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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Staff members take on new leadership roles


We’re pleased to announce promotions of two of our staff members.

Photo of Kaying Hang

As the Director of Health Programs, Kaying Hang joins the senior management team for Sierra Health Foundation and the Center for Health Program Management. In this role, Kaying oversees programs including the Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership, the Healthy Sacramento Coalition, the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund and the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths. Kaying had served as the Interim Director of Health Programs since February, and previously was a Senior Program Officer when she joined the foundation in 2013.

Photo of Matt Cervantes

In his new role as Associate Director of Health Programs, Matt Cervantes continues to manage the foundation’s Youth Pathways to Health programming and grant making, including the Positive Youth Justice Initiative, which seeks to improve the outcomes of young people in the juvenile justice system. In addition, Matt now oversees all Boys and Men of Color work for the foundation and the Center, as well as the Leadership Development for Racial Equity program. He previously served as a Senior Program Officer and as a Program Officer when he joined the staff in 2008.

Kaying and Matt join Diane Littlefield, Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, on the program management team to promote and accelerate the foundation’s health equity focus.

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Congratulations to Health Leadership Program Class XII graduates!


HLP logo

Twenty-four members of Health Leadership Program Class XII celebrated their graduation on May 13 at Sierra Health Foundation. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to recognize the leaders for their six months of transformative leadership training.

Dolores Huerta

We were pleased to welcome special guest Dolores Huerta, American labor leader, civil rights activist, co-founder of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez and two-time presidential award recipient. Ms. Huerta delivered an inspiring and motivating commencement address, encouraging the graduates to share their knowledge and make change happen in their communities to improve health and promote equity.

Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt and lead program faculty Richard Callahan of TAP International recognized the graduating leaders and presented them with certificates. Alumni members Katie Valenzuela-Garcia (Class XI) and Tony Sauer (Class IV) welcomed the graduates to the 300-member Health Leadership Program Alumni Network.

The Health Leadership Program is led by the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis, and is co-directed by Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, and Richard F. Callahan, DPA. Learn more about the program on the Health Leadership Program web page.

Photo of HLP Class XII

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Speaker Series event looks at harnessing the power of the new American majority


Our Speaker Series continues to bring national thought leaders to Sacramento to address a range of issues with a health and racial equity lens. On May 25, we welcomed Steve Phillips, author of Brown is the New White, to lead a discussion about the new American majority and what that means for U.S. politics and policy.

A national political leader, civil rights lawyer and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Mr. Phillips uses research and demographic data to show that communities of color, which now make up the political majority, have the numbers to bring issues of importance to the main political stage.

Photo of Jose Hermocillo and Steve Phillips

The event included opening remarks from Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt, followed by a conversation between Mr. Phillips and foundation board member Jose Hermocillo, Executive Director and Managing Director of the APCO Worldwide Sacramento office. Speaking about effective voter mobilization, Mr. Phillips encouraged community organizations to ensure their constituencies vote so they have the opportunity to support policies that reflect the state’s changing demographics.

Mr. Hermocillo moderated a panel discussion with diverse voices on the subjects of civic engagement, barriers to voting, systems change and grassroots community building, which included Steve Phillips; Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause and National Redistricting Director; Mindy Romero, Director of the Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change; and Phillip Rodriguez, award-winning filmmaker and fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

“We are the leaders we are waiting for,” said Ms. Feng. “We need to invest in ourselves and build coalitions beyond race lines.”

Photo of Speaker Series panelists

Top photo (left to right): Jose Hermocillo and Steve Phillips

Bottom photo (left to right): Phillip Rodriguez, Kathay Feng, Steve Phillips and Mindy Romero

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Healthy Sacramento Coalition welcomes new Steering Committee members


With its refined focus on health and racial equity, the Healthy Sacramento Coalition continues its work to eliminate health inequities in Sacramento. At a coalition meeting on May 25, members acknowledged outgoing Steering Committee members and welcomed new members, who will lead the coalition as it moves its new agenda forward. Learn more on the Healthy Sacramento Coalition web page.

Photo of new Steering Committee members

Photo of new Steering Committee members, left to right: Rangineh Azimzadeh Tosang, Ashlin Malouf, Shaunda Johnson, Kaying Hang, Anna Rosenbaum, Eric Gravenberg, Arthur Hernandez, Malaki Seku-Amen, Richard Dana, Bill Kennedy, Connie Chan Robison, Kim Williams and Gina Warren. Not pictured: Stephanie Bray, Jim Keddy and Mike McKeever.

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Chet Hewitt discusses African American child deaths on KVIE Public Television’s Studio Sacramento


Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt appeared on KVIE Public Television’s Studio Sacramento on May 20 to discuss efforts of the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths. He joined host Scott Syphax and Dr. Nicole Clavo, mother of high school student and shooting victim J.J. Clavo, to talk about gun violence and other causes of disproportionate African American childhood death and potential solutions. Watch the program on the KVIE web site.

KVIE studio photo

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Respite Partnership Collaborative shares impact of four-year project with community stakeholders


RPC logo

After four years of community-driven work to increase mental health respite options in Sacramento County, the Respite Partnership Collaborative hosted its final Community Stakeholder meeting on May 19 at Sierra Health Foundation. Throughout the project, these community meetings have been a forum for presenting findings, challenges and successes to the community at large.

Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy kicked off this final meeting with opening remarks on the importance of appropriate and accessible mental health services. He also acknowledged the continuous work of the Respite Partnership Collaborative and the 10 grantees in creating a mental health respite service network in Sacramento that did not previously exist. Grace Wang from American Institutes for Research, the project’s external evaluator, presented findings specific to the impact of the community-driven process, as well as successes and challenges of the project. A panel of current and former Respite Partnership Collaborative members then shared their perspectives on the need for community voice in social initiatives and the lessons learned for other groups thinking of implementing similar programs.

The Respite Partnership Collaborative has distributed $5.2 million in grant awards to fund 11 new mental health respite services. These services will be sustained with Sacramento County Mental Health Services Act funds. Collaborative members are now preparing their next steps and launching a respite network – Friends of Respite Sacramento – to continue their support of mental health respite in Sacramento County.

Learn more about the project on the Respite Partnership Collaborative web page.

Panel photo

Photo (left to right): Iffat Hussain, Kay Temple Kirk and Lyn Corbett share their experiences as members of the Respite Partnership Collaborative.

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Videos highlight mental health respite services in Sacramento County


As part of the implementation of its communication plan, the Respite Partnership Collaborative, in partnership with Dovos Media, is producing short educational videos highlighting the 10 mental health respite grantees funded through the project. Grantees will use the videos for outreach and to raise awareness, as well as to show the impact of mental health respite services throughout Sacramento County.

Through interviews with management, staff and respite guests, the impact and success of these culturally appropriate mental health respite programs was captured and is able to be shared far and wide. Several of the grantee videos are available on the Respite Partnership Collaborative video web page and more will be posted soon.

Additionally, there are two videos that capture the journey of the Respite Partnership Collaborative project and the collaborative itself. These videos highlight both the community-driven process and the public-private partnership behind the success of the project. See the videos on the Respite Partnership Collaborative video web page.

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