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MBEP Presents Annual Public-Private Partnership Award

MBEP Presents Annual Public-Private Partnership Award

(April 30, 2020) -Marina, CA- Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) awarded its annual Public-Private Partnership Award to three outstanding healthcare workers, representing the public, private and nonprofit sectors and all three regions of the Monterey Bay region.

At MBEP’s 6th Annual Regional Economic Summit Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, President of CSU Monterey Bay and MBEP’s board chair, presented the award to the following individuals who accepted the award on behalf of their entire teams and their colleagues across the region: Amy Mitchell Meza, BSN, RN, PHN, Supervising Public Health Nurse for the Communicable Disease Unit, Public Health Division, Health Services Agency, County of Santa Cruz; Rediet Taddesse, BSN, RN, FNP, Family Nurse Practitioner, San Benito Health Foundation; and Heather Bowers, BSN, RN, CNOR, Infection Prevention Coordinator, Community Hospital of Monterey County (CHOMP).

Normally MBEP’s Public-Private Partnership Award recognizes a particular project that has shown great coordination and teamwork between the public and private sectors. Past recipients include Abbott Square in Santa Cruz, and Tanimura and Antle’s Spreckels Crossing Farmworker Housing project, to name a few. But during these extraordinary times, MBEP’s board of directors felt it was important to recognize healthcare individuals that represent the breadth of the region’s geography, and from each sector. “We felt it was salient at this time to focus on our healthcare heroes — those putting themselves at risk during the COVID-19 crisis and going above and beyond to serve our communities across the region,” said Dr. Ochoa.

Amy Mitchell Meza, Supervising Public Health Nurse for the Communicable Disease Unit, Public Health Division at the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, accepted the award on behalf of our public sector health workers, who have worked

tirelessly to locate ventilators, expand homeless facilities and services, orchestrate expansion of testing and alternate care surge capacity facilities, and so much more. Amy was nominated by Dr. Gail Newel, Santa Cruz County’s Health Officer, and is the frontline contact for all new confirmed COVID-19 cases, overseeing all of the case investigation and contact tracing. In the county’s Department Operations Center, activated for the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she is the Disease Control Branch Director. She and her team have been invaluable to the containment of the disease.

Rediet Taddesse accepted the award on behalf of the San Benito Health Foundation, a not-for-profit integrated health facility — and a key part of our region’s healthcare “safety net” — that coordinates comprehensive care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Rediet is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has been at the forefront of the response to COVID-19. He has continued to provide care with a smile in spite of the unpredictable circumstances, including working on Sundays to ensure our farmworker community was served, with no loss of valuable work hours. Dr. Rosa Vivian Fernandez, CEO of the San Benito Health Foundation, said, “Mr. Taddesse is a hero and a wonderful member of the San Benito Health Foundation family.”

Heather Bowers accepted this award on behalf of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP), a part of Montage Health. CHOMP has had the most COVID-19 patients than any other hospital in the region. Heather was selected by Dr. Steve Packer, CEO of CHOMP, as their honoree because she has been on the frontline working with staff to educate, develop PPE guidelines, and provide insight and information to their team as the pandemic has evolved.

Kate Roberts, President and CEO of MBEP, added, “Thanks to all our award recipients. We are so grateful for all the sacrifices that they and their colleagues have made throughout these unprecedented times. When the world eventually declares this pandemic over, we will have all of them all to thank for it.”

A replay of the full event and a follow-up recap will be available on https://mbep.biz/2020-economic-summit/ on May 1, 2020.