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Assemblymember Arambula Names Fresno Building Healthy Communities the 2024 Nonprofit of the Year for the 31st District

For immediate release:
  • Felicia Matlosz
  • 559-304-9286

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) today announced that he has chosen Fresno Building Healthy Communities as the 2024 Nonprofit of the Year for the 31st Assembly District.

Assemblymember Arambula said that Fresno Building Healthy Communities (Fresno BHC) works to lift up historically marginalized communities by engaging residents in proactive efforts on issues that impact their lives, such as health care, education, land use, safe transportation, and development.

Fresno BHC was established in 2010 under The California Endowment, a statewide nonprofit organization focused on equity by expanding access to affordable quality health care in underserved and disadvantaged communities. Fresno BHC several years later established itself as a separate nonprofit entity and has a network of more than 30 nonprofit and faith-based organizations that reaches more than 97,000 people in central, southeast, and southwest Fresno.

The Fresno organization will be recognized today with other California nonprofits at a luncheon at the State Capitol in Sacramento on California Nonprofits Day. The event is sponsored by the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) in partnership with the state Assembly and Senate Select Committees on the Nonprofit Sector.

Fresno BHC has secured a number of important successes. These include co-authoring and leading community and voter engagement efforts for Measure P, a tax measure in the City of Fresno to benefit parks, trails, and the arts; securing a $6.6 million grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate Calwa Park in southeast Fresno; and establishing the Immigrant Refugee Coalition and co-developing the Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project, a collaborative effort of community-based organizations and community health workers that provided vaccines, preventive education, and resources to more than 25,000 residents in Fresno County during the pandemic.

Assemblymember Arambula said that Fresno BHC – under the steadfast leadership of President and CEO Sandra Celedon – has been a stalwart partner in the fight for equity. In fact, he said that when he was an emergency room physician, Celedon sparked his focus on advocating for access to quality health care for everyone. As a result, Assemblymember Arambula, in partnership with tireless health and immigration advocates, has been at the forefront of efforts to successfully expand health care to all people in California, regardless of immigration status.

Assemblymember Arambula said: "Sandra and Fresno BHC helped connect me to what was happening in my community, and, over the years, I have seen their tenacious resolve to give a voice to people who historically have not been heard. Fresno BHC advances efforts that make changes to improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, whether it's increasing access to health care, creating more green space, encouraging young people to be leaders, strengthening relationships among organizations, or undertaking other vital interests. They understand that a community's strength comes from its diversity and determination. Simply put, Fresno BHC believes in people power."

Sandra Celedon said: "Fresno Building Healthy Communities is honored to be selected as the 31st Assembly District Nonprofit of the Year. Our work focuses on fostering and encouraging thriving communities where all children and families can live healthy, safe, and productive lives. We do this by bringing people together to develop solutions to address the challenges our communities face through policy change and social action. This honor reflects the commitment, passion, and hard work our staff, partners, and community demonstrate every day to strengthen social bonds, generate investment in our neighborhoods, and build the leadership of youth. Our work is a collective effort led by community, powered by love, and supported by good public servants like Assemblymember Arambula."

The annual California Nonprofit of the Year event gives elected officials the opportunity to highlight the important and extensive work that nonprofit organizations are doing in their districts and to express appreciation for the collective impact of nonprofits in communities throughout the state.