NCAL Rehab Therapists Election Bios

NCAL Rehab Therapists Phase 2 Disciple Bargaining Team Member Candidate Biographies

Note: This web page is posted on behalf of the candidate(s) for bargaining team member positions, who are solely responsible for its content. The views and/or opinions expressed on this web page are those of the candidate(s). UNAC/UHCP does not endorse or otherwise support any candidate. UNAC/UHCP does not review, control, or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information contained on this web page.


Occupational Therapy Candidates:

Julie Collins –“Thank you for the nomination. I started my journey with Kaiser in 2003 as an intern then hired on full-time. I am passionate and driven person. Since then I have worked in acute rehab, inpatient, outpatient, day treatment, outside of kaiser in skilled as a supervisor, Kaiser DME, and at other employers. I find this wide variety of experience in my almost 17 years of practice makes me a perfect fit for this role. I look forward to working within the union framework to bring about positive change for all of my colleagues Kaiser wide.”

Joseph Harrison –“My name is Joseph Harrison, OTR/L and I was hired at KPPACC after completing my internship in 2014. I always knew I wanted to be part of the KP system because I am a firm believer in the mission to provide efficient, cost-effective, and integrated medical care. For the past few years, I have taken on an integral role in the Safe Patient Handling Program for a staff of all disciplines. This work is meaningful as it helps protect patients and staff alike. As I have transitioned from a new graduate to an experienced clinician, I have seen many changes at KP. I am compelled to advocate for our members and staff across the KP continuum in the unchartered situations healthcare is facing right now. Please consider me when you vote for the Bargaining Team. “

Nancy Huang – “I am an occupational therapist for inpatient Medical Psychiatry at Fremont. Along with my colleagues, we developed the department program and workflow for our 18 bed unit. I have had work experiences in acute care, skilled nursing facility, and home health. My strengths are being able to work holistically, “”see the big picture,”” and my exceptional administrative organizational skills. If elected to be your representative, my goal is to collaborate with my colleagues to maintain and/or better our overall work benefits and patient care delivery.”

Sarah Innocenti  –“I am an occupational therapist at Kaiser Santa Clara Hospital that is active within the Occupational Therapy Regional Practice Group. Both in my undergraduate career and graduate career I have been active in student government and leadership. This passion has continued into my state and national professional organizations. I have had various training and education in communication and conflict management. Regardless of your position it is important to me to fight to keep the amazing benefits and perks of being a Kaiser Permanente employee. I am concerned that the ‘bottom line’ of any contract may not be advantageous to my peers overall without careful consideration. Therefore, during this process I am determined to ensure that the team considers all financial ramifications for all therapists considering years of service, inpatient/outpatient status, and location. It would be an honor to serve as your OT representative.”

Jeannette Nakamura – “Our “new” normal ” is face shields and face masks; and being part of a union. After 25 years as an occupational therapist for Kaiser Redwood City and 35 years as a clinician with experience in acute, outpatient, rehab, & home health, I, Jeannette Nakamura, would like to help create a working environment that recognizes the value of each profession; and that supports quality patient care as a Regional OT representative for the Bargaining Team. I was part of the first instigators of the Kaiser OT Network; and have served as lead for the group twice. As a current co-lead, it has been rewarding to see the number of OTs increase; and hope to see additional growth of OTs numerically and professionally. Being involved in multiple phases of Rehab Redesign and the OT Network, I have learned about the variability of rehab services in staffing, schedules, availability of services, mentoring and professional development, and multidisciplinary collaboration. I would like to hear about what needs require attention; and what works for you as we prepare to collaborate on a contract for Rehab Services. I love being an OT; and hope to be a voice for OT as we begin the bargaining process.”

