- Felicia Matlosz
FRESNO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) has chosen Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner, co-director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, as Woman of the Year for the 31st Assembly District.
The honor is part of the annual recognition by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus of women who are making a positive impact in their communities. The honorees are announced in March, which is Women’s History Month.
Dr. Pacheco-Werner is an acknowledged leader in research and policy efforts regarding the environmental effects of neighborhoods on health. Her work has included studying the effects of air quality on maternal-child health as well as the relationship between air quality mitigation and residential segregation. Her expertise is especially relevant in the 31st Assembly District, which includes some of the poorest and most disadvantaged neighborhoods in California.
Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Pacheco-Werner to the California Air Resources Board in 2020. She also serves on the board for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and has been a member of the American Public Health Association’s Latino Caucus for Public Health.
Dr. Pacheco-Werner also is the co-creator of the COVID-19 Equity Project in Fresno County. The project uses a community health worker model and leverages partnerships with local medical partners and government agencies to provide a comprehensive pandemic response to the most vulnerable. She also is part of the executive committee for the Fresno economic equity initiative called DRIVE, which stands for Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy.
Assemblymember Arambula said: “Dr. Pacheco-Werner is an exceptional leader in a field that needs her expertise, knowledge, and insight. She cares deeply about our region and knows its intricacies because she grew up in the Central Valley and makes it her home. I deeply appreciate her commitment and advocacy to address the environmental and health challenges in our region that impact every aspect of life, especially in our minority and disadvantaged communities.”
Dr. Pacheco-Werner said: “Receiving this recognition is so important for me because I know that any recognition I get is also for my family, community partners, and mentors who help make my work impactful. I am proud to live in this district and proud of the community work that is focused on healthy neighborhoods that we have built together.”
Dr. Pacheco-Werner is a Mexican immigrant who was raised in the central San Joaquin Valley. She is a medical sociologist by training and received her Ph.D in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco. She lives with her husband and son in Sanger in Fresno County.