Profiles of Success

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Profiles of Success Valle del Sol is a community-based organization that serves the behavioral health needs of the Valley’s community and provides leadership training. Each year it honors Valley Hispanic leaders for contributions to their community with its Profiles of Success awards. Members of Valle del Sol talk about the event and this year’s honorees. President/CEO of Valle del Sol talks about the event.

Richard Ruelas:
Good Evening, I'm Richard Ruelas in this week for José Cardenas. Welcome to "Horizonte". A U.S. federal appeals court gives the go ahead for trucks to carry cargo and cross the border from Mexico. We'll have details on a federal pilot program allowing Mexican trucking companies to operate freely anywhere in the United States. Also, the need for more Hispanic organ donors in Arizona. Learn what you can do to help. And Latino leaders recognized for their contributions to the community. Those stories are coming up on "Horizonte".

Richard Ruelas:
According to the donor network of Arizona, last year nearly 4,000 Latinos were recipients of organ and tissue donations. September 15th is the start of Hispanic heritage month. It's an opportunity to bring awareness and answer questions people may have in relation to being an organ donor. We will talk to someone from the donor network of Arizona in a moment, but first let's take a look at one of their public service announcements.

>> Ramiro Camarillo, Hispanic outreach coordinator for the donor network of Arizona is here to tell us what they are doing to get the word out.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas in this week for José Cardenas. Welcome to "Horizonte". A U.S. federal appeals court gives the go ahead for trucks to carry cargo and cross the border from Mexico. We'll have details on a federal pilot program allowing Mexican trucking companies to operate freely anywhere in the United States. Also, the need for more Hispanic organ donors in Arizona. Learn what you can do to help. And Latino leaders recognized for their contributions to the community. Those stories are coming up on "Horizonte".

>> funding for Horizonte is provided by s.r. p.

>> s.r.p.'s business is water and power. But our dedication to the community doesn't stop there. S.r.p., delivering more than power.

Richard Ruelas:
For the first time in 25-years, a pilot program approved by the U.S. congress will allow trucks from Mexico to drive here in Arizona and across the United States. Last week the 9th circuit court of appeals denied a request made by the teamsters union, Sierra Club and a nonprofit public citizen to stop this. Here to talk about this program is Jim Warriner. Thanks for joining us this evening. I understand this program is going to start sometime this week. When will we see practical effects? When might we see the first trucks come into Arizona?

Jim Warriner:
It's possible you could see them as soon as today or by this weekend, by them starting the pilot program and inspecting the initial trucks down in Mexico.

Richard Ruelas:
What is the change? What were the regulations before this program, and what is the change now?

Jim Warriner:
Prior to that, the trucks could not really go beyond the 25-mile business community district that they had down there. Now with this new program, they'll be able to do transportation of goods from Mexico to a particular point and then return back to Mexico.

Richard Ruelas:
And obviously we mentioned the court case. There's been some public outcry. Coming from the teamsters and sierra club we think might be labor and environmental related. Have you in the D.P.S. heard from the public in any form that they're worried about the idea of trucks from Mexico coming into Arizona and the country?

Jim Warriner:
Our agency in particular, we have not, especially in my office out of the immediate office have not heard any concerns from it other than from the organizations that you've mentioned. We haven't heard a word about any concerns about it.

Richard Ruelas:
Have you listened to talk radio? I don't know if you listen to talk radio.

Jim Warriner:
I do, yes.

Richard Ruelas: There has been some concern mentioned from the public. I guess we can talk about some of those fierce. What does a trucking company operating now in Mexico have to do to cross the border and come into the United States?

Jim Warriner: Well, what's going to be happening is the federal department of transportation are doing inspections down with the businesses that have asked to participate in the pilot program. It's my understanding currently they've been down there, they've completed audits and completed inspections on at least two major businesses down there, which I was given I think a rough number of approximately maybe 130 trucks that have passed the inspections. And those inspections are exactly the same if not maybe a little more stringent than the ones that our trucking firms go through here on a regular basis here in the United States.

Richard Ruelas: So a truck coming in from Minnesota to Arizona passes the same standards as a truck coming in from son nora.

Jim Warriner: Absolutely. It will be exact same standards. They'll have to meet their hours, their required driving hours, keep a log book, make sure their equipment is inspected on a regular basis, sign off on those types of forms.

