The Board of Directors at the San Diego American Indian Health Center welcome input from you. Please feel free to send us an email
Paula Brim, Choctaw
Paula Brim, Choctaw Board Chairperson
Paula Brim is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and has been a long-time supporter, patient and board member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center. Now retired, Paula brings years of business experience in the field of land use, real estate acquisition and development along with financing mechanisms and management.
A strong believer in community activism, Paula has been appointed to and served on many boards and commissions in the San Diego region over the years dealing with land use, energy policy, youth services including management of shelters, counseling, re-unification of runaway adolescents with their families and school policy. Additionally, Paula has chaired many event committees providing services and enjoyment for the community.
Married to my best friend and a mother of three, grandmother of three and great grandmother of two who enjoys every minute of this life, Paula brings all the lessons learned, knowledge gained, experience and empathy to the job of serving on the board of SDAIHC and the joy and honor of serving the community.
Paula received the 10News Lead San Diego Leadership Award in April 2023.
Jill Sherman-Warne, Hoopa Valley Tribe
Jill Sherman-Warne, Hoopa Valley Tribe Board Vice Chair
Jill Sherman-Warne is the Executive Director of the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC). She is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Tribe where it was an honor to serve as an elected councilmember. She graduated from Humboldt State and built her respected professional reputation serving tribes in a variety of capacities from language learning, vocational rehabilitation, grant writing and emergency response Jill immerses her energy into building scalable tribal programs to increase and strength the tribal sovereignty. Jill’s cadre of skills allowed her to enjoy working on congressional campaigns, serving on state commissions and local tribal boards. Jill enjoys providing tribes the necessary tools to improving their capacity and capability to meet and exceed federal standards without increasing management burdens.
Jill and her family members are patients of the San Diego American Indian Health Center using all offered services. Growing up on the Hoopa Indian Reservation, Jill was ingrained by her parents and grandparents to serve her tribal community. Moving to San Diego she brings the same personal goals of being of service to her tribal community in the urban setting. Jill is married to Jim Warne, a documentarian and educator, they have three grandchildren and 4 children. Jill serves as a member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center Board of Directors.
Dale Squires, PHD, Chickasaw
Dale Squires, PHD Chickasaw Board Vice Chairperson – Finance Committee
Dale Squires is a Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. He is a native of San Diego, Vice Chair of the San Diego American Indian Health Center’s Board of Directors, and its longest serving member. He is married with two adult children. He is a Senior Scientist with NOAA Fisheries and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of California San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from Cornell University, a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in applied economics from the University of California Berkeley, studied at the American University of Beirut, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia.. He has co-authored or co-edited ten books and over 150 professional publications in economics, conservation, and marine affairs and routinely works with the United Nations, World Bank, international commissions, national governments, and universities around the world.
Richard C. Needham
Richard C. Needham, Secretary
Richard C. Needham is a recent retiree from the County of San Diego, having worked nearly 25 years in Human Resources. When he retired, Mr. Needham was the Sr. Human Resources Officer for the East Region of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency for nearly 1000 employees. Expertise include, medical issues, workplace ethics and employee relations.
Mr. Needham was born at Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Arizona and spent his youth moving throughout the country as the child of a military officer, mostly in the southern states during the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s. He moved back to Arizona to complete his undergraduate degree at Arizona State University. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to San Diego in 1987 to get a post-graduate Paralegal Certificate from UCSD and has been here ever since.
Richard’s personal and professional experiences provide him a unique skill set that help support the cadre of expertise of the SDIAHC Board of Directors. More specifically, his insight offers expertise in all aspects of HR for clinics, recruiting and retention of medical positions, analysis of policies and insight into employee disciplinary issues. Richard believes in community service and his role on the board provides that giving back to his community.
Richard values his friendships with the Native American community, and believes these friendships have enabled him to learn what wasn’t taught in school and has provided him perspective on Native American and minority issues to expand and evolve, giving him a familiarity that will assist him in any work done for SDAIHC.
Currently, Mr. Needham is retired, living in an empty nest with his wife Jean, who was born in the Philippines, with their dog Foxy. They have two children (James and Denise) and two grandchildren (Nicolas and Marcelo).
