Vincent Anthony is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He has committed himself to building a streamlined operations process to provide high-quality and efficient patient care. While he has deep expertise in other areas of medicine (such as hypertension and diabetes), Dr. Anthony is passionate about bringing greater awareness to individuals on how critically important kidney function is to our overall health.
Raised in Jackson, MS, Dr. Anthony completed his undergraduate work and Master's Degree in Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, and earned his MD from Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. Following graduation, Dr. Anthony completed his Internal Medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson and completed his subspecialty training in Nephrology and Hypertension at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
In addition to his work domestically, Dr. Anthony has traveled to Asia as part of the delegation of the American College of Physicians Executives to help open dialogue in improving health care systems. In addition, he's been a United States Peritoneal Dialysis Association delegate in Turkey, where he shared information on end-stage renal disease care. Dr. Anthony has lectured to numerous committee groups on health, wellness, and healing. He is the author of several articles on health and wellness and has authored several books and a textbook chapter.
Founder and CEO, The Youth Needing Organ & Tissue Transplants Foundation (YNOTT?)
Edward Drake II is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Youth Needing Organ & Tissue Transplants Foundation (YNOTT?). Established in 2007, THE YNOTT? Foundation seeks to provide support to pediatric transplant patients, increase awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation, and promote disease prevention and wellness in the community. Through his foundation, Edward is fulfilling his life’s purpose of inspiring and encouraging people to “DREAM, BELIEVE, PERSEVERE, then GIVE BACK!”
Edward was a full-time student-athlete pursuing his dream of becoming the first college graduate in his family when, during a routine physical just before his 21st birthday, he received the disturbing news that both of his kidneys had failed. During the duration of his dialysis treatments, he often questioned, why me, why now? Then he realized why not me? Why not apply my experiences to offer hope to others and to help others fight organ failure and other life-threatening illnesses as I am doing? Through pain, fear, and faith, along with a passion for helping other youth like himself, Edward was inspired to form The YNOTT? Foundation.
On October 8, 2008, Edward received a kidney transplant. He was extremely pleased to see the kindness of others and that his faith had paid off. He saw The YNOTT? Foundation and his commitment to helping others as responsible for his blessing. Edward believes he was given a second chance at life and has made it his mission to help impact the lives of others.
LCSW Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
A South Los Angeles native, Marci is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Addressing health disparities, public health, and public service are her passions. Marci’s current position as the Inpatient Kidney Transplant Social Worker involves providing clinical support to patients and families after kidney transplant. Marci is a fierce advocate for her patients and provides ongoing support to patients and their families as they begin life after dialysis. Marci holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Public Administration and Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her academic foundation and day-to-day professional experiences fuel her desire to educate, help, and advocate.
Vice President, Publicity, Warner Brothers Worldwide TV Marketing Non-scripted Programming
Nicole Marostica is Vice President, Publicity, for Warner Bros. Worldwide TV Marketing Non-scripted Programming. In this position, she develops strategy and executes trade and consumer campaigns, awards strategies, and talent relations related to Warner Bros. unscripted television, including Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Shed Media, and Telepictures. The studio is the leading producer of unscripted television in America with over 50 series totaling some 2,500 hours of programming annually across broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, and first-run syndication, as well as high-end documentaries. Since joining the studio, she has overseen campaigns for the Bachelor Franchise; the multiple Emmy award-winning The Ellen DeGeneres Show; Ellen’s Game of Games; the Emmy award-winning Who Do You Think You Are?; Extra; The Real; and the Greg Berlanti-produced documentaries Helter Skelter and Equal. Upcoming series include Ava DuVernay’s Home Sweet Home and One Perfect Shot, in addition to True Story with Ed Helms and Randall Park, among others.
Ms. Marostica represents the Public Relations Peer Group Executive Committee as Governor for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, is a Governors’ Appointee to the Executive Committee, and the Co-chair of the Diversity Committee. She was previously on the board of the TJ Martel Foundation. She attended California State University, Northridge, and currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Program Manager, National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Southern California and Southern Nevada
Franco is responsible for the local implementation and delivery of the NKF’s signature programs to patients, those at risk for kidney disease, and healthcare professionals. These include KEEP Healthy, Your Kidneys and You, and professional activities in primary care.
