West Oakland Health Council announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Erika Simpson Akpawu as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Erika previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer within the agency. Since joining WOHC in 2019, Erika has provided day-to-day leadership and management of multiple clinical and non-clinical departments. Erika spearheaded WOHC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic including setting up a community-testing site, a patient/community vaccination rollout, and a Case Investigation/Contact Tracing operation in collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Department. She has made strides in re-establishing and building connections with community partners and the faith-based community.
Erika Simpson-Akpawu is a proud native of East Palo Alto, CA where she grew up in a multi-cultural family and attended African-centered schools. She is the product of an immigrant and professional dancer from Colombia South America and an African American Bay Area resident and master drummer. As a child of stellar performing artists and a student of well-rounded cultural academia, Erika was afforded a rich cultural upbringing bearing witness to the importance of preserving culture. She was groomed for leadership roles as one of the founding members of the Leadership Training Academy, a youth leadership development program with the mission to develop grassroots leaders of color from urban communities equipped with the tools, experience, skills, and compassion to lead within their community and abroad. In addition, she naturally followed her parent’s footsteps in the arts and has been a longtime member of the African Dance community in Oakland and was a professional dancer with Oakland-based cultural and performing arts organization, Fua Dia Congo, founded by pioneering master artist Malonga Casquelourd.
Erika was inspired to career in healthcare by her mother who passed away of breast cancer at the young age
of 46. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Howard University, Washington, DC. Erika’s
early post-graduate career in health led her to the Community Breast Health Project in Palo Alto (currently Bay
Area Cancer Connections), where her mother previously received advice and care regarding her cancer
diagnosis. There, she worked as an interpreter and advocate for women under 40 to receive breast cancer
screening and diagnostic services.
Her growth and success working in community health advanced her to a position at Ravenswood Family
Health Network in 2003. Over the course of 15 years, Erika was promoted and held various leadership
positions contributing to the growth and success of the new community health center that ultimately achieved
over 55,000 patient visits annually. She oversaw the formalization of the clinic’s Chronic Disease Management
program, established and managed their neighboring health center satellite clinic, was the main instrument
behind their community volunteer program, and assured culturally and linguistically competent services for
their diverse multi-lingual community members.
Erika earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Touro University in Vallejo, CA. Her academic and career
advancement studies included a 3-month global public health capstone project in Ethiopia that focused on
researching contraception use amongst college-age women and completing an executive leadership program
through the UCSF’s Clinic Leadership Institute.
Erika currently resides in Oakland, CA with her husband and 4 children. She is fluent in English and Spanish
enabling her to communicate effectively within the primarily Black and Brown communities she serves. Erika’s
volunteer experience includes several years of working with underserved youth promoting and teaching
leadership and community activism, and mentoring young girls through a rite of passage program, Ase
Institute, of Oakland CA. Her passion for promoting health equity and social justice in underserved
communities allowed her to be selected as the first recipient of the Geiger Gibson “Emerging Leader” award
from George Washington University.
We are pleased Erika accepted our offer to lead WOHC through our next period of growth. She says, “I am
honored to accept the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer of West Oakland Health Council, and I accept the
responsibility with enthusiasm and confidence. I believe in the incredible strength and value of our community
presence and the services we provide, but most of all our relationship with our patients and partners.”
Erika succeeds Preston DuFauchard, who resigned at the end of August 2021 to pursue other interests.
Preston, who previously served on the Board of Directors for West Oakland Health Council, has served as CEO
for the past three years. Preston stepped in the interim to ensure the agency maintained its collective focus
on stability, continuity, and working as hard as possible to minimize disruptions for our patients, employees,
and daily operations during our prior leadership transition. In this interim period, he has helped reposition
West Oakland Health Council financially and increased visibility with the communities the health center
Join the WOHC Board of Directors in welcoming Erika to her new role. The Board believes the WOHC is at a
critical moment and renewed leadership will drive the organization’s success with implementing new
strategies to reach operational excellence and to be a successful advocate for underserved and neglected
West Oakland Health Council’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves by
providing the highest quality of health care and treatment for its diverse patient population throughout
Alameda County. Fifty years ago, in the midst of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, four AfricanAmerican mothers launched the West Oakland Health Council. The clinic became a spark that led to a
transformation in health care advocacy in California and the nation. Today the West Oakland Health Council
has an impact throughout the East Bay, with four clinic sites, one in Berkeley, one in West Oakland, and two in
East Oakland. The services provided included adult and family medicine, pediatric health care, dental care,
optometry, podiatry, behavioral health services, and pharmacies at two locations.
