Public Health Champion Awards Ceremony

2019 Public Health Champions

County of San Diego

2024 Live Well San Diego

23rd Annual Public Health Champion Awards



During the first full week of April each year, National Public Health Week (NPHW) is observed across the U.S. as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our nation. Each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about issues related to each year’s theme.

For 2024, National Public Health Week was April 1-7. The theme was “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.”

The 2024 Live Well San Diego 23rd Annual Public Health Champion Awards Ceremony was a signature event for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). The Ceremony was held on Friday, April 5, 2024, from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. This event recognized the extraordinary achievements in areas of public health service that protect and promote the health of the local population. The awards were created to honor the role of public/private collaborations that advance optimal health and wellness, in the diverse populations of San Diego County. 

When was the 2024 event?

Who were the award recipients?

What was this year's theme?

The 2024 Event

Watch a recording of the 2024 Live Well San Diego 23rd Annual Public Health Champion Awards Ceremony of the County of San Diego YouTube. The event was available for viewers to watch live on the San Diego County News Center, on April 5, 2024.

The 2024 event was held on Friday, April 5, 2024, from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the County Administration Center, located at 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101, in Room 310. Award recipients were recognized and added to a permanent plaque.

The 2024 Live Well San Diego 23rd Annual Public Health Champions Awards Ceremony is an event of  Live Well San Diego, a long-term vision for improving the health and wellnes of all San Diegans. View the Complete list of the  Live Well San Diego Public Health Champions selected from 2002 through 2023

The 2024 Live Well San Diego 23rd Annual Public Health Champions Award Recipients

On April 5, 2024, Live Well San Diego Public Health Champions (listed below) were recognized for their outstanding work and contributions to public health. To view the press release, which announces the 2024 Public Health Champion Award recipients and biographies, visit the County News Center .



Public Health Services Awardees:

1.    Leticia Cázares, MPH – Theme

2.    Charles “Chuck” Matthews III, PhD, MBA, MS – Individual

3.    CSUSM HOPE & Wellness Center – Organization

Director’s Awardee:

1.    Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H.

Aging and Independence Services, Medical Care Services, and Regional Awardees:

1.    Rosemary W. Pope – Aging and Independence Services

2.    Jack Dailey, Esq. – Medical Care Services

3.    DETOUR – Central Region

4.    Ana Lozano – South Region

5.    Afrah Abdulkader – East Region

6.    Tomasa Velediaz – North Central

7.    Max Disposti, MS, NPML – North Coastal Region

8.    Edward Becerra – North Inland Region 

This Year’s Theme

The Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Awards Ceremony is the County’s annual signature event during  National Public Health Week.

This year’s theme award recognized achievements related to the 2024 National Public Health Week theme: “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” The theme award was presented to recognize achievements related to the NPHW theme. Visit the  National Public Health Week Website for a full description. This theme embodies the vision of Live Well San Diego and the County’s strategic mission. The daily themes included the following: 

2024 Daily National Public Health Week Themes

Civic Engagement

Civic engagement the actions that we and our communities take to identify and address problems shapes opportunities to be healthy. By taking actions to get more civically engaged, like voting, we exercise the right to make decisions about our communities. Other examples of civic engagement are “Healthy Cities, Healthy Residents” and “Resident Leadership Academy.” Let community members know how participation in town hall and public meetings, volunteer activities, and community engagement help shape local policy and strengthen community cohesion.

Healthy Neighborhoods

Several important factors including where we eat, sleep, work, play, and learn can impact our health. When our neighborhoods are healthy, we have the building blocks for healthy lives. Make neighborhoods healthier by connecting with the people who live and invest in their communities. Consider planting trees to help reduce pollution and offer a nice space for people to connect with each other.

Climate Change

Climate change is an important issue that the world faces today. Certain products can have a big effect on climate emissions, natural resources, and pollution. Make our climate healthier by being thoughtful about fast fashion, flights, and the latest technology. Together communities can make a positive difference working together to support a sustainable future.

New Tools and Innovations

Public health is all about preventing disease, diagnosing health conditions, and encouraging health and well-being. New tools to address these goals are being developed every day. Tools like wastewater viral detections or COVID-19 testing kits, can help with early detection of infectious disease circulating in communities. Advancements in new tools and innovations help build a more equitable future, so all people and populations can thrive. Local health departments can make a difference using social media to share the real-life impacts of public health by telling our story. Digital media plays a strong role in health advocacy and public health awareness.

Reproductive and Sexual Health

When people have access to quality reproductive and sexual health care and education, they can live happier and healthier lives. Public health supports the overall well-being of these communities by fostering a balanced and inclusive reproductive health care system for everyone. Get screened based on current guidelines to detect cancers early. Reduce the risk of spreading STIs, like HPV and HIV, by getting tested yearly, using condoms, and practicing open communication with sexual partners.

Emergency Preparedness

Natural catastrophes like wildfires, hurricanes, and flash floods, as well as unforeseen events, like power outages, can occur without a moment’s notice. Emergency preparedness is about planning, having an emergency supply kit ready, and knowing how to stay safe during an emergency. Community members are encouraged to take part in a disaster training to learn more about what to do before, during, and after a disaster. Build an emergency supply kit by stocking up on supplies and collecting essential tools that can help in the event of an emergency.

Future of Public Health

Public health requires a fair and inclusive approach where equity is a guiding principle. Communities are the heart of decision making and actively shape health policies and practices. Public health’s future requires partnerships with different sectors, while maintaining community voices. 


Orange Bar_710

If you have further questions, please contact Mike Jones at (619) 884-0698 or

The Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Awards Ceremony is a component of Live Well San Diego, a long-term vision for improving the health and wellness of all San Diegans.