Together We Rise

Project access patients and their spouses at the cfh soiree 2022

The Starfish Story tells of a child walking along a beach after a terrible storm which washed up thousands of starfish. The child is throwing starfish back into the water, when someone points out to the child that they cannot save all the starfish. “It won’t make a difference.” The child gingerly picks up another starfish and replies, “I made a difference for this one”.

Every day, we rush around, dealing with personal and professional lives, juggling competing priorities. We want to keep a balance between making sure that our family members know they are loved and cared for and making sure our interactions at work with coworkers are engaging and meaningful. We each have a purpose… we want to make a difference.

Champions for Health (CFH) works with our dedicated network of physician volunteers, hospitals, surgery centers, nurses, schools, community, private and public partners to make a difference by improving the health of our community where San Diegans live, work, play and pray. What does that mean? CFH Project Access facilitating services so that 450 patients receive 1,100 specialty care appointments and 80 surgeries. CFH Immunization program administering 30,000 COVID doses and 12,000 flu doses to children, youth and adults in every corner of the county. These services are provided for free to the participants. But the impact is priceless! No need to worry anymore about: emergency room visits; loss of work due to excruciating pain; deciding between paying for food or for a desperately needed medical appointment; being hospitalized due to severe flu or COVID symptoms or complications. Our community can support Project Access and our Immunization program by participating in our annual fundraising gala.

Together We Rise brings our joint gala between the San Diego County Medical Society and Champions for Health to the San Diego Natural History Museum on Friday May 12th, 2023. The physician leadership of San Diego County will honor their incoming Board President, Dr Nick Yphantides and the physician honoree for the James T. Hay Award. Champions for Health will be honoring individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond to be of service to the community in partnership with CFH. These awards include: Physician of the Year, Medical Group of the Year, Community Partner of the Year, Champions of the Year, and the President’s Award. The gala includes a silent auction for everyone’s bidding pleasure, entertainment, and inspiring patient stories. The theme and spirit animal this year is fire and the phoenix. Fire symbolizes many things all at once: brightness, warmth and refuge. Fire is also a metaphor for the life and hope remaining in the world, poignantly represented in our “phoenix” patients being reborn into health.

Access to care for all is the mission of Champions for Health. When you support Champions for Health, you contribute to the health and wellbeing of thousands of individuals in San Diego. Each of these people show their gratitude in a smile, with a hug, with a sigh of relief that there are unsung heroes such as yourself, ready to step up in their time of need. Join us – Together We Rise to make a difference one person at a time.

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Esteban Villanueva