September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month.
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.
We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. Discover documents, exhibits, films, blog posts and more from the National Archives and Presidential Libraries that highlight Hispanic culture.
Explore the site »
The West Oakland Health Council stands firm with our Asian community in fighting the recent attacks on the Asian community. We believe that an attack on one group is an attack on all groups. All of us at the West Oakland Health Council unite against racism and the horrific attack that target the Asian community. We condemn the violence; we condemn the hate and we condemn the hostility in any shape, form, or fashion. We support our Asian community in standing up, speaking out, and making it clear that we will not tolerate hate. #StopAsianHate!
|POSITION:||Medical Assistant II|
|REPORTS TO:||Clinic Manager|
|DEFINITION:||Under the general supervision of the Clinic Manager, the Medical Assistant performs basic and other patient care services for which the Medical Assistant has received instructions and demonstrated competency. This includes collecting blood samples from patients to be sent out to contracted laboratories.|
|High School diploma or its equivalent.|
|Ability to project a positive, concerned image to the public.|
Have worked in a health care facility as a medical aid/medical assistant or certified nursing assistant for at least 6 months.
|Visual acuity of at least 20/40 with degree field of vision.|
Basic training and certificate as Medical Assistant/CNA or Medical Aide.
Possession of current phlebotomy certification required.
Speak, read, write and comprehend fluent English. Bilingual fluency in is preferred.
|Proficient in Microsoft word and Excel with preferred knowledge of Next-Gen Electronic Health Records. |
Demonstrates effective nursing computer, clerical and interpersonal skills within the first 90 days of hire.
|Ability to remain calm and courteous in a high stress environment and in dealing with the general public.|
|Willingness and ability to travel to different council clinics to perform work as Medical Assistant.|
EXAMPLE OF DUTIES:
|Prepares exam rooms for patient visit using infection control procedures.|
|Performs patient intake utilizing Electronic Health Records.|
|Monitors patient flow and make appropriate recommendations.|
|Performs select physical exams i.e. diabetic foot exams, audiograms, etc.|
|Advocates and performs standing orders for labs, EKG, Chest –X-ray and other tests as necessary.|
|Performs Autoclave duties of cleaning and sterilizing instruments by clinic practitioners and clinic protocols.|
|Provides patient education and information as instructed by clinic practitioners and clinic protocols.|
|Works effectively on Adult, OB, and Pediatric units as wells as Medical records units as assigned and assists medical clerk at front desk as assigned.|
|Travels to different Council clinics as assigned.|
|Performs administrative and other clinical duties as assigned.|
|Excellent communication skills with ability to articulate clearly and confidently; greets patients with courtesy and respect.|
|Creates and maintains complete and accurate documentation of all activities and clinical logs.|
|Advocates and acts as patient liaison to improve health care maintenance needs.|
|Upon completion of training; participates in panel management, referrals processing, hospital transition care, and patient prior authorization procedures.|
|Collects blood samples from patients including infants, children, adolescents, and adults. Adult patients include the elderly and those with history of IV drug use.|
|Answers patient questions regarding collection technique practices.|
|Proper patient identification, labels vials with patient names and dates properly.|
|Packages and arranges for transport to a contracted lab on time.|
|Keeps phlebotomy cart or station clean and well organized at all times.|
|Complies with proper infection control standards at all times.|
|Attends work regularly and punctually; is readily accessible during work hours to peers; limits absences from own duty stations and limits visits and activities which distract others from their performance of duties.|
|Works cooperatively with immediate supervisor, with department members, and with other Council staff persons, as required|
|Treats all patients / clients / visitors with respect and courtesy.|
|Remains competent in skills required for position, by attending scheduled in-service.|
|During the initial thirty (30) days of employment, becomes and remains knowledgeable about and in compliance with the Council’s and Department policies and procedures in the following areas:Confidentiality of patient / client / fellow employee and supplier records.Patient’s rights and responsibilities.Professional and business ethics.Continuous quality and improvement.Safety and security of person and property.Infection control.Hazardous materials and waste.Life safety and emergency preparedness.|
|Maintains a working knowledge about and in continued compliance with all of those areas listed under item (5) throughout your employment with the Council.|
|Provides care appropriate to the age of the patients / clients / visitors served.|
|Is able to work and/or interact satisfactorily with a workforce and public which are ethnically and culturally diverse.|
|Is responsible for performing other assigned duties which are related to the above and which fall within the scope of this job description.|
|This position falls under an exclusive bargaining agreement with United Health Care Workers’ West Union Local 250, SEIU, AFL-CIO; and requires employee membership.|
POSITION TYPE: Full-time
POSITION: Registered Dietician / Nutritionist
REPORTS TO: Chief Medical Officer
SUMMARY: Under the general supervision of the Chief Medical Officer, the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist develops and carries out programs for the promotion of Health and the prevention of diseases, including assessing dietary practices; provides nutrition education and dietary counseling to Health Council patients.
