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MCAVHN


Board & Staff


MCAVHN


Board & Staff

Board of Directors/Administration

Board of Directors
& Administration

MCAVHN Board and Staff
Dr. Ace Barash

Board President

Director: MAT Clinic
Dr. Ace Barash, has been practicing in the Mendocino County Community for 40 years. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he studied as an undergraduate at Harvard University, attended medical school at the University of Kansas, and residency at San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, California. His practice centered on emergency medicine during most of his early years in the community, though he spent six years running his own internal medicine office, and 15 years as a hospitalist at Howard Memorial. In 2011 he became fascinated by the work of Dr. Jeff Brenner, who demonstrated the extent to which a large portion of illness can be averted by persistent emotional support. Currently he represents Adventist Health in providing community outreach, treating hepatitis, drug addiction, and disenfranchised community members, or what became known in Appalachia as “diseases of despair.” The majority of his practice time is spent at MCAVHN (Mendocino County AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Network). He considers his yearly Sierra trip with his wife, Satoko, as his most personally important activity. He has a 24-year-old daughter, of whom he is very proud, a recent graduate at Brandeis University studying and now practicing neuroscience research.
MCAVHN Board and Staff
Joanna Olson

Executive Director

(she/her)

Joanna is a life resident of Mendocino County and has served in leadership roles for grassroots community-based organizations for over thirty years. In 2021 she retired from the Mendocino County Youth Project, having served as the Executive Director. Within months she joined the MCAVHN team.

“The MCAVHN agency history, the ethos of Harm Reduction, the passion, motivation and commitment of staff, the actively engaged board members, volunteers and the people we serve have collectively embraced my advocate soul. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

Joanna completed her BA in Social Work and Corrections at CSUC. She continues to volunteer and currently serves on the boards of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center (ARRC).

mcavhn Cara Eberhardt
Cara Eberhardt

Board Vice President

Cara completed her MD at UCSF School of Medicine and is trained in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She has been passionate about helping people who use drugs for over a decade. She enjoys using her medical knowledge to reduce stigma and decrease harms associated with substance use. She truly believes harm reduction saves lives and is grateful to have served on the MCAVHN Board since 2020.
mcavhn don
Don Popowski

Secretary

I was born in Chicago right after the start of WW2. Shortly after, my parents moved to a small 40 acre dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. I learned reading, writing, and arithmetic, grades 1-8 in a one room country schoolhouse. Graduated from high school as one of fifty. Joined the National Guard during my senior year, did six months training, came home, and went to college focusing on math and physics.Had to leave college, my National Guard Unit was activated because of Russia messing around with Berlin, Germany. Spent 10 months tramping through the terrain of Fort Lewis Washington and surrounding territory playing war games and how to survive in constant rain. Berlin crisis ended, returned home and went back to college.

In my senior year, I took a course in computer programing which set my carrier agenda for the next 36 years. Spent the rest of my working carrier programing, doing system analysis, designing systems and managing software development. During this time I met and married my wife Judy. Things came and went, eventually we moved to Ukiah, California. Judy became involved with MCAVHN. Soon I was asked to be a board member, and did so.

Life has been very good to me, leaving me with a sense that I should give back something in return. Being retired, I have time and some treasure. I could sit around and watch TV or mow the grass (we don’t have any) or do something that has more significance for my fellow beings. At MCAHVN I managed the facilities of a homeless shelter for two years. I have problem solving and IT skills that can be used in fund procurement and in planning fund raising events. If because of some of my efforts we help someone feel better, possibly save a life, change their lives for the better, then, it is part of my saying thanks for what life has given me.

mcavhn Carol Flake Roseborough
Carol "Flake" Roseborough

Board Member

My name is Carol Roseborough, aka Flake Brady. I am a Board member at MCAVHN.

I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. during the 60’s and 70’s. I was introduced to the drug scene as a teenager. Being a border town, there were a lot of drugs readily available.

I moved to Redwood Valley in 1978, trying to get away from the toxic environment I found myself in. I found myself much more acclimated to the slower pace of small town life. I worked at the Redwood Valley and Ukiah Post Offices for 32 years as a Rural Letter Carrier. I was able to buy a house in Redwood Valley and raise my daughter and son. I also sat on the Board of The Waldorf School of Mendocino Co.

