SACRAMENTO—Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) announced Alena Wall of Santa Rosa as the second Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.
“When Alena’s name came up many times over as leading the fight in Sonoma County to defeat chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease,” said Wood, “I knew she deserved to be recognized.”
Alena joined Sonoma County’s Center for Well-Being as Executive Director in 2007 when it was suffering financially and on borrowed time. Today, its operating budget is solid and serves 20,000 community members every year. Its cardiac rehabilitation facility, HeartWorks, is the most impressive one of its kind north of San Francisco. The Center for Well-Being has also added a community-based prevention division that effectively uses promotores to work within the community to help patients navigate the system and educate people about good health. The Center’s promotores are trained to educate their own neighbors, especially hard-to-reach residents, about diabetes, obesity, tobacco and more.
“I am so thankful for this recognition from Assembly member Jim Wood, a true leader in health himself,” said Alena. “The mission of the Center for Well-Being is accomplished through our incredible team of healthcare experts, our Board of Directors, our teen peer health educators, and our volunteer Promotores de Salud. I am deeply grateful that our work is getting this level of recognition and I am honored to accept this award as a tribute to the team I am fortunate to be part of.”
Alena is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and completed her masters in Holistic Health Education. She serves as chair on the Steering Committee Sonoma Health Action, is a Health Action Council member, a member of the Committee for Healthcare Improvement, and is active through the Hearts of Sonoma committee which is committed to reducing heart attacks and strokes in Sonoma County.
“As a health care provider myself,” said Wood, “I know how important prevention is and am encouraged when leaders like Alena, and the Center, understand what a difference it can make in helping people recognize the importance of being healthy and making healthy choices.”