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USF’s Hero in Health Care


Family and friends of Debbie Zamora (fourth from left, front row) showed off their “Like” t-shirts in support of Zamora’s 2011 community food drive.

Debbie Zamora, an adjunct professor for the School of Nursing and Health Professions at USF’s Fresno branch campus and a student in USF’s doctor of nursing practice program, was recently honored with a Heroes in HealthCare award for her efforts to feed Fresno’s hungry.

The annual award, created by Business Street Online, an online publication that covers business news in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Madera counties, recognizes six individuals working in the health care industry who make special contributions to their communities during the year in the categories of physician, nurse, health care professional, innovator, volunteer, and emergency responder.

Zamora took home the prize for nurses.

She was recognized for her collection of more than $11,000 and six tons of food in 12 hours for Fresno’s Community Food Bank. She enlisted help from the local media and 500 Facebook friends in the effort. It was the largest food and fund drive in the food bank’s 19-year history. Fresno has the highest food hardship rating in the nation, according to a 2010 study by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

“Knowing that for every dollar raised approximately eight dollars of food could be purchased by the Community Food Bank, it was important for us to bring in the money,” Zamora said, noting that food banks are able to multiply their purchasing power by buying in bulk and at highly discounted prices. “It was a day when Fresno came together for the common good — a day I will never forget.”

Zamora was recognized at the Heroes in HealthCare awards gala in Fresno on Nov. 3 along with five other award winners.  

Written by Kathleen de Lara »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews