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Sierra Health Foundation Health Leadership Program

Alumni members continue to develop 21st century leadership skills


On Feb. 1, the HLP alumni began a yearlong series of programs designed to help them navigate and anticipate this new world. This workshop, Navigating Uncharted Territory, presented alumni members an opportunity to discuss our current environment and tools needed.

Photo of Richard Oto and Eric Fimbres

Eric Fimbres, MBA (Class IV), former COO of The Effort, and Robert Oto, MHA, presented A View from the Trenches, sharing their first-hand experience with growing an organization and working across generations. Their presentation was followed by Jonathan Brown, DPA (HLP faculty), founder of Buffalo Consulting, who presented on What Makes Public Policy So Dysfunctional.

Later, a panel of local leaders shared challenges, opportunities and what is needed from leaders in the field. Panelists included:
Carmela Castellano, Esq., President and CEO, California Primary Care Association
Sandra Perez, MPA, MHA, Director, Office of the Patient Advocate
Tom Renfree, Executive Director, County Alcohol & Drug Program Administrators Association of California
Patricia Ryan, Executive Director, California Mental Health Directors Association

The day concluded with a facilitated conversation, The View from You, with alumni thoughts, questions and needs for navigating this new world. Alumni members revisited the tools they have and the tools they need for the coming year. The conversation was facilitated by Mary Kirlin, DPA, Associate Professor at California State University, Sacramento. Overall, the day gave alumni members an opportunity to discuss the current landscape and served as a reminder to use the tools from their HLP experience.

In April, alumni members had an opportunity to think strategically about Content Management via a webinar. Britt Baysinger, Chief Technology Officer for Business Advantage Consulting, provided an overview of benefits and strategies for content management. This session was timely, as organizations are flooded with information and need systems in place to securely store and access that information to reduce redundancy, increase productivity and create a sustainable information flow.

In May, alumni members gathered again at Sierra Health Foundation for a workshop called, The FUNDing is Going aWay, Oh MY!!!, presented by Laree Kiely, Ph.D., President and CEO, the Kiely Group. Laree facilitated a conversation, provided tools to help create a strategy and explained how to move from surviving to thriving by finding the heart (revisiting or resetting our strategy), brains (ensuring excellence) and courage (finding new funding).

Three alumni members shared their stories demonstrating heart, brains and courage. They highlighted the knowledge, skills and abilities they gained from the Health Leadership Program and alumni activities, which have allowed them to strengthen their organizations and build model programs for their communities. Highlights of their stories included:

Lynn Dorroh (Class IV), CEO, Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, shared tips on how to survive and thrive. Lynn shared how her organization has managed to thrive despite the economic changes and has moved toward a patient-centered health home model.

Lucy Hernandez (Class X), Housing & Community Services Manager, Colusa-Glenn-Trinity Action Partnership, Glenn County Human Resource Agency, shared the success of the Community Re-Entry Work (CREW) program. Lucy is one of the main leaders on the team, which was named the #1 Most Innovative Program in California and also received the Challenge Award by the California State Association of Counties. This year the program is estimated to save the county $1.2 million.

Wendy Petko (Class IX), Executive Director, Center for Community Health and Well-Being, Inc., shared how her organization moved from having a negative cash balance in 2008 to now having 33.7 days cash on hand. The organization is now on the road to expanding to primary care and exploring becoming a federally qualified health center.

Thank you to our alumni and faculty, who continue to create this vibrant learning community!


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Impact of HLP


Photo of Shani Richards

By Shani Richards (Class VIII)
Community & Legislative Affairs Manager
Health Plan of San Joaquin

Asset inventory is an unforgettable lesson that I gained from the Health Leadership Program that helps me when I am facing project fatigue. Asset inventory allows me to focus on my assets or who can help me problem solve or provide a shortcut to an important contact or resource.

In a fast-paced environment, time can seem especially fleeting and time management can only take you so far. At one of our class sessions, I clearly remember trying to justify to Rich Callahan that my workload and deadlines were too much and that it was impossible to get everything done. Rich said, “Shani, you don’t have a time problem, you have to know what resources you need to get the job done and communicate that to your boss. You can get anything done in any amount of time with the right resources and when you start thinking and talking about resources you will see things differently.”

It took some practice, but my thinking and conversations did change and I transformed my talk from a negative self-fulfilling prophecy to identifying needed resources to navigate through my projects more successfully.

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Making greater impacts through collaborations and partnerships


Two HLP alumni members share how their organizations collaborate to have greater impact. Thank you to Bill Moore (Class X), Deputy Director, Department of Rehabilitation, and Lucy Hernandez (Class X), Housing & Community Services Manager, Glenn County Human Resource Agency/Colusa-Glenn-Trinity Community Action Agency.

Read their stories.

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Sacramento Job Corps Center success story: Graduate passionate about education as a path to opportunity


Photo of Brian Broadway

By Brian Broadway (Class X)
Business & Community Liaison
Sacramento Job Corps Center

Today, DeVaughn Jones holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific, and works as a clinical pharmacist at Central Valley Specialty Hospital and at Rite Aid Pharmacy. He also is launching his own nonprofit organization, Cultivating Bright Future Scholars Foundation, as a way to promote educational opportunities for young people and have a meaningful impact in the quest for educational equality.

