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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Congratulations to Health Leadership Program Class XV graduates


HLP Class XV photo

Health Leadership Program Class XV members celebrated their graduation on May 9 at Sierra Health Foundation. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to recognize the 26 leaders for successfully completing six months of transformative leadership training.

Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, and director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, gave the commencement address. Dr. Pastor recognized the rigorous nature of the Health Leadership Program curriculum, and discussed coming demographic changes in California over the next 30 years.

Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet P. Hewitt and lead program faculty Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis and Dr. Richard F. Callahan of TAP International recognized the graduating leaders and presented them with certificates. Alumni members Iffat Hussain, Class VIII, Program Director of the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic at Turning Point Community Programs, and Michael Minnick, Class XIII, Second Vice President on the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education, welcomed the graduates to the Health Leadership Program Alumni Network.

Health Leadership Program on hold in 2019

As Health Leadership Program Class XV concluded, we have decided to put the program on hold and take some time to consider and plan the program’s future. We will not be accepting applications for the program in 2019. We will provide an update later this year or in early 2020. While the class portion of the Health Leadership Program is on hold, we continue to support our alumni, remaining committed to the development of individual leaders and their organizations.

Learn more about the program on the Health Leadership Program web page.

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New staff members join Sierra Health Foundation and The Center


We’re pleased to introduce two new staff members.

Marisa Vang photo

Dr. Cindy Quezada joins us as a Senior Program Officer based in our Fresno office. Cindy’s primary responsibilities will be to direct and manage the State of California’s Administrative Community Based Organization Region 6 census outreach contract and to serve as the San Joaquin Valley census research advisor.

Previously, Cindy was the Director of Research and Special Projects at the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative, where she served as the on-the-ground manager of the San Joaquin Valley Census Research Project, which informed the Region 6 census outreach approach, and national, state and local census advocacy, communications and outreach strategies. Her experience also includes work with diverse partners across disciplines in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Latin America and the United States to address shared global sustainability challenges at the health-water-food-energy nexus. Cindy earned her doctorate in biology from California Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree in chemistry from Oxford, and a Bachelor of Science in molecular and cellular biology from University of California, Davis. She is from Hanford, and is fluent in English, Spanish and German.

Marisa Vang photo

Marisa Vang joins us as a Program Assistant supporting the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Access Points Project. Marisa graduated from Brown University with a Master of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. As part of her research at Brown, she focused on a policy analysis of the teacher pension system. In addition to her educational policy work, she is an instructor and student of Taekwondo. Marisa is from Marysville, and speaks Hmong and Mandarin.

We look forward to the many contributions Cindy and Marisa will bring to our programs.

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Restorative justice for youth coming to Contra Costa County


Earlier this month, RYSE Youth Center in Richmond signed an agreement with Impact Justice and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office to bring restorative justice diversion to Contra Costa County. The program will offer young people opportunities to take accountability for harm they have caused without going into the juvenile legal system.

When a young person is arrested for a serious misdemeanor or felony, the district attorney may refer the case to RYSE to facilitate a restorative circle with the consent of the person harmed, the responsible youth, respective family members and impacted community members. A plan will be created, and once the young person completes the plan, no charges will be filed. This partnership will collectively empower young people in the county with the tools to heal and transform their lives and communities. Learn more on the Impact Justice web site.

The Contra Costa County decision is emblematic of a statewide movement to transform juvenile justice practice and policy into a more just, effective system that is aligned with the developmental needs of young people.

RYSE is one of 11 nonprofit community-based organizations funded through the Positive Youth Justice Initiative. Learn about the initiative.

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Youth and Community Pop Ups meet a critical need for positive space and youth development


Youth Pop Up logo

The City of Sacramento and Comcast have teamed up with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and 21 community organizations to offer Youth and Community Pop Ups. These weekly events meet a critical need for fun, safety and positive activities for Sacramento youth, including workforce development and community-building. Activities range from roller skating, soccer and basketball to art and video game tournaments. Funding continues through June. Check out each week’s flyer with locations on The Center’s web site or @thecentershf on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Learn more.

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Build.Black. Coalition promotes economic development with Innovation and Awards Competition


Build.Black. logo

Through the Rapid Acceleration, Innovation, and Leadership in Sacramento (RAILS) grant to promote entrepreneurship and economic development, the Build.Black. Coalition is working with its economic development cohorts – groups of four to five people who have a business or are starting a business in the seven Sacramento neighborhoods of focus: Arden-Arcade, North Sacramento/Del Paso Heights, Fruitridge/Stockton Boulevard, Meadowview, North Highlands/Foothill, Oak Park and Valley Hi.

This work culminated in the Build.Black. Innovation and Awards Competition, which was open to all Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Sacramento County. In phase one of the application, 29 potential businesses submitted applications and one-minute video pitches on their business and connection to the Sacramento community. Of the 29 applicants, eight moved to phase two, where they participated in the Pitch Event on May 17. The three winners were: AHI Construction, First Place ($15,000), Northern California Medical Billing & Coding Institute, Second Place ($10,000), and Hidden Gems Thrift Store, Third Place ($5,000).

The Build.Black.Coalition plans to launch an app this summer to enhance inclusive economic development and increase business entrepreneurship support for vulnerable communities. Through the app, users will be able to find Black-owned businesses and resources within their community.

See the RAILS video. Learn more on the Build.Black. web site.

Build.Black. RAILS photo

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Black Child Legacy Campaign podcast series explores the effects of perinatal conditions on infant deaths


The Black Child Legacy Campaign is proud to present The Gift of Black Pregnancy, a 10-episode series addition to the Black Village Podcast, the official podcast of the Black Child Legacy Campaign, which works to reduce disproportionate African-American child deaths in Sacramento County.

BCLC podcast logo

Podcast episodes feature community experts and pregnant women in Sacramento. The four leading causes of child deaths have been identified as perinatal conditions, infant sleep-related death, child abuse and neglect, and third-party homicide. This series of podcasts specifically explores the effects of perinatal conditions on infant deaths. Access the podcasts.

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