2022 Affiliate Officer Candidate Biographies

UNAC/UHCP Affiliate Officer Candidate Biographies

Sadao Nakachi
Kaiser Downey Registered Nurses Association

I’m a fifteen-year Kaiser Downey Registered Nurse Association (KDRNA) member, serving my entire career in the emergency department as a bedside nurse. I understand the value of education and the doors they can open for you.

Driven to make a change, I launched a program that helped over thirty members in our medical center earn their BSN/MSN degrees tuition-free. I accomplished this by partnering with BHMT counselors and hosting information sessions, creating social media content, peer-to-peer conversations that encouraged professional development, and partnering with outside organizations to earn discounts for members.

I am a co-lead in KPDMC’s Magnet and Professional Growth Council where we develop ideas that will benefit members and patients by raising the education standards and recognizing excellence in nursing by presenting Daisy awards.

I’m a believer in lifelong learning and have made it a personal goal as Union Steward to empower nurses with knowledge of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and National Agreement. My endeavor, now more than ever, is for the members to feel heard and valued. My actions reflect my respect for our honorable profession and what I believe we can achieve together.

Johanna Arlene Noriega
Kaiser Fontana Registered Nurses Association

For the past two years as KFRNA President, it has been an honor to represent an amazing group of Nurses and Health Care Professionals. The changes we are capable of making as a group in the labor movement invigorates my drive to continue to be a voice for all. Unitedly, we averted a strike and secured a strong 4 year contract in 2022. As a local union leader, I have improved response time to members by upholding accountability, incorporating affiliate Presidents in communication, and increasing visibility of Officers through rounding and collaboration with Contract Specialists. I have increased employer accountability by initiating meetings and expecting them to provide supporting contractual language or policies for processes.

I have also had the honor of working for UNAC/UHCP state office which has proven to be valuable in representing our members.

Vote to re-elect me as your Hospital President so I can continue to uphold my commitment to being a resounding voice for KFRNA UNAC/UHCP members.

Johanna Noriega MHA/MBA, BSN, RN, CNOR

Hospital President – KFRNA

Isabelle Wilcox
Kaiser Fontana Registered Nurses Association

Isabelle Wilcox has been a nurse since 2013 and has been working at Kaiser Permanente since 2016. She became a nurse because of the way nurses treated her severely ill child. She is proud to be a nurse and has a fervent desire to help nurses achieve a safe work environment, where they are able to provide the best possible patient care. She values fairness, compassion, respect, and trust. She is an immigrant, a single mom of 3 amazing children with a passion for caring. “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write” (Martin Luther).

Michelle Denise Nava
Kaiser Fontana Registered Nurses Association

I have been a union steward for 18 years, and out of those years I have served as a union officer for 5 years. I’m asking for your vote to re-elect me as your parliamentarian. I will continue to represent you and see that our contract and union stays strong.

I’ve bargained for our contract over the years and will continue to bargain for a strong contract for you.

I believe that my responsibilities as the parliamentarian is an important role in building a strong union for our union members and the union.

If given the opportunity to be the parliamentarian, It would be an honor to represent you. As your KFRNA parliamentarian, together we can make a difference and continue to keep our union strong.

Leesie Smith
Kaiser Fontana Registered Nurses Association

I have spent the last year serving union members as the CURRENT Secretary. With your vote I will continue in this capacity as KFRNA Secretary. Having spent 14 years in the Emergency Department at Kaiser Permanente I have had an invaluable experience working with an incredible team. I have a dynamic background in the union which I am eager to continue to expand upon. My experience includes being a Contract Specialist for 2 terms as well as a Union Steward for 5 years. I’m passionate about the union, dedicated to helping you understand our contract, and committed to being there for you! I will continue to be your advocate and will fight to protect your union rights! Vote for me, Leesie and together we can continue to build a strong union!

Althea Garcia
Kaiser Los Angeles Registered Nurses Association

My name is Althea Garcia and I currently work in Kaiser Mental Health Center. I have been with the company for a little over 10 years. I am currently a Psychiatric RN and have been active in multiple committees, for example UBT, Nursing Council, and a CPI instructor for 10 years. I also recently completed the PMHNP (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) MSN program and looking forward to growing with this organization. I have been a Union Steward for about 3 years because I am passionate for our members. My main interest is is maintain and improve safety for our members. I hope to gain an officer position to help me advocate for our members need and provide the best service for our community.

Gwenzon Senatin
Kaiser Los Angeles Registered Nurses Association

I am celebrating my 27th year as a Registered Nurse and, subsequently, my 20th year at Kaiser Mental Health Center. I have been a union Steward since 2018 and incumbent Parliamentarian seeking re-election.