Richard Ruelas: So not only the trucks and the equipment are checked out as far as inspections, brakes, but the drivers aren't going to be able to drive all night. Or there's a limit on how long a driver can be behind the wheel.

Jim Warriner: Yes. I mean, as I mentioned, there's really no difference between the trucking firms that we have currently operating within the united states versus the ones that will be coming across out of Mexico.

Richard Ruelas:
Is there a -- I guess as people go to Mexico especially along the border towns, Nogales or rocky point, a little further in and they see some of the trucks driving the other way or doing that, some border traffic is, that the kind of truck we're seeing, sort of the rickety rig that we might associate with Mexican trucking?

Jim Warriner:
No. What you're going to see -- probably aren't going to see any different than the trucks you see on our traffic on the highways at 8:00. Ones that you typically see are the ones that are coming up into that commerce district within the 25 miles where they bring it from across the Mexican border into Arizona, drop it off at the distribution point, and then one of the U.S. companies will pick it up. And transport it. But that part doesn't change, then.

Richard Ruelas:
No. That part will still be able -- they'll still be doing that. The one that's going to be is the interstate basically we might not be able to spot a truck coming from Mexico versus a truck coming from Oregon.

JimWarriner:
The only way I could think is the Mexican plates would be the only difference. They'll still have their d.o.t. requirements as far as their d.o.t. license and all that will be posted on the vehicles.

Richard Ruelas:
And you mentioned two trucking firms with about 130 trucks. Are there some more in the pipeline? I know this isn't exactly D.P.S.'s job. But do you know are there more trucks coming?

Jim Warriner:
My understanding is in order -- once this program does kick off is that once -- the goal is that for the next I think it's three to four months they'll be inspecting at least 25 companies a month until they reach the 100 limit. The pilot program is limited to 100 businesses that will be working in this pilot program.

Richard Ruelas:
Okay. So we might see about a -- I mean, if two give us 130, we might then raise that up to a few thousand?

Jim Warriner:
Yeah, maybe, maybe 1,000, 1200. I mean, it just depends on how large a firm it is and how many trucks they have in their system.

Richard Ruelas:
And I guess depending if you count the number of vehicles using I-10 between Tempe and phoenix every day, we might not see an appreciable difference in trucking traffic here in the state?

Jim Warriner:
I would doubt if you see any at all. I mean, you might see one or two. But a tremendous influx? I just don't envision that. I don't think we are envisioning that big a difference in what we're seeing.

Richard Ruelas: Do you figure there are some routes they're going to take?

Jim Warriner:
One of the major routes that we know is one of the major distribution points is out of Nogales. There are some in California, the Mexican border, and then some out of the Texas region. So predominantly what we're going to see is probably the i-10 route, maybe interstate 8 as they get up into here. And then of course down south, the I-19 route where you'll probably see the biggest increase of maybe the traffic.

Richard Ruelas:
You mentioned this being a pilot program. What does D.P.S., the department of public safety, do during this year? I imagine you have to give some information to the federal authorities to figure out if this is working?

Jim Warriner:
Our commercial vehicle enforcement division will be tracking that through the national department of transportation programs that they have. If they happen to stop one of these trucks, then they'll complete what they call their -- it's a form that's called a d.d.r. form where they do a complete inspection of the vehicle. They'll keep those statistics. And then at the end of the year they'll review all those from all the different states where they may have contact with the Mexican trucking industry.

Richard Ruelas:
So what you're looking for, citations, faulty equipment, accidents, things like that you would -- I mean, there might be a point where D.P.S. decides our position is we don't think these are safe on the road. I mean, there's that potential down the road.

Jim Warriner:
I guess there's always that potential down the road as we start analyzing the data as it comes. In if they are involved in collisions and looking at all the equipment problems and stuff as this program goes on. And that will be determined at the end of the pilot program.

Richard Ruelas:
Right. But right now, you're not anticipating that being a problem. D.p.s. is not worried about these trucks coming in.

Jim Warriner:
Not at this point because they are going through this very detailed inspection by the national department of transportation.

Richard Ruelas:
Do you think some of that fear is just associated with some of our immigration concerns or our concerns about terrorism, about who's coming in our freeways?