Sage Weaver –“I’m Sage and I’ve been an inpatient OT at Kaiser for 3 years. Over the last 10 months I’ve thrown myself into learning the ins and outs of unionization. I’ve always held the intention to ensure inclusivity from across all disciplines and practice areas. Initially, I started participating because I wanted first-hand knowledge of how decisions were made, but it quickly turned into a mission of not wanting to leave anyone out, and finding ways to bring everyone’s voice into the conversation. Throughout this process I’ve had many opportunities to learn about all our disciplines and specializations. I’ve listened to many thoughts, fears, and hopes. Now that we are a union, I want to continue to gather information and listen to everyone as we move into negotiations. No concern or department is too small, and I plan on fighting hard to make sure that unionization only adds to our workplace, no matter the setting. Feel free to reach out to me because if I have a seat at the table, you have a seat at the table. I promise to be transparent and honest about the bargaining process, because it’s time we had clarity and a voice in our jobs.”


Physical Therapy Candidates:

Julie Asanuma – “I’m an outpatient neuro-vestibular and geriatric PT at Santa Clara. I’ve been a PT for 5 years and been with Kaiser for 3 years. Currently, I’m one of the co-leads for Kaiser’s Neuro RPG. In regards to my professional experience, I’m a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric and Neurologic Physical Therapy. Additionally, I’m a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, completed the Emory Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency Course, and am a Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Moves Certified Therapist. Outside of Kaiser, I’ve guest lectured in Stanford’s Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency and am an Adjunct Instructor in Samuel Merritt’s DPT program.

As a neuro PT, I’ve always been part of a multidisciplinary team. I’ve had the pleasure of advocating for my patients and if elected, I would use this experience to advocate for all of the therapists in our region. As a co-lead of the Neuro RPG, I’ve had the experience with the art of compromise, being creative, and meeting deadlines. I’ve been in support of unionizing since the beginning of this process and would love to see this through to our first contract. I have one goal: to advocate for our collective professions in order to bargain the strongest possible contract.”

Brandy Brune – “I’ve worked as a PT with Kaiser for 20 years, first in Redwood City and now the North Valley. My setting has always been outpatient, and also worked with the Chronic Pain Program. I was a supervisor in Redwood City my last 3 years there and had an interim director role as well. I’m comfortable communicating with staff of all disciplines / settings and with leadership. My goal is always be objective and fair.”

Patrick Callahan – “I have practiced physical therapy for the past 39 years and have spent 20 years of that time in a variety of management roles. They have included oversight of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. I have always sought to promote our profession, whether serving in many different roles at the CPTA district level or for the past 25 years as a volunteer clinical instructor at UCSF. I have served as the chair of our regional peer group and worked to enhance our benefits during that time. I have utilized the interest-based problem-solving approach as a manager and will look to use this tool to help voice our collective concerns. As a new union member, I am interested in transparent and equitable pay for the emerging roles we are being asked to play, as well as how we can move up a clinical career ladder. We need a contract to support all our practices, whether it is in a hospital or the variety of outpatient clinics where we work. With so many subspecialties, we need a contract to support all our practices. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of the bargaining team.”

Meleen Daum – “I would like to express my thanks to my colleagues who have placed their trust in my ability to represent their interests in the upcoming bargaining process. If selected, I will do my best to represent to the best of my abilities, responsibly, honestly, and with integrity.

I have worked as a Senior Physical Therapist at Kaiser Permanente for 12 years in the acute care setting, and have been a PT for 26 years.

I am a hard worker, diligent, independent, driven, adaptable, and eager to learn, always looking for new challenges.  I hope to approach the bargaining process with an open mind and with respect to the many perspectives and individual area needs.

I have worked in a variety of settings and in multiple roles, developing adaptability and flexibility, which also allowed me to understand both clinical and non-clinical aspects, as well as the Organization.  I am attentive to details, a multi-tasker, a diligent self-starter, and enjoy working with a variety of people. Thank you for taking the time to review my biography and for your consideration.”

Jill DiPiazza –“I am very thankful that 27 years ago I chose the amazing profession of Physical Therapy and for the last 25 years as a Kaiser employee in Pleasanton/Dublin. I know the value that we as Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists bring to many different settings within Kaiser. I will be a strong voice to represent all therapists. I understand the challenges of protecting our pay, benefits and integrity of our profession while improving our capacity to deliver quality patient care. “

Cheryl Durant – No Bio Submitted

Willie Graham – “Kaiser Permanente as an organization has had a positive impression upon me both professionally and personally; two of which are of value to me. I personally value both the showing value when due and having equal opportunity in areas of both professional development/advancement and delivering high-quality care.  But I strongly value Us both as a Physical Therapy Profession and as a collective group, bargaining with Kaiser. As a Whole, it is important to me as an individual in learning how our unification can help improve all of our work settings in having a better personal and professional life.

Because I value the group it is not important to me to be the representative however it is important to me if that role was given then I would accept, help, and take on that role the best I can with both active communication; active listening and responsibility.

I believe the best delivery to give one’s bio is best word of mouth. However, in short, I’m a License Physical Therapist working at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Vallejo.

I have great mentors including Director Tim and PNF Coordinator and Supervisor Terry and Steve with many great colleagues and staff.”

Stephanie Hamilton – “Hello, everyone! I am Stephanie Hamilton and I would be honored to represent you on the negotiating team for our first contract with UNAC/UHCP!

I am currently an orthopedic clinical specialist at our Dublin Facility. I joined Kaiser in 2011 and have been a physical therapist for over 40 years. I have worked in multiple rehabilitation settings throughout my career, developed programs, mentored students and have held management positions Yet, to this day my deepest passions remain treating our patients and promoting our professions.

I have served as Chair of the Diablo Service Area Clinical Education Peer Group for three years.
During my tenure, we developed an interprofessional collaboration in clinical education for OT/PT/ST at our various sites.

I have been part of the Regional Redesign from its initiation. I know how hard all participants engaged toward sustained change. Now, with union support, we need to formalize our recommendations for Northern California Kaiser Rehabilitation Services!

I am committed to bring our collaborative shared vision to the negotiation table to ensure equity in our salaries, benefits, working conditions and patient advocacy.

I would appreciate your vote. We are stronger together!”

Tron Hardy – No Bio Submitted

Keiko Imazumi-Tang –“Keiko Imazumi-Tang, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, NCPT is an outpatient orthopedic, sports, and vestibular physical therapist who joined Kaiser in 2011. She has been with Kaiser for an extent of time that allows her to empathize with her senior colleagues as well as her newer colleagues that recently joined the organization. In the past seven years, she has been part of Kaiser San Jose’s Rehab Services Unit-Based Team (UBT). She was selected by her peers as a PT representative and UBT Co-Lead (a position traditionally held by a manager or labor/represented employee). As a UBT Co-Lead, she’s had extensive training on UBT processes, performance improvement tools, and developed a deep understanding of how UBTs contribute to the success of Kaiser’s Labor-Management Partnership (LMP). Additionally, she represents Rehab Services in Kaiser San Jose’s LMP meetings. Through these experiences, she’s been recognized by her colleagues as being an advocate, broad-minded, objective, and diplomatic. Keiko’s objectives as a Rehab Bargaining Team Member are to ensure all groups are equally considered during the bargaining process; the continuation and growth of best practices in Rehab Services; and for Kaiser to be considered the best place to work for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.”

Terry Kim – “Hi everyone I am Terry Kim. I Started with KP February 1994 and have worked in Santa Clara, Oakland, DSA and SFO.  I have sat in various seats from Clinical Specialist, Supervisor, to Regional Occupational Health PT/OT Service Line Chair.  I have an eclectic practice which includes Fellowship through Michigan State University/Osteopathy,  Craniosacral/VM/ CFR therapy. Certified Teacher in Deep Bodywork.

I am studied in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tai Ji/Qi Gong/Martial Arts which I blend with movement practices for my patients. I have been a principle Instructor in the Region for RSI Education. I bring Conversational Leadership to the table combining approaches in Group facilitation and Relational Gestalt practice to better understand the needs of individuals and groups.

Expect me to show up and give you my attention fully, to ask questions to better understand.  Expect me to honor the conversations, remain as fair and just for all three disciplines as possible, to make sure no one is left without a voice in the conversation.”

Pam Marcus –“I have been with Kaiser for over 20 years first as a pediatric Clinical Specialist at Oakland and then as a Senior PT at Kaiser SF. I left Kaiser Oakland after 17 years to start 2 successful businesses (Lifefactory which was recently sold to Thermos). I noticed when I participated in the union survey, that I was the highest-paid PT in Northern California. This is probably due to

1) my negotiating skills from being the CEO and founder of 2 companies and

2) my extensive discussions with the director at that time about going from Clinical Specialist to Senior PT.

I am concerned about the pay disparity in NC and want to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly. I would like to nominate myself to be on the negotiating team as I feel I am experienced from my many business dealings as well as a passion for our profession.”

Patrick Rugo “Over seven years I have enjoyed growing from a staff therapist to a clinical specialist at Kaiser Santa Clara Hospital. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with outpatient therapists locally as a member of UBT as well as regionally as part of our ongoing Northern California redesign team. Although I now have my ideal career in healthcare, I first studied psychology and business and even worked for a time in Manhattan for a hedge fund analyzing corporate spreadsheets and forecasting stock performance to assist in investing decisions. As we now become part of UNAC/UHCP it is vital that we are all engaged in navigating the negotiations process so that we can maximize this opportunity to improve working conditions while maintaining or even improving our benefits. As a member of the bargaining team, I would bring my experience as a therapist in addition to my Wall Street background to represent our team and ensure that we fully understand the implications of the decisions we make throughout the negotiations process.”

David Saito – “I pledge and dedicate to work for NCAL Rehab to represent your voices. I believe in unity as this process will bring us together ensuring NCAL rehab receives the best contract. I pledge integrity, transparency, and service before self.

This journey is not about me but about the 1341 + providers in NCAL rehab and all its stakeholders.  My 23 years of experience in private practice, SNF, Rideout Hosp, and Kaiser as a provider in OP/IP, supervisor, CCCE, proj mgmt and my 32 years in the Air Force in leadership provide a unique advantage in representing your needs/wants. Kaiser mgmt experiences gave me insight into mgmt /HR strategy and tactics. As a military leader, the most significant role I have is taking care of my unit. From fighting for budgets, training, safety, and for their overall wellbeing, I pledge to use these skills while representing NCAL rehab.

Regardless of who we elect, we’re one team in one fight for the best contract and together we will do this. I am a hardworking, ambitious and caring leader who is passionate about advocating on behalf of the bargaining unit to ensure your voice is heard. I would be honored to represent you.“

Alexander Sigal – No Bio Submitted

Brian Soo – No Bio Submitted

Matt Thompson – “I am interested in representing the DSA as local or regional representative on the bargaining committee. I feel I am uniquely qualified to represent our collective needs of the DSA, due to my consistent work as an ortho peer group member and lead, and team lead for regional redesign. This work has aloud me the opportunity to build working relationships with staff throughout the region and be a positive voice for clinical practice improvement within the DSA. If elected, I would work hard to best represent the needs of the whole rehab team, in all our varied practice settings.”

Louise To-Tonaka – “I am Louise To-Tanaka, PT FAAOMPT and I am a Clinical Specialist at Union City Outpatient clinic. I joined Kaiser in ’91 and have been employed at various Kaiser facilities in both Northern and Southern California. I was a Supervisor at Kaiser Union City Occupational Medicine Dept but my true passion is being a clinician. Changes to my schedule included a reduction in evaluation time while increased number of evaluations per day and per week have created challenges with documentation as well as the ability to schedule return appointments. Furthermore, there is a lack of control of my daily schedule as any available open appointment can be converted to additional evaluations. Complex vestibular patients as well as multiple areas need a longer evaluation.

As an hourly paid employee, I was able to use my sick time when I was away from the clinic. Now as a salaried employee, the couple hours off became a full PTO day. I am interested in being an UNAC/UHCP representative for all the providers in the Rehab Services at UNC/SLN because as a collective group, we want to be heard and have a voice before the changes get implemented regarding our daily schedule and benefits.”

Lore Vanden Heuvel –“My name is Lore Vanden Heuvel. I am a physical therapist and have been with Kaiser for almost 20 years. I work in outpatient and specialize in orthopedics and Oncology Rehabilitation. I am also the SCCE working closely with local universities to protect our student program. I believe in quality patient care that includes having enough time with each patient as well as having enough return visits. I believe in giving clinicians enough time to mentor graduate students. I will advocate for fair wages and keeping our benefits. I will advocate for flexible PTO time (partial vacation hour usage on given days) as well as designated break time and enough charting time. I believe in transparency in our pay and fairness with yearly performance review processes. I will bargain for these important things to have equality between all our Northern California facilities to include PT, OT, and ST.”


