VIDA Champions Announced

VIDA Champions Announced

­­VIDA Leadership and Community Health Workers Select 25 People for Special Recognition

Monterey County, California — The VIDA (Virus Integrated Distribution of Aid) leadership team and VIDA community health workers (CHWs) have chosen to recognize 25 community members who contributed to the success of VIDA and, in turn, the health of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These VIDA Champions added to and strengthened VIDA in a variety of ways which included helping improve messaging, offering space or financial support, training, guest speakers and contributing their time.  Each person received a VIDA Champion keepsake and custom art piece created by a local Latina artist Jasmin Arevalo. This art piece is meant to convey the change VIDA has created and the hope it brings.

VIDA CHWs had more than 350,000 interactions with individuals, were responsible for more than 13,000 vaccines and conducted 19,000 rapid tests, as well as providing links to critical resources and information. Monterey County has reached an 81 percent vaccination rate as of January 25, 2022 (5 years and older with at least one dose).

Every person/organization on this list was nominated by VIDA CHWs or administrative staff.

“We all agreed VIDA has been a huge success thanks in part to these VIDA Champions,” said Dan Baldwin, Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) President/CEO of who leads the COVID-19 Collaborative.

VIDA would like to thank each of them for their leadership, encouragement, and time.” – Dan Baldwin

Their contribution and support of our community response effort allowed VIDA to serve the most disparately-impacted communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIDA Champions

  • Angelica Chavez, Chronic Disease Prevention Coordinator, Monterey County Health Department
  • Antonio Acosta
  • Barbara Meister, Public Affairs Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Christina Santana, Chronic Disease Prevention Coordinator, Monterey County Health Department
  • COPA (Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action)
  • Debra McAlahney, DSS
  • Oscar Gantes, Salud para la Gente, Watsonville
  • Gina Bartlett, CBI West Director + Senior Mediator, Consensus Building Institute
  • Hillary Fish, Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Natividad Hospital
  • Ida Lopez Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Soledad Community Health Care District
  • Janine Chicourrat, Managing Director, Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
  • Jimmy Eitoku, Pharmacist/Owner, Gonzales Rx Pharmacy
  • La Princesa Market
  • Lilia Chagolla, Regional Operations Director Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties, Central California Alliance for Health
  • Raymond Costa, Owner/Operator, RHC Mgmt. Co. LLC., McDonald’s Restaurants
  • Santa Fe Mercado
  • Sonja Koehler, Director, Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Development Initiative
  • Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, District 3
  • Monterey County Supervisor John M. Phillips, District 2
  • Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, District 1
  • Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams, District 5
  • Monterey County Supervisor Wendy Root-Askew, District 4
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Together Toward Health, Public Health Institute
  • Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice

About VIDA

VIDA is a $4.9 million program funded by the County of Monterey in partnership with the CFMC. Community Health Workers are trained and equipped to deliver information about the importance of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations and assist community members with access to resources. Additional support has been given from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Together Toward Health, a program of the Public Health Institute. Participating VIDA partner organizations include:

  • Building Healthy Communities
  • Centro Binacional Para El Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO)
  • Center for Community Advocacy (CCA)
  • City of Gonzales
  • Lideres Campesinas
  • Mujeres en Acción
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance
  • The Village Project

The COVID-19 Collaborative is a countywide multi-sector collaboration of existing and needed efforts fighting the impacts of OVID-19 our community. Its goal is to advance a coordinated action plan driven by science and best practices in public health and equity. Led by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, it brings together more than 75 participants from Monterey County, multiple cities, agriculture, hospitality, education, healthcare, community-based organizations and philanthropy to lower the spread of COVID-19. To learn more visit