Live Well San Diego in Action: HHSA Central and South Regions Employees Walking the Walk

NEWS // September 1, 2015

Live Well San Diego in Action: HHSA Central and South Regions Employees Walking the Walk

The Live Well San Diego vision of fostering a healthy, safe, and thriving San Diego for all residents has been a driving force in the lives of many County and community members. People  may say “living well” is just a cliché, but if you ask County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Central and South Regions staff, many of them will tell you a different story – these employees live this vision, not only on the job with their colleagues, customers and community partners, but in all aspects of their lives.

Chronic diseases are now the major cause of death and disability worldwide, having surpassed infectious diseases and injuries. Three behaviors (poor diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco use) contribute to four chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and pulmonary diseases such as asthma) that cause over 50 percent of all deaths worldwide. Therefore, it becomes imperative for everyone not only to talk about health, but also to engage in activities that support a healthy lifestyle.

This leads to the Central and South Regions Wellness Ambassadors, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to health and safety, serving as role models for others. They exemplify a healthy lifestyle, share insight and knowledge about health and wellness, actively work to engage others in living well and capitalize on the opportunities to improve their own and others health, safety and well-being through their enthusiasm and dedication.

Many Wellness Amabassadors use creative and innovative methods to engage their fellow co-workers in health and fitness activities. Some of these include:

  • Organizing hourly exercise breaks and weight loss challenges
  • Serving on internal wellness committees
  • Coordinating mountain hikes
  • Leading line dancing classes
  • Promoting Countywide Wellness Program activities like Thrive Across America
  • Creating healthy recipes
  • Serving as wellness buddies and taking others to the gym
  • Reducing and recycling waste
  • Making healthy snacks for co-workers

To recognize these Wellness Ambassadors’ outstanding work in promoting healthy lifestyles, a Live Well San Diego Wellness Ambassador award ceremony was conducted at the Central and South Regions All Staff Event. After being nominated by their co-workers, 20 employees received this special award.

Each of the Wellness Ambassadors met the strict nomination criteria which included:

  • Serving as a role model, modeling healthy lifestyle choices
  • Starting or continuing to make positive changes in health behaviors
  • Motivating others to make health improvements or educating others on the importance of a healthy lifestyle
  • Implementing policies, practices, and/or activities to help create a positive wellness culture for the County of San Diego’s community members including employees
  • Offering support, through volunteering at events, preparing for events or taking on special projects that benefit the health of customers, community members, partners, and/or fellow employees

The award recipients were showcased in a presentation highlighting their accomplishments and the room was energized with their fellow co-workers’ excitement and appreciation as each Wellness Ambassador’s name was announced.

Clearly, these individuals’ efforts and dedication to wellness confirm that the Live Well San Diego vision of a healthy, safe, and thriving San Diego can be a reality for all.

Wellness Ambassadors award winners: Monique Bonniey, Marivic Santiago, Mireya Lara, Cynthia Uribe, Martha Viazcan, Celina Garcia Ali, Sara Wakeley, Liza Ramirez, Pedro Garcia, Madaline Garcia, Martha Garcia, Zuleika Rosa, Clarissa Gonzalez-Lopez, Crecencia Garibo-Soto, Marie Austria, Isabel Castro, Susana Buckett, Daniel Cajina, Patrizia Estrada-Batres, and Noor Zoma.