Upon retiring, I found myself with more spare time and decided to get involved with something to give back to the community. I had become very much aware of the explosion of fentynal overdoses and deaths in the county. I had several friends who had lost their children to this; some of which might have been avoided had their friends not left them to die. I felt this was definitely due to a lack of education in the schools about drugs.

So I joined the board at MCAVHN with the hope of promoting this avenue in the schools and to try and open this conversation with local tribes.

I must say my eyes have been made wide open to the many ways our employees try to meet the needs of the less fortunate, and to do it in a respectful humanizing way. For a small non-profit their work is making an impact one person at a time.

mcavhn Judy Popowski
Judy Popowski

Treasurer/CFO

I spent a career in IT, developing systems and websites and managing databases. I have an MBA in finance from Cal State Eastbay and began to handle finance as a volunteer for MCAVHN in 2012 when the organization had to reduce payroll.

Although at that time the primary focus of MCAVHN was helping persons with HIV/AIDS, it was always clear that MCAVHN is caring and accepting no matter who you are or where you have been. The clientele now is people who want to be cured of Hepatitis C and use of opioids, to avoid unsafe needle sharing, and in many cases, work to change their lives. Working here is a perfect opportunity for someone as fortunate as I’ve been in life to give back.

MCAVHN Board and Staff
Dr. Ace Barash

Board President

Director: MAT Clinic
Dr. Ace Barash, has been practicing in the Mendocino County Community for 40 years. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he studied as an undergraduate at Harvard University, attended medical school at the University of Kansas, and residency at San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, California. His practice centered on emergency medicine during most of his early years in the community, though he spent six years running his own internal medicine office, and 15 years as a hospitalist at Howard Memorial. In 2011 he became fascinated by the work of Dr. Jeff Brenner, who demonstrated the extent to which a large portion of illness can be averted by persistent emotional support. Currently he represents Adventist Health in providing community outreach, treating hepatitis, drug addiction, and disenfranchised community members, or what became known in Appalachia as “diseases of despair.” The majority of his practice time is spent at MCAVHN (Mendocino County AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Network). He considers his yearly Sierra trip with his wife, Satoko, as his most personally important activity. He has a 24-year-old daughter, of whom he is very proud, a recent graduate at Brandeis University studying and now practicing neuroscience research.
MCAVHN Board and Staff
Joanna Olson

Executive Director

(she/her)

Joanna is a life resident of Mendocino County and has served in leadership roles for grassroots community-based organizations for over thirty years. In 2021 she retired from the Mendocino County Youth Project, having served as the Executive Director. Within months she joined the MCAVHN team.

“The MCAVHN agency history, the ethos of Harm Reduction, the passion, motivation and commitment of staff, the actively engaged board members, volunteers and the people we serve have collectively embraced my advocate soul. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

Joanna completed her BA in Social Work and Corrections at CSUC. She continues to volunteer and currently serves on the boards of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center (ARRC).

mcavhn Cara Eberhardt
Cara Eberhardt

Board Vice President

Cara completed her MD at UCSF School of Medicine and is trained in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She has been passionate about helping people who use drugs for over a decade. She enjoys using her medical knowledge to reduce stigma and decrease harms associated with substance use. She truly believes harm reduction saves lives and is grateful to have served on the MCAVHN Board since 2020.
mcavhn don
Don Popowski

Secretary

I was born in Chicago right after the start of WW2. Shortly after, my parents moved to a small 40 acre dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. I learned reading, writing, and arithmetic, grades 1-8 in a one room country schoolhouse. Graduated from high school as one of fifty. Joined the National Guard during my senior year, did six months training, came home, and went to college focusing on math and physics.Had to leave college, my National Guard Unit was activated because of Russia messing around with Berlin, Germany. Spent 10 months tramping through the terrain of Fort Lewis Washington and surrounding territory playing war games and how to survive in constant rain. Berlin crisis ended, returned home and went back to college.

In my senior year, I took a course in computer programing which set my carrier agenda for the next 36 years. Spent the rest of my working carrier programing, doing system analysis, designing systems and managing software development. During this time I met and married my wife Judy. Things came and went, eventually we moved to Ukiah, California. Judy became involved with MCAVHN. Soon I was asked to be a board member, and did so.

Life has been very good to me, leaving me with a sense that I should give back something in return. Being retired, I have time and some treasure. I could sit around and watch TV or mow the grass (we don’t have any) or do something that has more significance for my fellow beings. At MCAHVN I managed the facilities of a homeless shelter for two years. I have problem solving and IT skills that can be used in fund procurement and in planning fund raising events. If because of some of my efforts we help someone feel better, possibly save a life, change their lives for the better, then, it is part of my saying thanks for what life has given me.

mcavhn Carol Flake Roseborough
Carol "Flake" Roseborough

Board Member

My name is Carol Roseborough, aka Flake Brady. I am a Board member at MCAVHN.

I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. during the 60’s and 70’s. I was introduced to the drug scene as a teenager. Being a border town, there were a lot of drugs readily available.

I moved to Redwood Valley in 1978, trying to get away from the toxic environment I found myself in. I found myself much more acclimated to the slower pace of small town life. I worked at the Redwood Valley and Ukiah Post Offices for 32 years as a Rural Letter Carrier. I was able to buy a house in Redwood Valley and raise my daughter and son. I also sat on the Board of The Waldorf School of Mendocino Co.

Upon retiring, I found myself with more spare time and decided to get involved with something to give back to the community. I had become very much aware of the explosion of fentynal overdoses and deaths in the county. I had several friends who had lost their children to this; some of which might have been avoided had their friends not left them to die. I felt this was definitely due to a lack of education in the schools about drugs.

So I joined the board at MCAVHN with the hope of promoting this avenue in the schools and to try and open this conversation with local tribes.

I must say my eyes have been made wide open to the many ways our employees try to meet the needs of the less fortunate, and to do it in a respectful humanizing way. For a small non-profit their work is making an impact one person at a time.

mcavhn Judy Popowski
Judy Popowski

Treasurer/CFO

I spent a career in IT, developing systems and websites and managing databases. I have an MBA in finance from Cal State Eastbay and began to handle finance as a volunteer for MCAVHN in 2012 when the organization had to reduce payroll.

Although at that time the primary focus of MCAVHN was helping persons with HIV/AIDS, it was always clear that MCAVHN is caring and accepting no matter who you are or where you have been. The clientele now is people who want to be cured of Hepatitis C and use of opioids, to avoid unsafe needle sharing, and in many cases, work to change their lives. Working here is a perfect opportunity for someone as fortunate as I’ve been in life to give back.

MCAVHN is actively recruiting Board Members who wish to join our team in supporting Harm Reduction.
If you are interested in becoming a board volunteer please contact Joanna at joanna@mcavhncares.org

Our Staff

MCAVHN Board and Staff
Joseph R Ditto (Joe)

Harm Reduction Program Manager

Facility Manager
My name is Joe Ditto, I am the Program Manager at MCAVHN Care & Prevention Network. I have been working in the social services field since 2014 in various capacities. I started working in the winter shelters before moving into severe and persistent mental health services and found my calling in 2020 working in harm reduction. Harm Reduction aligns with my morals, values, and philosophy towards life. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and have the option available to them to improve their life. That is why I call myself a Harm Reductionist. I have lived experience and MCAVHN has given me the opportunity to continue my education at Mendocino College to further fortify my knowledge on substance use and get my credentials to be a substance use disorder counselor. I am passionate about the work and advocacy of destigmatizing individuals who use substances and do so by meeting them where they are at.
MCAVHN Board and Staff
Jessica R Walker (Jess)

MAT Clinic Coordinator

I am Jessica Walker, the MAT/HCV Clinic Coordinator. While working at MCAVHN I have grown in so many ways. I can contribute that growth to not only the agency but the community we serve and each individual and the connection I’ve made with them. I have lived experience which helps me encourage and guide individuals without fear of judgement. I am passionate about the work I do, while still learning more everyday how to support our community and MCAVHN participants.
Dustelle ID 2024 compressed
Dustelle Brooks

