Orange County NAPNAP Chapter
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Member Highlights!

Posted 8 months ago

We have two members of OC-NAPNAP who we’ll highlight in this newsletter.  The first is our very own OC-NAPNAP Legislative Chair, MELANIE BALESTRA.  As many of you know, Melanie is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and an Attorney in her own legal practice.  

Melanie focuses on laws that affect healthcare providers and facilities, whether it be billing, coding, compliance, or risk management. She represents health care providers in disciplinary actions and sets up practices that meet all regulations for nurse practitioners, physicians, physical therapists and other health care providers. She has been a nurse practitioner for over thirty years and a lawyer for over twenty years. This unique combination enables her to view health care from multiple venues. She has recently decided to go back to her own private practice in order to focus more on health care specialty areas.  Melanie is a graduate of Duke University, UCLA, and Gonzaga Law School.  She works as a PNP at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic while having her full-time legal practice.

Melanie has traveled widely to volunteer and provide care in Nambia, Cambodia and China.  

Recently, she has published a book about her insights after her daughter, Leah, died by suicide.  According to one reviewer, “This [is this] mother’s heart-wrenching account of a beloved daughter's pain and struggle with mental conditions and her own efforts to help at every step of the way.”  Not one to shy away from a difficult situation, Melanie has opened up in an effort to help other parents—just as part of her role as a PNP is to help parents with their children.  Melanie’s book is:  Suicide: A Mother’s Journey through Her Child’s Pain, available on Amazon.

Our second member in this highlight is STEPHANIE LEWIS.  Stephanie is a PNP running for the School Board in Rialto, California.  Rialto Unified School District has more than 26,000 students and has 3800 staff and is located in San Bernardino County.  Stephanie is running on several issues: 

-Creating a culture where parents, students, teachers and administrators collaborate to develop an inclusive learning environment for academic excellence.

-Redesigning school policies, practices, and systems for Kindergarten through high school to promote equality.

-Closing the digital divide and inequality among students with special needs and accommodations.  

You can visit Stephanie’s website here: or look her up on her Facebook page:

Stephanie Lewis for Rialto Unified School District Governing Board 2020.  We wish her well!!

This is our first posting of member highlights.  If you know of a member you'd like to see highlighted, please use the 'Contact Us' in the menu to the left to let us know!