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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Responsive Grants Program applications due July 28


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Applications for this year’s second round of Responsive Grants Program funding are due by July 28 at noon. Grants up to $15,000 are available to nonprofits and public agencies to support projects that improve health and quality of life for people living in our 26-county funding region.

Application materials are available on the Responsive Grants Program web page.

In May, we announced grant awards for this year’s first funding round, with 19 nonprofit organizations and public agencies in 16 counties receiving a total of $255,042. See the grant list and project descriptions on the Responsive Grants Program web page.

Please send any questions to

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David Williams presents Making America Healthier for All: Challenges and Opportunities


Photo of David R. Williams

We were pleased to welcome Dr. David Williams to Sierra Health Foundation on June 23 to share his extensive knowledge about healthy equity as part of our Speaker Series. An internationally recognized authority on social influences on health, his research has enhanced understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racial discrimination and religious involvement can affect health.

Dr. Williams is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

We also were pleased to welcome guest speaker William Jahmal Miller, Deputy Director of the Office of Health Equity at the California Department of Public Health, who shared information about the health equity work being done in California.

See Dr. Williams’ informative slides and a video of the Making America Healthier for All: Challenges and Opportunities event on our Convenings and Presentations web page.

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Greater Sacramento Healthy Communities Summit coming in September


Please plan to participate in this important summit featuring thought leaders from throughout the Sacramento Region and practitioners drawing the connection between the built environment and the health and vitality of community residents. The one-day summit will offer discussions about cross-sector goals that demonstrate the connection between healthy people, healthy places and a healthy economy. Discussions will focus on regional opportunities, socially motivated investments, community design and planning, health care services and more.

The summit will be held on Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento.

Advance registration is required and is $45 per person. More information, including confirmed speakers to date, is available on the registration web site.

The summit is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Sierra Health Foundation, The California Endowment, Sacramento Housing Alliance, California Housing and Community Development Department, California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity.

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Positive Youth Justice Initiative events engage community partners in San Joaquin and Solano counties


As part of their work to reform juvenile justice in their counties, two of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative grantees have held significant events to educate and engage community partners.

Photo of Solano County youth

The Vallejo City Unified School District hosted the 2nd Annual Solano County Positive Youth Justice Summit on May 23 in Fairfield.

The summit’s theme – I See You – conveyed the message to youth that “what you do is not the whole of who you are.” The daylong event brought to the forefront juvenile justice reform efforts aimed at helping young people in Solano County succeed in life. Youth and adults discussed how restorative practices, trauma-informed care and other approaches can propel youth into a promising future. Watch the event highlight video.

Photo of San Joaquin panel

On June 11, the San Joaquin County Probation Department publicly launched the Positive Youth Justice Initiative at a learning community in Stockton.

The event provided an opportunity for staff from multiple county agencies and other organizations to learn about juvenile justice reform and the county’s implementation plan. Executive Steering Committee members discussed collaboration, trauma, wraparound services and operational capacity. During a panel discussion, youth leaders shared their personal stories and, with their adult allies, described the positive youth development work being done in San Joaquin County. Read an article about the event in the Stockton Record.

The Positive Youth Justice Initiative is a Sierra Health Foundation initiative managed by the Center for Health Program Management, with additional funding from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation.

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Minority-led organizations receive capacity-building awards


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In the fourth funding round of our Capacity Building for Minority-Led Organizations Program, we received 26 applications and awarded 11 grants totaling $109,940.

We also awarded grants up to $5,000 to 13 of the 20 grantees funded in the first three funding rounds to continue their capacity-building efforts and to participate in a learning community with the 11 new grantees.

This funding round was open to nonprofit, youth-service minority-led organizations serving San Joaquin Valley counties or any of the 26 counties in Sierra Health Foundation’s funding region. Funding was newly available in the San Joaquin Valley and 10 of the 11 grantees serve in one or more of the valley’s eight counties.

The program is funded by The California Endowment and Sierra Health Foundation, and is managed by the Center for Health Program Management.

See the list of grantees and learn more about the program on the Center for Health Program Management web site.

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Program officers receive recognition


Two Sierra Health Foundation program officers recently were recognized for their commitment and accomplishments.

Photo of Matt Cervantes

Senior Program Officer Matt Cervantes was named a fellow of the 2014 Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy by Grantmakers In Health, a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people.

Matt is one of 17 fellows selected nationwide, and will participate at this year’s institute in Washington, D.C. In his role at Sierra Health Foundation, he manages the Youth Pathways to Health programming and grantmaking, which includes the Positive Youth Justice Initiative.

Photo of Myel Jenkins

Program Officer Myel Jenkins was honored at the Consumer Speaks Conference, receiving the Non-Consumer Provider of the Year Award. The conference is sponsored by Mental Health America of Northern California in partnership with Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services. The award recognizes a mental health worker or clinician who is not identified as a consumer who has shown an above average empathy to the clients he or she serves within the mental health system.

Myel oversees the Respite Partnership Collaborative, a public-private partnership of the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services, Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management, and community members who serve in the collaborative.

Congratulations, Matt and Myel!

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Electric car charging station now in operation


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We’re pleased to offer an electric car charging station on the Sierra Health Foundation campus. The station is located in front of parking spaces 34 and 35, which are reserved for electric vehicles. The charging station is free for campus guests.

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Sacramento students benefit from Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools this summer


The Roberts Family Development Center in North Sacramento is one of two California organizations and 20 nationally to receive the honor of becoming a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program site for summer 2014. This year, Freedom Schools partners will serve more than 12,600 young people in 102 cities and 29 states, focusing on literacy, parent/family involvement, self-esteem, conflict resolution and social action, using an award-winning Integrated Reading Curriculum.

The Roberts Family Development Center is providing educational enrichment services to a total of 160 young people using the Freedom Schools approach at four program site locations.

Photo of Matt Cervantes reading at Harambee!

Each morning begins with Harambee! – a Kiswahili word that means “let’s pull together.” It is a time of informal sharing when students and staff come together to celebrate themselves and each other. Also during this time, guests from the community are invited to read to the students, which demonstrates the importance of reading and exposes young people to the program site’s library of CDF Freedom Schools designated books.

The UC Davis Center for Community School Partnerships serves as the lead partner in this program, with additional support from Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District and other community partners.

Read an article about the local CDF Freedom Schools program in The Sacramento Bee.

Learn more about the Freedom Schools program on the Children’s Defense Fund web site.

Visit the Roberts Family Development Center web site.

Photo: Sierra Health Foundation Senior Program Officer Matt Cervantes recently read to students during Harambee!

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