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Department of Health Services

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County names Dr. Tanya Phares of Nevada as health officer

SANTA ROSA, CA | November 07, 2023

Dr. Tanya Phares, an experienced physician executive from Reno, Nevada, who has held several leadership roles in health care, was appointed Sonoma County’s new health officer today by the Board of Supervisors.

Currently a preventative medicine consultant based in Reno, Dr. Phares has served as chief medical officer for St. Mary’s Health Network, chief medical director of a health plan and medical director for a vaccine clinic in Nevada.

Department of Health Services Director Tina Rivera said Dr. Phares emerged as the top candidate after a nationwide search.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Phares has demonstrated excellent leadership in the health care industry,” Rivera said. “She will be able to immediately dive into our public health challenges, including protecting public health, enforcing health regulations, and advising elected officials, members of the medical profession, and the public on matters affecting health and safety.”

Dr. Phares, who will begin serving as Sonoma County health officer on November 14, will succeed Dr. Karen Smith, who has served as interim health officer since August.

The health officer serves as the chief medical officer and top health policy official for the county. They are granted authority from the state to declare public health emergencies, issue health orders and impose penalties for noncompliance.

Dr. Phares earned her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences and completed an internal medicine residency at University of California, Irvine, and a preventive medicine residency with the California Department of Public Health. She received a master’s degree in public health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and completed a research fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Media Contact: 
Matt Brown, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403