2015 Champions of Health Awards
Each year, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the health of the state. CCPHA recognizes leaders at the state and local levels whose work helps achieve CCPHA’s vision of California communities in which physical, social and economic conditions support the health and well-being of all residents and our goal of eliminating health inequities. In 2015, CCPHA moved to a regional approach to our awards selection. And each year hereafter, we’ll focus on a different region of the state. This year, we accepted nominations of leaders working or attending school in the Southern California counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, or Imperial. Awards recipients and the criteria they met are outlined below.
2015 Social Justice Champion Award–Southern California Winner: Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel for The City Project
Awarded to an individual whose work at the state or national level impacts health disparities and seeks to make systemic changes to the physical, social and economic conditions that contribute to health. This year, we are particularly interested in honoring an individual whose work focuses on stemming the type 2 diabetes epidemic.
Read about Robert García here.
2015 David Kessler Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Public’s Health Winner: James Sallis, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California San Diego
David Kessler, MD was the Director of the Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997. As Director of FDA, he reduced the time needed to approve or reject new drugs, including AIDS drugs, and increased the agency’s vigilance in protecting consumers against unsafe products and inflated label claims. Under his watch, FDA enacted regulations requiring standardized Nutrition Facts labels on food and Dr. Kessler is perhaps best known for his role in the FDA’s attempt to regulate cigarettes.
Awarded to a researcher or medical professional whose visionary work has had an extraordinary impact on public health, particularly in relation to obesity and/or type 2 diabetes – pushing the public health community to take action in new, more meaningful ways.
Read about James Sallis here.
2015 Health Champion Awards for Southern California Elected Officials Winners:
Senator Holly Mitchell (Senate District 30, Los Angeles area)
Mayor Aquanetta Warren (Fontana)
Supervisor John Zaragoza (Ventura County)
Awarded to three, Southern California elected officials whose work has impacted health disparities and made systemic changes to the physical, social and economic conditions that contribute to poor health, particularly obesity and type 2 diabetes in California. The awardees will have also shown a commitment to engaging and empowering community residents in the pursuit of better health.
Read about Senator Holly Mitchell here.
Read about Mayor Aquanetta Warren here.
Read about Supervisor Jon Zaragoza here.
2015 Guardians of Health Awards–Southern California Winners:
Chad Fenwick, Physical Education Advisor K-12, Los Angeles Unified School District
Christine Dennis, Assistant Superintendent Administrative Services (Ret), Baldwin Park Unified School District
Patti Suppe, Physical and Health Education Teacher, Loma Vista Middle School, Alvord Unified School District
Christina Hall, Executive Director, Orange County Food Access Coalition
Awarded to individuals who are stalwart advocates and passionate about engaging in the political process to achieve the goal of better health for all Californians and whose work has a special focus on impacting the health of children and adults who live in communities without easy access to healthy food or safe places to be physically active. We are particularly interested in honoring individuals whose work focuses on stemming the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics. We are pleased to include a $200 honorarium with each of the four awards.
Read about Christine Dennis here.
Read about Chad Fenwick here.
Read about Christine Hall here.
Read about Patti Suppe here.
2015 Sarah E. Samuels Award for New Health Professional–Southern California: Kimberly Morones, MPH
This award is named in memory of Dr. Sarah Samuels who dedicated her long and successful career as a public health researcher and advocate to improve the public’s health. Dr. Samuels was passionate about the mentorship and training of beginning public health professionals.
Awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student or new professional (who has graduated since 2012) and has shown interest, dedication, and leadership in obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention efforts, with emphasis on changing the physical, social and economic conditions that contribute to health disparities. This honor includes a $200 cash award.
Read about Kimberly Morones, MPH here.
2015 Michelle Gutierrez Awards for Outstanding High School Advocates–Southern California Winners:
Laura Gutierrez, Roosevelt High School
Arisandi Ramirez, Thomas Jefferson High School
This year, our award for high school students has been renamed in remembrance of our dear colleague, Michelle Gutierrez, who passed away in May, 2015. Michelle was the Associate Director of our Southern California office. We honor her strong passion for the mentoring of young people, believing in their unique and powerful ability to impact the world regardless of their present or past circumstance.
Awarded to two Southern California high school students who have shown interest, dedication, leadership in obesity and diabetes prevention efforts, with emphasis on changing the physical, social and economic conditions that contribute to health disparities. Each of the honorees will receive a $100 cash award.
Read about Laura Gutierrez here.
Read about Arisandi Ramirez here.
2015 Visionary Non-Profit–Southern California: Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) & The National Health Foundation (NHF)
Awarded to a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the elimination of health disparities, and puts residents in the lead of developing, advocating and implementing solutions that improve physical and mental health outcomes.
Read about APIOPA here.
Read about NHF here.
2015 Ethical Business Award–Southern California Winner: Altamed
Awarded to a for-profit company that uses its business model to positively impact health disparities by working closely with at-risk communities and communities of color. The business should employ people from these communities and provide a service or product that has the potential to impact chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Read about Altamed here.
Champions of Health Awards Selection:
Awardees were chosen by a committee of CCPHA staff from among the nomination applications received. Nominees were judged based upon the degree to which they meet the award criteria.
Updated as of: October 5, 2015