The Social and Health Research Center (SAHRC) of San Antonio, Texas recently hosted its third annual Youth and Family Health Fair. The free community event included fitness classes, health screenings, wellness classes, community resources, live entertainment, children’s activities, and food distribution from the San Antonio Food Bank.
Chad Richards, Vice President and General Manager of the Southwest Region, Quest, and Paul Gross, Sales Director, Southwest Region, Quest, attended the event to show support and connect with leaders from SAHRC and the local community.
“To see how Quest’s commitment to our local community plays out is deeply satisfying,” said Paul. “Chad and I met a dedicated group of individuals devoted to bringing awareness around chronic diseases and changing the outlook for those who are sometimes underrepresented. The SAHRC team, led by founder Dr. Roberto Trevino, expressed the impact Quest’s support has had on their program and were excited to have us attend their event so we could experience firsthand the important work they do to support the local community.”
Chad added, “The Quest Diagnostics Foundation has been supporting Dr. Trevino in digitizing health education materials. This is helping bring this education to more communities of color, including young students. If we can educate young students on eating habits, their lifestyle, and health choices, we may be able to reduce the incidence of diabetes and other chronic conditions associated with being overweight.”
Childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Black and Hispanic communities, partly due to social determinants such as low household income or lack of access to affordable healthy food. To help address these kinds of inequities, which constitute a preventable crisis in these communities, SAHRC developed the Bienestar/Neema Coordinated School Health Program, an evidence-based program using an innovative digitized curriculum designed to engage children and increase accessibility. The program has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Quest Diagnostics Foundation is collaborating with SAHRC to bring the culturally relevant curriculum to schools and communities where it is most needed, first in Texas and now in Paterson, New Jersey. Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) and The Quest Diagnostics Foundation are supporting this effort as part of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), a multi-year initiative, focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, education programs, and funding to support initiatives to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities across the U.S.
“Through the grant opportunity from The Quest Diagnostics Foundation, we will be able to provide this digital supplemental resource to our 72 campuses,” said Raul Salazar, Director of Health and Physical Education, San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). “At SAISD, we will use this program throughout the school year in our kindergarten through eighth-grade health classes, physical education classes, and our community outreach. We will also measure the growth of knowledge to see the change in self-efficacy in our children and community. Thank you to Quest and SAHRC for your continuing support of the fight against childhood obesity.”
Click here to learn more about the Bienestar/NEEMA Preschool bilingual coordinated school health program.