April retired from Lucent Technologies as a National Program Management Director in 2001 after a 30-year career in telecommunications. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Masters Certificate in Program Management from Stephen’s Institute of Technology. April founded NCAPDA shortly after her son Joey’s accidental death on December 18, 2009, from an accidental prescription drug overdose while a student at Arizona State University. April leads and oversees all aspects of the organization and is an active member of the Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition, is a Steering Committee member of both the California Opioid Safety Network and the East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition and is an Executive Steering Committee Member of the Fed Up! Coalition.
Jim Hansen – President
Jim is the President and co-founder of NCAPDA. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, and has spent the bulk of his 18-year career building software solutions working to improve the security of small, medium, and enterprise organizations. He is currently the Vice President of Security and Marketing for a security software company based in Austin, Texas. He was inspired to co-found NCAPDA after losing his brother, Joey, who died from an accidental prescription drug overdose. In his capacity as President, Jim helps to drive the strategic and tactical initiatives that help raise awareness of America’s prescription drug abuse/misuse epidemic.
Joseph Rovero – Treasurer
Joe is Joey’s father and helped to found NCAPDA along with other family members. He is a graduate of the Connecticut School of Electronics and he retired as a Program Manager with AT&T in 1998 with 25 years of telecommunications experience. He is the financial manager and planner for the organization and provides technical, operational, and strategic assistance to members of NCAPDA’s Board and staff as needed.
Nivedita Krishnaswami – Secretary
Ms. Nivedita Krishnaswami is a trained Child and Family counselor from India. She has completed her training in Co-active coaching from CTI, The Coaches Training Institute, USA. Currently, she is employed with the San Ramon Valley Unified School district as a Primary Intervention Specialist. She is a practicing Life Coach. Apart from her regular job, Nivedita also leads the program, Family Services with Sewa International – Bay Area chapter, a nonprofit which works extensively in the community across the globe.
Scott Gerbert – Director
Scott has been on the board since NCAPDA’s inception in 2010 and was involved in initial discussions with Joe and April within weeks of hearing about their son, Joe’s, passing. Scott has been an educator since 1995, working in health and wellness at the school site, school district, county office, regional, and state level. Scott continues to support NCAPDA through his professional networks and his personal life, sharing the message of NCAPDA with his extensive network of youth, staff, and parents/guardians, as well as Rotarians and other community partners. Scott continues to aid NCAPDA in developing prescription drug educational tools and programs, and evaluating our program’s effectiveness.
Monica Kamran – Director
Founder of Inner Sanctuary Wellness, Monica is a Certified Reiki Master, Energy Healer, Meditation, Corporate Wellness, and Stress Management Coach with a rich experience of working with individuals with depression, anxiety, and emotional stress. She works with children with Autism and is involved in various community welfare activities. She has successfully applied Alternative Healing Modalities to teens and adults with anxiety and stress disorders assisting them to manage emotions, prevent drug abuse and mental illness.
Sanjay Patel RPh – Director
Sanjay Patel Graduated Pharmacy school from BK Modi Govt Pharmacy College, Rajkot, India. Sanjay has worked as a Pharmacist since 1997 starting with Walgreens pharmacy as Staff Pharmacist, Pharmacy Manager, Pharmacy supervisor and since November of 2019, as director of Pharmacy with Haller’s Pharmacy and Medical Supply. Sanjay Manages vaccine efforts by Haller’s Pharmacy and Alameda County’s mobile unit. He runs clinical programs and educational efforts in the city of Fremont. Sanjay is a past President of the Alameda County chapter of CA Pharmacist Association and member of their Education Committee, Election Committee and Chair Elect for the community pharmacy owner SIG, Sanjay is the currrent NorCal Chapter Manager of the Indian Pharmacist Association of CA and Education Committee chair of IPA, Managing Network Facilitator for CPESN Central CA, and Luminary for CEPSN CA, member of Diversity Advisory group of CPESN USA and technology committee member for CPESN USA. Additionally, Sanjay works with students from UOP, UCSF, Touro, and Washington State University as a Preceptor.
Dr. A.J. Shergill – Director
Dr. AJ Shergill is a board-certified physician who started his career in medicine as a hospitalist. After recognizing a severe lack of available treatment options for drug and alcohol addiction in the community, he opened his own part-time clinic that served the indigent population. Within months, this became a full-time endeavor with multiple locations. He continues to manage his treatment clinics, but is also involved in other organizations, such as the NCAPDA, that are working to raise awareness of
substance use and mental health problems; as well as building tools and services to combat them.
