Pip Marks: Project Director
Pip attended her first parent support group meeting at Support for Families 31 years ago when her oldest son was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Prior to joining FVCA in March 2013, she was the Director of Education and Support for the Hydrocephalus Association for 18 years where she worked extensively with families and professionals affected by hydrocephalus. Pip’s son remains her guiding light in her work as she focuses on improving the lives of children and youth with special health care needs. A native New Zealander, she has lived in the Bay Area for over 38 years.
Elaine Linn: Training Manager
Elaine has spent nearly 25 years uniting national, statewide, and local nonprofit, community, public, and corporate partners in public health policy efforts. In her work helping nonprofit organizations achieve their advocacy goals, Elaine has collaborated with health care providers, academic institutions, patient advocacy organizations, patients and consumers, hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, in the areas of pharmacy, psychiatry, ophthalmology, and genetics, as well as diabetes, sepsis, social work, disability, and women’s and children’s health to engage communities, promote awareness, reduce stigma, and increase access to care.
Elaine is a public affairs consultant and the parent of two sons, including one who has Down syndrome and multiple related health conditions. She has worked with the California Children’s Hospital Association, conducting grassroots advocacy outreach and education related to the California Children’s Services program redesign and the ongoing federal health reform proposal. She serves as a member of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities Sacramento Regional Area Council, and as a member of the California and National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalitions. Elaine previously served as Chair of the American Diabetes Association Sacramento Mission Delivery Committee, and as a member of the UC Davis Health System Community Advisory Board. Elaine also co-founded the Down Syndrome Information Alliance in Sacramento and served on its Board of Directors for several years. She lives in Folsom with her husband and two sons.
Lilian Ansari: Family Engagement Manager
After earning her Master’s in psychology and counseling, Lilian Ansari spent 17 years working with various non-profits and public schools. She has been advocating for the needs of her own children as well as others with special health care needs for the past 10 years. She serves on the board of directors for Regional Center of the East Bay as well as the Developmental Disabilities Council. She is the Northern California Community Alliance chair for The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance as well as a special education parent mentor. Lilian serves as Family Voices of California’s family engagement manager, where she supports Project Leadership graduates and identifies opportunities for them to participate in advocacy activities at all levels of government and community. Originally from Iran, she now lives with her family in the East Bay.