Maritza Lara’s passion for social justice and healthcare was shaped in Ecuador at a young age. From her family's balcony she observed how economic inequalities became healthcare disparities. Maritza holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Utah and a Master’s in Health-Care Leadership from UC Davis. Prior to joining the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County, Maritza served as a Sacramento County Adult and Aging Commissioner and as the Workshop and Leadership Development Coordinator with Partners in Transforming Community Health (PITCH) at UC Davis. Maritza is committed to the creation of effective health systems, healthy communities, and the implementation of transformative research. In her free time, Maritza enjoys dancing, reading, and writing poetry.