Nominate a Peer!
There are no forms to complete! Simply send a letter of recommendation or self-nomination to [email protected]

A typical nomination letter includes a paragraph or two summarizing why you believe the person deserves to be considered for the award and should address at least one of the criteria mentioned in the nominated category above (those that are nominated will be asked for more detailed information about the criteria).



2018 Recipients

CBHA Legislator of the Year: Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula
Dr. Joaquin Arambula was elected in April 2016 in a special election to represent California’s 31st Assembly District. Dr. Arambula (D-Fresno) is the first Latino physician ever elected to the State Assembly. Prior to running for office, Dr. Arambula served as Medical Director of California Emergency Physicians at Adventist-Selma Hospital. As a member of the State Assembly, he plans to use his experience as an emergency physician to advance the precept that health care is a fundamental human right. Dr. Arambula attended medical school with the goal of serving rural communities similar to where he was raised. Since his election, he has focused on the shortage of doctors in the Central Valley. To help this shortage in rural communities, Dr. Arambula has been a vocal advocate for building a new medical school in the San Joaquin Valley, with the hope of encouraging more trained medical professional to remain in their communities. As a doctor, he has been on the frontlines of some of the most serious challenges and has seen the issues that impact the lives of Valley residents. His experience working in the emergency room galvanized his commitment to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their social or economic status, receives the care they deserve. Seeing patients in the emergency room taught him that investment in preventative care is key to building healthier communities. Communities in the district Dr. Arambula represents are some of the most disadvantaged in the state, with some of the highest poverty rates and highest exposure to environmental pollution. To that end, he has been working to ensure that pollution prevention programs are benefiting the areas most impacted by greenhouse gases and other pollutants. His other primary focus will be on improving access to and availability of water in the Central Valley. He is currently working closely with the San Joaquin Valley delegation in advocating for the Temperance Flat Dam. He was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley and his parents instilled in him a commitment to hard work and public service, as well as a dedication to making the Central Valley a better place to live, work and raise a family. Dr. Arambula said that he and his siblings learned from their parents the importance of giving back to the community: “They instilled in us a deep commitment for helping those less fortunate.” Dr. Arambula and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Fresno with their three daughters.

Rusty Selix Award of Merit: Leslie Preston
Leslie was a dedicated leader in the mental health community, a former Board member for CBHA, and led CBHA efforts for system improvements over the past few years. She was a warrior for social justice, an amazing intellect, and she will be missed deeply. Leslie attended Columbia Grammar and Prep School, graduated from Bowdoin College, and earned an MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work. Leslie dedicated her life to serving others. She started her career as a case manager for a foster care agency in Brooklyn. After receiving her MSW, she led a mobile crisis program and suicide prevention hotline in Phoenix. She moved to the Bay Area in 1998 to be closer to family and soon began her 19-year tenure with La Clinica de la Raza, a nonprofit community health center headquartered in Oakland. Leslie served as the Director of Behavioral Health, working tirelessly to oversee programs that provided critical prevention and treatment services for thousands of vulnerable East Bay residents. In 2016, the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees honored Leslie with a Common Good Award in recognition of her "extraordinary, profound and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest of society, with conspicuous disregard for personal gain." In addition to her professional work, Leslie served on the Board of Directors of the Women's Cancer Resource Center and was an active member of the Berkeley Friends Meeting. Leslie loved swimming, gardening, traveling, spending time with family and friends, seeing Broadway musicals, and caring for her cat, Tasmin. Her friends all describe her as unflinchingly loyal, principled and generous.