Trustee Forum Bios

We are honored to have these healthcare professionals as our panelists for our Antioch University Santa Barbara Trustee Forum: How the Affordable Healthcare Act will Impact California, Santa Babara, and You.

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Dave Jones, CA Insurance Commissioner

Dave Jones CA Insurance CommissionerElected on November 2, 2010, Jones leads the California Department of Insurance (CDI), the largest consumer protection agency in the state. As Insurance Commissioner, he regulates California’s insurance industry, which makes up almost one-tenth of the California economy with annual revenues of $125 billion.

Daily Journal, the state’s largest legal newspaper, in 2011 named him one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers. The Greenlining Institute gave Jones their “2012 Big Heart Award” for his work promoting insurance industry diversity. For a full bio click here:

Jones served in the California State Assembly from 2004 through 2010, where he chaired the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Named “Consumer Champion” by the California Consumer Federation in 2008, Jones was also awarded the “Leadership Award” by the Western Center on Law and Poverty. Planned Parenthood, Environment California, the Urban League, Preschool California and CalPIRG have all honored his work. Capitol Weekly named Jones California’s “most effective legislator” other than the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore.

Jones began his career as a legal aid attorney, providing free legal assistance to the poor with Legal Services of Northern California from 1988 to 1995. In 1995, Jones was one of only 13 Americans awarded the prestigious White House Fellowship. He served in the Clinton Administration for three years as Special Assistant and Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Jones served on the Sacramento City Council from 1999 to 2004.

Jones graduated with honors from DePauw University, Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife, Kim Flores, have two children, Isabelle and William, and live in Sacramento.

Dr. Cynder Sinclair, CEO of SB Neighborhood Clinics

Cynder has served as CEO of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics since 2008. Prior to accepting this position, she served as Vice President in Wealth Management for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, specializing in service to nonprofit organizations. Cynder moved to Santa Barbara in 1995 to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Tres Condados, encompassing the tri-county area.

She held this position for nearly 12 years. Cynder has provided leadership in the nonprofit field since 1975, founding several social service organizations including extensive work with Hispanic farm-worker families in Fresno County. For the five years before moving to Santa Barbara, she served as Executive Director for the Child Abuse Prevention Council in San Joaquin County. Cynder graduated University of Phoenix with her doctorate of management in organizational leadership.

Ron Werft, CEO Cottage Hosp

Ron Werft, Cottage Hospital CEO and Board Chair of California Hospital Association (CHA) 

A graduate of UC San Diego, Werft earned his master’s degree in hospital and health care administration from the University of Minnesota. He joined Cottage Health System in 1987, rising to the role of president/CEO in 2000. The nonprofit, three-hospital system cares more for more than 20,000 inpatients and 64,000 emergency department visitors each year. Cottage also offers residency programs in internal medicine, general surgery and radiology, and is the largest private employer in Santa Barbara County.

In addition to his professional duties, Werft also serves on numerous boards of community and charitable organizations, including United Way of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Partners in Education, the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Fighting Back Steering Committee and Santa Barbara Middle School. As one of the largest health-care trade associations in the nation, the CHA represents more than 400 hospitals and health systems in California. The association provides its members with public policy development, issues management and legislative advocacy services at the state and federal levels. The CHA has offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kurt Ransohoff, CEO & Chief Medical Officer Sansum Clinic

Dr. Ransohoff joined Sansum Clinic in 1992. Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Ransohoff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine and a medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. He was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine from 1989-1992, and Chief Resident and Clinical Instructor from 1988-1989. 

Dr. Ransohoff was Chairman of our Internal Medicine Department from 1992-1994, and Assistant Medical Director from 1994-1997. He has been Medical Director since 1997, President since 1998, and CEO since 2002.

Dr. Takashi Wada, Director SB County Public Health Dept

Takashi Michael Wada, MD, MPH began service as the Director and Health Officer for the County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department in March 2010. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing overall direction for the Public Health Department including policy development, community health planning, public health emergency preparedness, health regulations enforcement and supervision of all department clinics, staff, programs and services. 

Prior to this position, Dr. Wada served as Director and Health Officer for the Pasadena Public Health Department for 6 years.  He completed his undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences at UC Riverside, both his medical degree and master’s degree in public health at UCLA and subsequently practiced as a primary care physician at Kaiser Permanente, several community free clinics in Southern California and internationally in Mexico and South America.  He also completed a National Institutes of Health Fellowship at UCLA focused on access to healthcare and an Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University.