Prior to NKF, Franco worked with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), where he was responsible for developing and implementing Latino Initiatives for the prevention and self-management of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Before the ADA, he was at the Multicultural Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), a nationally recognized nonprofit serving Los Angeles County. At MAHEC, he directed various programs and projects in chronic disease, cancer prevention, maternal and child health, culture and linguistics, disaster preparedness/bioterrorism, and served as the liaison for MAHEC on many health-related community coalitions and action groups.
Franco received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and his medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.
ROBERTO VARGAS, MD, MPH
Assistant Dean, Health Policy and Inter-Professional Education, College of Medicine, and,
Pillar Director, Urban Health Institute, Charles R. Drew University
Roberto Vargas, MD, MPH, is Assistant Dean for Health Policy and Inter-Professional Education within the College of Medicine and Director of the Health Policy Pillar of the Urban Health Institute at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). Dr. Vargas leads university-wide efforts in health policy analysis, health services research, and the educational and curricula content in these domains through course didactics, lectures, and hosting conferences. Dr. Vargas also supports efforts in action and advocacy consistent with the CDU Advantage and mission of promoting health equity and social justice. His research expertise includes descriptive and comparative analyses of healthcare interventions to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in care and community engagement in partnered research efforts. These efforts include developing Learning Health Systems in under-resourced settings, including federally qualified community health centers, Department of Health Services outpatient sites, and private practice clinical settings.
Dr. Vargas is the Co-chair of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Committee and is a National Kidney Foundation Health Equity Committee member. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and an adjunct natural scientist at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Vargas completed a fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University School of Medicine, and a Master’s of Public Health degree at Harvard School Public Health. He completed his residency and chief residency in the Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program, received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, and received an undergraduate degree in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
JEFFREY VEALE, MD
Professor, Department of Urology, UCLA Health
Director, UCLA Kidney Transplant Exchange Program
Dr. Jeffrey Veale, Associate Professor of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, specializes in renal transplantation and is the Director of the UCLA Kidney Transplantation Exchange Program. Dr. Veale is an expert on live donor and deceased donor kidney transplantation. UCLA has the largest solid organ transplant program in the world.
CEO, Crowd Advocacy
Founder, Donate Life Hollywood
Tenaya Wallace is the CEO of Crowd Advocacy and founder of Donate Life Hollywood, a project of the OneLegacy Foundation. As an inspiring keynote speaker, award-winning P.R. strategist, and former congressional candidate, Tenaya helps humanity harness the power of purposeful work. Tenaya has trained thousands of volunteers and designed effective public education and engagement campaigns for causes, including organ donation, chronically ill kids, the environment, and veterans.
Tenaya holds a BA from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, and a Master’s of Public Policy from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA. Tenaya is a native Los Angeleno and lives in Silver Lake, where her children attended the same elementary school she did.
AMY WATERMAN, PhD
Professor-in-Residence, UCLA, Division of Nephrology
Director, Transplant Research and Education Center
Deputy Director, Terasaki Transplant Institute
Amy D. Waterman, PhD, is a national transplant innovator and a Professor in Residence at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Division of Nephrology. She is Director of the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) and Deputy Director of the Terasaki Research Institute. In 2019, Dr. Waterman received the American Society of Transplantation Clinician of Distinction Award. Through her research and educational initiatives, Dr. Waterman seeks to 1) understand the critical, modifiable patient, provider, and system barriers to donation, and 2) design interventions to overcome them. Dr. Waterman’s research has been supported by over $28 million in federal grants, and she has authored approximately 100 research articles and book chapters. She has designed 13 educational programs to help patients and potential living donors make informed transplant decisions. These programs have been disseminated to patients in hundreds of dialysis and transplant settings in the United States and Canada, in multiple languages. Dr. Waterman received her PhD in Social Psychology from Washington University, St. Louis, MO.