Costa Honors Fresno Doctor as Virtual Guest to Presidential Address

Apr 28, 2021
Press Release

(FRESNO) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) is uplifting UCSF-Fresno Doctor Kenny Banh as his virtual guest to President Biden’s Joint Address on Wednesday. Dr. Banh has been instrumental in providing COVID-19 testing and vaccines to Fresno County’s most underserved and disproportionately impacted communities. 

The Joint Address, which is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marks 100 days into the President’s first term. In the past, Members of Congress have often invited constituents to join them as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Rep. Costa said inviting Dr. Banh as his virtual guest is an important way to honor his work to help save lives:

“Front-line medical professionals like Dr. Banh are the true heroes of our fight against COVID-19,” said Costa. “President Biden acted swiftly to address this crisis in his first 100 days in office. Those efforts have meant people like Dr. Banh – and his work with UCSF-Fresno – were able to provide testing and vaccines to our most vulnerable and hard-hit communities. A robust plan to fight this disease and solid partnerships with community health organizations shows that the government really can deliver for its people.”

Using federal funding passed through the City of Fresno, UCSF-Fresno, a regional campus of the UCSF School of Medicine, provided free COVID-19 testing to underserved populations and diverse populations disproportionately sickened and hospitalized by the coronavirus. Working with community-based organizations, UCSF-Fresno created a mobile and no-appointment model of service, eliminating barriers to access for the public.

UCSF Fresno’s COVID-19 Equity Project gave more than 24,000 COVID-19 tests, with 80% of those tested from diverse populations, and administered more than 20,000 vaccines, 70% of which went to those from diverse populations.

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“UCSF Fresno is committed to improving the health of California’s San Joaquin Valley, a medically under-resourced region of California, and the COVID-19 Equity Project helps us fulfill this commitment to our community. Thanks to federal funding through the County of Fresno, UCSF is continuing low-barrier vaccinations for the community” - Dr. Kenny Banh, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, UCSF Fresno