Jim Warriner:
I think we always have to think about that because of the border protection and the border issues that are going on. They heighten the awareness and some of the concerns. But we're going to be looking for the exact same problems and concerns that we have with the trucking industry right now across the United States.

Richard Ruelas:
I appreciate your coming in. Maybe we'll have you back in six months or so for a quick update. Lieutenant, thank you for joining us.

Richard Ruelas:
According to the donor network of Arizona, last year nearly 4,000 Latinos were recipients of organ and tissue donations. September 15th is the start of Hispanic heritage month. It's an opportunity to bring awareness and questions people may have in relation to being an organ donor. We'll talk to one of the organ donors. We'll look at one of their public service announcements.

Interviewee:
Priscilla had a heart transplant when she was 2 1/2 weeks old. She was three weeks old when I took her into the emergency room and at that point she had the size of a 1-year-old's heart. It was very frightening knowing I could lose my daughter. When Priscilla had a heart transplant, her surgeon then told me she would not have survived one more day without the transplant. My daughter right now is in fifth grade. She's doing a lot of things. Last year she started playing the violin. Nothing is out there that she can't do. She goes swimming, she bikes, she loves to play jump rope. Because of this experience, I've learned to appreciate the smaller things of life.

Narrator:
You have the power to donate life, be an organ, eye and tissue donor. To find out how go to today to donatelifeaz.org.

Richard Ruelas:
Joining me is Ramiro Camarillo. Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for Donor network for Arizona. I imagine that public service announcement is tools to get the word out. Where might we see that? Are you targeting Spanish language or English language station.

Ramiro Camarillo:
Both. But thank you for having us here today. We really rely on media to get the word out. For us, September 15th is really important because we celebrate Hispanic heritage month. It's a great opportunity for us to educate our community. As you say, that p.s.a. will be running on Spanish TV stations as well as any other English stations that want to help us out, like create awareness among our community. It's really important that people out there realize how big of a problem we're facing right now, not only in the stays but throughout the country. Right now we have more than 97,000 people waiting for an organ transplant. This is across America. Here in Arizona, we have around 1400 people that are waiting for a transplant, and 30% of them are Hispanic. It's really important that people realize that all these people on the waiting list are people that are suffering but not only them, their families are struggling every day. They're experiencing the pain and suffering not knowing whether they'll find the organ on time. So it's important for everybody not to think about it twice and to go ahead and register.

Richard Ruelas:
When you're trying to get more Hispanic organ donors, you mentioned 30% of those waiting are Hispanic, is it sometimes an easier match if the ethnicity is the same?

Ramiro Camarillo:
That's really important. That's what the problem. You can see an organ can be transplanted from anyone. But the problem is sometimes the organ will not be compatible. That's why it's so important for Hispanics to register. Because it will be a better chance the organ will be compatible if it comes from someone from the same background.

Richard Ruelas:
I imagine its medical reasons that are above our heads why ethnicity plays a role in rejection or acceptance of an organ?

Ramiro Camarillo:
That is right. We see a lot of Hispanics that unfortunately they're suffering from diabetes and there's a lot of them right now going through dialysis and a lot of them currently in need of a kidney.

Richard Ruelas:
The organ donation has not exactly been a part of Hispanic heritage. Why has that been historically? Do you guys have stats on what the reluctance is?

Ramiro Camarillo:
Hispanic culture. It's a problem that faces every single community, every single culture. But unfortunately the Hispanics since it's not something -- there are a lot of people that are immigrants coming from countries that donation is something that they don't talk about. So when they come into this country they start to realize that it could be something good, it's something that could save a life. But they just don't have the information. And they're going back to their roots where they think that religion does not support donation. It's totally wrong. We're out there to provide this information and to make it clear that not only religion but there are some other things that they think that it's not good. But we want to make sure that people understand that from one organ, from one donor you can save up to seven lives. Not only that, there's 75 -- the quality of life of 75 people could benefit.

Richard Ruelas:
You talk about that culture. I can just hear my American-born mother and father saying, mijo, no. You don't do that. What does the catholic religion say? Has it always supported organ donation?

