The Board of Directors at the San Diego American Indian Health Center welcome input from you. Please feel free to send us an email
Paula Brim, Choctaw
Paula Brim, Choctaw Board Chairperson
Paula Brim is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and has been a long-time supporter, patient and board member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center. Now retired, Paula brings years of business experience in the field of land use, real estate acquisition and development along with financing mechanisms and management.
A strong believer in community activism, Paula has been appointed to and served on many boards and commissions in the San Diego region over the years dealing with land use, energy policy, youth services including management of shelters, counseling, re-unification of runaway adolescents with their families and school policy. Additionally, Paula has chaired many event committees providing services and enjoyment for the community.
Married to my best friend and a mother of three, grandmother of three and great grandmother of two who enjoys every minute of this life, Paula brings all the lessons learned, knowledge gained, experience and empathy to the job of serving on the board of SDAIHC and the joy and honor of serving the community.
Dale Squires, PHD, Chickasaw
Board Vice Chair
Dale Squires, PHD Chickasaw Board Vice Chairperson – Finance Committee
Dale Squires is a Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. He is a native of San Diego, Vice Chair of the San Diego American Indian Health Center’s Board of Directors, and its longest serving member. He is married with two adult children. He is a Senior Scientist with NOAA Fisheries and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of California San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from Cornell University, a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in applied economics from the University of California Berkeley, studied at the American University of Beirut, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia.. He has co-authored or co-edited ten books and over 150 professional publications in economics, conservation, and marine affairs and routinely works with the United Nations, World Bank, international commissions, national governments, and universities around the world.
Darin Craw, Chickasaw
Darin Craw, Chickasaw Board Member
Darin Craw is a proud Chickasaw who has settled in San Diego California to raise his children after his last tour in the US Navy. His work as a technology director and within County government, as well as his degrees in technology and health services, give him a unique aspect to being on the board of the San Diego American Indian Health Center.
Being away from the tribal lands has not stopped Darin from being active in his community. With a group of Chickasaw elders, he helped form Chickasaw West, the local community council to help keep the traditions of his people alive. Being a veteran and a member of the Chickasaw warrior society, he also continues to support veterans issues and serve that community as well.
One of Darin’s great joys is being a father and helping his children grow into adulthood. Of course, skiing and soccer, his favorite sports from his childhood in New York, help round out his daily life and keep him sane. These numerous experiences from deck plate to C-suite around the world with his grounding in his culture which he brings to his service as a board member of SDAIHC.
David Gloria, Tlingit
David Gloria, Tlingit Board Member
Hello and thank you for your interest in the San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC).
My name is David Gloria/Raven, I am Tlingit. My father is Louis Gloria/Eagle from Klukwan. We are from the Killer Whale Dorsal fin house.
My father had a strong sense of responsibility to serve his native community, he continued his work for decades. I didn’t appreciate that when I was young but as I matured, I realized the significance of what he was doing and am proud of all he accomplished. I want to continue his work so that is what sparked my desire to serve the native community. This is what brought me to SDAIHC.
Though my clan is in southeast Alaska, I was raised right here in San Diego. I love the beach life and Pow Wow’s. I have three beautiful children and one beautiful wife :). Speaking of beauty, one of the things I’ve learned from some members of the community is that you can find beauty virtually everywhere. You just have to want to see it. I have found beauty in this center. So many people have come through here seeking help to improve their quality of life. Through their own hard work they have found it. SDAIHC just provided some tools. I know because this center has helped me and my family with their health and wellbeing that I am forever grateful and want to give back. This center has assisted me when I was in darkness and brought light. All of the staff here are dedicated to improving your health and wellbeing and I am so proud of them. I hope you can find your light here too.
Keren Hilger, MD
Keren Hilger, MD Board Member – Quality Committee
Dr. Hilger is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician who has been serving on the Board of Directors at SDAIHC since 2010. She trained at Naval Medical Center San Diego, completed a fellowship in wilderness medicine, and has worked for the Indian Health Service in New Mexico and Alaska. Dr. Hilger currently serves as the Medical Director of a primary care/urgent care clinic and the Medical Director of a remote Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. She is a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service and has deployed multiple times to national humanitarian missions and disaster responses.
Dr. Hilger is proud to be a member of the SDAIHC Board and has enthusiastically watched as the organization has grown. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family!
Jill Sherman-Warne, Hoopa Valley Tribe
Jill Sherman-Warne, Hoopa Valley Tribe Board Secretary/Treasurer
Jill Sherman-Warne is the Executive Director of the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC). She is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Tribe where it was an honor to serve as an elected councilmember. She graduated from Humboldt State and built her respected professional reputation serving tribes in a variety of capacities from language learning, vocational rehabilitation, grant writing and emergency response Jill immerses her energy into building scalable tribal programs to increase and strength the tribal sovereignty. Jill’s cadre of skills allowed her to enjoy working on congressional campaigns, serving on state commissions and local tribal boards. Jill enjoys providing tribes the necessary tools to improving their capacity and capability to meet and exceed federal standards without increasing management burdens.
