Nonprofit of the Year: Samahan Health Centers
As part of the fifth annual California Nonprofit of the Year awards, I have the honor of recognizing Samahan Health Centers, a multi-service health center, as Nonprofit of the Year for the 40th Senate District. Our diversity is our strength in the 40th Senate District, and Samahan Health Centers enhances this by offering high-quality, culturally-sensitive care to those in need.
Samahan Health Centers began in 1973, when a group of volunteer doctors and nurses met to address the lack of culturally- and linguistically-competent health services available to their families and communities. They began providing free primary healthcare to Filipino and Latino patients out of a barber shop in downtown San Diego. The demand for services rapidly grew, and the group realized this effort would take more organization, full-time staff, and a space of their own.
In their commitment to Samahan (a Filipino word for "working together"), they formalized their efforts and created 'Operation Samahan'. Since then, Samahan Health Centers has grown to multiple clinic sites in National City, Mira Mesa, and Rancho Peñasquitos and is recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center since 2013. It continues to increasingly serve the uninsured and underinsured population of low economic means, many of whom are members of the Filipino American community.
In the past months, Samahan responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by launching an outdoors COVID-19 clinic in the parking lot of its National City health center and has ramped up testing to accommodate more people. Samahan also offers telehealth services; most primary care, dental, and psychiatry patients are now seen either by phone or video conference, except for those who require a face-to-face appointment with their doctor.
I'm grateful to be part of this special public recognition for Samahan and its longstanding support of our community. For more information about the award, please visit my website.
Citizen of the Month: Jacqueline Reynoso
After 12 years, Jacqueline Reynoso is leaving her post as Chief Executive Officer of the National City Chamber of Commerce, and we wish her much success! Throughout her tenure leading the Chamber, Jacqueline has served as a champion of inclusive economic growth, arts and culture, and workforce. She has advocated for National City's economic development initiatives in sustainability, tourism promotion, business development and civic engagement.
Jacqueline has led the Chamber through a lot of "firsts": when she was first hired, she led a campaign to retire the Chamber's building debt so that members and the community could enjoy networking or hold meetings and community events at its headquarters; in 2014 she launched National City's first farmer's market; she led the Chamber to become the first Live Well San Diego partner in San Diego County; she helped the Chamber launch its first Career Pathways to Success Job Fair; and she organized the first binational Craft Beer and Spirits Festival in the San Diego region. She also led the administration of National City's Forgivable Loan Program, its Signage and Facade Improvement Program, and its Business Accelerator Academy.
As if her leadership at the Chamber isn't enough, Jacqueline has also provided her guidance to dozens of community, business and government organizations, including the Southwestern College Mariachi Scholarship Foundation, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, the National City Chamber Foundation, the South Bay Energy Action Collaborative, the San Diego Foundation Regional Vision Council, and many more.
As Chief Executive Officer of the National City Chamber of Commerce, Jacqueline has been incredibly effective in advancing the goals and principles of the organization, and her achievements have earned her the great respect and admiration of all in the community. We are so grateful for your service, Jacqueline!