We cannot rest until the children are well: Dr. William C. Bell’s keynote address to the Latino Health Access Celebration

Dr. William C. Bell, Casey Family Programs president and CEO, delivered the keynote address this month at the Latino Health Access annual tamalada, a celebration in which tamales is the featured dish.

Latino Health Access, based in Santa Ana, Calif., assists in improving the quality of life and health of uninsured, under-served people through quality preventive services and educational programs.

Dr. Bell drew on the similarities in vision between Casey Family Programs and Latino Health Access, saying both organizations have a commitment to build healthy children and families by building healthy communities around children and families.

Dr. Bell told guests that the statute of limitations for helping others has not run out. He said, “We cannot rest until all children are well; we cannot be satisfied until all children are well; we cannot say my family is OK until all children are well.”

Citing a finding that children who grow up at the lower end of the income scale and get a four-year college degree are four times more likely to make it to the top of the income distribution, than if they do not have a college degree, Dr. Bell asked, who will give those children hope to believe that can happen? “Who will be the voice?”

“The silence and inaction of those in the face of injustice are complicit in the very unjust acts and circumstances we say we want to abolish,” Dr. Bell said.

“The day we forget I am you and you are me and together we are one community, is the day we have lost hope. Latino Health Access has the power to transform the community to be a shining star for the rest of the nation.”

Latino Health Access awarded Casey Family Programs an Eye of God award for its vision, leadership and action to ensure all children in the United States grow up in a safe and loving family.

America Bracho, trustee on the Casey Family Programs board, founded Latino Health Access 18 years ago and serves as its CEO and president.