Randy Abbott – Outreach Director, North Carolina
Randy is a North Carolina native. He graduated from Lees-McRae Junior College in 1981 and then Appalachian State University in 1983 where he met his wife, Christine. After they were married, they moved to Greensboro where they raised their three children, Rachel, Vanessa, and Matthew. Their daughter Vanessa lost her long and hard-fought battle with substance use disorder on January 31, 2015, at the age of 24. After her death, Randy made the commitment to carry on her battle, working to end our nation’s opioid epidemic and the stigma associated with it. Randy is an advocate for those suffering from substance use disorder, those in or seeking recovery and the families fighting along with them. Recognition for Randy’s community and state-level work includes the Change Maker Award from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and the NC Attorney Generals Dogwood Award. Randy serves on the steering committee for Care 4 Carolina, is the planning committee chair for the annual NCAPDA hosted “International Overdose Awareness Day – NC Raleigh Rally for Change” event and is a volunteer with the Healthy Guilford and Expand Good Sam NC Coalitions.
Aglaia Panos Pharm D – Outreach Director, San Francisco Bay Area
Aglaia is a graduate of the University of Pacific College of Pharmacy with a Doctorate of Pharmacy and an adjunct professor and preceptor for pharmacy students on their public health rotation at Touro University College of Pharmacy. As a past President of Marin Pharmacist Association, Aglaia helped launch the RxSafe Marin Coalition and is an active member of the Alameda and Contra Costa County MEDS Coalitions. Aglaia is very active in providing drug prevention and naloxone training in Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in California. Aglaia is also an active affiliate and participant in Smoke-Free Marin, Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE), Youth Development Program of Oakland, the California Pharmacist Association, and the Alameda/Contra Costa Medical Association.
Sara E. Goldstein – Outreach Director, Contra Costa, CA
Sara E. Goldstein is a Pharmacist at Heller’s Pharmacy and Outreach Director at NCAPDA. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky. She also has acquired extensive experience across her decades-long collaboration with the California Pharmacist Association and the Contra Costa Pharmacist Association.
Dr. Ken Saffier – Medical Director
Dr. Saffier is a family and addiction medicine physician who throughout his career has been involved in medical school, residency, and health professions education with a special focus on addiction medicine, chronic pain management, and motivational interviewing. He is a member of the Residency Leadership Group of the Contra Costa Regional Family Medicine Residency, located in Martinez, California. In 2008, he completed a faculty development fellowship at USC’s Division of Medical Education and is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, UC San Francisco. In 2012, he became a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. After receiving his medical degree from SUNY, Stony Brook, he completed his family medicine residency at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital and has continued to work in “safety net” hospitals in medically underserved communities. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Saffier actively works collaboratively with NCAPDA’s Board members in direct support of NCAPDA’s mission.
Kathy Rains – Legal Director
Kathy brings her experience as a law enforcement officer and attorney to her position as NCAPDA’s legal advisor. She retired from Contra Costa County as a Deputy Sheriff and served in the Town of Danville as a police officer. Kathy is currently an attorney specializing in Family, Criminal, and Employment Law. In her private practice, she provides legal counsel to local youth, representing their interests in criminal matters that all too often involve substance abuse. She is committed to helping NCAPDA educate youth and young adults about the dangers, both physically and legally, that can stem from prescription drug abuse. Kathy has a teenage son who works as one of NCAPDA’s Youth Ambassadors, helping to bring prescription drug abuse education to his high school peers.
Elizabeth Olvera – Social Media Coordintor
Elizabeth is the Social Media Coordinator at NCAPDA and was previously an AmeriCorps VISTA with Contra Costa County MEDS (Medication, Education, and Disposal Safety) Coalition. Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from California State University East Bay. Elizabeth is currently in a masters program at Holy Names University pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology with a track to become a LMFT. Elizabeth’s love of service stems from her upbringing in the community of Richmond,CA which is top 3 in overdoses within Contra Costa County. She aims to raise awareness in communities similar to that in which she grew up with hopes to increase equity and decrease disparities among the disadvantaged. Elizabeth hopes that her personal experience along with her psychology and criminal justice background will help bridge the gap of lack of education amongst communities of color through social media platform management. The goal is to increase awareness through powerful messages that are primarily youth focused.
