Public Health Week 2022

2022 Touro University California Public Health Program Hero Awards

In conjunction with National Public Health Week, the Public Health Hero Awards were established in 2007 to honor students, alumni, faculty, and community members who demonstrate outstanding leadership on public health issues, community service and public health research. We recognize these individuals for activities which support the TUC Public Health Program’s vision for reducing health inequities and improving the health conditions of underserved communities. 

In keeping with the American Public Health Association’s theme for 2022 National Public Health Week “Public Health is Where You Are, please join the Public Health Program in honoring those who are helping to make our communities healthy places to live.

Timothy Kim

Student Hero Timothy Kim, MPHc, DOc, Class of 2022 (Community Health) founded the non-profit indoor vertical farm project Pharm Fresh to help alleviate the food desert in our local community. Tim created novel growing kits that allow families to not only grow fresh produce at home, but also learn about nutrition and wellness. He has partnered with multiple local community organizations to promote health education, nutrition awareness and fresh produce provision. Tim has researched the public health effects of the program as well as demographical data of Mare Island residents.

Genesis Fabian

Student Hero Genesis Fabian, MPHc, Class of 2023 (Global Health) has worked with dedication and creativity as a core member of the Public Health Program’s Youth in Action for Health Equity team taking a significant role in developing strategies that maximize youth engagement in project implementation. Her leadership style fosters collaboration of all the team members. Genesis is now focused on assisting the team and high school participants to use the project’s data to develop interactive learning activities and research abstracts for APHA.

Patrick Roach

Student Hero Patrick Roach, MPHc, DOc, Class of 2024 demonstrates his passion for equity and justice through his involvement in the Health Equity and Criminal Justice concentration. Patrick gave testimony at the California Medical Association meeting in October of 2021 on behalf of the Medical Student Section supporting the adoption of the resolution “Major Issue A: Racism and Other Barriers to Health Equity.” He is an example of and model for Public Health leadership.


Amy Vang

Alumna Hero Amy Vang, MPH, Class of 2020 has become a statewide public health leader in the area of food justice working with California’s Social Service Program. She remains dedicated to "giving back" to our Public Health Program and to the Youth in Action for Health Program through guest lectures and presentations. Amy is an inspiring example of our mission to support students who become public health leaders who are from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds. She persisted in gaining the skills and confidence to go on to make a major difference in opportunities for health for communities of need throughout California.

Nemesia Kelly

Faculty Hero Nemesia Kelly, MPH is the Chair of the Health Equity & Criminal Justice Concentration and the Public Health Field Study Coordinator. She is a faculty hero in her efforts to develop and implement strategies to support excellent field study opportunities for our MPH students. Nemesia has developed relationships with community preceptors based on her deep respect and understanding for the importance of their crucial role as part of the MPH program. In addition, Nemesia has been the heart and soul of developing the new Health Equity and Criminal Justice Concentration. She has engaged community partners from a wide range of backgrounds and settings including exonorees, researchers and academicians.  Her leadership in teaching, student mentoring and partnering with community leaders is responsible for the dynamic and innovative approach of this program. Nemesia also has a vital leadership role in shepherding the Public Health Program through its accreditation process.

Ken Szutu

Community Hero Ken Szutu is the founder and chair of the Vallejo Citizen Air Monitoring Network and has worked tirelessly for local air quality and community health. Without any public health or advocacy training, Ken's down-to-earth nature has enabled him to engage and connect with all different members of our Vallejo community. Through his activism and steadfast commitment, he has been an advocate for all of their voices: building partnerships, convening stakeholders, researching new technologies, and spearheading the installation of real-time air quality monitors throughout Vallejo.

Kim DeOcampo

Community Hero Kim DeOcampo - Tuolumne Mewuk, Houma-Choctaw, African American - grew up in Vallejo and has worked extensively in the Native Community for over 35 years.  She sits on the Board of Directors of the indigenous woman-lead Sogorea Te’ Land Trust which addresses food justice, land back movements and climate change and is director of the Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes project. Her advocacy includes working to remove dehumanizing Indian imagery in public schools and sports, addressing historical trauma and missing and murdered indigenous women, and trauma caused by police sponsored violence.  Kim is a member of Solano County’s Behavioral Health Diversity and Equity Committee and the Solano County Diabetes Coalition. Through her work for the California Tribal TANF Partnership, she provides resources and training for Native people in Solano County.  As a member of the Public Health Program’s Community Advisory Council, Kim shares her vision for equity and justice for all our communities.  

Siyan Yi

Global Hero Siyan Yi, MD, PhD is the Director of the KHANA Center for Population Health Research in Cambodia where he has worked tirelessly for people to have equitable access to quality HIV and health services, and sustainable development opportunities. As a partner with TUC’s Public Health Program, he has overseen the service and research projects of MPH students during their field study experiences in Cambodia.

(Check out our 2021 Heroes here)