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Voice of OC won recognition this month from community groups for its COVID-19 reporting’s impact on the community, particularly Orange County’s Latino community.

The nonprofit news organization was honored by Latino Health Access for “leadership and commitment to keeping our communities informed with accuracy, transparency and professionalism in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Founded in 1993, Latino Health Access is based in Santa Ana and uses a “promotora” model to get critical health information and advocacy into working class neighborhoods working with neighbors to educate each other about health and quality of life risks as well as treatment. The organization has been a key partner with the County of Orange using their model to lower coronavirus positivity rates in the county’s most threatened neighborhoods. 

Voice of OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. and Reporter Spencer Custodio were specifically honored for daily stories and columns that have exposed truths, challenged officials on transparency and helped communities make sense of COVID-19 data and trends.

The honor was bestowed during the organization’s Nov. 21 “Under the Same Sky” fundraiser. The event focused on how “a deeper understanding that we are in this together, that we are not safe until all of us are safe, that sustainable recovery is only possible if we help one another and focus on providing resources with equity, supporting the most vulnerable among us.”

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