About Healthy Minds Initiative

Healthy Minds Initiative is a non-profit organization leading positive brain health transformation around the world, community by community.

Our mission: inspiring a more human approach to caring for the mind, community by community.

Through our work in clinics and hospitals, we’ve found that sick care is far too disconnected from what’s happening in patients’ homes and communities.

Health education is top-down and often difficult for many to understand. There’s far more focus on treatment than prevention. Patients visit their clinic, suffering and afraid, and return home with expensive bills, costly prescriptions, and several pages of confusing instructions that they’re expected to comprehend and follow all by themselves.

Healthy Minds Initiative is introducing a new methodology to the healthcare framework — one which is more preventative, holistic, and led by research at a community level. A globally-scalable model that’s both culturally applicable, and informed by cutting-edge neuroscience.

We accomplish our mission with


Through our research and extensive collective medical backgrounds, we work to demystify the steps to achieving long-term brain health and the prevention of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Most people don’t understand brain health is in their hands. We host local workshops in community centers, churches — places where members of the community are known to congregate — to arm people with knowledge to improve brain health.


We involve local community leaders across all industries – government, civic, business, faith – and equip them with the best strategies to approach brain health education and implementation for their communities.

Our Team

Dr. Ayesha Sherzai

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ayesha Sherzai is a neurologist and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University, where she leads the Lifestyle Program for the Prevention of Neurological Diseases. She completed a dual training in Preventative Medicine and Neurology at Loma Linda University, and a fellowship in Vascular Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University. She is also a trained plant-based culinary artist.

Dr. Atif Adam

Chief Development Officer

Dr. Atif Adam is a systems scientist focusing on health disparities and developing tools to make healthcare more accessible to at-risk populations. Atif completed his postdoctoral fellow with the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, and earned his doctorate in Health Systems at the Bloomberg School. He specializes in clinical modeling, internal medicine, and the impact of public health policy.

Dr. Dean Sherzai

President of Board of Directors

Dr. Dean Sherzai is co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University. Dean trained in Neurology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed fellowships in neurodegenerative diseases and dementia at the National Institutes of Health and UC San Diego. He also holds a PhD in Healthcare Leadership with a focus on community health from Andrews University.

Howie Jacobson


Howie is an executive coach to clients ranging from startup founders to established and rising Fortune 100 leaders. He’s also a health coach and coach trainer, and author of multiple books. His mission mirrors that of Healthy Minds Initiative: helping people heal themselves and their communities through joyful and balanced living. Howie has assisted many people with unlocking their potential and scaling their influence.

Susan Galeas

Board of Advisers

Before relocating to Nashville, Susan served as President and CEO of Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles, leading efforts to expand awareness/resources for caregivers and funding for research. Today, she serves as President and CEO of nonprofit The Family Center Tennessee, breaking intergenerational cycles of childhood trauma. Susan’s passion lies in understanding the brain’s impact on health and long-term wellbeing for vulnerable populations, making her an integral member of the HMI Board of Advisers.

Matt Borowski


As a Partner and Senior Wealth Manager at True North, Matt is responsible for building trusted relationships with clients and advancing their personal goals and objectives. As a member of the HMI Board of Advisers, Matt offers his expertise and insights on financial management and fundraising campaigns. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, with a major in Marketing, at The University of Texas at Austin.

Caroline Segalla

Chief Operating Officer

Caroline earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University, with an emphasis in Community Development. She helps organize community-based health initiatives, coordinate projects, and find unique ways to raise awareness of HMI projects. When Caroline’s grandmother, whose nickname was Weri, was diagnosed with dementia, Caroline took care of her, and developed an interest in brain health. This experience — plus her passion for hiking, HIIT workouts, and cooking with homegrown plants sourced from her garden — drives Caroline’s work at Healthy Minds Initiative.

Kassandra Escobedo

Operations Coordinator

Kassandra lives in México. She oversees everyday operations and ensures all elements of Healthy Minds Initiative are running smoothly, so our world-changing goals can be fulfilled. This includes internal comms, client relationship management, project coordination, and organizational strategy. As a keen skater, Kassandra has a vested interest in how the design of our urban spaces passively influences our health and lifestyle choices. She leads the Spanish translation of HMI’s resources.

Marie Scheffel


Marie lives in Germany, where she studied Nutritional Science. It impels her to help people achieve better health through cutting-edge science and research. Currently, Marie is writing a scientific paper in the area of Neurology, and is working to acquire a fitness B-license. Marie’s creativity and communication skills help shape HMI’s social media campaigns, and she leads the German translation of the initiative’s resources.

Chrissy Roth

Board of Advisers

Chrissy is a physical therapist with a certificate in plant-based nutrition. Her life’s work has centered around helping people to meet their health goals. At UCLA, she helped patients recover from injury, and developed a particular interest in preventative nutrition and ergonomics. When she’s not running, teaching a spin class, or mixing up something healthy and delicious for her Secret Smoothie Society delivery business, Chrissy enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons, three adopted parrots, three rescue cats, and (at our last count) four chickens, and also recording our weekly Movement Monday videos (see them on our Instagram).

Angela Evans

President of Crenshaw Christian Center

As Chief Executive Officer of Crenshaw Christian Center, Angela oversees a multi-million dollar budget and is responsible for a large church membership, four schools, nearly 150 employees, and over 1,000 volunteers. She also established a Community Development Corporation (the Vermont Village CDC) and is the President and Chair of its Board of Directors. Angie works with HMI on projects at Crenshaw Christian Center’s FaithDome in LA.