Coordinator

My name is Dustelle Brooks, and I am a coordinator for MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network. I’ve always had a passion for helping people, though I wasn’t sure how I would do so until later in life. In 2020, I began working for Ukiah Recovery Center/Ford Street Project as a client services representative, assisting those struggling with addiction on their path to recovery. While there, I started attending Mendocino College in 2021 to earn my associate degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies. Since then, I ran their Sober Living Environment before becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor for residential treatment. In my new role at MCAVHN, I hope to support those who are struggling in our community. I fully believe the harm reduction saves lives and am grateful to be part of such an amazing team.
DarrellID
Darrell Zapanta
I am Darrell, I have been with MCAVHN for several years at different capacities. Presently I am working in the Medically Assisted Treatment Program, where I find myself helping our communities’ clients that are eager to help themselves. It is very exciting to see someone open up and get help where they feel comfortable and safe. We approach our clients as peers and member of our community just as much as any person. I do this work to ensure that our clients feel that safety that only MCAVHN provides.
mcavhn Patti hall parker
Patricia Hall Parker (Patti)

2020 is when I joined the MCAVHN team as a Health Navigator. I have prior experience working in local homeless services, serving people with complex needs. I learned a lot from those years of service but found that MCAVHN and Harm Reduction has become my life choice for work.
At MCAVHN I don’t have co-workers, I have a family and it has become more than just a job. I love it here and when I hear my friends tell me they must go to work, I just smile and say I don’t have to go to work I get to go to work!!

YvetteID
Yvette M Brown
Health Navigator

I am 43 and a single mom, and I have fought my addiction since I was 15 yrs. old. I first joined the team at MCAVHN doing community service, and that turned into volunteering and then a part-time position and finally full-time in “The Exchange”. I also conduct outreach to provide Harm Reduction Services on the streets in our community and county-wide.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first joined the team at MCAVHN. Working at MCAVHN has been such a blessing for me. I LOVE THAT THIS IS A SAFE PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO COME AND BE SHOWN RESPECT AND Helped WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. Dr. Ace Barash in our MAT CLINIC IS THE FIRST DOCTOR I HAD EVER GONE TO THAT DIDN’T JUDGE ME BECAUSE OF MY PAST AND DIDN’T MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT WHO I AM OR THAT I STRUGGLED WITH ADDICTION.

EVERYONE WHO COMES HERE GETS TREATED LIKE A PERSON, NOT A BURDEN. EVERYONE who works here has lived experience of having been HOMELESS or close to, OR HAS STRUGGLED WITH ADDICTION ….SO WE UNDERSTAND 100 % plus.

Travis ID
Travis J Meeks
Mr. Travis Meeks is a professional social worker in Mendocino County with a degree in Psychology and over a decade of experience in the field. He overcame addiction and incarceration and uses this lived experience to assist clients in their lowest moments. Previously, he served as a prevention education coordinator for a domestic violence/rape crisis center, increasing that program’s reach to every school, jail, and juvenile hall in the county. Currently, he continues his work at MCAVHN, which is an unparalleled resource for the community and has proven instrumental in reducing the incidence of blood-borne diseases and opioid overdoses.
Matt ID

Hello Everyone,
My name is Matt Watson. I work at MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network as a Harm Reduction Navigator. From my own personal experience I have encountered many of the same difficulties as the population that our team at MCAVHN serve, addiction, substance abuse, homelessness and incarceration. After many years of this experience with support from family, friends and community, I have been able to overcome these difficulties. That is why I do this work. I have a passion for lending a hand to people in need. We have a great team here at MCAVHN and look forward to supporting our community and meeting people where they are at.

Daniel ID23
Daniel Perez
My name is Daniel Perez. I am a Harm Reduction Navigator here at MCAVHN. I have life experience with homelessness and incarceration due to a personal battle with drug addiction. I used the MCAVHN services as a client and as a participant in the MAT program. In the past I have also volunteered and created artwork and decorations for MCAVHN events and used MCAVHN as a safe space to make preparations for my journey to rehab. I am deeply appreciative of the support and services that MCAVHN offers to the community. I’m happy to give back to the community I was a part of without judgement. It’s very exciting to begin this position and I’m looking forward to the days to come as I grow into the role further.
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Contract Services

MCAVHN Contract Services Emily Serb
Emily Serb

Contract Services

Hi everyone, I’m Emily Serb! Before joining the team here at the clinic, I spent years doing outreach work with Food Not Bombs and Face to Face. Those experiences ignited a passion for supporting people in need, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this organization’s mission.

For the past year, I’ve volunteered my time at MCAVHN before taking on the role of Social Media Coordinator. I’m excited to use this platform to share important resources and information about harm reduction with our community. In my free time, I love baking, cooking, and subverting capitalist interests.

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Aurelie Clivaz

Contract Services

No bio available