The 14th annual Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Awards were presented last week by the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) at the County Administration Center.
Among those honored was Dr. Faith Conklin, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church of Escondido. Rev. Conklin has been a champion for violence prevention in Escondido for almost 16 years. She co-founded Dreaming of a Violence-free Escondido (DOVE), a response team that gathers when there is an act of violence resulting in death in Escondido.
The Rev. Conklin played a key role in the County’s Faith-Based Initiative by helping to plan the North Inland Faith-Based Breakfast and hosting the church’s first ever Interfaith Conference called “Opening Hearts. Creating Community.” focused on reducing the stigma around mental illness.
“The County established the awards to recognize true community heroes and their hard work to improve the health and safety of San Diego County residents,” said Chairman Bill Horn, County Board of Supervisors during the presentations. “These are individuals and organizations who work to improve their communities, and their contributions help to protect and improve the overall quality of life of our citizens.”
The awards are presented annually during National Public Health Week, established 20 years ago “to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.”
The 2015 theme is Healthiest Nation 2030: Let’s make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.
The Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Awards recognize public and private partnerships and the ongoing collaboration to improve the overall health and wellness of the county’s diverse populations. The awards are part of Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision of healthy, safe and thriving residents and communities.
“These public health professionals are doing extraordinary work and leading the way to improve and protect the health of San Diego County residents,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.
HHSA Director Nick Macchione added that “these awards showcase the collaboration of our public health partners, local governments, businesses and the overall community to advance public health and create healthy, safe and thriving individuals and communities in support of Live Well San Diego.”