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITES:
To be conducted in accordance with WOHC Policies and Procedures
- Plans, organizes, develops, and conducts nutrition services for patients receiving care in the clinic.
- Provides patient care via individual appointments and group activities, to improve nutrition and dietary practices.
- Reviews medical orders for diets prescribed or recommended for patients by their provider(s).
- Interviews patients to obtain information regarding dietary habits and preferences for guidance in planning diets and modifying dietary patterns.
- Provides nutritional follow-up to monitor patient/client progress in adopting modified dietary habits, to provide support, and to assess compliance with recommended dietary changes.
- Prepared nutrition assessments and high-risk care plans; counsels according to plans and provides for appropriate follow-up.
- Performs all duties for successful patient/client electronic health record maintenance within the designated time set by the organization.
- Attends general and medical staff meetings and participates in quality improvement projects.
- Performs all duties and services in full compliance with WOHC’s service excellence standards.
- Performs other related duties as may be assigned by the CMO, COO, and/or other designee.
- Bilingual in English/Spanish OR English/Arabic strongly preferred.
- Excellent communication skills at level necessary for taking patients’ medical histories, understanding provider and supervisor instructions, and for accurately documenting patients’ medical information.
- Intermediate to advanced computing and phone skills.
- Experience working in an electronic medical record environment.
- Ability to memorize, retain and recall pertinent skills and information.
- Working knowledge of “Universal Precautions” and demonstrated professionalism at all times.
- Possess a thorough understanding of the importance of confidentiality and non-disclosure according to the general standards set forth by HIPAA.
- Culturally sensitive and demonstrated ability and effectiveness working with ethnically diverse populations.
- Valid driver’s license or state I.D.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
- Current, valid California Dietician registration (RD).
- Valid Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Card (CPR).
- Minimum 1-year experience as RD in an outpatient clinic preferred.
Service Orientation: Demonstrates a commitment to serving internal and external customers and or patients. Consistently seeks ways to improve service delivery and communicates ideas to management as needed.
Communication: Communicates clearly, accurately, and concisely in verbal and written forms. Effectively adjusts communication to specific situations and diverse audiences to ensure information is understood. Work effectively with multi-cultural and economically diverse patients.
Teamwork: Provides meaningful contributions and actively participates in team activities. Works as part of the care team to provide evidence based care, health coaching, self-management tools and proactively addressing the needs of patients and their families.
Quality: Actively participates in identify areas for improvement and establish methods for quality improvement.
Compliance: Stays in compliance with organization’s policies by being current in state mandated certification requirements and completing assigned policies and trainings in a timely manner.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
- Pace of Work: High stress, very rapid, and demanding
- Concentration: Constant
- Standing and Walking Time Required: At least 50% of the time
- Time Speaking and Listening: 60% – 70%
- Environmental and Health Hazards: Frequent exposure to communicable diseases and other conditions common to a clinic environment.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to sit. The employee frequently will use hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard, mouse and telephone keyboard, and talk or hear. The employee must occasionally bend, lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, and ability to adjust focus.
POSITION DESCRIPTION REVISIONS
This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts or working conditions associated with these roles. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current Position, management reserves the right to revise the Position or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change. This Position description replaces all previous Position descriptions for this position.