County of Marin - News Releases - Latino Health Report

For Immediate Release
November 01, 2016

County, Partners Prioritize Latino Health in Marin

‘Viva Marin’ report debuts at Board of Supervisors meeting

San Rafael, CA – After two years of research and discussion, a partnership committed to health equity in Marin’s Latino community has released an extensive and eye-opening report titled “!Viva Marin!” that celebrates successes and recognizes key areas in which improvement is still needed.

A Latino family of five sits on a blanket in a garden“Viva Marin!” encourages ordinances and policies that create the environment for health in all communities.

The Marin Latino Health Policy Partnership presented the report to the Marin County Board of Supervisors on November 1 and it was enthusiastically accepted.

“Equity is a priority of the Board of Supervisors,” said Board President Steve Kinsey, a member of the partnership along with many other elected officials, organizations and individuals. “This guide helps us see the major contributions of Latinos in Marin so we can start changing harmful stereotypes that are bad for Marin. It also holds us accountable for necessary changes so that all may enjoy good health. I’m pleased that we’ve already made progress on many of the action items listed in this report and continue to work hard on more achievements.”

Dr. Rocio Hernandez, a Senior Department Analyst for the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, was a primary author of the milestone report along with Michelle Fadelli of the Marin County Children and Families Commission, also known as First 5 Marin.

Policymakers at all levels of government have considered the state of Latinos and asked tough questions on the subject, such as the ones contributed by Barbara Clifton Zerate of the Marin Community Foundation, another key report collaborator:

  • “How is Marin preparing to meet the needs of our changing demographics with an anticipated increase of 25 percent Latinos by 2050?”
  • “What can we learn from the Latino culture and heritage that promotes a longer life expectancy than most others in Marin?”
  • “How can we capitalize on the major financial contributions of Latinos in Marin?”

“Those are among the many questions we address and answer in the guide,” Hernandez said. “The health of Latinos is much more than just nutrition. It’s well-being as a whole, including economic stability.”

It is estimated that Latinos in Marin contribute $500 million annually in business revenue and pay $38 million in state and local taxes.

“The business industry has strongly acknowledged that diversity is good for the bottom line; Latinos are good for Marin’s economy,” said Rob Eyler, Chief Economist of the Marin Economic Forum and co-author of the economic well-being section of the guide.  

The report serves as a data, policy and action guide and mentions areas that disproportionally affect certain communities. The guide features sections that focus on parks and environment, healthy places, access to health care, economic well-being, a heritage of health, children and older adults. Action steps are offered for individuals, organizations, businesses, and policy makers so everyone may take a conscious positive step regardless of power or sector.

“Viva Marin!” encourages ordinances and policies that create the environment for health in all communities. It puts the responsibility on the community to make it happen. “The guide promotes community cohesion, a major contributor to health outcomes,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer and a report co-author.

The report was released a few weeks after the annual Binational Health Week. The Marin County Board of Supervisors joined the Binational Health Week initiative more than 15 years ago and since then the County has used the platform to create strategies for health equity, community engagement, community capacity building, and unity across sectors through health fairs, community relations, and partnerships across the geography of the county. 

Printed copies of the guide in English will be available November 10 at the Marin Equity Summit and through the staff at Marin HHS. Spanish versions will be available soon online and in print. Learn more by following the partnership via Latino Health Marin on Facebook.


Dr. Rocio Hernandez
Senior Analyst
Health and Human Services

1600 Los Gamos Drive
Suite 350
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2848
Email: Dr. Rocio Hernandez
Marin HHS website