SAN DIEGO–Ensuring school children have access to healthy meals; promoting physical activity and improved nutrition; providing free surgeries and colonoscopies to uninsured adults. These are just a few of the significant health improvements accomplished by organizations and people in our region.
Sixteen individuals, organizations and government agencies were honored by the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) at the 11th annual Public Health Champion Awards ceremony today. The Public Health Champion Awards are a component ofLive Well, San Diego! initiative, the County’s 10-year plan to improve the health and safety of local residents and communities.
“These organizations and individuals are working hard to make our communities safer and healthier,” said Chairman Ron Roberts, County Board of Supervisors. “San Diego County is well-known for its collaborative efforts and these partners are proof of that.”
The awards reflect achievements related to the 2012 National Public Health Week theme: A Healthier America Begins Today. Join the Movement!
“It is an honor to recognize the extraordinary achievements of these individuals and organizations,” said Nick Macchione, HHSA Director. “They have made lifelong commitments to educate our residents to make healthier lifestyle choices and create a safe environment, which help prevent disease,injury and disability.”
The 2012 Public Health Champions Award recipients are:
Theme Award: Daniel Stonewall Anderson, M.D.
Dr. Anderson is a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. His many achievements include efforts to provide free surgeries and colonoscopies to uninsured adults in our community. He has worked as a medical care provider since 1973.
Individual Award: Mary Caffery, R.N., M.S.N.
For the past 21 years, Caffery has coordinated all of the medical care, clinical research, patient education, counseling, case management, peer advocacy and support services for the UCSD Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV Program.
Organization Award: Vista Community Clinic (VCC)
VCC providers served more than 56,000 patients in 238,000 visits in 2011. Established in 1972, VCC provides a comprehensive array of primary health care and health education services in North County.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) San Diego – Central Region
For over 37 years, IRC San Diego has given refugees the skills and services they need to succeed. IRC San Diego has resettled more than 24,000 refugees from 29 countries. IRC partnered with UCSD to expand the Fresh Fund Program at farmers’ markets to promote healthy eating among low-income families, while also increasing revenue for local farmers.
Wendy Hileman – East Region
Hileman is the president and principal researcher of Healthy Adventures Foundation (HAF), which provides education services such as fitness and healthy cooking classes, tobacco prevention, positive body image workshops, health fairs and campouts. Through partnerships with County agencies, Hileman and HAF work to provide employee wellness programs for 42 (school districts?) districts in the Southern California region.
Sandra Simmer – North Central Region
Simmer works as a San Diego Healthy Start Coordinator for Social Advocates for Youth. She has helped families in San Diego County by planning, and implementing health education and social service programs for 35 years.
John Lundblad – North Coastal Region
Lundblad is the Student Support Services Specialist at Carlsbad Unified School District. Lundblad helps to develop and manage student health programs, including programs that address the school dropout rates among Latino males, substance abuse and the importance of making good lifestyle choices.
Valerie Knox – North Inland Region
Knox is the Community Partnerships Coordinator for the Office of Community Service Learning at California State University, San Marcos. She is being honored for creating a resource fair for North County’s homeless people and coordinating town hall meetings that assess regional resources and needs related to food security, mental and physical health, education, housing/shelter and financial literacy.
Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) – South Region
CVESD serves 27,400 students in Chula Vista, Bonita, Sunnyside and South San Diego. Recent accomplishments include implementing the Healthy Eating Active program, which aims to reduce childhood obesity; mentoring other school districts to develop school wellness policies; and partnering with WalkSan Diego to provide Safe Routes to School workshops to students, school staff and parents.
Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) – Aging and Independence Services
Established in 1974, UPAC is a comprehensive health and human services organization which addresses social, psychological, physical and economic needs of Asian, Pacific Islander and other ethnic communities.
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
UCSD’s Division of Child Development and Community Health has been an integral partner in obesity prevention efforts for more than a decade. Under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, UCSD has been responsible for implementing six nutrition-focused interventions to make policy, systems and environmental changes.
Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP)
CHIP is a collaboration of San Diego health care systems, hospitals, community clinics, insurers, physicians, universities, community-based organizations and the County. CHIP administers the Resident Leadership Academy, designed to empower area residents to improve their communities. Approximately 51 graduates of the academy have created community improvement plans and other projects to support increased physical activity and improved nutrition in Southeast San Diego, Lemon Grove, National City and Oceanside.
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
As the metropolitan planning organization for San Diego County, SANDAG makes far-reaching regional transportation and land use decisions that shape the way County residents live. Through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, SANDAG has been responsible for implementing six interventions related to regional planning, active transportation and safe routes to school.
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
SDCOE is the regional government entity providing coordination and training for all 42 public school districts in the county. Through theCommunities Putting Prevention to Workprogram, SDCOE partnered with eight school districts to act as pioneers in developing new practices that will lead to healthier students. The Breakfast in the Classroom program ensures each student starts the day with a free, healthy breakfast. Their farm-to-school program connects local farms to the district and provides farm-fresh produce to the schools.
San Diego State University (SDSU)
SDSU’s Institute for Public Health (IPH) is the evaluation contractor for HHSA’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. The evaluation team consists of four evaluators, each focused on a specific area of the program: healthy places, healthy foods, healthy schools and the overall project. The IPH produced a comprehensive evaluation plan to cover all major aspects of the project with both qualitative and quantitative assessments.
The Right Care Initiative (IRC)
The RCI’s objective is to improve clinical outcomes through enhancing the practice of patient-centered, evidenced-based medicine. With an expert-based, public-private collaborative, the RCI focuses on cardiovascular disease, with particular emphasis on hypertension; diabetes, with particular emphasis on heart attack and stroke prevention; and hospital-acquired infections.