Ramiro Camarillo:
Absolutely. Absolutely. We have heard from the pope before he died openly stating that donation is something good for humanity. So it's something that we can sit here and I can tell you and preach to you that this is something that people shouldn't think about it. Because for most people, maybe a number just make a difference. We're talking about 97,000 people that are waiting for an organ and they're just thinking it's just a number. My question is they should realize that any of us can be part of that figure it. Could be one of our family members. It could be anyone that we loved. So don't think about it twice and go ahead and register. I tell you. This we were talking behind camera before we started. And you said that you registered. But tell you what. There's a lot of people that registered but their family don't agree with this. So it's really important for everyone to take that decision, makes that decision to share that decision with their families. Why? Because even though you want to make something good before you say goodbye and you want to save a life what's going to happen at the end if your family said, no, we're going to go by what your family says. So that's really important that you and your family are on the same page.

Richard Ruelas:
I guess -- I mean, I went down to the d.m.v. to get my ten year picture renewed. I did check the organ donor box, not knowing I was going to be speaking to you, by the way. I figured that's it. What else is there to do to make sure you wishes, if you do decide to become an organ donor are fulfilled?

Ramiro Camarillo:
Now that you're talking about the .M.D.V., I want to make this clear. There are a lot of people that think they already registered. The thing is for anyone that registered between 1996 all the way up to 2005, if they registered through the M.D.V., you want to make sure that if you did it that way, that you got some sort of confirmation. Because what happened is between that period of time, they had some problems with their computer system. So all those people that registered through the M.D.V., those things were never provided to the donor network. So we have thousands and thousands of people thinking they're registered but in reality they're not. So my suggestion is anyone interested in becoming an organ donor, they could either do it through our website which is donatelifeaz.org or by calling our 1-800- number. 1800-943-6667.

Richard Ruelas:
So if you go to donatelifeaz.org is it as simple as putting in your driver's license?

Ramiro Camarillo:
It's not a driver's license. You can verify if you're registered or not. If you're registering for the first time, you go into a website. What you'll find is a registry form. It's something like this and plain and simple. Takes about 5 minutes to fill it out. All we ask is your name, address and telephone number. Then you get to choose like which organs you want to donate, if you don't want to donate all your organs. Then we'll send you out a confirmation.

Richard Ruelas:
Have you seen a rise? I know -- a rise. I know this has been an issue for the last few years. Have you seen any rise in acceptance among Latinos?

Ramiro Camarillo:
We certainly have. That's something we're getting lately. We've been part of so many community events. We see that people are starting to open to this subject. In the past two weeks we were actually at two health fairs. And in less than three hours we actually registered like 220 people. For us that is huge. It's a record. Because wee starting to realize that it's not that people don't want to register or that they're afraid, it's just that they don't have the information. That's why I want to thank you again for having us here.

Richard Ruelas:
I'll take you down and talk to my mom and dad after the show. Ramiro, thanks for joining us.

Ramiro Camarillo:
Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Valle Del Sol is a nonprofit organization serving the community health needs. It honors Hispanic leaders for their contributions with the profiles of success awards. Luz Sarmina: is here to talk to us about the event that takes place tomorrow afternoon.

Luz Sarmina:
Yes, Friday.

Richard Ruelas: I know it's an event that community looks forward to every year. What do you see? This was your 139 as head?

Luz Sarmina:
Yes.

Richard Ruelas:
What do you see as the importance of this luncheon to the community?

Luz Sarmina:
There are two really important purposes for Valle Del Sol's -- actually three. The kickoff national Hispanic heritage month. , Two we honor Latino leaders from throughout the state who have made a positive difference in our state. And three is a fundraiser for valle Del sol which allows us to provide services in areas where our contract do not allow certain things to occur.

Richard Ruelas:
I imagine there are all types of different fundraiser that go on all the time. It does seem there's a palpable energy in the room when people see and hear the stories of these individuals.

Luz Sarmina:
Absolutely. I consider this event to be so inspiring. It really makes me feel great as I'm listening to it. Because even though I know of many of the honorees, we don't know them necessarily in the way that their accomplishments reflect who they are. So it really is very fun. Really a brand-new theme this year. Every year we try to do something different so it keeps it interesting. This year we're doing leading with heart and hand. We are taking people to Spain. As you can see, this is your passport to success. That is our theme this year is the Spanish theme. Latinos come from a history of Spaniards also. So we thought this would be an interesting way. So you'll get to hear guitar and some surprises.

Richard Ruelas:
Wonderful. Wonderful. The nominees themselves, or the honorees themselves, how do you sift through and pick? This year there's 13 honorees. How do you sift through and pick out these.

