BTCD Welcomes new Chronic Disease & HIV Prevention Office Chiefs


It is with great excitement that I can announce that the ADHS Bureau of Tobacco & Chronic Disease has filled two critical leadership positions that will help propel us into a future of bold vision and great public health outcomes for Arizonans throughout the state.  Effective February 4, 2013, Anna Alonzo will serve as Office Chief, Chronic Disease Programs, and equally exciting, John Sapero will serve as Office Chief, HIV Prevention Services.

As we enter into a new era of unprecedented challenge and opportunity, I find it personally uplifting to know that we are bringing such high caliber professionals of impeccable commitment public health issues facing Arizonans.  Both Anna and John bring years of proven experience in integrating the work of the private and public sectors, bridging diverse communities toward a common vision, and demonstrating a depth of knowledge in both government and community-based  programs.

Anna Alonzo, an Arizona native, brings over 25 years of experience in public health, state interagency collaboration, coalition building, health disparities, strategic planning, community outreach, group facilitation and operations.  Her skills, experience and education are elements that will assist her in her new role as the Office Chief – Chronic Disease Programs.  In her previous role with ADHS, Anna was the Operations Manager for the HealthCheck Program as well as the Program Manager for the REACH CORE Grant for the Arizona Health Disparities Center.  Her experience has led her to develop, participate and/or manage several large scale projects/programs including the REACH community health assessments, AHCCCS/KidsCare Community Outreach Plan, Medicare Modernization Act Implementation/Communication, and the Medical Services Project and Reach Out and Read program for the Arizona Academy of Pediatrics.  She has also implemented several large scale policy/system changes for Mountain Park Health Center where she was the Chief Operating Officer.  Recognized for her leadership, community collaboration, advocacy, policy expertise, and community outreach, Anna was awarded the 2009 Champion for Children by Children’s Action Alliance.  Furthermore, she has been appointed and served on several state boards, including the Governor’s Commission on Women and Children’s Health, Governor’s Latino Cabinet, Concilio Latino de Salud Board, Friendly House, Inc., Hispanic Women’s Conference Executive Committee, March of Dimes Grant Appropriations Committee, Interagency Homeless Coalition, and Phoenix Women’s Commission.  

John Sapero has more than 21 years of experience in HIV/AIDS activities, including peer education, advocacy, fundraising, and program management. Since 2004, John has been the Program Coordinator for the Phoenix EMA Ryan White Planning Council, a community coalition appointed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to plan the delivery of federally funded HIV services. In this role, he has facilitated the transition of the Council from an interest-driven, adversarial group to that of a data-driven, highly collaborative team that has received local and national recognition. During his tenure, John has instituted a comprehensive training and development program for Council members, including roles and responsibilities education, team building, conflict management, peer mentoring and consensus building; created two marketing initiatives designed to engage HIV positive individuals  to enter and remain in medical care; designed a data-driven priority setting and resource allocation process that was presented as a national model at the 2006 Ryan White Grantee Conference; and facilitated the implementation of an opt-out HIV-testing program in the Maricopa County jail system. Most recently, John has directed the development of, an online HIV resource directory, and was honored with the 2012 Director’s Award from Aunt Rita’s Foundation for his work on this project. He is a member of the National Quality Center’s Consumer Advisory Committee, and also serves as an advisor for the Center’s Partners in+care retention initiative. John received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from University of Phoenix, and a Masters in Innovative Leadership from Western International University.

In the not-too-distant future, we’ll hold a welcoming reception for both Anna and John.  But in the meantime, I know you join me in welcoming their arrival.

Best regards,




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