Mendocino County Public Health is pleased to announce the launch of a COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion campaign that includes one music video in Spanish and ten Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in English, Spanish, and multiple other languages. A joint venture was formed between Mendocino County Public Health and the Mendocino DEI COVID-19 Equity Work Group to reach traditionally underserved communities through elevating the voices of leaders in their community.
The beautiful recreation of the renowned Mexican Ranchera song Volver Volver, written in 1972 by Fernando Z. Maldonado and made famous by Vincente Fernández in 1978, is sung by local artist Irma López, a professional entertainer who has performed everywhere from Los Angeles to Reno and beyond. The lyrics have been changed to implore people to get vaccinated so that we can return to enjoying each other’s presence again. The song showcases the beauty of the Mexican culture along with the splendor of Mendocino County.
The campaign is presented by the Mendocino DEI COVID-19 Equity Workgroup, produced by members of the community with production support and guidance from Fuller Video Productions. The campaign is sponsored by Mendocino County Public Health and supported by Alliance for Rural Community Health and Nuestra Alianza de Willits.
The idea for this campaign arose from members of the Mendocino Diversity Equity Inclusion Taskforce, an independent task force that seeks to stamp out racism in all its forms in our county. According to the campaign writer, pediatric nurse practitioner Medie Parrott, “These videos provide information about the importance of vaccination, but the larger message is this: solidarity in diversity. The PSAs feature participants that are diverse in multiple ways and include voices that are important but not always heard. They are presented in a positive and empathetic manner, acknowledging the lived experiences of some black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)”.
Other available videos include:
COVID-19 Vaccine PSA by Mendocino Healthcare Professionals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7wNmIDDgVk [English with Spanish subtitles]
COVID-19 Vaccine PSA by Mendocino Community Multi-Ethnic Influencers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq6D3L4d8ck [English with Spanish subtitles]
¿Por qué me vacuné? Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (enfermera): https://youtu.be/k9BXirFEcB0 [English with Spanish subtitles]
¿Por qué me vacuné? – Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (trabajador de salud): https://youtu.be/X-scRcY-qqI
¿Por qué me vacuné? Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (5 participantes): https://youtu.be/YONLppk700s
Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English for Mendocino Native Communities: https://youtu.be/ofTigKBMEyA
Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English (8 participants): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKq8hLycyeg
Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English (3 participants): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcS1bC7j2hM
COVID-19 Vaccine PSA in English (medical doctor): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCLgkhTvihk
In recognition of her years of exemplary work, leadership and caring for our community, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) Executive Director Lucresha Renteria will be honored as a 2019 Rural Health Rock Star by the Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County at their annual fundraiser on June 15.
Having started as an MCC interpreter in 1992 before the organization became an independent non-profit health center in 1994, Renteria’s responsibilities grew as the clinic grew. She became the director of administrative services in 2004 and executive director on January 1, 2016.
Renteria has long been a community advocate for bilingual/bi-cultural services, as well as for the community’s children and families. In 2004, she was appointed to the First 5 Mendocino Commission, where she served as chairperson for six years. In 2007, she was presented with the Making a Difference for Women award from the local chapter of the Soroptimist International Club. Renteria was a member of the inaugural class of Clinic Leadership Institute – Emerging Leaders, graduating from the program in 2009.
Renteria currently serves as the chair for the Community Health Resource Network, as well as the 2019 chairperson for the Special Populations and Rural Committee of the California Primary Care Association. She is also a board member for the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund and the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee.
“I am honored to have been chosen as FMEMC’s advocate/leader rock star this year. We live in a wonderful rural community and it is up to all of us to take care of one another,” Renteria said.
FMEMC presents five awards each year to standout individuals in the following categories: advocate/leader, physician, midlevel provider, allied health provider, and complementary medicine provider. The FMEMC fundraiser where the awardees will be announced, “Music is Medicine,” includes a farm-to-table dinner catered by Black Dog Farm and a lively concert under the musical direction of well-known local musician Alex DeGrassi. It will be held at Mendocino College’s Center Theatre in partnership with Fowler Subaru on June 15. Tickets are available online at musicismedicine.brownpapertickets.com.
FMEMC is a community-based, non-profit organization that serves as an independent advisory board to the family medicine residency program starting at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley this fall. FMEMC also improves local health care through its support of the street medicine program and local nursing. For more information about FMEMC, visit www.fmemc.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fmemc. To learn more about Rural Health Rocks, visit www.ruralhealthrocks.com.
Susie and Albert go to the Farmer’s Market here in Fort Bragg every Wednesday afternoon rain or shine. Today’s recipe was pasta salad. Susie whips up something healthy and delicious every week. Albert is there to help answer questions about Medi-Cal, Cal Fresh, or any other health care navigation questions.
In 2000, when the scientific community declared measles had been eradicated in the United States, people were understandably overjoyed, especially people who had seen the devastating effects of the disease first-hand. For many, often children, measles had caused an unpleasant rash and a fever, sometimes developing into pneumonia. But for the most part, they recovered. For some, however, measles had infected the brain causing deafness, blindness, mental retardation, or even death—its effects were usually swift and irreversible. Parents watched as their children’s brains swelled and they began to convulse, drool, or lose their ability to interact with others. In the 1960s, when the measles vaccine was developed, the breakthrough was hailed as a miracle and people rushed to get vaccinated.
During the decades that followed, measles all but disappeared and in 2000, we thought we were done with it here in America. Unfortunately, we were not.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and to truly banish it, 95 percent of the population must be immunized. This provides what’s called “herd immunity,” protecting the most vulnerable in our communities who cannot be vaccinated such as babies younger than six months old, as well as those who receive the vaccine. As the details of the disease faded from memory and misinformation about the dangers of the vaccine spread, people stopped vaccinating their children. Which brings us to today, where measles outbreaks are currently happening in different parts of California.
In Mendocino County, we’re an independent bunch. We don’t like to be told what to do (by the government or anyone else) and we don’t always trust the scientific establishment. Some people hold religious or philosophical beliefs that discourage them from following the advice of doctors, and still others believe they are protecting their children from harm by avoiding vaccines. Clearly, when it comes to protecting children (and adults) against potentially life-threatening diseases, not everyone agrees on the best approach.
Here’s the thing: people who really want to know about whether vaccines are safe and effective have done study after study, and those studies continue to prove vaccines are both safe and effective. Scientists have disproved any link between vaccines and autism, even in populations where children have a genetic predisposition toward autism. Pediatricians and other doctors vaccinate their own children, and the dramatic decrease in the incidence of measles since the vaccine was developed certainly indicates it works. Maybe it’s time to revisit the belief that vaccines aren’t safe.
It can be hard to let go of something we believe, especially when we’ve held on to that belief for a long time. But for the health of your children and our whole community, please consider talking to someone who believes differently from you, who has the knowledge and/or experience to provide another point of view. Talk to a parent whose child has suffered from measles. Talk to a pediatrician who has tried to save the life of a child with measles.
When I spoke with pediatrician Dr. Chris Robshaw, he told me that if parents decide they’d like to bring in their unvaccinated child in to get vaccinated, the Pediatrics Office makes it really easy and convenient. They create a “catch-up schedule” tailored for each child. Once the doctor meets with the child once, future vaccination appointments can be made with nurses only, speeding the process along.
The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, is only one of many recommended vaccines. As a parent, you can choose to vaccinate your child against all the most dangerous diseases, or simply against some. At Mendocino Coast Clinics, we’re here to work with you as you care for your family.
Copyright by Mendocino Coast Clinics. All rights reserved. This Health Center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 245b, and deemed a Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n). Any claim filed against MCC must be done in federal court.