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California - China Environmental Health Training Program




Staff Profiles




Rick Kreutzer


John Petterson

Frank Barley

Daniel Smith

Gayle Windham

Tivo Rojas

Lixia Zhang



       Rick Kreutzer, M.D.

Dr. Kreutzer is chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control in the California Department of Public Health.  Dr. Kreutzer has helped develop a framework for environmental health tracking (a.k.a. surveillance); built better asthma surveillance in the State; studied exposure to molds and mycotoxins from composting, biosolids, or indoor sites with moisture; and helped create a new Environmental Contaminant Bio-monitoring Program for California. Dr. Kreutzer is principle investigator for California Breathing, the CDC sponsored program to address asthma from a public health perspective. In this capacity, he helped craft the Strategic Plan for Asthma in California and supervises Plan implementation projects.  He is a reviewer for a number of environmental health journals.  He is a lecturer at UC Berkeley and is on the clinical faculty at UCSF.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, a MD from the University of Pennsylvania, and epidemiological training from UCLA.  Prior to coming to the Health Department, he worked as a family physician and emergency room physician.

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                  John Petterson, Ph.D. 

Dr. Petterson received his Master of Science degree in Asian study from the California State University, Long Beach (1974) and Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from University of California at San Diego (1979).   Since 1980 he has been the president of Impact Assessment, Inc., he has also been the director of Sequoia Foundation since 1983.  As a president and director Dr. Petterson is in charge of many big study projects: Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Department of Comprehensive Planning, Nuclear Waste Division ($2.8 million in 1996); Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Support Services, CDPH Environmental Health Investigations Branch ($2.8 million in 2001, $3.5 million in 2004); ATSDR Superfund Site Investigations, Health Assessments, Public Health Assessments, Site Review Updates, on 40 Superfund NPL sites ($780,000 in 1998, $880,000 in 2001); Ascertainment of Environmental Exposure to Tobacco Smoke during Pregnancy, sponsored by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, CDPH Genetics Disease Branch ($2.3 million in 2002); and projects on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control, CDHS Lead Poisoning Prevention Program ($4.3 million in 1997, $3.4 million in 2001, $3.2 million in 2003); etc. 

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        Frank Barley, Ph.D.

Dr. Barley is a Research Scientist in the Environmental Health Laboratory Branch.  He provides support for Dr. Flessel's programs at the Environmental Health Laboratory Branch (EHLB). He is currently part of a small team developing California’s response to a possible chemical terrorism or industrial accident event.

He has an undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University. His graduate thesis involved an effect of vitamin B-12 in mammalian tissue culture. He has worked in both public and private laboratories, and has operated several small businesses. Prior to joining EHLB two years ago, he supported a medical center bone marrow transplant program for a number of years. Because of his clinical laboratory background, he is most able to contribute to projects that have a biological or clinical nature.   

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        Daniel Smith, Dr.PH

Daniel Smith received a Master's of Science degree in Environmental Health from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctor of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from UCLA. As a Research Scientist with CDPH for more than 20 years, Dr. Smith has worked on a variety of topics, including hazardous waste sites, cancer clusters, toxic spills and releases, food contamination, and biomonitoring studies. He is currently the Acting Chief of the Environmental Epidemiology Section. Dr. Smith has mentored several student interns and post-graduate trainees, and taught epidemiologic methods at Sacramento State University and the University of California Extension. His particular interests are epidemiologic methods and statistical analysis as they relate to environmental issues, such as risk modeling, surveillance, disease clustering, and environmental and biological samples.                          

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                                                                     Tivo Rojas-Cheatham, MPH

Tivo Rojas-Cheatham, MPH became the Chief of the Community Participation and Education Section (CPES) of the Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB) in January of 2005. He has B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.  He also received his MPH degree in Community Health Education from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to becoming the CPES chief, Tivo worked as a community health educator for over a decade in EHIB.  In that role the responsibilities included developing and coordinating educational and community relation activities in coordination with exposure assessment studies, health studies and other environmental technical assistance to county health departments and communities.  Tivo also worked as a health education consultant for the Tobacco Control Program of the California Department of Public Health and was responsible for the development of request for proposals and technical assistance to county health departments and community based organizations doing tobacco control work.  He has also worked in a community based organization that provided vocational training and job placement for farm workers and educational program for at-risk farm worker youth.

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            Gayle Windham, Ph.D.

Dr. Gayle Windham received a Master’s of Science degree (MSPH) in Epidemiology from UCLA and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Windham’s research focus is on reproductive outcomes. After UCLA, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control in the Birth Defects Section and then in Norway, at the National Institute for Public Health. She returned to the CDC to serve as an Epidemiologic Intelligence Officer (EISO), and was assigned to the Department of Public Health (DPH) in California to do a variety of environmental health investigations. Dr. Windham joined CDPH afterwards, where she has conducted a number of studies on reproductive outcomes and environmental risk factors during the past 20 years. Her areas of expertise include pregnancy outcomes such as spontaneous abortion, fetal growth, and child development, as well as other aspects of reproductive health such as puberty, infertility, and menstrual function. Particular exposures she has examined include solvents, drinking water contaminants, alcohol consumption, video display terminal usage, endocrine disruptors and tobacco smoke. Dr. Windham has consulted with WHO, and with the CDC on various Surgeon General’s reports, on active and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure. Dr. Windham has been very involved with the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, serving as both secretary-treasurer and a counselor on the board, and is interested in continuing international outreach. She has been involved with the China program since its inception and also serves as the EHIB supervisor to U.S. CDC EIS officers being trained here.

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                                                Lixia Zhang, MPH

Lixia received her BM (Bachelor in Medicine) from Shanxi Medical University, China (1985), and her MPH from the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley (2002).  She has over 20 years of experiences working on the public health field both with the California Department of Public Health and the Shanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control in China.  As a research analyst, Lixia has worked on many research projects such as ‘The Relationship of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Hospital Admissions and Mortality to the Southern California Fires 2003’; ‘Investigation of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and Autism Spectrum Disorders’; ‘Prenatal Smoke Exposure and Age at Menarche’; ‘Social and Medical Model Addiction Recovery Trial (SMART)’; 'Children's Blood Lead Levels & Environmental Correlates in Alameda County'; etc.  She has published 12 articles in peer-reviewed journals.  Currently she is working on the Fogarty Cal-China Training Program as a project coordinator, where her main tasks include project planning, training curriculum development, travel/visa arrangements, annual progress report, trainees’ housing and social wellbeing, and the Cal-China web site development and maintenance.  In the next 5 years Fogarty collaborative project, she will also be working on the bio-banking, epidemiological study and data analysis related to the Shanghai CDC 1,000,000 people survey.

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