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Published on November 07, 2023
Reno Physician Dr. Tanya Phares Appointed as New Sonoma County Health OfficerSource: County of Sonoma

Dr. Tanya Phares, a renowned physician from Reno, Nevada, is appointed as the new health officer of Sonoma County. Taking up the position on November 14, she replaces interim health officer Dr. Karen Smith who has been serving since August, per the announcement by the County of Sonoma today.

Presently a preventative medicine consultant in Reno, Dr. Phares held positions earlier as the chief medical officer for St. Mary’s Health Network, a health plan’s chief medical director, and a medical director of a vaccine clinic. All these roles were fulfilled in Nevada, her home state.

In choosing Dr. Phares, Tina Rivera, Department of Health Services Director, explained her confidence following a nationwide search. Dr. Phares will leverage her broad experience in managing Sonoma County's public health challenges, enforcing health regulations, and advising various stakeholders on health and safety.

The role of the health officer includes significant authority and responsibility as the county's chief medical officer and chief health policy official. The position is authorized to declare public health emergencies, issue health orders, and penalize noncompliance.

Touting an impressive professional and academic background, Dr. Phares holds a medical degree from the Western University of Health Sciences. Her completed residencies range from internal medicine at the University of California, Irvine, to preventive medicine with the California Department of Public Health. Additionally, she holds a master's degree from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and has completed a research fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Undeniably, the health officer role will significantly benefit Sonoma County residents as Dr. Phares applies her extensive expertise to address emerging public health challenges and navigate health regulations and compliance complexities.