Hank Moreira – Webmaster
Hank designed and produced NCAPDA’s website and provides ongoing technical support. He has also been directly affected by prescription drug abuse, as his daughter, Kelly, was Joey Rovero’s girlfriend.
Calvin Yang – UC Berkeley Intern Coordinator
Calvin Yang is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley, double majoring in Molecular Cell Biology and Business Administration. He has a longstanding passion for the unique intersection of medical sciences and public service. Prior to his involvement with NCAPDA, he served on Congressman Eric Swalwell’s Congressional Youth Council and co-chaired the Alameda County Civic Learning Collaborative, an effort involving ACOE and Alameda County Superior Court. During the past summer, Calvin interned at NewFields Inc., analyzing various chemical contaminations and their impacts on human health for a national environmental consulting firm. During this time, he also initiated the internship program with NCAPDA for Berkeley students. As a spearhead for collaborative efforts between Berkeley students and NCAPDA, Calvin aims to expand the substantive impact of prescription drug abuse prevention work in the Berkeley area and our larger community as a whole.
Divya Chintamani – UC Berkeley Intern
Divya is a current sophomore at UC Berkeley studying bioengineering. She is passionate about bringing new technologies into clinical use to better patient care. She is especially interested in biomedical devices as well as regenerative medicine. In addition to her love for science, she loves to help make the community a better place. She currently volunteers as an EMT at community events. In addition through her work at the NCAPDA, she works to make the Bay Area a safer and healthier community through education and policy making.
Jasmine Lobo – UC Berkeley Intern
Jasmine Lobo is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying public health and data science. She joined the NCAPDA after her first year, as she saw drug abuse as a pervasive yet under-considered issue on her own campus. As a part of the NCAPDA, she hopes to contribute to making her community a safer place by spreading awareness surrounding fentanyl and prescription drug safety. After graduating, Jasmine plans to pursue a masters in public health, continuing as an advocate for prescription drug education and safety.
Josephine Pham – UC Berkeley Intern
Josephine Pham is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in biotechnology. She has a longstanding interest in the medical sciences and hopes to pursue this interest as a possible career choice in the future. Prior to working with the NCAPDA, she participated in several community service organizations, such as the Youth Advisory Council in District 1 in Riverside, CA. This past summer, Josephine began her internship with NCAPDA, participating in events such as tabling. She aims to educate others in the Berkeley area and the Bay Area about prescription drug abuse and hopes to expand NCAPDA’s efforts in preventing prescription drug abuse.
Nancy Thi – UC Berkeley Intern
Prior to her NCAPDA internship, Nancy operated directly with the American Heart Association to organize legislative campaigns for healthcare bills and increase passive advocacy efforts on a local and national level. This past summer, under a physician, she was grateful to have a glimpse of pediatric health and interact with patients and healthcare staff at Kaiser Permanente. Currently, Nancy is dismantling barriers to healthcare by serving as a volunteer interpreter for Vietnamese patients. She is expanding opportunities for U.C. Berkeley students by initiating projects as a pre-health associate under the ASUC Office of Academic Affairs. What Nancy would love to accomplish this semester as an intern is to safely increase the distribution of overdose resources to underserved communities, provide the necessary education and health services to aid with the path to recovery, and call attention to the evident drug epidemic plaguing our communities. She wants to gain a multifaceted perspective and advocate for everyone!
Sheila Teker – UC Berkeley Intern
Sheila is a second-year student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Therapeutics and completing a Global Poverty and Practice Minor. She is following a pre-medical/pre-MD-PhD track in her studies. Passionate about social justice and dedicated to community impact, she is involved in various roles on campus and beyond. Apart from her work with NCAPDA, Sheila serves as a student researcher at UCSF, holds the position of Associate Director of Housing and Residential Needs in the ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California) Office of Senator Grottel-Brown, contributes as a Staff Social Justice Writer for the Berkeley Vanguard newspaper, and volunteers in hospitals as well as assisted living/memory care facilities. Her eagerness to raise awareness and provide resources is evident as she dedicates her time to volunteering with NCAPDA.
Yael Shekel – UC Berkeley Intern
Yael Shekel is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, in her second year, studying Molecular and Cell Biology. She is Israeli American and plans to continue on to medical school after graduating from UCB. Yael served in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as a medic before coming to Berkeley. In her free time, she works as a tutor, runs, and paints. She was motivated to join NCAPDA’s mission due to personal loss caused by the opioid crisis and is looking forward to doing whatever she can to prevent it from happening again in her community and beyond.