Local businesses and organizations are providing services and hosting activities that support and promote wellness for all individuals and families. Cultivating health for all ages involves making healthy choices accessible by mobilizing nutritious foods, creating opportunities for physical activity, and raising awareness and knowledge to improve disease prevention. This results in improved trends for Life Expectancy and Quality of Life for all San Diegans and helps residents live life to their fullest potential.
SUCCESS STORIES INFLUENCING HEALTH
Feeding San Diego provided 26 million meals for families, children, students, seniors, veterans and military families by rescuing food before it goes to the waste stream while it is still healthy and nutritious.
Be There San Diego, a coalition of patients, communities, healthcare systems and other organizations, Reduced Heart Attacks in San Diego County By 22% through their Heart Attack and Stroke Free Zone, Southeastern San Diego Cardiac Disparities Project, and Accountable Communities for Health collaboratives.
The County of San Diego teamed with volunteers and contracted doctors and nurses from the San Diego Rapid Response Network - a coalition of organizations and community leaders, including 10 Recognized Partner organizations, dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region - to provide more than 13,630 health screenings for asylum seekers.
Alliance Healthcare Foundation, a foundation working to advance health and wellness for those in need, offered $2 million in Innovation Initiative awards to social enterprises in San Diego County that support transformational thinking and action to improve systems related to health and wellness, including the Multicultural Health Foundation and Somali Family Service of San Diego.
Through the collaborative efforts of the County of San Diego and the United States–Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section, nearly 29,000 people received free blood pressure screenings at 152 sites across the six Mexican border states, in the Ventanillas de Salud in the Mexican consulates in the four US border states, and University of Arizona Primary Prevention Mobile Health Unit during the 2019 Love Your Heart event.
MAKING IMPACT PERSONAL
When you meet 10-year-old Gabriella Martinez—Ella, for short—the first thing you will likely notice is her bright smile. Behind that smile are thousands of generous donors who provide the blood supply Ella needs. She has a blood disorder called beta thalassemia major that requires lifesaving blood each month from organizations like the San Diego Blood Bank.
“Ella doesn’t make any healthy red blood cells,” said Erica, Ella’s mom. “She wasn’t growing and had yellow skin and low energy.” At the suggestion of her caring doctors, baby Ella began receiving blood transfusions and started to improve.
Ella calls blood “beautiful.” And donors who meet her feel the beauty in the process too. Ella often visits blood drives or donor centers to thank the courageous people who help her stay healthy. Seeing the impact Ella has on other people—blood donors, friends and family, medical professionals—helps keep the Martinez family strong. Erica says that her family must be ambassadors for blood donation and all the medical professionals who help with it.
Henrietta enrolled in Skinny Gene Project Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in March of 2017. With the help of her coach, Nadin, Henrietta began making small sustainable changes to her lifestyle. She stopped skipping meals, began eating smaller portions, increased her exercise and water intake, and took photos to track her food. Her fifth week into her program, Henrietta set a goal of walking 3 times a week and began interval training to start running. By the completion of her 12-month program, Henrietta was running 7 miles! In addition to losing 62 pounds, 28% of her body weight, she lowered her blood pressure from 220/110 at 6 months to 111/67 at 12 months (a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80).
With access to a Diabetes Prevention Program and a supportive environment to help her succeed, the onus was on Henrietta to take the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle. In doing so, she acquired the knowledge needed to improve her own health.
The Skinny Gene Project has been providing the Diabetes Prevention Program in San Diego County since 2014. Three consecutive awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have placed Skinny Gene Project among the top 3% of evidence-based diabetes prevention programs in the country.
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