NEWS // April 7, 2016

HHSA South Region Celebrates the first ever “Vive Bien México” Designation in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

The first international designation for Live Well San Diego took place on Thursday April 7, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the Centro de Rehabilitación e Inclusión Infantil Teletón Baja California (CRIT Baja California). It was a cold rainy day in Tijuana but that didn’t dampen the energy of such a momentous event that coincided with World Health Day. Dr. Héctor Zepeda Cisneros, Public Health Officer, City of Tijuana Department of Health and delegate to the Border Health Commission, Baja California welcomed everyone including guest speakers Chairman Ron Roberts, County of San Diego Board of Supervisors, Barbara Jiménez, Director, Central & South Regions, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Bonnie Preston, Senior Policy and Outreach Specialist from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region IX, Dr. Gudelia Rangel Gómez, Executive Secretary of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section and Dr. Alfonso Valenzuela Espinoza, Head of Pathology, Tijuana General Hospital.

Ms. Preston spoke about the work that her region has done to reduce health disparities and applauded the County of San Diego and the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section for the work they have been doing to improve the lives of its residents. Ms. Jiménez then took the podium and provided an overview of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision. Ms. Jiménez stated that binational, county-wide action is needed to improve the health of all residents and said, “The collective impact is what makes communities thrive.” She thanked the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section for their efforts in improving health in their communities and for supporting the Live Well San Diego vision.” Ms. Jiménez then introduced Chairman Ron Roberts, to present the Live Well designation to the Commission.

Chairman Roberts said he felt honored to be at CRIT Baja California and that it was a very special place because it is dedicated to the children of Tijuana. Chairman Roberts emphasized his passion for improving the public’s health and the importance of empowering individuals to improve their own health. It was at this time that Chairman Roberts unveiled the Vive Bien México logo for the first time and it was received with great applause by those in attendance. Chairman Roberts stated that working across borders is critical for the binational population, and that the collaborative effort of the County of San Diego and Mexico has helped to make campaigns such as “Love Your Heart” a major success. Shortly after, Chairman Roberts presented the proclamation, and officially designated the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section as the first Vive Bien México partner.

Dr. Gudelia Rangel Gómez then took the stage to thank the County of San Diego for awarding the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section, the first International Vive Bien México designation.  She thanked the County of San Diego for working hard to improve health not only in the U.S. but also in Mexico. She explained that Frontera Saludable 2020, an initiative focused on prevention and health promotion by the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, has provided a framework for public organizations to improve the border health. She shared commitments for ongoing efforts such as the expansion of “Love Your Heart”, and continuing to develop future leaders through the Leaders Across Borders Program. She also stated that the U.S. and Mexico can learn a lot from each other through their collaborative efforts. Dr. Gudelia and Rangel Gómez concluded by stating that the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission is committed to improving border health and providing the support necessary to see the binational population thrive.

For the final presentation, Ms. Jiménez provided background of the “Love Your Heart” campaign, including Chairman Roberts having championed the effort.  She discussed the progress of the “Love Your Heart” campaign since its inception in 2011, and the success of the first ever “Love Your Heart” campaign in Mexico, Ama tu Corazón in 2015. The binational collaboration resulted in blood pressure screenings in Tijuana, Rosarito, and Tecate. In 2016, the “Love Your Heart” campaign expanded to the six Border States in Mexico. In Mexico alone, over 13,700 blood pressure screenings took place. Ms. Jiménez then presented the “Love Your Heart 2016” recognition awards to members of the Planning Committee in Mexico, and the event concluded with a guided tour of the facility.