Veteran of the Year 2020: Rudolph “Rudy” Villalobos
I am honored to recognize Calexico resident Rudolph “Rudy” Villalobos as 2020 Veteran of the Year for the 40th Senate District. Rudy is not only a highly-decorated veteran, but also a role model for all who meet him, and has contributed immensely to the prosperity of our nation through both his military and civilian service.
Rudy served in the US Air Force during World War II and was well-decorated for his service. He enlisted on Dec. 9, 1942, serving in the 8th Air Force, 96th Bomb Group, as a radio operator/gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” Rudy flew 32 missions during his career – 17 over France, 14 over Germany, and one over the Czech Republic. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 7, 1945.
After the war, Rudy worked for the US Department of Labor in Mexico, and then the US Justice Department as an Immigration Supervisor. He retired after 34 years in government service.
Rudy is 97 years old and lives in Calexico, CA with his wife of 69 years, Maria Teresa Villalobos. Together, they have 9 children, 29 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Learn more on my website.
Organization of the Month: Multicultural Health Foundation
Dr. Rodney Hood, President and Chairman
The Multicultural Health Foundation (MCHF) is working hard to bring health, justice and wellness to the multicultural communities of San Diego County. This community-based coalition of stakeholders was organized in 2020 to advocate and help implement policies and effective strategies to address the disproportionate negative impact of COVID-19 on under-served and vulnerable populations.
MCHF was founded and is led by African American physicians Dr. Rodney Hood, Dr. Robert Gillespie, and Dr. Suzanne Afflalo. The key to their success is strong trusted professional and personal relationships with an understanding of the health and socio-economic challenges experienced by the Black community.
MCHF’s COVID-19 Equity Task Force holds forums and monthly webinars and provides public updates on the current transmission, prevention, testing, tracing, and treatment information related to COVID-19. Their County of San Diego-funded program, Together Against COVID, emphasizes education and awareness through a variety of outreach methods, including media campaigns on billboards, broadcast media, social media, print and direct mail. They also work to reach populations who are at increased risk of COVID-19 using virtual sessions, faith-based video, audio messages, and a virtual speaker’s bureau.
Further, they work directly with community trusted messengers to connect the community with accurate information about COVID-19 prevention, testing sites, vaccines, and health resources.
This type of outreach is vital in communities like ours, and we are so appreciative of the tireless efforts of the MCHF team!