It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of the 2023 calendar year. With the holiday season underway, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back at what took place in 2023 for IFR—and what a productive year it has been!
For starters, this was the first year that Miss & Mr. Safe Latino reopened to the public since before COVID. As always, the event drew a large crowd, reminding all of us how beloved this event is in the community.
Equally valued in our community, IFR also reopened its Dia de los Muertos ceremony to the public. It was important to share honor, celebrate and show our respect for those we’ve lost.
If you can believe it, Roadmap to Peace (RTP) turned ten this year! It seems like just yesterday that it was still a vision in the minds of several community leaders. IFR is so very honored to be among those founding organizations that recognized the need to create new solutions for our youth. Congratulations RTP!
IFR also launched the Ollin Monthly Giving Program this year. Over the past few years, we’ve seen what unanticipated circumstances like COVID, reduced numbers of bilingual clinicians, and economic impacts on funding opportunities have on our clients and community. As we inch closer to our 50th anniversary, we understand how important it is to ensure IFR’s financial security, while identifying accessible ways for our supportive community to help.
This is the year that IFR’s longstanding Program Director of Sana Sana, Cassandra Coe, after 22 years of service, stepped down from this role. She continues to be an active staff member of the Sana Sana team, while another IFR veterana, Elia Dominguez, currently serves as the new Program Director. Congratulations and thanks to Cassandra for her incredible service to IFR, and to Elia for bringing her extensive experience and commitment to this new role.
As if following in Sana Sana’s footsteps, after more than a decade at IFR, Program Director of Casa Corazón, Brenda Quintero, left IFR to take a position at the City’s Department of Early Childhood. Good luck to you Brenda! We’re excited to see your continued great work!
Of course, one of the great highlights of 2023 has been the production of “Buen Provecho” a 10-episode podcast on healthy eating developed by Indígena Health & Wellness. At a time when health disparities seem unending, IHW continues to make new inroads to bring health information to the Indígena and newcomer communities. Great work, Indígena Health & Wellness!
I know you’ve heard there is a national shortage of bilingual clinicians. IFR staff are definitely doing their part to change that. This year, Tia Phillips (SPARK) and Ana Carolina Borges-Baird (La Clinica) received their LMFT licenses, and Sara Briseño and Elizabeth Gonzalez, both from Sana Sana received their LCSW licenses. In addition, Twiggy Damy (Casa Corazón received her BA in Public Health and Renatto Guerrero received his BA in Psychology. Congratulations to these tremendous community practitioners!
Last but not least, IFR turned 45 this year! To IFR’s founders and supporters from its early days, we take this opportunity to thank you for bringing to life your vision for what a culturally-based responsive organization focused on health and wellness can look like. Our community has been fundamentally altered for the better because of your vision and efforts.
To all of IFR’s supporters, partners, and friends, thank you for a wonderful 2023. We look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead.