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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Sierra Health Foundation staff updates


Photo of Richard

We’re pleased to welcome Richard Dana to our Sierra Health Foundation team to fill the new position of Director of Economic Development. In this role, he will help lead our emerging economic development work with the city of Sacramento. We are excited about our collaborative leadership role in this work, which will allow us to add value to the city’s commitment to develop and implement inclusive economic growth strategies in underinvested neighborhoods.

Richard brings deep knowledge and experience in community economic development through his work at the Mutual Assistance Network, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the economic and social infrastructure of the northern Sacramento region, where he served as Executive Director from 2000 to 2019. During that time, he directed programs such as two Birth and Beyond Family Resource Centers and a Black Child Legacy Campaign Community Incubator Lead site; social engagement activities that include community centers, sports leagues, clubs and classes; and partners in development projects to construct homes, promote home ownership, jobs and economic achievement.

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We’re also pleased to announce the promotion of Nora Dunlap to Program Officer for the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Access Points project, which supports start-up activities and MAT enhancement efforts throughout the state to increase prevention, treatment and recovery service activities for people with substance-use disorders.

Nora joined Sierra Health Foundation in October 2015 as a Program Associate, supporting the Respite Partnership Collaborative and the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund. Over the years, and as a Senior Program Associate, she expanded her portfolio to support the Healthy Sacramento Coalition and the Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership. Prior to joining Sierra Health Foundation, Nora worked overseas as an international public health practitioner. Her commitment to health and racial equity and her ability to engage community partners authentically positions her well to manage project administration, as well as community and partner engagement.

We also recently welcomed four new staff members: Events Assistant Bob Carson, Grant Accountant Lucas Cole, Grant and Payroll Accountant Kervonda Sampson and Conference Center Assistant Madyson Taylor.

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Medication Assisted Treatment Access Points contracts to be announced in late May


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Thank you to all of the organizations throughout California that submitted applications for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Access Points funding. The Center received 125 applications for 352 sites totaling almost $22 million. After a comprehensive review process, contracts will be announced in late May.

The aim of this funding is to support MAT start-up activities and/or MAT enhancement efforts in at least 200 MAT Access Points throughout California, with the goal of increasing the number of patients with substance-use disorders treated with medications, counseling and other recovery services.

Visit the MAT Access Points web page. Please e-mail us any questions.

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San Joaquin Valley nonprofits receive $800,000 investment for health and racial equity


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The Center at Sierra Health Foundation earlier this month announced San Joaquin Valley Health Fund grant awards totaling $800,000 to 47 organizations committed to policy and systems change for health and racial equity. This fifth round of funding includes $150,000 for 10 grants to support Census 2020 advocacy, mapping and analysis. The 37 other advocacy and learning grants, totaling $650,000, will fund organizations addressing health disparities and issues prioritized by the community, including immigrant rights, health, housing, education, environmental justice, land use planning and other drivers of health outcomes. See the news release and the list of funded organizations.

Since it began in 2015, the fund has invested more than $10 million in the San Joaquin Valley, and has grown to include more than 100 community partners and 18 funding partners. Learn more.

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The Center builds on its momentum to support a complete count in the San Joaquin Valley


The Center at Sierra Health Foundation continues to leverage its relationships and assets to work toward a fair and accurate Census 2020. Over the last year, The Center has successfully raised more than $1 million from nine funders to help ensure a complete count of hard-to-count San Joaquin Valley populations through the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund’s Census Cluster Project. Several additional philanthropic partners have invited proposals to support census outreach, coordination and advocacy.

To date, the census funding has supported San Joaquin Valley census research, publication and dissemination of three research reports, community partner capacity building and convening, and the first round of 10 census advocacy grants. The San Joaquin Valley Census Research Project reports informed The Center’s successful application to serve as the Region 6 Administrative Community-Based Organization (ACBO) for Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties, and selection as a funding partner for the Region 1 ACBO, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, to support capacity building to reach hard-to-count and vulnerable populations in Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Plumas, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter and Yuba counties.

The census research reports also informed the Amicus Curiae brief filed by the National Immigration Law Center in the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to the inclusion of a citizenship question in Census 2020. Sierra Health Foundation and more than 20 philanthropic and community-based partners signed onto the Supreme Court brief as co-amici. The Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case on April 23, and the Court is expected to announce its decision by mid-June.

Census photos

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Community gathers at GLORY conference for healing and action planning


The Black Child Legacy Campaign hosted the third annual Gathering for GLORY: Giving Love to Our Rising Youth conference at the South Sacramento Christian Center on April 25. More than 400 community residents including youth discussed prevention and intervention strategies focused on health, safety and well-being.

Community members participated in workshops focused on preventing each of the leading causes of African American child death and the important roles of faith and collaboration in this effort. Participants heard from Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, a pastor, philanthropist and activist, as well as expert panels with partners including Community Incubator Leads — hub organizations in each of the Black Child Legacy Campaign’s seven neighborhoods of focus.

Learn more about this effort on the Black Child Legacy Campaign web site.

GLORY panel photo

Photo: GLORY closing panel with community intervention workers discussing community crisis protection.

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California Influencers series continues weekly conversations on critical topics


The California Influencer series continues in The Sacramento Bee and other McClatchy newspapers in California through November. Each week, a number of influential Californians – including Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet P. Hewitt – share their views on topics such as education, health care, the environment, housing and economic growth. Learn more and read responses on The Sacramento Bee web site.

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California Funders for Boys and Men of Color presents at American Educational Research Association annual meeting in Toronto


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Sierra Health Foundation Program Manager Sergio Cuellar presented a paper on the five years of collective action of the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association held in Toronto on April 8. The presentation was part of a larger symposium on Leveraging Resources: A Statewide Perspective of Boys and Young Men of Color in California.

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Sergio presented alongside researchers from universities across the country, such as University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Santa Cruz; California State University, Dominguez Hills; and University of Cincinnati. Topics included youth civic engagement and organizing efforts in California, system approaches to recruiting and retaining boys and men of color in higher education, the importance of validating experiences of boys and men of color as part of their development and success, and collective impact models of funding programs.

This year the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color celebrates five years of collective impact, collaboration and leadership. Together, members have invested in breaking down barriers and expanding opportunities for boys and men of color. Read the five-year publication.

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Talk Boldly: Census 2020: Community Narrative and Power in California


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Our Talk Boldly podcast series features conversations on the systemic, social and cultural issues impacting our communities, and offers insight from expert guests on how communities can make their own impact.

In our most recent episode, Cindy Quezada of Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative and Ed Kissam of WK Family Fund discuss the importance of a fair and complete census count in 2020. Leading census research across the San Joaquin Valley, Ed and Cindy share what they have learned, including the potential impact of the inclusion of the citizenship question, the historical significance of the census and causes of differential undercounts, and how communities can and should ensure everyone is counted. Learn more about the census on The Center’s Census 2020 News and Resources web page.

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