Luz Sarmina:
I think there are 10 or 11. But it's really --

Richard Ruelas:
I'm sorry. There are 11, that's right. Sorry about that.

Luz Sarmina:
It's a most challenging process. We go to the community and ask for nominees from the community. It's not my friends, your friends, unless you choose to nominate someone. And then we make copies of everybody. We have a community volunteer group who sifts through all of them. And in the end, we end up with such a wonderful group of people. This year we had over 40 nominees. So it really is very challenging to say -- because all of them are good. I mean, if somebody would not nominate somebody if they didn't think they had done a lot to make life better for Latinos.

Richard Ruelas:
This isn't just a phoenix centric award. Amanda Aguirre is being awarded. How important is to reach out to communities?

Luz Sarmina:
Very important. People in phoenix, of course we have the largest population here in the valley. But there are many important Latinos throughout the entire state making a huge bit of difference. And I always look to those communities to say, this is who we think ought to be nominated. And oftentimes, they are doing really good things and people don't hear about.

Richard Ruelas:
And it seems that as you look through the bios, the biographies of the honorees, there are some similarities as far as a lot of people are the first in their family to graduate high school or college, first in the family to be a lawyer. What does that say about the qualities of these people we're talking about here?

Luz Sarmina:
The qualities of these people are that the basic premise, I think, of being a Latino in today's world. And that is to make a positive difference in the lives of their families and their communities. Most Latinos want to just go to work, send their kids to school, have a nice and decent place to live, et cetera. And you know, when you're the first to do, that this is really the first time we have a large middle class in the Latino community. And it's very, very exciting to see the transformation.

Richard Ruelas:
And not all the honorees are Latinos. Eddie Basha and Nadine Basha. Explain. How did their nomination get to you?

Luz Sarmina:
Again, we look at who has made a difference in the Latino community and made it better for more people in the Latino community. And certainly the work that they have done has really changed things. The things Nadine has done for education. You know, when you look at whose in kindergarten today. More than 50% of all the kindergarteners -- actually I think it's now 60 -- that are Latino kids. If we are not educating them right now, 12-years from now when they're hopefully graduating from high school, they're not going to be going to college. So if we have to start them young and we have to make a really important impact on education. So you don't have to be Latino to win this award.

Richard Ruelas:
How far back were these picked? When was the nomination field set?

Luz Sarmina:
They were selected in May, and I think nomination that. -- Nominations come in a couple weeks before that. The request or the outreach to the community goes out in February.

Richard Ruelas:
Okay. Because I know that recently there's been some talk, some criticism of Eddie basha as far as some union things and all this. But this obviously was not part of that, not a response to that. He was chosen far before that.

Luz Sarmina:
Absolutely. And really, personally it's not just my voice because my voice is just a voice. It's a community voice, really. We're interested in what the person has done to make the community a better place. And in this case, with the focus on the Latino community. And whatever issues are going on, that's not about us. We're looking at his life contributions.

Richard Ruelas:
And I guess if you had just a committee of Valle Del Sol types who got together you might have names we all know. But because you're reaching out to the community, you're reaching and finding people who you might not have heard.

Luz Sarmina:
Actually there are a couple there I had never heard of before. I love that. Because it really shows it's a community event and not a valle Del sol event. And that's the fun of it.

Richard Ruelas:
And I guess you have different categories. Not all of them are given out every year.

Luz Sarmina:
Correct.

Richard Ruelas:
But you were saying that there are times you get a nominee that you didn't have a category to place them in.

Luz Sarmina:
Absolutely. The year that diamondbacks won the World Series. We had never done a sports category. But there was no way we could let Luis Gonzales hit the winning runs and not award him. It was just like unheard of. And it was such a high moment for that year. And so we did. We created a category in his honor for sports because he really had done something fantastic for this community.

Richard Ruelas:
He's in a category all his own.

Luz Sarmina:
Yes, he is.

Richard Ruelas:
I appreciate it. I'll be there Friday and look forward to it every year. Thanks for joining us.

Richard Ruelas:
That's Horizonte for this Thursday. I'm Richard Ruelas in for Jose Cardenas. Thank you for watching. Good night.

Luz Sarmina:Valle Del Sol ;

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