Dr. Faustina Nevarez, was born in Mexico in 1952. The eldest of a family of 6, her parents immigrated to Northern California to a small farming town where she attended public schools. The daughter of farmworkers, summers were often spent harvesting tomatoes, plums and working the fields.
She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California at Davis in 1975. During her four years, she founded and chaired CHE, a Chicano premed organization and also worked with the UC Davis Medical school to help found “Clinica Tepati” a student run free for underserved populations in Sacramento. It continues to be the longest standing student run free clinic in the nation. During the summers she worked with the Medi-corp program to bring in undergraduate pre-med students to work and live in the migrant farm labor camps as healthcare advocates.
She entered the University of California at San Francisco in 1975 and graduated in 1979. While in medical school she met and married Dr. Frank Meza and gave birth to 2 children, Francisco and Lorena. Her activities to encourage and support fellow students continued and together with her husband, Frank, formed and the national student medical organization now known as LMSA. (Latino Medical Student Association).
Her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology was completed in Los Angeles at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. During her residency she won the Holstrom Research Award for original work, published in the American Journal of OB/GYN.
Her professional life after residency has been centered at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center where she practices Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is active in teaching young doctors in OB/GYN and Family Practice for the last 30+ years.
During this time, she completed 12 years as Chief of the Department in OBGYN and 6 years as the Regional Coordinating Chief for the Southern California Region of Kaiser Permanente OB/GYN Service.
As a Partner in the medical group, she was elected to the Board of Directors and served for 15 years.
Today she continues to practice and teach OB/GYN at the Los Angeles Medical center. She is grandmother to Sebastian 3 and Amalia 2.
Commenting on mentors she says, “Mentors are people who guide us with experience and knowledge. We find our mentors and role models in people we respect and people we want to emulate. Their influence allows us to proceed in an otherwise unfamiliar path. My life has been interesting and full both personally and professionally. I am grateful to all my mentors. They are many. I am honored to be called a mentor.”