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Class of 2024 - Advocacy Institute Fellowship

We continue our mission to empower, equip, and elevate nurse advocates by accepting six new Fellows to lead policy-driven campaigns and pave the way for future registered nurses.

This is the third cohort of our flagship advocacy program. Read about each of our Fellows below.

Class of 2024 ANA California Advocacy Institute Fellows


Racism In Nursing Academia Campaign

Fellow: Dr. Loleater Gibson EdD, MSN, BSN

Bio: Dr. Gibson started her nursing career in Chicago, IL, at Prairie State College, receiving an Associate degree in Nursing, continuing her education, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing at Olivet Nazarene University, and eventually receiving a doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education from Northcentral University.

Dr. Gibson has served in many roles throughout her career and is an Education Specialist with the Veterans Health Administration Central Office (VHACO) in the Office of Health Outcomes Military Exposures (HOME).

Dr. Gibson has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to creating equitable access to opportunities for healthcare professionals and nursing students throughout her career and personal life. Dr. Gibson contributes her success to untiring faith in the belief that all things are possible to him that believes.

Racism in Nursing Fellow Alumni:

  • 2023 - Carla Stanley & Fatima Arastu

  • 2022 - Carter Todd


Mental Health in Nursing Campaign

Fellow: Tracy Holder, RYT-200, RN, BSN, NBC-HWC, CCFP

Bio: Tracy, a 17-year bedside nurse and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach, frequently integrates her training from Dr. Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine.

Tracy led several mindfulness practices during Nurse's Week to Stanford nurses, including at the start of the pandemic, incorporating her practices for "Compassion Fatigue for Professionals" certification.

Tracy also loves being a yoga instructor specializing in restorative yoga and meditation. Tracy’s mission is to guide fellow nurses to find relief from burnout and to design strategies that allow life to unfold without sacrificing health, mental wellness and vitality.

Mental Health in Nursing Fellow Alumni:

  • 2023 - Gilanie De Castro & Rebekah (Long) Dzida

  • 2022 - Carolyn Duenas


Nurses in Media Campaign

Fellow: Kristy Fillmore MScN, RN, NPD-BC, CPHQ

Bio: Kristy is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. Kristy holds a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Leadership in Health Services Delivery and Health Promotion from The University of Western Ontario and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from Queen’s University.

Kristy’s research and advocacy interests revolve around nursing assistive personnel in hospitals and the implications for patient safety. Kristy is a certified professional in healthcare quality and currently works as a nursing professional development specialist at a large hospital in Southern California.

She is dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation to enhance patient safety and improve the healthcare work environment through ongoing professional development, critical analysis, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Nurses in Media Fellow Alumni:

  • 2023 - Alicia Truelove


Advocacy Institute Campaign

Fellow: Dahlia Maldonado BSN, RN-BC

Bio: Dahlia is currently the Nursing Practice Outcomes and Magnet® Program Coordinator for UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. She is recognized throughout the UCLA Health System as an influential leader and passionate supporter of the voice of nursing.

Since becoming a nurse in 2017, she has been extensively involved in Professional Governance, held various leadership roles, and participated in advocacy at a local and national level.

Dahlia graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Healthcare Policy and is pursuing an MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management from Western Governors University.

Advocacy Institute Fellow Alumni:

  • 2023 - Rachael Viale


LGBTQIA+ Equity in Nursing Campaign

Fellow: Dr. Briony DuBose PhD, MHI, RN

Bio: Bri DuBose is a Lean Six Sigma Black at Sharp HealthCare and a lecturer in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of San Diego for Health Policy Analysis and Reflective Practice. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University.

Driven by the desire to drive efficiency and safety, she returned to Arizona State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master in Healthcare Innovation degree. Bri earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of San Diego and received a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification from the University of California San Diego.

Her dissertation, Suicide Mortality of Emergency Department Patients, reflects her passion for mental health parity and suicide prevention. She is also an advocate for equity and addressing health disparities through root cause analysis and health policy reform.


Meet Our 2024 Mentors

Laura Chechel MSN, RN, CCRN

Laura Chechel has been a Registered Nurse for 20 years. She is the Senior Director of Nursing Education, Development, Research, and Quality at the University of California San Diego, and a founding member of the ANA\C San Diego Task Force.

She graduated with a BSN in 2003 from The University of Rhode Island and in 2017 from Point Loma Nazarene University with a MSN in Adult Gerontology as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

She was a Legislative Director and previous board member (2021-2023) of ANA\California.

She participated in the ANA Advocacy Institute in 2021 and is a vocal advocate for vulnerable, marginalized populations.

Dr. Alice Martanegara DNP, RN

Dr. Alice Martanegara is currently the Associate Dean and Director of Nursing and the Southern Regional Testing Center at Golden West College (GWC). In her role, Alice is responsible for the leadership and operations of the Nursing Department and the Regional Testing Center. Prior to GWC, she had served in various nursing leadership roles at Western Governors University, Tenet Healthcare, Hoag Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Martanegara is clinically trained as an obstetric nurse specializing in gynecology. Her academic experience includes nursing administration and currently hold faculty appointments teaching in graduate nursing and healthcare administration programs.

Dr. Martanegara is an innovative nurse leader with a broad experience in the healthcare, and the communication industries. She serves on several boards public policy including ANA California, the President of the Orange County Long Beach (OCLB) Consortium, and the executive board for Comcast Communications. She is also a previous board member of the Association of California Nurse Leaders

(ACNL) and Amgen.

Dr. Martanegara earned a dual undergraduate degree in Psychology and Advertising with a Brand Management concentration from the California State University, Dominguez Hills. Nursing is a second career for Dr. Martanegara when

she completed her Associate of Science in Nursing from Golden West College. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN ED) from University of Phoenix and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from Touro University Nevada. Alice is a fellow of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the UCLA Anderson Executive Education.

A Southern California native, Alice resides in Orange County and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, interior design, and watching movies.


Dr. Sonia Valdez is the Chief Nursing Officer for National Healthcare and Housing Advisors (NHHA). Before beginning her work with NHHA, Dr. Valdez was the Manager for Memorial Care Medical, where she oversaw all aspects of the Clinical Services areas. In her role as Manager of Memorial Care Medical, Clinical Services, she was able to apply the principles of geriatric medicine to improve the care coordination of uninsured patients with multiple chronic illnesses.

Dr. Valdez has held many leadership positions within the Nursing field. She is a professor with the Faculty of Santa Ana College School of Nursing, adjunct faculty with Concordia University School of Nursing, a Grant Reviewer for HRSA and an Expert Witness with the Board of Registered Nurses.

Dr. Valdez is also deeply rooted in community causes and issues that improve the quality of care for vulnerable populations including veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness and seniors. She serves as President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Los Angeles Chapter. She is an innovator who developed grant-funded projects to produce and disseminate cutting-edge information on a variety of topics, including Infection Prevention for Quality of Life, on Nursing Care of Older Adults (funded by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), & Center for Health Care Quality), and a Safe and Effective Transitions of Care for Veterans & Homeless Patients (funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).

Dr. Valdez is a graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills School of Nursing (BSN, 2007), Walden University School of Nursing (MSN, 2010), and Western University of Health Sciences (DNP, 2018).

Interested in becoming an ANA\California Advocacy Institute Fellow?

We're looking for nursing advocates who demonstrate a passion for policy development and advocacy.

Visit our Fellowship page to apply or for more details.


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