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Mayra Vega recently took over as Mayor of Woodland – a post held by City Councilor Tom Stallard last year – after the town’s annual rotation of mayors.

Vega was one of the newest members of the board and represented District 5 – the community of Spring Lake – for almost two years. She also works in the healthcare industry as a regional business development manager for Labcorp, a global life sciences company that brings together diagnostic testing and drug development, according to its website.

“The work I do is about strategies to meet community health needs from a health system perspective,” Vega noted of Labcorp. “I’ve been doing this for over 10 years working for Health Systems in Northern California.”

Vega said the pandemic has really changed the way health systems deliver care to patients and how they access their health care, which she views strongly as a representative of the city.

“I think of the families and individuals who lost their health insurance coverage because they lost their jobs,” she said. “The loss of access to Medicare has really put a lot of financial pressure on families. It has been a big challenge and something I often talk about is ensuring that communities have access to high quality health care is so vital to society and the economy.

Looking back on last year, Vega said he has seen many members of the community and organizations come together to support each other through initiatives supporting the town’s small businesses and restaurant community.

“For me, 2021 and the sense of community it sparked in all residents during this pandemic was something I’m so proud of,” she said. “I was so blessed to be able to see this from a city councilor’s perspective because I was able to see a large base of community members coming together to support each other. “

As mayor, Vega hopes to focus on completing the Woodland Research and Technology Park in 2022, which she says will help continue to modernize the town’s agricultural economy while providing residents with more opportunities to grow. ‘well-paying jobs without having to leave the community.

“I’m very excited to be able to create more diverse jobs that will be here locally,” she said.

However, she also stressed the importance of giving community members who have lived in Woodland for many years the opportunity to age in place, educate their children locally, and have good jobs ready for them when they come. will be great.

“I think a lot of Woodland’s history is so special and a lot of that includes families who have been here for generations,” she added. “The importance and responsibility that I feel as mayor now is to provide these employment and upward mobility opportunities to long-term residents. “

She mentioned the city’s cooperation with Woodland Community College to help develop programs – such as the Woodland Promise program – that prepare students for success and provide training in many different areas of work, which helps provide these opportunities.

Vega also stressed that she has recognized the needs of working families after the major disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to them, including stay-at-home orders, virtual learning and the lack of child care services. ‘children.

“One of the things that is going to be a challenge and an opportunity for us is to better support these families so that they can continue to work to support themselves,” said Vega. “I’m really looking to partner with community stakeholders to support these families so that we can have successful families in Woodland.”