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Vanessa Zapata

Director of Health Policy and Equity

Vanessa is the Director of Health Policy and Equity at the Tennessee Justice Center. Vanessa started at TJC as a legal intern while in law school, and then served as Vanderbilt’s George Barrett Social Justice Legal Fellow. As a Staff Attorney, Vanessa provides direct legal services to low income Tennesseans who face challenges to accessing the public benefits to which they are entitled, by representing them through the administrative process and litigation. Vanessa’s practice in public benefits law is focused on nutrition and healthcare. As the Director of Health Policy and Equity, Vanessa provides legal advice by interpreting current and proposed laws and regulations impacting TJC's clients, and crafts legal strategies to promote health equity, strengthen and expand the availability of healthcare, and remove barriers that prevent TJC clients from accessing safety net programs in Tennessee.

Vanessa has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. She was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 2019 and was admitted to the New York bar in 2022.

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