February 12, 2022

Love Your Heart Brings Heart Health to the Refugee Community

Danielle de Jong, MPH, Administrative Analyst I, Live Well San Diego Support Team 

Love Your Heart 2022 saw many new and exciting ways to help community members live Heart Healthy. One of those was the first ever Love Your Heart Community Fair held on Saturday, February 12th, the first day of the Love Your Heart Week of Action. The event was held at the Islamic Center of San Diego – East County, in partnership with community groups such as the Afghan Community Culture Center, Jewish Family Services, License to Freedom, Health Net, American Medical Response, CalFresh and many, many more!  

This event, geared towards serving the refugee community, connected over 500 individuals with health and government services and a multitude of gifts, resources, and food. Bardia Moojedi, an event coordinator, explains: 

“Together with a diverse but united group of partners, we were able to tailor this event to the needs of the refugee communities through a trauma-informed approach. In addition to an opportunity for every adult attendee to ‘know their numbers’ and take charge of their health, they were offered a variety of resources, including vaccinations, housing, nutrition, behavioral health, and more.” 

Multiple languages, religions, and cultures were represented, drawing a diverse crowd and raising awareness for cardiovascular disease for families who may not be able to focus on that aspect of their health at this time.  

As one attendee put it - “It’s better for everyone to take their blood pressure every once in a while, but it’s better when it’s done through this kind of event!”  

Moojedi agrees, saying “this event was yet another great example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved through collective impact in alignment with our region’s Live Well San Diego vision.” 

Collectively, partners were able to accomplish the following: 

  • Provided Blood Pressure Screenings to 165 adults and educate many more on the importance of heart health  

  • Saved a life by identifying an adult male with a dangerously high blood pressure, who received care on the spot! 

  • Equiped 300 households with take-home blood pressure monitors  

  • Administered 80 COVID-19 vaccines to adult and pediatric attendees  

  • Distributed over 8,700 lbs. of fresh produce and non-perishables to over 300 households  

  • Distributed hand sanitizers, masks, and antibacterial wipes to over 220 individuals  

  • Distributed cooked to-go meals to 300 attendees  

  • Provided refreshing to-go drinks to 500 attendees 

  • Distributed 100 incentive bags containing menstrual hygiene products  

  • Connected attendees to County and Community Services such as:  

    • Aging and Independence Services 

    • Child Welfare Services  

    • Nutrition Education 

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance/CalFresh 

    • Female Health  

    • Housing  

    • Behavioral Health Services  

    • Employment  

    • And much more!