Staff

Aida Simonian, MSN, RNC-NIC, SCM, SRN

Chief Executive Officer


Ms. Simonian leverages her more than 40 years of maternal child health expertise and leadership skills to manage the work of PAC/LAC, in collaboration with the board and staff. Prior to joining PAC/LAC in 2012, Ms. Simonian served as a PAC/LAC board member for eleven years and as a PAC/LAC member since 1983. She received her nursing and midwifery training in England and has spent her career as a Registered Nurse and a Midwife, dedicated to Maternal Child Health, with a specialty in neonatal intensive care. Ms. Simonian received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing. Ms. Simonian enjoys spending her free time with her loving husband of more than 40 years and their son.

Carmen Rezak, MJ, MSN, RN, WHCNP-BC

Executive Director of Perinatal Quality Improvement and
South Coastal and East Los Angeles RPPC Manager


Ms. Rezak is a senior healthcare nurse leader with extensive expertise in Maternal-Child Health serving the greater Los Angeles area for over 30 years. She has worked as a Perinatal Nursing Specialist, a Director of Perinatal Services, and the Maternal-Child Health Project Coordinator for AHMC Health Care. She is considered a pioneer in leading hospitals to promote and support breastfeeding, resulting in the Baby Friendly designation at four hospitals; including the first hospital in Los Angeles County. Carmen is the past Board President for BreastfeedLA, and is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of women, infants and families through quality care, outreach and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding and best practices. Carmen received a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago and is a staunch advocate for quality care. In 2017, she co-founded the Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian Breastfeeding Task Force of LA County to improve education, and support the cultural needs of breastfeeding Asian American women. Her other passion is advocating and supporting women and families experiencing perinatal mood, anxiety and depression (PMADS) and is very focused on bridging the healthcare disparity gap.

Gayane Pakhanyan, BS

COO/Senior Program Manager


Mrs. Pakhanyan received her Bachelor’s in Health Administration from California State University, Northridge. Before joining PAC/LAC, she worked previously at Providence Saint Joseph. She has over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare field. During her free time she loves spending time with her family.

Pat Spier, BSN, RNC-OB, EFM-C

Program Manager, Southern Inland Counties RPPC

Pat Spier has extensive experience as a labor and delivery nurse, educator and clinical college instructor. She has taught fetal monitoring and high risk OB classes nationally and is an active member of AWHONN. Ms. Spier has experience teaching teamwork and communication using simulation learning. She was a legal nurse consultant from 1994 to 2020 and has taught risk reduction strategies to nurses and doctors throughout California. Pat’s passion is helping nurses and hospitals provide evidence-based, high quality perinatal care. Her hobbies are flying to Mexico to be a volunteer nurse, photography, travel and spending time with her grandchildren.

Donna Dichirico, RN

Perinatal Consultant


Donna Dichirico has over 40 years in health care, has a wealth of experience working in and with community organizations and hospitals. Donna’s health care journey has taken her to a variety of hospital-based leadership opportunities, as well as over 30 years as a Neonatal ICU RN. As a Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Counselor, Donna’s passion is to promote resilience and equitable care for hospital staff as well as the mothers and infants they serve. In her free time, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband and three adult children hosting barbecues for family and friends.

Varouj Shahbazian: RNC-NIC, C-NPT/ELBW, RRT

Perinatal Nurse Consultant


Mr. Shahbazian has more than 37 years of experience caring for the most vulnerable hospital patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As a practicing Registered Nurse and Respiratory Care Practitioner, he finds much joy in providing quality care for babies and their families. Mr. Shahbazian is certified in Neonatal pediatric transport, Extreme low birth weight, and Neonatal Intensive care through the National Certification Corporation. Additionally, he combines his interest in technology and patient care through health informatics in EHR application, serving as a credentialed trainer for EPIC, the electronic health record system. Mr. Shahbazian is the Providence St Joseph Health System Nursing Co-Chair for NB/NICU Clinical Decision Team and a Neonatology Board member for EPIC corporation.
Mr. Shahbazian joined the PAC/LAC team in 2014 as a Nurse Consultant, he facilitates quality improvement initiatives through RPPC site visits with hospitals throughout LA County. Mr. Shahbazian was honored in 2014 as the recipient of the William Ginsberg Integrity Award for his contributions to the perinatal community. He is a history enthusiast, travels throughout Europe’s wine countries, plays tennis, gardens, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and keeping up with his two active dogs.

Gabriela Santoyo, BS

Project Coordinator


Gabriela Santoyo received her Bachelor’s in Public Health from California State University, Northridge. Her role at PAC/LAC is program assistant. She represents PAC/LAC at various meetings, coordinates continuing education events, and works with program evaluation. She is happy to be a part of a company that provides resources for women and their families. She enjoys swimming, hanging out with her family and dog.