Photo of DeVaughn Jones

That's a far cry for the young man who barely finished high school and came from a single parent home where abuse, problems with the law and no support for higher education were the norm. However, things started to change for the better for Jones when he enrolled in the Sacramento Job Corps Center in 2003. He enrolled in the medical assisting career technical training program there, and eventually persuaded then-Center Director Peter Gregerson to allow him to simultaneously enroll in the college program. That opportunity to pursue higher education changed his outlook and his life.

Read more.

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Compassion Fatigue and its effect on our well-being


Photo of Paula Bosler

By Paula Bosler, MSW, LCSW (Class III)
Health Care Re-Entry Specialist
Department of Veterans Affairs

The last few years I worked in a military hospital in Europe providing mental health services to our military as a civilian contractor. I worked in both outpatient and inpatient settings, and covered emergencies and a call rotation in the evenings and on weekends. Our country has been in the middle of two active wars simultaneously and has been conducting significant military activity with our allied partners. Military members and their families have coped with multiple deployments, family hardships and escalating suicide rates. Most families have been incredibly resilient in the face of tremendous sacrifice. Some would argue that these conditions have created the perfect storm in terms of delivering mental health services.

When I returned from working in Europe, I could not get the concept of Compassion Fatigue out of my mind. It is a term that is not widely used or discussed. It is a descriptive term, and much of the research appears to focus on nursing and other medical professions.

My background is primarily in mental health and this article will look at Compassion Fatigue from a mental health perspective and particularly focus on treating our military coming out of combat zones.

Read more.

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Alumni updates


Congratulations to all of our alumni members who continue to do great work throughout our communities!

Photo of Nansea Arquette

Nansea Arquette (Class IX) is now an Educator/Consultant at do Terra in Vancouver, Washington. She formerly served as Executive Director at Dawn's Light Center for Children and Adults in Grief in Tuolumne County.

Photo of Paula Bosler

Paula Bosler (Class III) has been working in Europe for the last two years with active-duty military. She now works with the Veterans Administration as a Re-Entry Specialist in Reno for VISN 21, which includes Northern California. Her current responsibilities include assisting inmate-veterans with parole planning and establishing a system of parole for California and Nevada prisons.

Photo of Abraham Daniels

Abraham Daniels (Class X) is a Business Development Manager at County of Sonoma Department of Health Services. He is the lead on health care reform information gathering and dissemination, as well as overall reform implementation for Sonoma County.

Photo of Eric Fimbres

Eric Fimbres, MBA (Class IV) departed from his Chief Operating Officer position at WellSpace Health (formerly The Effort) and launched a cross-generational medical management consulting practice with his former student and now protégé, Robert Oto, MHA.

Photo of Andrew Frishman

Andrew Frishman (Class IX) has successfully completed the two years of coursework in the EdLD program at Harvard (a joint doctoral degree program of the Education, Business and Kennedy Schools). He is excited to be launching into his third year, which is a residency with Big Picture Learning, where he is joining the leadership team as the Director of Program Development.

Photo of Adela Gonzalez del Valle

Adela González del Valle (Class IX) has left her position as Executive Director of Family Resource Center of Truckee to return to school and concentrate on her educational goals.

Photo of Lucy Hernandez

Lucy Hernandez (Class X) received a nationwide certification by the National Community Action Partnership. She is officially a Certified Community Action Professional, which is a master-level professional attainment for leaders and managers in the field of human services. For more information, visit the California/Nevada Community Action Partnerships web site. Only two people received this certification in California. She believes her Health Leadership Program experience made it possible.

Photo of Adele James

Adele James (Class VII), founder of Adele James Consulting & Coaching, led the recruitment, facilitation and strategic planning process for the Statewide Mental Health Stigma & Discrimination Reduction Consortium over the past year. The group’s strategic work plan was awarded $1.2 million in implementation funds by California Mental Health Services Authority. Adele is also working with San Diego and Imperial counties on a localized version of the statewide plan.

Photo of Leona Jull

Leona Jull (Class III) has transitioned from her position as Executive Director of Yolo Wayfarer Center and is taking this opportunity to make a career change and pursue her real passion in mental health. She is returning to school to get her Psychiatric Technician degree. “It's scary and exciting to do something new, but I'm looking forward to it. The point of sharing my transition is to encourage executives that it's never too late to follow your heart and chase your dreams!"

Photo of Michael Minnick

Michael Minnick (Class VIII) was promoted to Prevention & Education Manager at WEAVE, Inc., a nonprofit agency focused on supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Photo of Michael Petersen

Michael Petersen (Class X) was promoted to Administrator of Starlight Community Services, a nonprofit that provides programs for children, adolescents and transitional age youth who face emotional, behavioral and learning challenges and have difficulty succeeding in family or community living environments.

Photo of Alicia Ross

Alicia Ross (Class X) would like to share the news that she will be transitioning out of her role at Sacramento ACT on Aug. 2. She will be getting married later in August and moving to San Jose to be with her fiancé, who currently lives there. Alicia intends to continue working in the field of community organizing and grassroots politics and may do some consulting.

Photo of Lisa Woodward-Mink

Lisa Woodward-Mink (Class X) is Director of Planned Giving at California State University, Sacramento.

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