President & Chief Executive Officer

Garrett Chan is the Chief Executive Officer and President of HealthImpact, California’s nationally recognized nursing workforce center. HealthImpact works closely with government entities, schools of nursing, health care providers, professional organizations, consumer groups, and foundations to address statewide nursing issues that impact the health of all Californians.

Dr. Chan served as Director for the Center for Education and Professional Development and Director of Advanced Practice at Stanford Health Care. He currently is an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He earned his PhD and MS in Nursing and completed Post-Masters work as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Summer Genetics Program, and completed the American College of Health Executives Senior Executive Program in Healthcare Administration. He is an elected Fellow in the Academy of Emergency Nursing, Palliative Care Nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute, National Academies of Practice, and the American Academy of Nursing.

Deborah ("Deb") Bennett, PhD, RN, CHSE

Manager / Faculty, California Simulation Alliance

Deborah Bennett has been a nurse educator for over 20 years and a nurse clinician for over 30. She is a generalist with specialties in pediatrics and primary care. As a nurse educator, she has taught in associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree nursing programs. Deborah was the Simulation Director for California State University San Marcos for 13 years. During that time, she developed CSUSM’s simulation program and facilitated simulation for all levels of nursing students. Deborah assisted Speech-Language Pathology faculty in the development of their simulation program utilizing standardized patients, and collaborated with other healthcare disciplines to develop and facilitate interprofessional education simulations.

Deborah obtained a PhD from Washington State University in August 2015. Her area of research was instrument development for pediatric medication administration competencies through simulation, which was found to be reliable and valid. She is a member of SSH, SPN,and INACSL, and a reviewer for the journal Clinical Simulation in Nursing.

Michelle Chan, BS

Project Manager / Program Coordinator

Michelle Chan joined HealthImpact in May 2019. She comes with a background in health sciences, with a focus on healthcare administration. She has been certified in LEAN principles for healthcare and brings experience as a CRM coordinator from her previous position. In her role as Project Manager / Coordinator, Michelle provides guidance and support and oversees the planning, coordination and execution of the Centralized Clinical Placement System (CCPS) in the Bay Area region. She also uses her LEAN expertise to manage process improvement projects at HealthImpact. Michelle earned her BS in Life Sciences at California State University East Bay in Hayward, California.

Mary Dickow, MPA, FAAN

Director, Statewide Initiatives

Mary Dickow has been a Program Director at HealthImpact since 2012, with responsibility for statewide implementation efforts on a variety of projects. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, where she focuses on leadership and academic progression. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program at the Center for the Health Professions at UCSF, responsible for the execution of the $20 million senior nurse leadership program. With over 20 years of experience as faculty, leadership content expert and speaker she has held both state and national roles focused on advancing the impact of health professionals to transform health care. In 2014 Mary was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She holds a Master of Public Administration from USF.

Laura Ford

Media & Graphic Design Manager

Laura Ford joined HealthImpact in January 2016.

Sharon Goldfarb, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Consultant, Centralized Clinical Placement System, Northern CA

Sharon Goldfarb began her nursing career at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Her first job as an LPN was working with opioid addicts in East Harlem. She then spent ten years caring for members of the homeless population in a mobile medical clinic. She has also worked at 9/11-Ground Zero, provided care in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and, most recently, helped mobilize nurses to the Paradise fires. She has worked as a nurse for more than 25 years and still maintains a small practice at a clinic for the underserved.

Sharon has been a nurse educator for 25 years, first as a clinical professor at Columbia’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program & Medical School in New York City. She was also on faculty at NYU and Hunter College. In California, she has taught for ten years at Nightingale School of Nursing, Los Medanos College, and UCSF, and is currently Dean of Health Sciences at College of Marin.

Sharon is the Western Board Representative for Organization for Associate Degree Nursing and President-Elect for California Organization of Associate Degree Nursing. She serves on the Communication Committee of the Association of California Nurse Leaders, and is active in the California Nurses Association (CNA) and American Nurses Association of California.

Sharon is honored to play a part in her students’ journeys toward becoming professional nurses, and to support public health needs through advocating for clinical nurses and nurse educators. She joined HealthImpact in July 2019.

Susan McNiesh, PhD, MS, RNC-OB

Program Director, Benner Institute for Teaching and Learning

Susan McNiesh is a Professor Emerita from the Valley Foundation School of Nursing at San José State University. Dr. McNiesh holds a BA in Sociology from Montclair State University (NJ), an ADN from Cabrillo College (CA), an MS from San José State University, and a PhD in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. As a nurse educator, Dr. McNiesh has taught in baccalaureate, RN to BSN, Masters, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. She has over 17 years’ experience as a staff nurse in Labor & Delivery and is certified in Inpatient Obstetrics. Dr. McNiesh has authored and co-authored numerous publications, many with a focus on the teaching and learning of nursing practice. Dr. McNiesh continues to mentor doctoral students as adjunct faculty at the Valley Foundation School of Nursing. Her current research interest is the experience and efficacy of virtual simulation in nursing education.

Owen Metzger, MBA, PMP

Program Manager, VaxForce

Owen Metzger joined HealthImpact in February 2021.  Owen has a background in project management, supply chain management, information systems, and has a deep passion for organizational development.  Owen oversees the VaxForce initiative which aims to vaccinate under-resourced communities across the state of California.  Owen earned his MBA from San Francisco State University, his BA in Psychology from University of California, Davis, and his PMP certification from Project Management Institute.

Laine Snowman

Finance Manager

Laine Snowman has worked with HealthImpact since 2011.

Carina Valdes-Fajardo, BS

Statewide Program Coordinator

Carina Valdes-Fajardo joined HealthImpact in our Southern California office in August 2018. She comes to us with expertise in information technology and project management gained during her 27-year career within the banking industry, where she earned her AVP corporate title. Carina also serves as a board member for a newly launched family-run adult day healthcare center located in Long Beach, where she oversees billing under Medi-Cal programs to the different insurance providers, and assists in planning and coordination of day-to-day activities for the participants.

In her role as Statewide Project Coordinator for HealthImpact, Carina provides guidance and support and oversees the planning, coordination, and execution of the Centralized Clinical Placement System (CCPS) to assure its effective utilization across the California regions. She earned her B.S. in management at St. Paul University in Manila, Philippines.


Director, California Simulation Alliance

Dr. Waxman is a nurse leader with over 30 years of experience in healthcare and corporate settings. She is a tenure-earning Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. She is also the Director of their Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate Program. An internationally known speaker and author, Waxman is past president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and is past Treasurer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). She served as Co-chair of the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in 2012 and is currently serving on the certification committee. Dr. Waxman’s work has been published extensively and can be found in journals such as Simulation in Healthcare, Clinical Simulation for Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, Nurse Leader, Creative Nursing, and MedSim. She is a chapter author for 3 simulation textbooks and the author of 3 books: “A Practical Guide to Finance and Budgeting: Skills for Nurse Managers”, by HCPro, now in its second edition; “Financial and Business Management for the Doctor of Nursing Practice”, by Springer; and “Healthcare Simulation Program Builder” by HcPro. Waxman received her DNP from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on health systems leadership and a concentration in clinical simulation. She holds national certifications as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and as a Nurse Executive (CENP), and a Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE). She is a fellow in both the Society of Simulation in Healthcare and the American Academy of Nursing.