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League Second Vice President Dennis Michael and League Board Director Sedalia Sanders Honored with Champion of Health Awards

October 17, 2014
Two members of the League board of directors are being recognized with the 2014 Champions of Health Awards — Rancho Cucamonga Mayor and League Second Vice President Dennis Michael and El Centro Council Member and League Director Sedalia Sanders.
Presented by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the Champions of Health awards will be presented during two receptions in early November.
The California Center for Public Health Advocacy’s Champions of Health Awards program highlights the contribution of individuals working to improve the health and wellness of communities across the state. There are six categories of awards including one for elected officials. The Health Champion Award for Elected Officials recognizes those whose work has impacted health disparities, particularly diabetes and obesity.
CCPHA solicits nominations from the public health community and makes its selection based upon three criteria:
  1. How the nominee’s work has impacted health disparities
  2. How the nominee’s work has contributed to systemic changes that impact the physical, social and economic conditions that contribute to poor health, particularly diabetes and obesity, and
  3. How the nominee has engaged and empowered community residents in the pursuit of better health. 
Sedalia Sanders and Dennis Michael both exemplify the highest quality of leadership through their work to improve health and wellness among their cities’ residents and employees. Both have incorporated health into the core function of their local governments.
El Centro Council Member Sedalia Sanders has long served the citizens of El Centro through her engagement with the El Centro Community Hospital, her work to integrate health goals into the downtown revitalization plan and to promote HEAL Cities Campaign policies. She looks for creative ways to promote healthy lifestyles such as her project with El Centro Regional Medical Center staff to establish a ‘walking’ pathway throughout El Centro’s Shopping Mall. Most recently, Council Member Sanders led efforts to eliminate sugar sweetened beverages and to provide healthy beverages in city facilities to support children’s health.
Dennis Michael is a founder and shepherd of Healthy Rancho Cucamonga, the city’s award winning initiative to “inspire a lifestyle that embraces a healthy Mind, Body and Earth through lifelong learning and enrichment, active and healthy living and environmental sustainability.” Under Mayor Michael’s leadership, the Rancho Cucamonga City Council has adopted an array of policies to support the development of new farmers markets and community gardens, establish nutrition standards for beverages and foods served and sold in city facilities, accommodate breastfeeding mothers, establish complete streets to serve pedestrians and bicyclists as well as transit and automobiles, support students to walk to school safely, among others.
The third awardee in the Elected Official category is Supervisor Ron Roberts of San Diego County. For more than 10 years he has led countywide efforts to reverse the county’s childhood obesity epidemic.
In 2013, Mountain View Council Member and League Director Mike Kasperzak received the Champion of Health Award.
The awards will be presented at two upcoming receptions:
  • Nov. 3, 3–5 p.m., Los Angeles, Home Girl Café. Register online.
  • Nov. 6, Stockton, 3–5 p.m., Cabral Agricultural Center. Register online.

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