April 23rd, 2021 was the YWCA Southern Arizona Stand Against Racism event:

From Declarations to Change: Racism as a Public Health Crisis.

The event consisted of a panel conversation led by a staff member, Liane Hernandez. Our board and staff thank all the attendees and panelists who took time out of their hectic schedules to get into a conversation about Pima County Resolution 2020-92.  A Resolution of the Pima County Board of Supervisors declaring Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities and Income Inequality in Pima County a Public Health Crisis.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to get into a conversation about this critical decision.

Follow this link to watch a playback of our event, recorded Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at noon (MST)

Here is a link to the resolution,  LINK


The panel consisted of:












Deanna is a well-experienced public health practitioner and healthcare provider. In 1984, Mz. Lewis made history as the first woman firefighter in the history of the Tucson Fire Department. Deanna’s access to ALL Tucsonans by responding to 9-1-1 calls, as a firefighter / EMT / Paramedic illuminated the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age, that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks (known as the social determinants of health). Her 20-year tenure in the fire service cultivated an indelible code for service, unabashed activism for primary prevention & harm reduction, and a passion for population health. Interested in reducing health disparities, Lewis’ focus has always been on medically under-served communities. In 2002, to address and increase access to healthcare services, Lewis co-founded the non-profit Dequenesh Community Health| a mobile health unit. In 2004, she graduated from Stanford University’s physician assistant program and had been a practicing physician assistant in Arizona for seventeen years; and currently works under the Department of Homeland Security.
She also has a Master’s in Business Administration from Eller and holds a Doctor of Public Health from the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Dr. Lewis is currently faculty at the University of Arizona and contracts with Pathways Health and Community Support to create new and innovative training for first responders dealing with increased stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Lovelis was born and raised in Pima County, AZ. In High School, Paul served on the Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress and the Metropolitan Education Commission. He later helped form the Task Force to Reduce Underage Drinking in Pima County. In 2006, Paul co-developed the Regional College Access Center underneath the Metropolitan Education Commission to help prepare youth for college. Paul works for Pima County Public Defense Services in charge of System and Operations, ensuring members of our community receive quality representation in criminal and civil matters. In his free time, Paul serves as the Chair of the Pima County/City of Tucson Metropolitan Education Commission, as well as the Pima County Community Substance-Misuse Prevention Coalition Chair.  He is also the President of the Project Management Institute – Tucson Chapter. Paul serves as a volunteer Magistrate and Teen-Attorney Coach for the Pima County Teen Court.
For fun, Paul spends time with his wife cooking and baking while listening to music, gardening, kayaking, and camping, and when they aren’t doing that, they discuss the next big change our community and world needs.

Jan Lesher joined Pima County in 2010 and has served as Chief Deputy County Administrator since March 2017.

Lesher returned to her hometown in 2010 after serving former Governor and Secretary Janet Napolitano since January 2003.

Lesher served Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano as Chief of Staff, overseeing the daily activities of the Agency’s 230,000 employees and $52 billion budget. Immediately before her move with the Secretary to Washington, DC, Lesher was the Governor’s Chief of Staff. Before being named to that position, Lesher served as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Born, raised, and educated in Tucson, her professional experience is extensive. Her history of community involvement is impressive, including service as a member of the Board of Directors of Arizona Town Hall, the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, the Community Food Bank, and La Frontera. She was named a Woman of Influence by Inside Tucson Business and recognized with the Women Who Lead award from the University of Arizona Women’s Studies Advisory Council in 2004. She was honored as the Metropolitan Tucson Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 2005. In 2008 she was the Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year in Public Policy and received the YWCA Business Leadership Award.



Betty Villegas is a third-generation native of Tucson, Arizona. Betty recently completed an interim term as the District 5 Supervisor on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, serving the late County Supervisor Richard Elias’ remaining time. As the county supervisor during the pandemic’s rise, she quickly identified the disparities and recommended several strategies to address them. Before the end of her term, Betty led the effort to pass a resolution, “Declaring Racism and Ethnic Health Inequities and Income Inequality in Pima County to be a Public Health Crisis.”She has extensive professional housing and community development experience as the Affordable Housing Program Manager for Pima County. Villegas brings more than 25 years of professional experience and service within the public and private sectors and has extensive experience working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)and other state and local housing departments. Before her local governmental service, she served as a management executive within the banking industry. Betty has extensive service, knowledge, and experience in housing and community development community service. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Arizona State Housing Commission and the Arizona Housing Alliance.

Dr. Terry Cullen, MD. MS. is a retired Rear Admiral, US Public Health Service, and former CIO with the Indian Health Service (IHS) who has led numerous large-scale software development and deployment initiatives. Under her leadershipRPMS — the health information technology (HIT) system for IHS — became the only certified HIT software suite within the federal government.  

Between 2012-2015, she was the Chief Medical Information Officer for the Veterans Health Administration. She oversaw the development of a new model for field/community involvement in HIT and expanded operations in interoperability/data sharing, standards and terminology, and informatics patient safety. 

Dr. Cullen has developed population health IT software suites, including electronic clinical quality measures and health capabilities at the point of care. More recently, she led the utilization of appropriate technology to meet identified clinical needs and improve health outcomes with Regenstrief Institute.  Terry is currently the Health Director for Pima County, Arizona.