Free health activities and services scheduled through the month of October to benefit thousands of Latino individuals living in Santa Clara County
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The 2023 Binational Health Week in Santa Clara County kicks off with a series of free health events, beginning with a health fair on Saturday, October 7, at Eastridge Mall in San José from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The health fair will provide free health exams, COVID vaccinations, flu shots, cultural entertainment, and more.
Each year, Binational Health Week is hosted by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department in partnership with the Consulate General of México in San José, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, Telemundo 48, Bay Area Community Health, the American Heart Association, On Lok, dozens of community partners, and hundreds of volunteers. Binational Health Week activities this year focus on mental health and managing stress; COVID recovery and resources; nutrition and diabetes prevention; healthcare access, screening, and preventative care; as well as substance abuse.
Ambassador Alejandra Bologna Zubikarai, Cónsul General de México in San José, said:
“Binational Health Week is a reminder that our health is interconnected, regardless of our borders. By working together, we can create a healthier future for all. The joint efforts of community clinics and the many different organizations who participate in BHW and offer their services to the public, help promote disease prevention, and is an initiative primarily aimed to serve migrants, their families and the Latino community.”
Throughout October, a series of health activities and educational events bring together federal, state, and local agencies; community organizations; and thousands of volunteers to address barriers in accessing care and respond to the health challenges of many uninsured Latino individuals living in the United States.
While there has been improvement in some health outcomes for the Latino community over the last decade, Latinos in Santa Clara County continue to face higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and COVID deaths compared to others. In 2017-2021, 43 percent of Latino adults did not seek medical care due to cost or lack of insurance. Underlying social factors like barriers in access to healthy foods, education, and culturally competent healthcare services highlight the disparities that still exist.
Through the leadership of County Supervisor Sylvia Arenas and the entire County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, 2023 kicks off the process of creating an updated Latino Health Assessment for the county. The Latino Health Assessment provides the context required to address and understand the unique health challenges of Latino individuals who work, live, and play in Santa Clara County. The assessment aims to create a community-led Action Plan that will serve as a blueprint for meaningful change in Santa Clara County to improve Latino health. The previous Latino Health Assessment was conducted in 2012.
“Latino families have historically struggled in receiving affordable, accessible, and high-quality health care. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed so many inequalities in our health system and it’s our responsibility to correct systemic inequities. On this Binational Health Week, I'm thrilled that we are able to begin sharing details of the upcoming Latino Health Assessment, a once in a decade opportunity to turn data into action for Latino families,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Sylvia Arenas.
“The significance of Binational Health Week is it acts as a catalyst for community and government agencies from the U.S., Mexico, and other Latin American countries to work together to improve the health of Latinos. That not only benefits and sustains the immigrants in our workforce who live, work and contribute to Santa Clara County but it also is a great benefit for our economy,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
“Binational Health Week events highlight Latine families’ unique health care needs in the United States and Canada for two decades. This joint effort between U.S., Mexico, and Latin American consulates and community organizations bridges disparities and offers culturally sensitive programs to promote health equity and access to the most underserved populations. We are stronger when we care for the whole community. We must encourage families to access a wide range of services from preventative care and stress management to addressing substance abuse,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee.
“As a County, we’ve eliminated many of the barriers to accessing care — both physical and mental health prevention and treatment — but too many folks are still slipping through the cracks,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Chair of the County’s Health and Hospital Committee. “We’ve got to get the word out about the range of resources — public, private and nonprofit services — so individuals and families get the care they need when and where they need it.”
“Understanding the unique health disparities of the Latinx community starts with asking the right questions and listening to the communities most impacted by poor health outcomes,” said Dr. Sarah Rudman, Deputy Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “This assessment will help us understand where and how resources can best be used to create the most impact toward a healthy and thriving Latinx community in Santa Clara County.”
Public Health works to remove barriers and connect people to resources and services for everything from vaccination to healthy foods. With the help of community members and partner organizations, the Latino Health Assessment will lay out an action plan for the next few years to enhance health outcomes and advance equity for the Latino community.
“Binational Health Week in Santa Clara County is the largest mobilization by non-profits, county government agencies, and volunteers to promote access to care and reduce health disparities among the Latino population and other ethnic groups in Santa Clara County. For many Latinos who do not have access to health care, this is the only time of the year to get their immunizations (flu and COVID boosters) and health screenings (BP, cholesterol, diabetes, vision, dental, etc.). It is also a space to get free information about resources, health education, enrollment for health education workshops, insurance enrollment, SNAP enrollments, and many other services. The partners of Santa Clara County Binational Health Week are part of a national movement during October where all the activities done in Santa Clara County are replicated in other counties throughout the USA,” said Dionisio Palencia, Senior Director of Community Impact, Bay Area, The American Heart Association.
Since its inception in 2001, Binational Health Week has evolved into one of the largest mobilization efforts in the Americas to improve the health and well-being of the underserved Latino population. Last year, the County’s Binational Health Week provided more than 520 health screenings, 310 COVID vaccinations, and 448 flu shots.
Key upcoming events include:
Inauguration of Binational Health Week
October 2, 2023
Consulate General of México in San José, 302 Enzo Dr. #200, San José, CA 95138
Binational Health Week Kickoff Event
October 7, 2023
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Eastridge Mall, 2200 Eastridge Loop, San José, CA 95122
Public Health Hub Resource Fair
October 27, 2023
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
County of Santa Clara Public Health Department Story Rd Hub, 1775 Story Rd., San José, CA 95122
Binational Health Week Closing Event
October 28, 2023
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arteaga’s Food Center, 6906 Automall Pkwy, Gilroy, CA 95020
For a complete list of 2023 Santa Clara County Binational Health Week events and activities, visit sccBHW.org.