Meet the Team
Board of Directors and Advisors
Founder and Chairperson
Evan Buxbaum MD MPH (he/him)
Evan Buxbaum is a board certified pediatrician and the founder of Sorrel Leaf Healing Center. A graduate of Duke University Medical School and the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Dr. Buxbaum has been practicing pediatrics for over 20 years, 11 of which were spent at Redwood Pediatrics in Fortuna, CA. As the child and adolescent mental health crisis worsened throughout California but especially in the underserved rural communities of the North Coast, he became increasingly aware of the lack of quality residential care for children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis. In 2020 he and a group of motivated healers and community members formed Sorrel Leaf Healing Center and received funding from the California Health Facilities Financing Administration, Providence Health, and local donors to create the North Coast’s first youth crisis residential care facility.
Rhiannon Cunningham (she/her)
After earning her Professional CA Fiduciary Agent's license in 2020, Rhiannon became Vice President of Family Fiduciary Services, Inc. in Eureka, specializing in Special Needs Trust Management. She was also elected to the Fortuna Elementary School Board in 2022. Born and raised in Humboldt County, Rhiannon has a deep devotion to helping her fellow Humboldt Citizens through donating & volunteering at many local community organizations. However, her heart is in Foster Care. Rhiannon, along with her husband Neal and two lovely daughters, became a foster family in 2017 and are advocates for the Humboldt County Forgotten Initiative, the Eureka Foster Care Center and our local Foster Care community. Rhiannon is very excited to join the founding members as Treasurer of the Sorrel Leaf Healing Center.
Constance Mitchell, PNP (she/her)
Constance earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice and her Masters of Nursing, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degrees from Oregon Health & Sciences University after completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Humboldt State University. Currently, she is a pediatric health care provider at Eureka Community Health Center-Pediatrics. Fundamental to her practice in working with children and families is a vision where all youth are valued and heard for exactly who they are, and where they receive the necessary resources and support to flourish. Her focus for her doctorate was the implementation of ACEs screening in pediatric primary care. Prior to her career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Constance worked as a Public Health Nurse for Child Welfare Services in the Emergency Response Unit in Humboldt County. She also served in Trinity County as a Public Health Nurse. Her areas of interest include health equity, mental health, children with special health care needs and addressing trauma in primary care. She is currently serving on the state's Children’s and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative equity task force and the Alliance for Children in Foster Care with the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Founding Board Member
Alex Childers (they/them)
Alex Childers (they/them) is a youth advocate and peer supporter. They draw from their lived experience in foster care, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and the mental health care system to support other people going through similar struggles as well as advocate for changes in these systems to better and more compassionately serve youth in Humboldt County. Some of their passions include facilitating an Alternatives to Suicide peer support group, learning new languages, and singing.
Ruby Bayan MD (she/her)
Dr. Bayan wanted to become a doctor to take care of the most broken children. She went to the University of the East for medical school and subsequently trained at the University of Southern California In Psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. These have allowed her to develop programs in both Adult and Child Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. She developed the Behavioral Health Department and created the Departments of Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine and Social Medicine in Bakersfield, CA. She retired after 25 years at Kaiser and came to Eureka 15 years ago to work at Humboldt County Mental Health. Five years ago, alongside John McManus, she built Humboldt County's only medical model recovery services now known as Waterfront Recovery Services. But she never forgot the children. She feels so blessed to be able to complete her “bucket list" in life by becoming part of Sorrel Leaf and to care for our children.
Advisory Board Member
Ashley Bradshaw (she/her)
Ashley Bradshaw is a Sorrel Leaf advisory board member and a local therapist serving at risk youth and adults .She first got connected with Sorrel Leaf during the heat of the pandemic while working for DHHS Bridges to Success providing mental health triage services, short term counseling and crisis responding in schools, navigating the barriers in our rural area through creativity, and collaborating with local agencies including Redwood Pediatrics where I first got the opportunity to team with Dr. Buxbaum and Constance. She saw first hand the impact the pandemic had on our local youth’s mental health and the impact of youth being sent out of area for mental health services that simply didn’t exist in Humboldt County, and she wanted to better the available support our youth. Today she feels blessed to be part of this awesome team and is looking forward to having a safe place for youth in Humboldt County to heal together.