Mary L. Hilfiker, Ph.D., M.D., Division Chief for Pediatric Surgery
Mary L. Hilfiker, Ph.D., M.D., Rady Children’s Division Chief for Pediatric Surgery and the Trauma Center Medical Director, 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.
Sue Cox, R.N., Director of Trauma Services
Sue Cox is an active participant in injury prevention organizations and activities, serving as the primary investigator for our Injury Free Coalition for Kids. She is also the co-leader of our local Safe Kids Coalition.
A pediatric nurse with 19 years experience as a trauma administrator, Sue has focused primarily on pediatric intensive care, emergency care, disaster planning and management, transport services and trauma care. She has served as a trauma center surveyor for many states over the past 15 years.
Sue has served on the board of the San Diego Trauma Research and Education Foundation for many years, where she is currently the secretary/treasurer. She is currently the chair of the San Diego County Trauma Nurse Coordinators and the vice-chair of the San Diego County Medical Audit Committee. She has been an executive board member of the Society of Trauma Nurses for several years and is the incoming president-elect of that organization.
Sue is a member of International Relief Teams, a medical humanitarian organization, and the NDMS Disaster Medical Assistant CA4 Team, where she currently serves as the team’s chief nursing officer. Along with speaking locally and nationally on topics including pediatric trauma, bereavement, disaster, and child abuse, Sue is a pediatric reviewer for the Australian Journal of Trauma Nursing.
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, M.Ed., M.S., Program Manager, Injury Prevention
Mary Beth joined Rady Children’s in 2007 to manage the injury prevention programs in the Center for Healthier Communities. A physical therapist for 23 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 is the coordinator for Safe Kids San Diego and the Injury Free Coalition of San Diego, and is the current chair of the Injury Prevention Coordinators Committee for the Trauma Research and Education Foundation. She manages all of Rady Children’s injury prevention programs, which include Safe Routes to School, the Safety Store, the Kohl’s Transportation Safety Center and the Sports and Recreation Injury Prevention Program. Mary Beth has presented numerous papers at national conferences, and is currently on the Advisory Board for Injury Prevention at the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions in Washington, D.C.
Mary Beth holds a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from Regis University, a bachelor’s of science in physical therapy from New York University, a master’s degree in education from George Washington University and a master’s 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.
Dane Lotspeich, M.A., Supervisor, Safe Routes to School
Dane Lotspeich is the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the Center for Healthier Communities at Rady Children's. The Safe Routes to School Program was established to work with all 26 elementary schools in the communities of southeastern San Diego. This program has been designed to facilitate and encourage community involvement and collaboration in order to reduce the rate of pedestrian and bicycling accidents, and to promote children walking and biking to school.
Dane received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara – with a minor in physical education – and his graduate degree from San Diego State University in kinesiology, with a specialization in exercise and sport psychology. He has experience in health education, working in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and tobacco cessation, as well as in motivational interviewing and its application to health-related behaviors. Dane also has experience in the implementation and the evaluation of health-focused programs.
Shanti Bond, Coordinator- Safe Routes to School Southeastern San Diego
A new member of the Safe Routes to School team, Shanti looks forward to working with southeastern San Diego parents and community members to make walking and biking to school a safe and fun activity. A graduate of the University of San Diego – with a degree in psychology and minor in sociology – she has experience in community outreach and HIV/AIDS health education, working in Nairobi Kenya. Shanti enjoys working in diverse communities, and recently taught English in South Korea.
Kristina Quezada, Project Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Kristina joined the Safe Routes to School team as a Project Specialist in 2012. Kristina graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degreee in Ethnic Studies and earned her Master of Science degree in College Counseling and Student Development from Azuza Pacific University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of San Diego. Prior to working at Rady Children's Hospital, Kristina worked with the Southeastern San Diego and National City Communities as a 6th grade teacher for the non-profit organization, Summerbridge San Diego. While working for Summerbridge San Diego, she spent four summers educating middle school and elementary school students, working closely with Spanish-speaking parents, and coordinating school events and activities. While pursuing her Masters' at Azuza Pacific University, Kristina worked for the schools Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research as a graduate intern. There she plannned and coordinated the first annual 8th Grade Majors Fair for the Azuza Unified School District, a mostly Latino, low income community West of Los Angeles.
Sharon Fischer, Project Specialist, Health Educator, Safety Store
Sharon has been with Rady Children's and the Center for Healthier Communities for 12 years, working for several years with the Safety Store in various capacities. In July 2010, she transitioned to Project Specialist, Health Educator for the Safety Store. 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. Sharon holds a 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 monthly Safe Beginnings workshops.
Shirley Varela, Project Specialist, Health Educator, Safety Store
Shirley Varela joined Rady Children's 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. 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 in 2006. She has worked on county-funded programs and currently works with Kohl’s Transportation Safety Center 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 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.