The California Wellness Foundation is proud to present its 2013 Champions of Health Professions Diversity awardees. Each receives a cash award of $25,000 as an acknowledgment of their commitment to increasing California’s health care workforce and its diversity.
As an educator, Sora Park Tanjasiri guides her students, particularly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (APIs), to become health professionals in order to address health disparities documented by her extensive research. Professor of health science and director of the Health Promotion Research Institute at California State University, Fullerton, Tanjasiri believes that to overcome health disparities, APIs must be involved in every level of research, prevention and treatment. She trains her students to develop community-based research programs, navigate health care systems and advocate for policy changes in health care.
For almost two decades, Kevin D. Williams has advocated for improved health outcomes via directing youth programs, serving on boards, and mentoring and advising students and health professionals. He is currently the associate director of Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), a community-based nonprofit organization for at-risk youth and young adults that operates 27 programs providing academic support, job readiness- and counseling services. Williams also provides direction to graduate-level students at the School of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley (UCB) interning in underserved communities.
The late Dr. Antronette “Toni” Yancey was nationally recognized for her program Instant Recess®, which addresses the nation’s obesity epidemic, and devoted her career to eliminating health disparities and improving the health of vulnerable populations. Yancey taught and mentored graduate students from underrepresented minority populations in health-related studies; served in the public health sector; and was a researcher, poet/spoken word artist and activist. Most recently, Yancey served as a professor in the department of health services at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and co-director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity.