The College of Health and Human Services will honor 11 individuals for their contributions to the community during the annual Community Heroes Awards at 6 p.m. this evening, at Fresno State’s North Gym, Room 118.

The award recognizes work within the health and human services sector that creates positive and meaningful change for Central California children and families. Each honoree was nominated by an academic department, school, center or institute that represents the range of disciplines within the College of Health and Human Services.

The 2015 Community Heroes are as follows. Please read more about each Community Hero at the link provided in their respective name:

_R2G9087Dr. Jennifer Crocker — As medical director of the Valley Children’s Hospital rehabilitation center, Crocker created the Adaptive Sports Program, which offers recreational and athletic experiences for children with physical and health impairments.

BenCuellarBenjamin Cuellar — Cuellar, dean emeritus for the College of Health and Human Services, was instrumental in the development of the Central California Children’s Institute, which addresses youth issues through research and collaboration.

_R2G4736Brenna Hughes — Hughes, the team lead for speech-language pathology at Community Regional Medical Center, organized the first Central Valley Concussion Consortium to increase brain injury education for youth athletes, teachers, coaches and medical professionals.

Victor Hugo Manriquez_2Victor Hugo Manriquez — Manriquez, an elementary school physical education teacher, formed the Trucha Camp Physical Education Program that has been implemented in Sanger Unified School District.

IMG_2293 - Copy (2)William Mitchell — Mitchell has dedicated 40 years to public health, most recently as the director of public health for San Joaquin County.

Gail NewelDr. Gail Newel — As director of obstetrics for UCSF Fresno, Newel provides services for women and children on a local and national scale.

Marcia Sablan_1Dr. Marcia Sablan — Having formed the Sablan Medical Clinic in 1981 and serving on the city council for 33 years, Sablan has been an advocate of health care and public policy in Firebaugh.

Smith.Paul001Paul Smith — In 20 years as a physical therapist, Smith has advocated for the profession on a local and state level, and provided continuous mentoring support for Fresno State students.

Debbie TuttleDr. Debbie Tuttle — Tuttle, a nurse at California Oncology of the Central Valley, has devoted her nearly 25-year career to helping breast cancer patients deal with treatments and experiences from early stages, to survivorship, to end of life.

AYamamotoAnthony Yamamoto — Yamamoto has 40 years experience as a social worker, most recently as director of social services and interpreter services at Valley Children’s Hospital.

_D1C9422Kathy Yoshida — Yoshida, director of interpreting at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, has assisted the community as a sign language interpreter for nearly 35 years.

“Our heroes continue to serve as a valuable driving force to our schools, agencies, organizations and communities,” said Jody Hironaka-Juteau, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “We rely on their expertise, passion and vision to move us forward in our commitment, as evidenced by our motto, ‘Live Well Central California.’ We are honored to recognize this remarkable group of individuals.”

The College of Health and Human Services trains students to address the health and human services issues facing Central California. Attracting more than 4,800 students each year, the college offers specialized disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree levels. Vital regional health challenges such as child welfare, health policy, access to social services and services for individuals with special needs are addressed daily by more than 250 faculty, working with the college’s centers and institutes

For more information on the Community Heroes Awards, contact Dana Lucka, development director for the College of Health and Human Services, at 559.278.5590 or