Joanne Wellman retired in 2017 after working 27 years as a health educator. Her first career was as a dental hygienist, and practiced for 13 years. She then went on to obtain her Master’s in Public Health in 1990, where her dental background gave her the opportunity to work in the dental public health field for 10 years for both the Dental Health Foundation and the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH).
In 2000 she began working for the Tobacco Control Section for CDPH, where she was the lead on secondhand smoke-related issues. She also worked for the CA Cancer Registry and the Every Woman Counts program, which provided free breast and cervical screenings to low-income women. This program also housed the CA Colorectal Cancer Control Program where she did in-kind work, and where she gained first-hand experience about colorectal cancer and how to prevent it.
Her final three years of working for state service was at the CA Department of Health Care Services, where she worked for the Medi-Cal Managed Care Program. However, it was the diagnosis of a tumor in her small intestine in 2011, discovered through a colonoscopy while working for the CA Cancer Registry, that made her a strong advocate for raising awareness about colon cancer prevention and screening. She has raised thousands of dollars for the annual Sacramento Undy Run/Walk, and helped to plan this event in 2018 and 2019.
Since her retirement, she has served on several cancer and tobacco control-related boards and coalitions, and currently is the secretary of C4.
Joanne has no conflicts of interest or other disclosures.