By TRACY WOOD | 15 comments
It’s the most park-poor ZIP code in Orange County, but in one tiny corner of 92701 in Santa Ana this week, hundreds of neighborhood children finally climbed a jungle gym, shot a basket or just sat on the grass.
Ten years in the making, the opening of the half-acre Green Heart Park & Community Center near the intersection of East Fourth and French streets was celebrated by Latino Health Access over last weekend.
“This is just the beginning,” said Dr. America Bracho, executive director of Latino Health Access. Within its first week, at least 1,000 children and adults from the area are expected try out the play equipment or see what classes are available in the recreation center. “It’s a very grass-roots project, and it needs grass-roots answers.”
Supervisors Restore Funding to Latino Health Access By NORBERTO SANTANA JR. Voice of OC | 0 comments
As America Bracho walked to the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ dais on Tuesday, Chairman Shawn Nelson openly warned her, “We have a rule: Never talk yourself out of a victory.”
Bracho, an outspoken doctor and activist who heads Latino Health Access, the Santa Ana-based health care nonprofit, had seemingly turned supervisors around after more than a year of conflict.
“We want to thank you for your investment in programs like ours,” Bracho told supervisors during their weekly meeting just before they approved contracts for more than $2.7 million in mental health outreach programs.
“We want the county to protect what works,” Bracho said.
Among the contract approvals was about $300,000 for LHA’s promotores services, a health outreach program the organization has run for two decades but which recently became an issue among supervisors and county staff, who had cut LHA’s funding for the program.
The victory Nelson was referring to is that while the approximately $300,000 allocation approved by supervisors Tuesday is less than the nearly $500,000 LHA has received in recent years, it is better than the around $100,000 that county staff had been recommending.
Promotores have long played a key role in administering health care in Latino and other minority communities, acting as liaison for people who because of economic and cultural reasons do not have ready access to the health care system. The concept began to be widely used in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.
Read the original story on The Futuro Media Group’s website here.
Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the US after cigarette smoking. Latinos are especially hard hit, developing diabetes and other obesity related health problems at high rates. Reporter Nova Safo visits the predominantly Latino city of Santa Ana, California to see how biology, economics and environment all contribute to the problem.
Click here to download this week’s show.
Nova Safo is a Los Angeles-based reporter who covers a wide variety of topics ranging from the Hollywood entertainment industry, to visual arts, culture, politics, policy, health, science, the future of energy, economics, and the occasional massive wildfire.
His reporting has been heard on NPR’s various newsmagazines and other public radio programs, and published online by Yahoo! News and others. He is the recipient of Hearst journalism awards for radio reporting, as well as an NLGJA/RTNDA award for excellence in online journalism.
Published: May 8, 2012 Updated: May 9, 2012 9:17 a.m.
The toll an overweight society pays is large, especially for children. For a look at an Orange County teen who lost weight thanks to this program, click here
By COURTNEY PERKES / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
In an HBO documentary airing this month, America Bracho watches as chubby children play on an asphalt parking lot because they have no grassy park in their Santa Ana neighborhood. In another scene, her voice chokes with emotion as she talks with a mother worried about the obesity epidemic.
Bracho, executive director of Latino Health Access and a physician in her native Venezuela, is featured prominently throughout the four-part series, “The Weight of the Nation,” which premieres Monday. The series was made in conjunction with the Institute of Medicine and offers an alarming look behind the statistics that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.