A message from Chet Hewitt
2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Sierra Health Foundation, one of the first health conversion foundations to be formed west of the Mississippi. From our inception, we have thoughtfully used our financial and other resources to support efforts to improve health across Northern California.
Our upcoming anniversary prompted me to review the first round of grants approved by the foundation’s board of directors in June 1985. That year, 22 grants were awarded to 20 organizations, including a grant that made our foundation one of the first to support a community-driven response to the AIDS crisis.
As the foundation’s total giving approaches $100 million provided through 2,663 grants, we plan to celebrate the contributions we and our many partners have made toward our mission of “A healthful life for all Northern Californians.” While the data on our giving helps quantify meaningful milestones and accomplishments, it doesn’t tell the story of the people and places that are a part of our history.
The past 30 years have seen dramatic advances in our knowledge of what improves and detracts from our health, and philanthropy is evolving in response to our new understanding. As our field embraces the concept of the social determinants of health and a view of health that is more than the provision of health care, we believe building the capacity of leaders and nonprofits in poor communities will improve our ability to collectively make improvements to health and well-being. If we have interpreted our history and experience correctly, the most valuable assets may well be the deep connections and relationships born of investments in leaders and institutions working in communities that disproportionately experience poor health, social and economic outcomes.
As we move beyond our 30th anniversary, people and connection to place will increasingly influence our Northern California strategy and will be the base upon which our emerging work in the San Joaquin Valley will be built. Accordingly, we begin the next chapter of our history fortified by new knowledge on what it takes to improve health for all, and long-held lessons that affirm the importance of building close, trusted relationships with those we work with. We look forward to joining you on the road to a more equitable, prosperous and healthy California.
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Celebrating 30 years of partnership
As we look back at our first 30 years, we'll highlight grants, programs and partnerships, and celebrate where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going. We look forward to sharing our story through social media and in Partnerships, which now will be a monthly publication. Please come along with us! #SHF30Years
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Five programs receive Mental Health Respite Service grants
Last month, the Respite Partnership Collaborative announced $575,000 in grant funding for mental health respite services in Sacramento County through two funding opportunities.
Funding awards totaling $350,000 went to two agencies to increase mental health respite service options and offer alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization for teens and transition-age youth experiencing mental health crisis. Wind Youth Services received $250,000 and Sacramento LGBT Community Center received $100,000.
In another funding round, three agencies received a total of $225,000 to increase mental health respite service options and offer alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization for unserved and underserved populations experiencing or at risk of mental health crisis. A Church for All, Gender Health Center and Sacramento LGBT Community Center each received $75,000.
These four grantees join six other funded organizations providing mental health respite services to diverse populations in Sacramento County. Respite Partnership Collaborative funding since 2012 totals $5.25 million. Grant funding is provided by Mental Health Services Act Sacramento County Innovation funds and is managed by Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management.
Respite Partnership Collaborative members are dedicated volunteers who represent a diverse cross‐section of interests related to mental health issues and needs in Sacramento County. Each member represents a community stakeholder perspective and informs the collaborative process around the expansion of mental health respite options.
Read the news releases and access the membership application on the Respite Partnership Collaborative web page.
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San Joaquin Valley Health Fund grants to be announced in February
In November, we launched the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund through our Center for Health Program Management. Our request for proposals in eight valley counties resulted in 100 applications. We’re now in the review process and plan to announce grant awards in February. Initial investments in the Health Fund total $1.1 million from Sierra Health Foundation and The California Endowment.
We recently published a San Joaquin Valley Health Fund briefing paper, which looks at the Valley’s challenges and opportunities, and why we believe now is an opportune time to invest in its communities and institutions.
Learn more about the Health Fund and download the briefing paper on the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund web page.
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Positive Youth Justice Initiative evaluation report reveals first year of success
Earlier this month, we announced the results of the first-year evaluation of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI). In 2013, Alameda County Probation Department, San Diego County Probation Department, San Joaquin County Probation Department and Vallejo City Unified School District in Solano County each received $400,000 to test a series of reforms designed to transform juvenile justice into a more just, effective system and improve the lives of the youth they engage.
The evaluation, conducted by Resource Development Associates, indicates that PYJI county leaders and their partners have begun to implement changes in policies and practices needed to improve the efficacy of juvenile justice systems. At the same time, the evaluation notes that ongoing work will be needed to bring about the vision of the initiative.
Learn more about the initiative and the first-year evaluation on the PYJI web page.
Photo: Youth and adults participated at the Solano County Positive Youth Justice Summit in May 2014.
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Financing Health Care Access Regional Forum offers resources for clinics
Leaders and staff from health clinics, financial institutions, community-based organizations and government agencies in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties gathered at Sierra Health Foundation for the Financing Health Care Access Regional Forum on Jan. 15 to explore opportunities to expand access to health care in low-income communities.
Hosted by Sierra Health Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the forum included discussions about financing options and partnership opportunities to facilitate the development of health care clinics, expansion of services in low-income neighborhoods and improved access within the region. We were pleased to welcome California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, who provided opening remarks.
The event was part of a larger Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership Safety Net Learning Institute, sponsored by Sierra Health Foundation in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health, Sutter Health and UC Davis Health System. Learn more about the event on the Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership web page.
Photo: California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan was one of several guest speakers at the forum.
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Responsive Grants Program funding update
Since 2008, we have awarded nearly $6.5 million through the Responsive Grants Program in support of community-driven efforts to improve health, promote access and reduce health inequity throughout our 26-county funding region.
As we celebrate our 30th year of grantmaking in 2015, we will be taking time to reflect on and evaluate the future of this program. We will provide updates on our web site and in Partnerships. Please e-mail us any questions about the Responsive Grants Program.
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Jacquie Segersten to leave Sierra Health Foundation after 20 years of service
Throughout our 30-year history, Sierra Health Foundation has invested in numerous programs and initiatives to promote health and well-being. One of our longest-running efforts, with its beginnings in 1994, is the Conference and Convening Program. Each year, we welcome approximately 15,000 people from nonprofit organizations, public agencies and the community to our conference center for meetings, educational events and retreats focused on improving health in communities throughout our region.
Much of the success of this program is due to Jacquie Segersten, who joined the foundation as the Conference Manager soon after we opened the doors to our Garden Highway campus. Jacquie is well-known and respected by many of our partners throughout the region who have worked with her and her staff to provide high-quality, impactful meetings and events.
After 20 years of service, Jacquie will be leaving the foundation in February. We are both tremendously sad to lose her presence here and exceedingly happy for her as she moves into retirement and a new, exciting phase of her life.
If you would like to send well wishes, please e-mail them or send cards to 1321 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95833. We also have a box for cards at our reception desk on the second floor.
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