By Sonia Diaz / Meredith Gibson
December 21, 2021

Every young person deserves to experience the healing power of nature. So says 19-year-old Isaac Santos. Isaac discovered the outdoors through his high school and later graduated from our leadership program at Outdoor Outreach, a nonprofit with the mission to connect youth to the transformative power of the outdoors.

But these opportunities weren’t always accessible to him while growing up in South Bay — an area that has a higher than average incidence of health disparities among children compared to any other part of the county.

Read More

By Debbie L. Sklar / Meredith Gibson
March 15, 2021

Latino residents of San Diego County’s southern region experience barriers to positive health and well-being, but a new community-led effort called Partnerships 4 Success is hoping to change that, it was announced Monday.


According to a report produced by the Institute for Public Strategies, many south region residents experience more physical and behavioral health problems compared to the rest of the county. Data from the county shows that the region, home to approximately 80% people of color, has a poverty rate of 20% and also has the lowest levels of educational attainment in the region.


Read More

By Breny Aceituno
December 15, 2020

California has long led the nation in environmental regulations. It was the first state to enact air pollution control policies in 1947. Then it advanced environmental regulations around emission controls, air toxins and water, paving the way for federal regulations that have protected our health for decades. Most recently, California reduced greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels, four years before the 2020 deadline.


However, while California continues to be a leader in addressing climate change, the state has been less successful at helping local communities that are hit hardest by environmental disparities.


Read More

By Breny Aceituno
September 18, 2020

We are six months into this pandemic and the health of communities of essential workers is at stake. By now, it is not hard to correlate the increasing number of COVID-19 cases to the inequity embroidered on the fabric of American society.


A case in point is California. Although regularly considered progressive, California is one of the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. The reason behind California’s high numbers is complicated; and of course, our population size is a factor. But one thing is clear: the lack of policy protections for communities of essential workers hinders our ability to regulate the COVID-19 infection rate.


Read More

By Brittany Hunsinger 
July 2, 2020

Now that our society is addressing poverty and violence as public health crises, it’s time that all cities in San Diego County also declare racism as one, too. But it’s not enough to just declare it; we must act on it.


Recent events are highlighting what many public health experts have long understood – that being a person of color is harmful to your health. By definition of the American Public Health Association, a public health issue is something that “hurts and kills people or impedes their ability to live a healthy, prosperous life.” Racism certainly falls in that category. Sadly, our society has institutionalized racism through systems and government policies that favored whites over minorities.


Read More

By Meredith Gibson
June 24, 2020

Geographic information systems (GIS) answer the question of where: where diseases are prevalent; where vulnerable populations live; and where resources are most needed to improve health conditions. GIS consists of the data, technology and people who answer these questions. And it has never been more relevant than it is today.


In the past year alone, health professionals have used it to address the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid epidemic, vaping-related respiratory illness and other diseases and injuries.  GIS is helping public, private and non-profit organizations make effective and efficient decisions, from collecting data to analyzing it to presenting it in a user-friendly manner.


Read More

By Meredith Gibson
June 18, 2020

Geographic information systems (GIS) is playing an important role in helping San Diegans address health inequities along the U.S.-Mexico border.


An Upstream Approach to Substance Use Prevention The Partnerships 4 Success (P4S) project uses geospatial technology to map conditions in San Diego’s South Bay. This area is known for its diversity and Latino cultural heritage. However, it is also known for its binge and underage drinking along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as methamphetamine use and cross-border juvenile drug smuggling. The project aims to advance opportunities and policies that create a healthy and vibrant South Bay by reducing substance use.

Read More

By Meredith Gibson
June 4, 2020

As COVID-19-related economic woes continue, doctors both nationally and locally expect to see a subsequent uptick in the number of drug overdose deaths, a report released today by San Diego-based health nonprofit Institute for Public Strategies.

According to Dr. Roneet Lev, emergency physician at Scripps Mercy emergency department, and former chief medical officer at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the number of overdose cases she has treated in San Diego has increased.


“When the pandemic happened, we were waiting for an onslaught of COVID-19 cases. It didn’t come. What did come, unfortunately, were more cases of drug poisoning,” she said.

Read More

By Breny Aceituno
May 19, 2020

The Air Force’s famous Thunderbirds flew over the San Diego skies on Friday to salute all first responders and essential workers for continuing to provide the critical services we all need. The aerial show was a beautiful display of gratitude. But beyond our thanks, we should be using this time to ask ourselves some difficult questions. Mainly, do we serve our essential workers like they are serving us now? And even more critical: Do our essential workers have the resources to cope with the consequences that COVID-19 is having on their communities?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. In San Diego, the communities in the South Bay are carrying a lot of the weight that comes with this pandemic. As of May, the rates of infection in San Ysidro, National City, Otay Mesa and Chula Vista remain the highest in the county.

Read More

By Parisa Vega
April 29, 2020

I first heard about COVID-19 in early February. I heard that it mostly affects older people and those with health problems such as asthma and cancer.


Because there is a limit to how many people can gather in a space at one time, my peers and I haven’t had a chance to meet as a group for South Bay Youth 4 Change. This sets us back in terms of attending public events and raising awareness in the community on a more personal level.


Going to school was a major outlet for many kids my age, but now we are required to stay sheltered at home with little to no public interaction. For some, this might increase their level of boredom and unproductivity. Sadly, for others, this could potentially mean more exposure to domestic abuse and substance misuse.

Read More

Por Servicios El Latino
30 de enero 2020

El ingreso familiar en el sur de la Bahía de San Diego es el más bajo en el condado y la región tiene los niveles más bajos de educación. No tener los recursos o el transporte para visitar al médico, por ejemplo, puede provocar problemas de salud de por vida, incluida la muerte prematura”.

Lo anterior lo revela un reciente estudio dirigido por el Instituto de Estrategias Públicas (IPS, por sus siglas en inglés) el proyecto Partnerships 4 Success (P4S) reúne a las partes interesadas de la salud pública, la aplicación de la ley, la educación y las organizaciones comunitarias para identificar las comunidades de South Bay que más necesitan servicios.

Leer Mas