LA Best Babies Network’s Longtime Director Retires, New Director Announced

LA Best Babies Network (LABBN) is proud to announce the appointment of Sharlene Gozalians, DrPH, MPH, CHES, as its new Director. Sharlene steps into the role following the retirement of Director Janice French in February.

Thank you, Jan!

Since joining LABBN in 2002, Jan has been key to expanding the organization’s impact, especially as further investments in home visiting services were made in L.A. County. Under her leadership, LABBN launched the Los Angeles County Perinatal and Childhood Home Visitation Consortium. Jan also helped lead the formation and management of the Family Strengthening Network, a First 5 LA-funded partnership of 14 Welcome Baby hospitals and over two dozen community-based organizations that provide home visiting services to families throughout L.A. County. Earlier initiatives, which also demonstrated Jan’s commitment to community partnership, include LABBN’s Healthy Births Care Quality Collaborative and the Healthy Births Collaboratives. In 2016, Jan received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Maternal Child Health Champion Awards for her important contributions to the field of maternal and child health.

“I extend my deep appreciation to Jan for her dedication to the mission and vision of LA Best Babies Network, and for her leadership for over 18 years,” says LABBN Executive Director Dr. Margaret Lynn Yonekura. “She was there at the inception of LABBN, and helped guide the agency through thick and thin funding cycles to the vibrant coordinating body it is today.”

Welcome, Sharlene!
LA Best Babies Network Director Sharlene Gozalians

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead such a powerful and dynamic team,” says Sharlene, who joined LABBN in 2012 and has long been recognized as a team leader.

As Assistant Director, Sharlene helped lead the charge to make home visiting services available to more families throughout L.A. County.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished thus far in the field of home visiting,” Sharlene says, “and I look forward to what the future holds for us.”

Over the last several years, Sharlene has coordinated with leadership at First 5 LA, the Department of Public Health, and other County agencies to broaden the reach of home visiting to more underserved families. She also has led LABBN’s extensive (and rapidly growing) training cohorts and continuing education for over a thousand Family Strengthening Network staff. She works closely with leaders at Welcome Baby hospitals and home visiting agencies to ensure fidelity to the program models they use to serve families.

As if all that weren’t enough, Sharlene also serves as host of each Family Strengthening Network Annual Summit, facilitator of the African-American Home Visiting Engagement Workgroup, and co-lead of the Consortium’s Data Workgroup (which recently released this brief).

“I am delighted to welcome Sharlene as our new Director,” says Executive Director Dr. Yonekura, “and I am confident that LABBN will continue to flourish with her capable hands at the helm.”

11 thoughts on “LA Best Babies Network’s Longtime Director Retires, New Director Announced

  • March 10, 2020 at 4:21 pm
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    Thank you Jan for all the support you have given us! Relax and enjoy your retirement. Sharlene congratulations, you deserve it!

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  • March 10, 2020 at 4:27 pm
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    Congratulations, Sharlene! We are so thrilled to have you as our leader. You have demonstrated your leadership from my first day at LABBN and you continue to grow, show kindness, and move the organization and network forward. Cheers to continuing to make an impact in our community!

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  • March 10, 2020 at 4:35 pm
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    Thank you Jan for your advocacy efforts for all of our kiddos in LA County ! Cheers to you and what hopes to be a well deserved retirement!
    Congratulations Sharlene ! We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to making these programs successful! We are excited for this new venture and welcome your leadership ! =)

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  • March 10, 2020 at 6:08 pm
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    Congratulations, Sharlene! This is well-deserved! And best of luck in your retirement Jan! You will be missed!

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  • March 11, 2020 at 10:12 am
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    Jan, I just want to say thank your for your commitment, dedication , and ongoing support to all of our agencies and the wonderful families we work with. You have truly provided us with lots of tools to sustain us and it will echo threw eternity! It truly takes a village , lots of hard work, and true leadership! Thank you Jan for your wonderful leadership and for planting the seed of love ! Wishing you a healthy , joyful, and memorable retirement !

    Sharelne, I want to congratulate you in your new position! I know you will do great because you are unique and inspirational! Best wishes on your new journey !!!!

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  • March 11, 2020 at 11:23 am
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    Congratulations Sharlene! Very excited to see you lead our pack! Congratulation on retiring Jan! We wish you the best. Thank you for everything! ♥

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  • March 11, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    Jan, thank you for your leadership and contributions to improving health outcomes and the lives of women and children. You will be missed but, you deserve to rest, travel and play after all your dedication and hard work.

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  • March 11, 2020 at 11:36 am
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    Sharlene, congratulations on your well deserved promotion. LABBN and Welcome Baby are fortunate in having you lead and continue the excellent work that you have already started. We look forward to working alongside with you to reach our goals for the health and wellbeing of moms, babies and families in Los Angeles County.

    Felicidades!

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  • March 11, 2020 at 11:46 am
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    Jan,
    Thank you very much for all your hard work and dedication. I wish you the best on your next life voyage. Blessings always.
    Charlene,
    Welcome, I know you’ll do great, just like you have done it within the last 8 years.
    Congratulations on your new position. God bless you and please keep looking beautiful and Thoughtful.

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  • March 11, 2020 at 1:36 pm
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    Have a funderful retirement Jan, your work is so appreciated and will go on. Congratulations, Sharlene! I’m sure you will be a fearless leader for all the families that benefit from your work.

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  • March 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm
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    Jan and Sharlene, Congratulations to each of you as your new journey begins.
    You have both worked so hard for these moments, which are well deserved.
    You will be missed Jan. We thank you for all of your heart work and years of dedicated service.
    Sharlene, Cheers! It is very comforting to know we have you as our network LABBN Director 🙂
    Warmly,
    Lisa Jo

    Reply

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