Mary L. Hilfiker, Ph.D., M.D., Trauma Center Medical Director
Mary L. Hilfiker, Ph.D., M.D., a member of the Division of Pediatric Surgery and medical director of the Trauma Center, is actively involved in injury prevention, disaster planning and activities related to pediatric trauma.
Board certified in general and pediatric surgery, she has been a pediatric surgeon in San Diego since 1995. Dr. Hilfiker earned her medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, completed her general surgery training at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and completed her pediatric surgery training at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in New York. Additionally, she earned a master’s degree in medical management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in 2009.
Cheri Fidler M.Ed., Director, Center for Healthier Communities
As the director of Rady Children’s Center for Healthier Communities for more than 20 years, Cheri has provided leadership for Rady Children’s community health, safety and wellness programs. In this role, she has developed and/or fostered numerous community-based programs, public policy recommendations and collaboration with a wide array of community partners.
Cheri has been dedicated to childhood injury prevention, serving as a co-founder for the San Diego Safe Kids Coalition in 1990, publishing a number of highly visible childhood injury report cards for the San Diego community, and providing guidance for a number of child safety initiatives. As a member of the Injury Free Coalition, she has designed a model program in California for childhood pedestrian safety around schools, developing collaborations with traffic engineers, city planning, police, school personnel, parents and community residents. Most recently, she created an initiative to provide childhood safety education and counseling for families in the social welfare system.
Cheri received her bachelor’s degree in English/philosophy from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., and completed the graduate education program at California State University, Sacramento, where she received a secondary teaching credential. In addition to her work at Rady Children’s, she has served on numerous community boards and committees, and is a trained mediator, licensed massage therapist, acupressurist and holistic health practitioner.
Mary Beth Moran, PT, M.Ed., M.S., Program Manager, Injury Prevention
Mary Beth joined Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2007 to manage the injury prevention programs in the Center for Healthier Communities. A physical therapist for 25 years, she uses her clinical and academic background to provide comprehensive injury prevention programs using evidence-informed and evidence-based injury prevention practices.
Mary Beth manages all of Rady Children’s injury prevention programs, which include Safe Routes to School, the Safety Store, the Kohl’s Transportation Safety Program and is the Coordinator for Safe Kids San Diego. Mary Beth has presented numerous papers at national conferences, and is currently on the Advisory Board for for “Safetylit,” a program of the Injury Prevention Policy Program at San Diego State University. Mary Beth holds a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from Regis University, a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from New York University, a master’s degree in education from George Washington University and a Master of science degree in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College. She enjoys working with families from many cultures and has provided medical services and consultation internationally in South Africa, Vietnam, New Zealand and England.
Priscilla Roedel, M.P.H., Coordinator, Safe Routes to School
Priscila joined the Safe Routes to School team in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in sociology and economics and earned her Master of Public Health degree in community health practice from the University of Texas – Health Science Center at Houston. She has worked with the Safe Routes to School – Retail Program in National City and also has experience with the planning, implementation and evaluation of health- focused programs, including worksite wellness programs, lactation supportive programs and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
Priscila enjoys travelling and working with diverse communities. She has volunteered in Mexico and Guatemala and was a fellow student at the Hospital das Clinicas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is originally from Brazil and is proud of the work accomplished through the Safe Routes to School Program with elementary and middle schools throughout San Diego.
Kristine Schindler, Coordinator, Safe Routes to School
Kristine joined the Safe Routes to School team in January 2015, becoming the first “intergenerational” coordinator for the program. She is working to engage adults, especially seniors, in volunteer opportunities at several schools in the San Diego region, with a focus on establishing volunteer safety patrols. Kristine has many years of experience in managing projects in community engagement and advocacy.
After living in the United Kingdom car-free for three months on a work assignment for Biogen Idec, Kristine decided to change her career path in disease treatment to health prevention, with a focus on safe and environmentally friendly transportation. Kristine has been an avid bike commuter in San Diego and loves going car-free whenever possible. She is also a docent at Torrey Pines State Reserve and a long-time volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Originally from Michigan, Kristine earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology from Hope College.
