Adopted by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 2010, Live Well San Diego aligns the efforts of more than 500 partners including County government, community partners and individuals, to help all San Diego County residents be healthy, safe and thriving. Here, Shelly Tregembo, project coordinator for the County of San Diego, tells us about the partners and collective impact of Live Well San Diego.
Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you’re working to overcome them?
Live Well San Diego is a vision for a region that is building better health, living safely and thriving. Developed in 2010, the vision was a response to a startling statistic that found that throughout the nation, and locally, three behaviors (poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and tobacco use) were contributing to four diseases (heart disease/stroke, cancer, type-2 diabetes and respiratory conditions) that resulted in over 50% of the deaths in the nation; a statistic known as 3-4-50.
To address these challenges, individuals and organizations working in support of the Live Well San Diego vision have created tremendous progress in the community. We’ve seen a 12% reduction in the percentage of deaths associated with preventable health threats (2007-2019). The overall crime rate dropped 26% from 2012 to 2017 and there’s been a 3% increase in people aged 25 or older earning a high school diploma or equivalent (2012- 2018).
With diverse partnerships and the backbone support from the County of San Diego, the Live Well San Diego vision, with direction from the County’s Framework for our Future, works to advance racial justice, health equity, economic opportunity, environmental protection and government transparency, helping ensure that all residents are healthy, safe and thriving.
How else are Live Well San Diego partners impacting the community?
With more than 500 Live Well San Diego partners working across the region, collaborations both big and small are helping to make a significant difference in people’s lives.
A highlight from the past year includes partners’ participation in the San Diego County COVID-19 Equity Task Force. Dozens of partners, including local municipalities, health and social services agencies came together to address the disproportionately negative impact of COVID-19 on residents in southeastern San Diego.
Additionally, local organizations, with support from the Multicultural Health Foundation, created blackcovidfactssd.org, a collaborative of local Black leaders, doctors and local community groups, tasked with the job of bringing COVID-19 facts to the Black community—a group with historically higher levels of vaccine hesitancy.
Another incredible area of impact where partners are making a significant improvement is in economic recovery and workplace development. The United Way of San Diego partnered with seven local community organizations after the County of San Diego approved $650 million in American Rescue Plan funding to spur economic recovery post-pandemic, including MAAC, North County Lifeline, San Diego LGBT Community Center and South Bay Community Services, among others, to launch the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative. Through the initiative, partners received more than 8,400 applications and distributed $667,830 to assist low wage workers with utility and rent/mortgage payments.
A recent development is the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ adoption of a Framework for Ending Homelessness in November 2021. With more than 7,600 people homeless or living in shelters throughout the county, this new, focused approach to the coordination and expansion of solutions-based programs and services will be strengthened through expansive, cross-sector community partnerships and will ensure prevention and response are done with racial and social equity.
You can read more inspiring stories of the Live Well San Diego vision in action each month in our newsletter, where we highlight the significant improvements our partners are making in the community.
How can San Diegans get involved?
Community involvement is essential to making meaningful and sustainable impacts across the County. Wherever you live, work, play or pray, organizations and individuals are working together to improve the well-being and health of your community. Join us! There is a myriad of ways to get involved. Here are a few hands-on examples.
- Host or participate in Residential Leadership Academies training programs. This program has a publicly available curriculum that teaches people how to improve their local communities by learning new skills and best practices to address issues most important to them.
- Amplify youth and young adult voices by joining our Youth Leadership Teams. Youth ages 16-24 are invited to apply. These teams develop projects and events to engage youth on issues important to them and work with mentors to support local youth in leadership and workforce development.
- Participate in our Signature Events. Throughout the year, partners and community members come together for a variety of events such as our Love Your Heart blood pressure awareness event, the 5K and Fitness Challenge and Green Friday that encourage San Diegans to enjoy active, outdoor experiences.
Everyone is encouraged to check out our website: www.livewellsd.org and follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now TikTok!) to keep up-to-date on upcoming events and free resources. To become a Live Well San Diego recognized partner, tell us about your organization and how you are making an impact that positively contributes to our residents and their quality of life. Together we can create a region that is healthy, safe and thriving…for all.