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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Health Leadership Program returns with expanded reach to San Joaquin Valley


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After a three-year hiatus, our Health Leadership Program will return this October with Class XI.

The seven-month program has been redesigned to develop the skills of current and emerging leaders in organizations that work to improve community health and well-being and reduce health disparities across a broad range of issue areas.

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Program participants have the opportunity to improve existing skills while developing new competencies that strengthen their organizations, and deepen their ability and commitment to address health disparities and health equity in underserved communities in Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

The Health Leadership Program is jointly led by the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health System and the University of San Francisco’s School of Management, and is co-directed by Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, and Rich Callahan, DPA.

Visit the Health Leadership Program web page to download the application and brochure.

Applications are due on June 2 by noon.

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Sacramento County Office of Education selected to implement Sacramento’s National Dialogue on Mental Health action plan



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The Sacramento County Office of Education has been awarded $175,000 to implement a community action plan focusing on mental health in Sacramento. Sacramento Mental Health Action Plan: Breaking Through Barriers on Mental Health was developed as a result of Sacramento’s participation in the National Dialogue on Mental Health, a nationwide effort initiated by President Barack Obama to create community solutions.

Locally, the collaborative effort has been led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services and Sierra Health Foundation. The goal of the action plan is to combat stigma, educate communities and increase access to mental health treatment.

“We can no longer ignore the impact that mental health has on the overall health of California, especially its youth,” said Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt. “That’s why we are excited that the Sacramento County Office of Education will be implementing Sacramento’s community action plan, because they understand and serve this important population well.”

Download the action plan and learn more online.

Contact Matt Cervantes at Sierra Health Foundation for more information.

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Responsive Grants Program awards to be announced in May


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Thank you to all of the agencies and organizations that submitted applications for this year’s first round of Responsive Grants. We received 213 applications from nonprofits and public agencies throughout our 26-county funding region.

The application review and selection process is under way and we plan to announce grant awards in late May.

We will have two funding rounds in 2014, with a total of $500,000 available. Grants up to $15,000 are available to nonprofit organizations and public agencies, with at least 30 percent of awards supporting projects that serve rural areas of the region.

See our Responsive Grants Program web page for more information about the program. Please send any questions to

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Chet Hewitt attends My Brother’s Keeper launch at White House


On Feb. 27, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, an effort focused on empowering boys and young men of color, who often face disproportionate challenges and obstacles to success. The president was joined in the East Room of the White House by national leaders in philanthropy, business, government, faith communities and the media. Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt was invited to participate and was among the leaders in attendance.

Sierra Health Foundation is a founding member of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, which supports a broad array of initiatives and activities, including My Brother’s Keeper. Learn more on the Executives’ Alliance web site.

Much of Sierra Health Foundation’s work focuses on eliminating health disparities, increasing health equity and improving the well-being of vulnerable youth, through programs such as the Positive Youth Justice Initiative, National Dialogue on Mental Health and Communities Creating Health.

According to The White House Blog, for decades opportunity has disproportionately lagged behind for boys and young men of color – particularly in African-American and Latino communities. By the time students have reached 9th grade, 42 percent of black male students have been suspended or expelled during their school years, compared to 14 percent of white male students. While black youth account for 16 percent of the youth population, they represent 28 percent of juvenile arrests.

Sacramento Bee reporter Cynthia Craft wrote about Hewitt’s experience in the March 6 Healthy Choices column.

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