Elyana Delgado, Coordinator Safe Routes to School – National City
Elyana joined the Safe Routes to School team as a project specialist in 2013. She grew up in National City and attended the University of San Diego, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish and ethnic studies. She considers it a privilege to work with children and teaching them the benefits of an active life and how to keep themselves safe. She is also a certifed Zumba instructor.
Diana Juarez, Project Specialist II, Outreach Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Diana joined the Safe Routes to School team in the fall of 2013. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health. For the past six years, Diana has been working primarily with low-income Latino residents of El Cajon. She enjoys working with people of different backgrounds and cultures. Diana recently traveled to India to study women studies and plans on making more trips in the future to explore other cultures. She enjoys spending her free time with her family.
Lakeysha Sowunmi, Coordinator Safe Routes to School-El Cajon
Lakeysha joined the Safe Routes to School team in April 2016. Her primary focus is to coordinate all SRTS activities in the City of El Cajon, a culturally diverse community. Lakeysha joins the program with 10 years of experience working with the UC San Diego Center for Community Health, providing outreach and education to low-income families on healthy nutrition and beverage choices, and promoting physical activity. Lakeysha also started her own nonprofit organization, Perfectkidz, in 2007 to engage families in healthy eating and physical activity. She has received many awards and honors, including being named the California “Champion Mom” for initiating changes in schools that reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Along with being featured in the Legacy of Health statewide media campaign, she has been a speaker at the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters conference and a keynote speaker at the California Department of Public Health Summit. In her free time, Lakeysha enjoys running, swimming and writing.
Sharon Fischer, Project Specialist I, Kohls Transportation Safety Program
Sharon has been with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and the Center for Healthier Communities for 14 years, working for several years with the Safety Store in various capacities. In July 2010, she transitioned to Project Specialist I for the Kohl’s Transportation Safety Program. Sharon has completed her NHTSA Child Passenger Safety Technician Training and Special Needs Enrichment Training. Sharon is the friendly voice on the phone, helping to schedule and direct families to our events, as well as assisting them with the most appropriate purchase from our Safety Store. She holds an associate degree in fashion design and retail and uses these skills to provide exceptional customer service and the best-value products on the market. Sharon provides one-on-one safety education and public presentations, including the Safe Beginnings and Safe Start workshops.
Shirley Varela, Project Specialist I, Kohls Transportation Safety Program
Shirley Varela joined Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego in 2008 after completing the NHSTA child passenger safety technician certification. She has helped countless families with the child passenger safety needs and expanded her knowledge by completing the special needs enrichment training in 2010. She then became certified as a child passenger safety technician instructor in 2012. Shirley joined the Safety Store as a health educator in July 2010 and is now educating parents on all aspects of injury prevention and providing multiple services for children with special needs. Shirley provides one-on-one safety education and public presentations, including the monthly Safe Beginnings workshops. Shirley is bilingual (Spanish-speaking) and enjoys working with families from all over the world.
Noemi Duenas, Child Passenger Safety Technician
Noemi joined Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2006. She has worked on county-funded programs and currently works with Kohl’s Transportation Safety Program on weekly car seat inspection services. Noemi is qualified as a NHTSA and Safe Kids child passenger safety technician instructor and has completed special needs enrichment training. Noemi is bilingual (Spanish-speaking) and has worked with the National Latino Children’s Institute and Rady Children’s to provide technician training to further develop culturally and linguistically appropriate services for the Spanish-speaking families of San Diego.
Jennifer Villegas, Child Passenger Safety Technician
Jennifer joined Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2005. She has worked as a technician in county-funded programs through the Family Resource Centers and currently works with Kohl’s Transportation Safety Center on weekly car seat inspection services. Jennifer is qualified as a NHTSA and Safe Kids child passenger safety technician instructor and has completed special needs enrichment training.
Mirna Varela, Child Passenger Safety Technician
Mirna joined Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2012. She became a certified child passenger safety technician in 2009 and completed special needs enrichment training in 2010.
Alan Garibo, Child Passenger Safety Technician
Alan joined the Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2014. He became a certified child passenger safety technician in 2009 and completed special needs enrichment training in 2010.