San Diego County Partners With SDSU for Community Health Initiative

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San Diego State University and the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Thursday announced the creation of the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership, a collaborative venture connecting researchers and programs from the institutions.

"I am very proud that the already strong partnership between SDSU and the county's Health and Human Services Agency will continue to grow and expand after today," said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. "Through the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership, we are creating something new. There will be a focus on workforce development and county internships for SDSU students in public health and social work, creating a highly educated and better-trained workforce to address many of the health disparities pervasive in our community today."

The agreement signed Thursday will last five years and will address countywide health care issues, including child welfare, aging, behavioral health and housing insecurity.

"This type of partnership is a first in the state of California," said Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. "We will be streamlining workforce development through new internships and training, and this will be a great relationship as we continue to scale up our behavioral health workforce.

"Together we can keep the local talent local and prepare them to meet public health needs of our region," he said.

Part of the joint venture will increase internship opportunities, with hands-on cross-training opportunities for SDSU's College of Health and Human Services students.

"The new partnership will provide substantial experiential learning experiences and more internships to better equip our students for jobs that will enhance and maintain the health of diverse communities," said Steven Hooker, dean of SDSU's College of Health and Human Services.

According to the HHSA and university, faculty and the public will also benefit from a closer connection with the county's many health initiatives to further expand research collaborations.

"The launch of the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership will accelerate our already productive partnership with the university," said Nick Macchione, HHSA director. "We are excited for how faculty and the addition of more graduates with lived experiences, and fresh thinking in areas of high public concern, will contribute to a healthy, safe and thriving community."

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