Speech-Language Pathology Candidates:

Ramey Barrios –“My name is Ramey Barrios. I am a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. I have worked at Kaiser since 2009, the majority of that time in the Santa Clara Service Area. I recently relocated to the Sacramento Service Area and have been there for almost 1 year. Having a Union became important to me after my move – when I experienced first hand the difference between locations and management expectations. I hope to be able to support and work towards things that are important to us as therapists, no matter what our field – including good work/life balance and focusing on what the patients need instead of access. Having worked with the large majority of PTs over the past 11 years, I understand they represent the bulk of our Union, however, I also hope to be a voice for the “minority” – both Speech-Language Pathology as well as the specialty that is Pediatrics – because our needs are different and should be represented at the bargaining table.”

Kathleen Burns – No Bio Submitted

Samantha Fitzsimmons – “During my 11 years as a speech-language pathologist, my professional experiences in the outpatient setting (pediatric and adult), acute care, inpatient rehab and skilled nursing have allowed me to empathize with clinicians whose skills are often misunderstood and undervalued.   For extended periods, I have provided care across multiple clinical areas with only one part-time SLP for support at both Kaiser San Jose (contract position in 2013) and at Kaiser San Francisco (permanent full-time pediatric position since 2017).  As time has progressed in my current role, my responsibilities have increased beyond providing individual care in the pediatric outpatient clinic. Currently, I teach Kaiser’s Help Me Communicate class, perform outpatient adult modified barium swallow studies, triage pediatric e-consults, and previously I have completed continuing education courses for FEES.  Because of my approachable nature and written and spoken communication skills, I have maintained excellent working relationships with my fellow clinicians at many Northern California Kaiser campuses as well as with management.  As a regional discipline representative, I plan to use these same skills to negotiate a fair contract that will support the needs of SLPs in the future.”

Lorraine Gee – No Bio Submitted

Ariel Gough –“I am a pediatric speech pathologist working in an outpatient clinic in Oakland for over 5 years. I am excited about working with the union to help make Kaiser a fair and safe place for all of our therapists in NorCal.”

Cassie Jones – “Hello, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Cassie Jones and I have been a speech-language pathologist at Kaiser South Sacramento in the inpatient and outpatient settings for 5 years. My workplace profile currently includes working with adults and pediatrics, weekends, outpatient, and inpatient settings. I attended graduate school at Idaho State University and moved to California right after.  I have been an advocate for speech therapy needs and interests throughout the unionizing process and I can be trusted to be transparent with all communications between the Union and our discipline concerns. I will advocate for our unique needs in workflow and practice. We are often left out of the conversation and I am aware. I feel a responsibility to pursue our best and collective interests as individuals and as a group, and I am wholeheartedly committed to the well-being and future of our discipline.”

Margaret Lamb – “I started my career as an SLP in 1996 after graduating from CSU Fresno. Before coming to Kaiser, I worked in acute/sub-acute rehabilitation, SNF, and Home Health.

I joined Kaiser Permanente in 2001 after relocating to the Sacramento area, and will celebrate my 20th year with Kaiser Permanente in February of 2021.

I currently work in the Roseville Medical Center providing acute care ST services to adult and pediatric/NICU patients. I am a member of the Roseville Primary Stroke Committee, provide nursing education classes on campus, and am the student internship liaison for Roseville/Sacramento sites.

During my career in Roseville I provided adult ST services in out patient and specialty clinics (ALS, Botox for voice/dysphagia) and was involved in phase one of redesign. I personally developed and implemented a training/competency program for my ST colleagues in the areas of pediatric and NICU feeding/dyphagia, cleft plate and MBSS.

With over two decades in rehabilitation services, I have witnessed the growth and change within Rehabilitation, worked across multiple settings, and worked collaboratively with multiple disciplines across the region. I feel this knowledge and experience could add great value to our collaborative bargaining team. ”

Monika Steinke – No Bio Submitted