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Leah Sanchez

Program Manager, Special Start program at the Alameda County Public Health Department

Leah Sanchez, RN, FNP-C, MPH is a nurse practitioner and serves as Program Manager for the Special Start program at the Alameda County Public Health Department.

Located within the Department of Maternal, Paternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Special Start is dedicated to the support of families caring for a premature or medically fragile baby after discharge from the NICU. Through intensive home visiting services, a multidisciplinary team works to address the medical, developmental, and social support needs of a select population of families who are facing intense psychosocial and environmental stressors while also navigating the special needs of caring for a medically fragile baby.

In her leadership role, Ms. Sanchez provides program development, clinical education and consultation, reflective supervision, and serves as a quality improvement champion. She aims to uplift the voices of her staff and use trauma-informed principles to support those doing the difficult work of caring for vulnerable families.

After receiving a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, Ms. Sanchez volunteered with the Peace Corps in central China. She then received a Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley, with a focus on community and population health. She also holds a Master of Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco, and is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She has several years of experience providing community-based primary care to diverse and under-resourced communities in a variety of settings, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and large hospital systems. Ms. Sanchez is passionate about bridging public health and health care to advance equity for vulnerable children, women, and families.