SCWG Leadership

SCWG is comprised of healthcare workers, scholars, public health professionals, students, educators, and other community members. Continue Reading SCWG Leadership

Ariana Thompson-Lastad, PHD

Trainer Development Lead

Ariana Thompson-Lastad, PhD, leads SCWG’s trainer development process and has been an SCWG leadership team member since 2018. She is on the faculty at the UCSF School of Medicine, as assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine and core faculty at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Ariana is a medical sociologist whose research focuses on advancing health equity through expanding access to integrative healthcare and other innovative approaches to primary care. Her interest in structural competency developed out of experiences as a health educator at a community clinic. Ariana is on the board of Integrative Medicine for the Underserved and the national steering committee for Hand in Hand: the Domestic Employers Network.

Cara McGuinness, CNM, MS

Financial Coordinator

Cara McGuinness CNM, MS, oversees SCWG’s finances. She joined the structural competency working group in 2018 on the heels of midwifery school – she was drawn to the structural lens that had been missing from her healthcare education. Cara is a nurse-midwife at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and teaches in UPenn's Nurse-Midwifery Program. She is a former Health Equity Education & Advocacy Fellow at the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Felix Pan, BS, RDN

Admin Coordinator

Felix works with external organizations to organize training sessions and has been with the team since 2019. After observing social inequities that arose in his surroundings, he decided to learn more about structural violence and structural competency. Felix aims to expand the structural competency framework to other fields of care to improve quality of care and empathy among clinicians and patients. He is currently a dietetic intern at the University of Maryland College Park dietetic internship.

Lea Marcotrigiano, MD, MPH


Leanne ("Lea") Marcotrigiano, MD, MPH is a family medicine physician at La Clinica de la Raza and an active SCWG member since 2018. She was introduced to Structural Competency in 2016 while part of the HEAL (Health, Equity, Action and Leadership) Initiative Global Health Equity Fellowship, where she witnessed, learned and practiced what it means to work in solidarity with others to promote wellness and provide equitable healthcare. Currently, Lea is engaged in implementing a trauma informed and resilience oriented care framework at La Clinica and became Level 1 Certified in Kingian Nonviolence in 2021. As part of the SCWG leadership team, Lea is focusing on organizational development and is an active trainer and consultant.

PIcture of Margaret Mary Downey

Margaret Mary Downey, PHD, MSW


Dr. Margaret Mary Downey is an Assistant Professor at Tulane University's School of Social Work, focusing on the social and structural determinants of health inequities, particularly those in reproductive and maternal health. Her research interests include health services; the role of health-related social workers as street-level bureaucrats; and structural competency, an emerging education paradigm that trains health professionals to understand the relationships among race, class, and embodiment of health inequities at the patient level symptom expression. Her current work uses critical ethnographic methods to examine how frontline health workers understand and intervene in racial and economic reproductive and maternal health inequities. She is an NIH BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health) scholar and a Tulane Committee on Research Fellow.

Structural Competency Facilitators

  • Alice Langford
  • Ariana Thompson-Lastad
  • Cara McGuinness
  • Cheryl Seymour
  • Cristina Gomez-Vidal
  • Margaret Mary B. Downey
  • Felix Pan
  • Jayinee Basu
  • Jen Mathews
  • Josh Neff
  • Katiana Carey-Simms
  • Kelly Knight
  • Laura G. Duncan
  • Lea Marcotrigiano
  • Lily Walkover
  • Deena Mallareddy
  • Michael Harvey
  • Nimish Saxena
  • Nicholas Nelson
  • Sara Neff
  • Seth Holmes
  • Shirley Strong
  • Chanda Williams