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Made in the 956: Valley woman gets accepted into White House Fellows Program

3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Tuesday, October 18 2022 Oct 18, 2022 October 18, 2022 9:24 AM October 18, 2022 in News - Made in the 956

A Valley woman recently got an opportunity of a lifetime.

Vanessa Cobarrubias got accepted to the White House Fellows Program.

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The program is a non-partisan position, and Cobarrubias is now serving as a voice for the Valley in Washington, D.C. 

Cobarrubias works in the health care industry as a physician's assistant.

"I began my career in the ER," Cobarrubias said. "Then the pandemic hit, and after that I went to the COVID-19 hospital in El Paso, Texas."

Cobarrubias came back to the Valley during the pandemic to help infuse patients with the monoclonal antibody treatment.

"You know, growing up in the Valley, you know," Cobarrubias said. "And you're well-aware that we are under resourced and under-served."

A problem, Cobarrubias said, was made more apparent during the pandemic. 

"Cameron County did an absolutely wonderful job in joining forces, from Judge Trevino to Dr. Castillo to the EOC's actually the one who brought down the monoclonal antibodies to all the hospitals," Cobarrubias said. "They joined together and said, 'we're going to go ahead and get this done'. Dr. Michael Muniz is my pharmacist business partner, and he always had access to the monoclonal antibody, and he said 'hey we have to go,' so we just decided we were going to start infusing people. We didn't know if we were ever going to get paid, but that wasn't important. What was important is that we were in a pandemic and people needed to be served."

Now, Cobarrubias voice for the Valley is in Washington, D.C.

"The White House Fellows Program is a year-long fellowship, in DC, where you learn federal policy," Cobarrubias said  "It was created by Lydon B. Johnson and John Gardner, and they really just wanted to bring people that are in their own profession, in their own communities, into the federal government, so you can learn about it for a year with hopes that you go back and take your knowledge, and you help your community in the areas that it needs help."

Fellowships are awarded on a non-partisan basis.

"I'm with the Office of the First Lady and Department of Health and Human Services," Cobarrubias said. "I actually have two placements, which is kind of uncommon, but it's really important because I'm doing the Cancer Moonshot Initiative."

That initiative to join forces in finding a cure for cancer, all while shining a light on the Valley's needs.

Vanessa Cobarrubias - Made in the 956. 

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