Gemma Tabbada
Kaiser Panorama Registered Nurses Association

Hi, my name is Gemma Tabbada. I have been with Kaiser since 2004. The last 15 years I have been working in the ER department at Panorama city. For most of those 15 years, I have been in the leadership role as a Relief Charge Nurse, UBT member and last year I got the position as Charge Nurse. I have made great efforts to making the department and multi-disciplinary staff work together in an effort to make our department a better place to work.

Sarah Devine-Cooter
Kaiser Riverside Registered Nurses-Union of Healthcare Professionals

I’ve been with UNAC since 2013. I started working inpatient in Riverside Pediatrics, though I’ve been with Kaiser since 2009 with 7600, working as a unit secretary. Over the years I’ve worked from pediatrics to geriatrics, inpatient and outpatient, and grown from an RN to a FNP. I’ve recently moved from Urgent Care to Temecula Family Medicine and while missing my former team, I’m excited about the new family I’m joining. I have benefited personally and professionally from the benefits the union has fought hard to gain and keep. From Ben Hudnall and tuition reimbursements, to working on committees to benefit labor (e.g. UBT). I am passionate about education and knowing your rights under the contract.

After working with the rest of the CAT team to ready Riverside/South County for the pending strike last year, I solidified my resolve to work more with the union. The union is only as strong as we are together.

I look forward to working with other officers as your Parliamentarian.

Vote for the one and only, Devine-Cooter!

Christina Puinti
Kaiser Downey Registered Nurses Association

My name is Christina Puinti I have worked for Kaiser for almost 7 years. I am an Intensive Care RN. I became involved with the union from the very beginning because I have a passion for the rights of our members. I used to work at a non union facility and I saw how employees worked without a voice. I have been your Contract Specialist this past year and it has been a wonderful journey in which I have learned so much about what our union does for all of us members. It would be my pleasure to continue to serve you as your Executive Council Representative, so that I may continue to help ensure our voice continues to be heard.

Karina Torres-Dwyer
Kaiser South Bay Healthcare Professionals Association

My name is Karina Torres-Dwyer, I have worked at Kaiser Permanent South Bay as a Registered Nurse for over 21 years. Currently, I work in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit, at the Carson MOB in the Pain Management department. I worked in the Cardiology Clinic for 5 years, GI for 8 years, and I started my KP South Bay journey working in the hospital in 2300 or OTC (Observation and Treatment Center) in 2001. I became an RN because I wanted to make a difference in patients’ lives and to become self-reliant. I completed my BSN from California State Dominguez Hills in 2017 and during the pandemic I began the MSN program in Nursing Education at Colorado Technical University, completing it in May 2022. I have been an active and engaged member of UNAC/UHCP. Presently, I’m serving as UNAC/UHCP delegate, served in the affiliate election committee in 2021, and as a CAT during 2021 negotiations. My goal in becoming the affiliate president of UNAC/UHCP South Bay is to serve as a leader that inspires hope while promoting trust, support, and inclusion amongst our UNAC/UHCP members. I’m genuine and passionate about creating a stronger voice that empowers every UNAC/UHCP member.

Jo Ann Lynn Boomer 
Kaiser San Diego Health Care Professionals Association

Hi my name is Jo Ann Boomer and I’m running for secretary I’ve been cochair of inpatient quality and patient safety council the last 4 years ! I have volunteer for Special Olympics ! I want to continue advocate for nurses and give us a voice for the future!





Liza Ventura
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California

My name is Liza Ventura and I’m seeking re-election as your President North.

I am a RN Case Manager in the Pasadena Region.

Over the past seven years, I’ve had the privilege of serving and representing members from AV, Baldwin Park, Downey, Kern County, LAMC/Region, Panorama City, WLA, and Woodland Hills.

I take pride in my ability to enforce our contract, ensuring every member is provided strong representation.

I greatly value member engagement in Union Activities, and continue to mentor several SCNSC Officers and Stewards– overseeing and promoting individual empowerment within their local medical centers.

Respect, professionalism, and collaborative solutions are standard in every meeting/conversation I lead. I am widely available and accessible to all SCNSC members.

2015-Present: SCNSC President – Oversees 8 Medical Centers; UNAC/UHCP Executive Council Member

2020: AFSCME Delegate; Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU) National Bargaining Team

2019: UNAC/UHCP Constitution Committee

2018: AHCU National Bargaining Team; SCNSC Local Bargaining Team

2016-2018: UNAC/UHCP Grievance Committee

2012-2014: Vice President–LAMC/Region/WLA

2012: SCNSC Bargaining Team – Negotiated first SCNSC contract

I look forward to serving you again as President North.