Jill and her family members are patients of the San Diego American Indian Health Center using all offered services. Growing up on the Hoopa Indian Reservation, Jill was ingrained by her parents and grandparents to serve her tribal community. Moving to San Diego she brings the same personal goals of being of service to her tribal community in the urban setting. Jill is married to Jim Warne, a documentarian and educator, they have three grandchildren and 4 children. Jill serves as a member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center Board of Directors.
Ruben Q. Leyva, Chiricahua Apache
Ruben Q. Leyva Chiricahua Apache, Board Member – Finance Committee
Ruben Leyva, a Chiricahua Apache, is a career law enforcement professional with over 25 years of service. Since 2016, he has served as the Assistant Chief Probation Officer for the County of San Diego. He came to Probation from the San Diego Unified School District Police Department, where he served as the Chief of Police for nearly 5 years.
Prior to that he worked as a deputy sheriff and police officer for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and La Mesa Police Department, respectively. Ruben possesses a diverse background as a lifelong martial artist spanning nearly four decades. He possesses the title of Grand Master and holds the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt. In recent years, he has engineered his own system of martial arts based on the principles of the Red Road, the Native American path leading to a long and happy spiritual life.
Ruben holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration from the Trident at American InterContinental University, where he graduated with highest honors. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and possesses an Executive Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) Certificate. In 2017, he completed the State and Local Governments Certification Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In November of 2019, Ruben was invited as a special guest speaker by the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, as part of the Office’s tribute to Native American Heritage Month. As one of the highest-ranking indigenous leaders in local government,
he is committed to breaking the cycle of violence, addiction, and historical trauma facing youth and adults. He is committed to the community and the need to address intergenerational poverty for families in our region. He is honored to serve as a board member, because it gives him an opportunity to
give back to the community in a meaning way.
As a husband of 26 years and a father to two adult children he values family. His son and daughter are both students of Mira Costa Community College. He enjoys spending time with family and researching his genealogy. He is passionate about wellness and want to do his part to serve and inspire.
Elke Chenevy, Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska
Elke Chenevy, Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska Board Member
Elke is a founding member of Bank of America’s Native American Professional Network. Prior to joining the San Diego office, Elke was a Director in Merrill Lynch’s Municipal Markets Los Angeles office where she structured over $7 billion in senior managed tax-exempt and taxable financings for a diverse client group. She has also served her tribe, the Omaha Tribe, in various capacities, including Tribal Manager, Grant writer and Economic Development Planner. Elke is a Certified Investment Management Analyst® professional. Active in her community with a passion for financial education, Elke is a member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center Board of Directors and also serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California, the Native American Visiting Committee which advises the President of Dartmouth College, and the Native Financial Education Coalition.
Yvette Thayer, Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Yvette Thayer, Eastern Shoshone Tribe Board Member
I am an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in Fort Washakie, Wyo. Both of my parents were also enrolled members. I moved here to San Diego in the 1980’s. I have worked with the same company for the past 24 years as an Assistant Manager for a Retail Company. I came to the San Diego American Indian Health Center a few years after living in San Diego. My interest to be a Board member is to be a voice for our people. I know on a personal level how important it is to have a place to go to for Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing. My passion, is to be a voice to give hope and a message to people that the San Diego American Indian Health Center is here for our Communities and our People.
Richard C. Needham
Richard C. Needham, Board Member
Richard C. Needham is a recent retiree from the County of San Diego, having worked nearly 25 years in Human Resources. When he retired, Mr. Needham was the Sr. Human Resources Officer for the East Region of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency for nearly 1000 employees. Expertise include, medical issues, workplace ethics and employee relations.
Mr. Needham was born at Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Arizona and spent his youth moving throughout the country as the child of a military officer, mostly in the southern states during the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s. He moved back to Arizona to complete his undergraduate degree at Arizona State University. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to San Diego in 1987 to get a post-graduate Paralegal Certificate from UCSD and has been here ever since.
Richard’s personal and professional experiences provide him a unique skill set that help support the cadre of expertise of the SDIAHC Board of Directors. More specifically, his insight offers expertise in all aspects of HR for clinics, recruiting and retention of medical positions, analysis of policies and insight into employee disciplinary issues. Richard believes in community service and his role on the board provides that giving back to his community.
Richard values his friendships with the Native American community, and believes these friendships have enabled him to learn what wasn’t taught in school and has provided him perspective on Native American and minority issues to expand and evolve, giving him a familiarity that will assist him in any work done for SDAIHC.
Currently, Mr. Needham is retired, living in an empty nest with his wife Jean, who was born in the Philippines, with their dog Foxy. They have two children (James and Denise) and two grandchildren (Nicolas and Marcelo).