Elke Chenevey, Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska
Elke Chenevy, Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska Board Member
Elke Chenevey is an enrolled member of the Omaha Nation; a mother of three adult children; and a passionate volunteer, financial advisor and collaborator. Elke began her business career over 30 years ago with Merrill Lynch where she first rose to the Director level in the Public Finance Group structuring over $7 billion in tax-exempt and taxable financings for a diverse client group, including Native American Tribes, non-profits, states and local governments. In 2003 she moved to the investment consulting arm of Merrill Lynch where she focused on providing investment management services to Tribes and their enterprises. Elke joined FS Advisors LLC in February of 2021 and is continuing to provide exceptional investment management, Tribal Member Benefit program and other services to the Native American community. She is grateful to have joined a Native American woman owned business which seeks to be a generational partner to its clients.
Active in her community with a passion for financial education and youth mentorship, Elke is a member of the San Diego American Indian Health Center Board of Directors and the Council of Trustees of United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Inc., and the Advisory Board of the Native Financial Education Coalition. Elke is a Certified Investment Management Analyst® professional. She has also served her tribe, the Omaha Nation, in various capacities, including Tribal Manager, Grant Writer and Economic Development Planner. Elke received her M.B.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Darin Craw, Chickasaw
Darin Craw, Chickasaw Board Member
Darin Craw is a proud Chickasaw who has settled in San Diego California to raise his children after his last tour in the US Navy. His work as a technology director and within County government, as well as his degrees in technology and health services, give him a unique aspect to being on the board of the San Diego American Indian Health Center.
Being away from the tribal lands has not stopped Darin from being active in his community. With a group of Chickasaw elders, he helped form Chickasaw West, the local community council to help keep the traditions of his people alive. Being a veteran and a member of the Chickasaw warrior society, he also continues to support veterans issues and serve that community as well.
One of Darin’s great joys is being a father and helping his children grow into adulthood. Of course, skiing and soccer, his favorite sports from his childhood in New York, help round out his daily life and keep him sane. These numerous experiences from deck plate to C-suite around the world with his grounding in his culture which he brings to his service as a board member of SDAIHC.
Keren Hilger, MD
Keren Hilger, MD Board Member – Quality Committee
Dr. Hilger is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician who has been serving on the Board of Directors at SDAIHC since 2010. She trained at Naval Medical Center San Diego, completed a fellowship in wilderness medicine, and has worked for the Indian Health Service in New Mexico and Alaska. Dr. Hilger currently serves as the Medical Director of a primary care/urgent care clinic and the Medical Director of a remote Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. She is a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service and has deployed multiple times to national humanitarian missions and disaster responses.
Dr. Hilger is proud to be a member of the SDAIHC Board and has enthusiastically watched as the organization has grown. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family!
Mariah Lewis, Yurok Tribe
Mariah Lewis, Yurok Tribe, Board Member
Mariah Lewis is an enrolled member of the Yurok tribe. Mariah graduated from San Diego State University in 2019 with her bachelor’s in social work and CSU San Marcos in 2021 with her master’s in social work. She has worked with many youths and families from different backgrounds in both an individual and group setting. Mariah is currently employed by Tribal Oak Tree Foster Family Agency where she assists Native youths and families within the foster care system.
Mariah advocates for the indigenous community and works towards allowing all individuals to receive the proper care that they deserve. Mariah believes that through working with these individuals, she can provide insight into how SDAIHC can provide the best care through current and future initiatives. Mariah currently provides cultural events and trainings within the foster care setting and believes that with her knowledge about these populations within a behavioral health setting and more, she will be able to contribute to the board.
Yvette Thayer, Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Yvette Thayer, Eastern Shoshone Tribe Board Member
I am an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in Fort Washakie, Wyo. Both of my parents were also enrolled members. I moved here to San Diego in the 1980’s. I have worked with the same company for the past 24 years as an Assistant Manager for a Retail Company. I came to the San Diego American Indian Health Center a few years after living in San Diego. My interest to be a Board member is to be a voice for our people. I know on a personal level how important it is to have a place to go to for Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing. My passion, is to be a voice to give hope and a message to people that the San Diego American Indian Health Center is here for our Communities and our People.