SAN DIEGO, Calif., Sept. 5, 2023 – Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”) recently recognized three San Diego area residents for their dedication to addressing social determinants of health through the MolinaCares Community Champions program. Each honoree received a $5,000 grant to pay forward to the nonprofit organization of their choice.
“At Molina, we are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of those in the communities we serve,” said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California. “That’s why it’s so rewarding to not only honor individuals who share that commitment, but to give back to the organizations they partner with to make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors here in San Diego.”
This year’s San Diego MolinaCares Community Champions are:
Dr. Beatriz Villarreal of Encinitas has made significant contributions to address disparities in health care and social services among underserved populations in San Diego County. She organizes free conferences and outreach events focused on health education and preventive care, drug and alcohol prevention, mental health awareness, and parenting skills. Dr. Villarreal also has been at the forefront of combatting the Fentanyl epidemic. Collaborating with law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney’s office, community organizations, and addiction treatment centers, she has offered support to affected individuals and their families. Dr. Villarreal has brought attention to this crisis among healthcare professionals, community leaders, and the general public. Her grant will be donated to Mano a Mano Foundation.
Laura Jean of San Diego is a dedicated volunteer of Project 1:1, Magnolia Project, an organization dedicated to fighting food insecurity. Jean started out sorting food for a small neighborhood food distribution. She volunteered at the organization’s homeless ministry and then became a driver, delivering food to 40 families a week. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she distributed to-go meals to the homeless and other families, using her own car. In July 2021, Magnolia Project was founded, a pantry in Imperial Beach. Jean become the project manager, handling volunteer recruitment and monthly reporting to local food banks. Jean also donates her time to the Latino Film Festival. She is a single mom of four teenagers, but always finds time to give back to the community. Jean’s grant will be donated to Project 1:1.
Oscarin Ortega of Oceanside is the founder of Lived Experiences, a community-based non-profit dedicated to aiding vulnerable youth and empowering them to lead fulfilling lives. Ortega has led community engagement forums, advocated for educational reform at the district level and provided foster care for his three siblings. His services encompass a wide range of activities, including food distributions, laundry assistance, youth mentoring, organizing community events, and providing educational support to high-risk students who often go unnoticed in the school system. Ortega was named Constituent of the Month by Congressman Mike Levin. He also received the Latino Community Award, and the Community Leadership Award from Oceanside Mayor Ester Sanchez. Ortega’s grant will go to Lived Experiences.
About Molina Healthcare of California
Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 5.2 million members as of June 30, 2023. For more information about Molina Healthcare of California, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.