Unity is Strength!

Lizavn2ra@yahoo.com / 818.482.4074

Renika Brown
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California

Hello, my name is Renika Brown and I am a candidate for SCNSC President North. I have been working as a Registered Nurse for over 24 years. I am passionate about Union work because I have seen the difference belonging to a Union makes. I would like to ensure every member gets fair and equal representation. I am an experienced Union Officer. I have served as a Steward, Contract Specialist and currently I am SCNSC Vice President in San Diego. Now I am asking for your vote to become the next SCNSC President North. I am currently serving as a member on the San Diego Attendance sub-committee, LMP Council and I sponsor several UBT teams. I am running for SCNSC President North because I believe I can do more on a larger scale to make our Affiliate more unified. I want to ensure that Management honors our contract and I would like to continue to fight for better staffing, backfill, and work life balance for every member. Vote for Renika Brown as your next SCNSC President North and thanks in advance for your time.

Babylyn Hynes
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California

My name is Babylyn Hynes. I currently work in the Utilization Management (UM) department as a Hospital Case Manager.

I was hired in 2003 as a staff nurse and after 5 years got a position as a charge nurse in a hectic Med-Surg floor. I stayed for almost 10 years as a charge nurse until it was time to get a specialty that would line up with my nursing background and that’s when I applied for Case Management.

I am proud to share the foundation of my nursing career rooted in a Skilled Nursing Facility. I had worked in a locked unit , medical units for skilled/ non-skilled patients, and sub-acute. A total of 256 beds which I later mastered. I started as a nursing assistant to CNA, LVN, to an RN in my 12-year employment. I was a med nurse, wound nurse, charge nurse, unit manager, NOC shift supervisor, and MDS coordinator. These nursing pathways honed me to become more patient, resilient, flexible, disciplined, compassionate, assertive, confident and professional.

I value teamwork hence collaboration and communication are just few of the key words for a successful Union. I am running for SCNSC secretary and I am here for “US”.

Michelle Curtis-Ussery
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California


My name is Michelle Curtis-Ussery, DNP, RN-BC, PHN, NPD. I have been working for Kaiser 26 years. I started at Kaiser as an LVN and have been able to advance my career because of Kaiser being unionized. I have held many positions within Kaiser and within my affiliate union of Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California (SCNSC). I have been able to obtain my ASN, BSN, MSN, and DNP through Kaiser only possible because of the union negotiated education benefits.

During my tenure as a Staff Educator, we were exempt employees then became unionized. I was one of the original negotiators for the Staff Educators getting accreted into the SCNSC Contract in 2012. Once we became union, I became a steward, SCNSC Secretary, and the Vice President of LAMC. I enjoyed being the SCNSC secretary. It afforded me a better understanding of the union processes and always hoped to be able to secure that position again. I also was a negotiator during the 2018 contract negotiations in which the SCNSC CBA was opened and revised. We made significant changes to the hiring process for SCNSC, which I am proud of. It was a hard fight, but well worth it.

Sherry Macias
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California


My name is Sherry Macias, and I am running for SCNSC Treasurer seat in the upcoming 2022 Elections. I am passionate about fiscal responsibility and if elected I will work hard to make certain our dues money is spent on fair and equal representation.

I believe I am qualified to serve as your Treasurer because for the last 4 years I have been a member or SCNSC Financial Control Committee. I have tirelessly advocated for more transparency and financial control over how dues money is allocated and spent.

I have also been actively involved in drafting much needed changes to the SCNSC Financial Policy.

I have been a Registered Nurse at KP for 19 years and have served as SCNSC Steward for 6 years.

Recognizing that our budget belongs to all the members, these are our dues, I would like to ensure that there is accountability to our membership. I am asking for your vote, and I promise that if I am elected, I will work with you to ensure all members are heard, understood, and have a financial team that will work hard to assure our budget stays on track.


Gina Gruber
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California

Hi, my name is Gina Gruber, and I am running for SCNSC VP Riverside in this year’s 2022 election. I have been a nurse for 28 years and have worked for KP for almost 10 years now. I became an SCNSC member in 2015. I currently serve as SCNSC Contract Specialist for the Inland Medical Centers. I have worked as a Case manager in Long term Care, Palliative Care, Oncology and my current role is in Special Needs. I believe I am the best candidate because I understand the importance of upholding our profession to the highest standards, compensation and recognition possible. This is especially important with the challenges that have come upon us these past few years, and continue to present themselves currently, as well as into our future. I am asking for your vote, and in return promise to serve our affiliate and our members with transparency, honesty, tenacity and true partnership.