California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB’s Centro Salud es Cultura Opens In Downtown Long Beach

Published: November 1, 2013

On Oct. 18, CSULB opened the Centro Salud es Cultura, a new downtown Long Beach Latino health resource center, with a tour and reception.

With the center, the Long Beach community–particularly the Latino community–has a new resource for health related issues. This center, sponsored by the National Council for La Raza/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training, will build on its work on the CSULB campus.

“Much of student success starts at this center. It’s so nice that so many former students have come back today to this new center,” said Britt Rios-Ellis, co-director of CSULB’s Department of Health Science graduate program, who in addition to being a professor of health science is the director of the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Leadership, Evaluation and Training. “What we’ve created is an empowering culture that leads to inspiration and success. We will use this space for many things and continue our commitment at Cal State Long Beach to the community.

Centro Salud es Cultura

“At Centro Salud es Cultura, we are leveraging resources by seeking partnerships to provide health and educational equity programming at our downtown site,” she continued. “Our long-term goal is to establish a center that brings together corporate and governmental partners, community leaders, researchers, Long Beach residents, students and elected officials to create effective strategies that reflect and incorporate the cultural capital of the community they serve.”

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, who represents California’s 70th Assembly district, presented the center with a certificate and said, “What a wonderful day it is to celebrate this community partnership. It’s very important–community partnerships. That’s what’s happening here. I wish many years of success to you here.”

Chicano civil rights leader Jose Angel Gutierrez kicked off the celebration the night before with a lecture and a screening on the upcoming PBS series “Latino Americans: Pride and Prejudice,” in which Gutierrez is featured. Recognized as one of the four major Chicano leaders, including Cesar Chavez, Gutierrez is responsible for leading the Raza Unida Party, the first Latino political party, to victory in South Texas.

Centro Salud es Cultura
PHOTO BY DAVID J. NELSON
At the grand opening event were (l-r) Interim CSULB President Donald Para, Britt Rios-Ellis and Interim Provost David Dowell

The center is designed to provide health promotion services that improve the health outcomes of residents while reinforcing positive cultural values; increase capacity to conduct health equity programming in the local community; and discover and develop effective community health strategies to improve access to care and culturally and linguistically relevant health education.

“This is an amazing opportunity to link the city and university like our Long Beach College Promise does. It would not happen without community support. This is exactly the kind of relationship our university and our community should have,” said CSULB Interim President Donald Para. “This is one example of how that happens. It’s a new amazing reality that has happened.”

The center will provide an array of classes such as mental wellness, student academic preparedness, and leadership development opportunities aimed at supporting family unity and health. It will also address issues like obesity.

The CSULB Centro Salud es Cultura will facilitate research aimed at improving the health outcomes of economically disadvantaged residents.

Sponsors included Molina Healthcare, St. Mary Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Wellpoint, Inc., Port of Long Beach, Assemblymember Lowenthal, the California Endowment, Nutragentics, JMS, Northgate Gonzalez Markets and Sergio Avina Winery.