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.
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 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’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.
Shanti Bond, Program Coordinator, Safe Routes to School Southeastern San Diego
Shanti is a Coordinator for the Safe Routes to School Program in the community of southeastern San Diego. She enjoys working with parents, students and community partners in this community to make walking and biking to school a safe and fun activity. Shanti received her undergraduate degree from teh University of San Diego in Psychology, and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University. She enjoys travelling and has worked in teaching and health education in Kenya and South Korea. She is proud of the work accomplished in the Safe Routes to School Program working with elemetary schools and is excited to continue working in middle schools in this dynamic and diverse community.
Kristina Quezada, Program Coordinator, Safe Routes to School
Kristina joined the Safe Routes to School team as a Project Specialist in 2012 and is now the Program Coordinator for the Safe Routes to School program in National City, which focuses on the 10 elementary schools in the National School District. 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.
Kelly Strona, Project Specialist II, Outreach Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Kelly joined the Safe Routes to School Staff as Project Specialist in 2013. A San Diego native, Kelly earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health in 2010 from San Diego State University, and spent four years teaching health education at the middle school, high school and college level. She loves that the Safe Routes to School program encourages students to be physically active and is a avid daily exerciser herself.
Elyana Delgado, Project Specialist I, Outreach Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Elyana joined the SRTS team as a Project Specialist in 2013. She grew up in National City and attended the University of San Diego where she recieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish and Ethnic Studies. Children are the future of the world, so she considers it a privledge to work with them, their schools and their parents by teaching them about the benefits of an active life and how to keep themselves safe. She is also a certifed Zumba Instructor!
Diana Juarez, Project Specialist I, Outreach Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Diana joined the Safe Routes to school team in the fall of 2013. Diana graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. For the past six years, Diana has been working with primarily low income Latino community members of El Cajon. She enjoys working with people from all different backgrounds and cultures.She likes to educate youth about injury preveniton and promote healthy lifestyles. 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.
Daniela Orozco, Project Specialist I, Outreach Specialist, Safe Routes to School
Daniela joined the SRTS team in the fall of 2013. She was born and raised in San Diego and recently graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. During her four years at SDSU she was an intern with the San Diego School District and worked with children and the community which included worked with a community group, Child and Family Development Student Organization. Through this organization she worked with high risk children and families in diverse settings. She is very honored and happy to be working with great people who are very passionate about helping children and families and is exited to continue her career with the SRTS team.
Sharon Fischer, Project Specialist I, Kohls Transportation Safety Program
Sharon has been with Rady Children's 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. Sharon holds an Assocciates 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 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, and became certified as a Child Passenger Safety Techician 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 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 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 in 2012. Mirna became a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2009, and completed Special Needs Enrichment Training in 2010.