EPE Team 

Kevin Meconis
He/Him
Epidemiologist
Kevin has worked as an Epidemiologist for Riverside University Health System-Public Health since 2005. His focus areas have included infectious disease surveillance, chronic disease, behavioral health, and emergency response (including COVID-19). He has served as Accreditation Coordinator, assisting in the development of Community Health Assessments, Health Improvement Plans, and numerous other health surveys. He is passionate about using GIS mapping and spatial analysis, integrating health equity into all data analysis, and the emerging impacts of climate change on health.
Michael Castro
He/Him
Epidemiologist
Michael Castro is an Epidemiologist with Riverside University Health System - Public Health. He is a population health researcher focusing on highlighting health equity issues. Michael has an abundance of expertise in various coding languages such as Python, SAS, and R. He utilizes those tools to uncover data quality issues and ensure that data is represented in an accurate and meaningful way.
Gimena Ruedas
She/Her
Epidemiologist
Gimena is an Epidemiologist with RUHS-Public Health. She worked in the field of disease control before going back to school to earn her MPH in Epidemiology. She is passionate about using a wholistic approach to understanding the health needs of the community and focuses on improving health by analyzing spatial relationships, behaviors, and outcomes to different types of exposures in an effort to share information and empower individuals as well as decision makers in the community.
Aaron Gardner
He/Him
Epidemiologist
Aaron Gardner has been with Riverside University Health System – Public Health since 2005. Aaron has extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and communication, with a particular focus on health equity and social justice issues. He has been a project lead on HIV surveillance studies, program evaluation, grant writing, and LGBTQ health.
Rick Lopez
Research Specialist
Rick Lopez is a Research Specialist with RUHS-PH. He joined Riverside County Public Health in 2001 and works on a variety of databases and supports programs such as Loving Support Breastfeeding and Disease Control through communicable disease reports. Rick also spearheaded the implementation of the County's syndromic surveillance program which leverages near-real time emergency department data.
Robert Avina
He/Him
Research Specialist II
Robert Avina is a Research Specialist II with Riverside University Health System’s Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Branch. Robert completed his MPH at CSU San Bernardino in 2018 and his DrPH at Loma Linda University in 2021. Robert has experience in healthcare quality assurance, bioinformatics, HIV/STD surveillance, Ryan White Program(s), and LGBTQ Health & Wellness.
Dulce Martinez Luna
She/Her
Research Specialist I
Dulce Martinez Luna is a bilingual Research Specialist I with Riverside University Health System-Public Health. A first-generation college graduate with an MPH from California Baptist University, she has experience working in healthcare, data collection and analysis. Dulce is passionate about identifying meaningful trends in the community, sharing information, and applying new findings to public health interventions to increase health equity across marginalized communities.
Hongbin Jin
He/Him
Infection Preventionist I
Hongbin (Fred) Jin is an Infection Previontist at Riverside University Health System - Public Health. Fred is a trained ICU nurse, passionate university instructor, and a proud US military veteran. As the infection preventionist, Fred works to investigate outbreaks and communicable disease spread in Riverside County. 
Sheena Patel
She/Her
Deputy Chief
Sheena Patel is the Deputy Chief of Epidemiology & Program Evaluation at Riverside University Health System – Public Health. An epidemiologist by training, she oversees the research team on disease monitoring, surveillance efforts and data analysis. Sheena received her MPH from the University of Southern California in 2013 and is passionate about ensuring that data is communicated in an innovative and informative way.
Joseline Franco
She/Her
Research Specialist II
Joseline Franco is a Research Specialist II with Riverside University Health System - Public Health. She received her MPH with a concentration in biometry at San Diego State University in 2018. Joseline is interested in using spatial information to help visualize, explore, and analyze health-related data. She has created GIS driven products that have highlighted important trends and impacted decision making.
Caitlin Storm
She/Her
Research Specialist II
Caitlin Storm is a Research Specialist II with Riverside University Health System—Public Health. Caitlin completed her MPH in 2014 and PhD in Economics and Health Promotion Sciences in 2019 at Claremont Graduate University.  Caitlin is involved in accreditation, community health assessments, community health improvement planning, and health equity projects.
Erin Curlee
She/Her
Research Specialist I
Erin Curlee is a Research Specialist I with Riverside University Health System – Public Health. She has been with the county since 2011. Since 2022, Erin serves as the department's Public Health Accreditation coordinator. Her experience is in conducting community health assessments, strategic planning, and data analysis.  Both analysis and dissemination of data are her passion and interests in order to provide equity, and social justice to all people.
Rachaline Napier
Epidemiologist
Rachaline has worked as an Epidemiologist for Riverside University Health System-Public Health since 2014. Prior to this she worked as a Research Specialist for Behavioral Health.  She is experienced in research, data analysis and program evaluation. Her passion and expertise are chronic diseases and maternal and child health.
Amy Hyong
Epidemiologist
Amy Hyong is an Epidemiologist with Riverside University Health System - Public Health. She received her MPH from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She has a wide variety of experience in research, project management, data analysis and grant writing.
Wendy Hetherington
She/Her
Program Chief
Wendy Hetherington is the Branch Chief of Epidemiology & Program Evaluation. She oversees the Epidemiology Data Team, Vital Records, Riverside Overdose Data to Action (RODA), Health Equity, and Epidemiology and Labratory Capacity (ELC). Wendy is a trained epidemiologist earning her Masters in Public Health at San Diego State. She has a wide variety of experience and is particularly focused on incorporating health equity in all public health programs, promoting data to action, and increase overdose awareness and prevention in Riverside County.
Iman Abouazra
Research Specialist II
Iman Abouazra is a Research Specialist II for the County of Riverside Department of Public Health- Epidemiology and Program Evaluation branch. She is the current Surveillance Lead for Riverside County Overdose Data to Action Program, responsible for surveillance data dissemination, and oversees the response strategy for potential outbreaks. Iman received her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health and Epidemiology from Loma Linda University and has since worked within the fields of Behavioral and Public Health.