To address obesity in children and young people, San Antonio’s pioneering Dr. Roberto P. Trevino, an internal medicine specialist, social entrepreneur, founder of Social and Health Research Center (SAHRC) and author of the Forgotten Children, is part of a collaborative of corporations and institutions leading a key Public/Private Health Initiative. Founded on evidence based research, SAHRC is deploying a curriculum in public schools for health and wellness that uses an innovative, interactive, digital EdTech platform to prevent chronic diseases and diabetes in children. SAHRC has closelycollaborated with the Americas Council for the Creative Economy (ACCE) founded and led by Mark Marion and Carlos Arguello, who have assembled a team of over 45 developers age 16-24 in Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, and the USA to convert the SAHRC curriculum. The initiative benefits from generous funding and a collaborative effort from Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of testing and diagnostic insights. SAHRC has alsopartnered with the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and other school districts across South Texas to reach thousands of children and their families with the use the innovative healthcare curriculum to help prevent and control obesity and related chronic diseases in children.
The collaborative of public institutions, private sector corporations, higher education research institutions and nonprofit organizations are launching the Bienestar/Neema curriculum in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and Texas making it more economical for school districts and more compelling and engaging for students. With the aim of influencing children and their families to make changes in their health-related behaviors,the plan is to offer this to public schools throughout the USA. The EdTech platform utilizes age-appropriate full motion 3 D animated characters, animated sing-a-longs, animated tutorials and the gamification of quizzes and tests to engage, inform and entertain students.
Dr. Trevino was raised at the edge of San Antonio’s downtown at Victoria Courts, one of three City enforced segregated and economically challenged public housing projects. The experience of living in public housing exposed a young Dr. Trevino to health care disparities as a central challenge in poor communities. That was underscored for him later as he developed his medical practice and led subsequently to his passion for addressing the root causes of diabetes and the development of research and programming thru SAHRC and now with new partners,” said Diane Sanchez, Chairman of the Board of SAHRC.
This new Bienestar/NEEMA curriculum comes in the wake of “COVID-19” as low income and racial/ethnic minority families, particularly Latino and African Americans, are struggling with an even greater risk of health complications such as obesity, diabetes, respiratory ailments, and other predisposedconditions according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control. “We are eager to help our children develop healthy habits by moving this effort forward with SAHRC and Quest Diagnostics. I want San Antonio to serve as a healthy lifestyle model to expand this innovative and interactive animated platform across the country,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg who leads San Antonio as one of the fastest growing cities in the USA.
“Enhancing the health and well-being of underserved communities was a critical need before the pandemic and is even more so today”, said Steve Roszkowski, Chairman, CEO and President of Quest Diagnostics. “We know childhood obesity is dramatically growing in underserved communities and that these resources are needed throughout the United States. Our goal is to support the digital evolution of this powerful curriculum to make it more appealing to today’s youth and more affordable for key school district’ adoption across the country”