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Sierra Health Foundation Partnerships

Responsive Grants Program applications due March 14


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The Responsive Grants Program returns this year, with grants up to $15,000 to support projects that improve health and well-being throughout our 26-county funding region. There will be one funding round in 2016 with a total of $500,000 available. We will award at least 30 percent for projects serving rural areas of the region.

Applications are due by March 14 at noon. Application materials and the proposers’ webinar presentation are posted on the Responsive Grants Program web page.

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Current and emerging leaders needed for Health Leadership Program Class XIII


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We’re pleased to continue the Health Leadership Program this year with Class XIII. We invite current and emerging leaders in Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley to apply for this seven-month program, which will begin in late September.

Program participants have the opportunity to improve existing skills while developing new competencies that strengthen their organizations, and deepen their ability and commitment to achieve health equity with a focus on the social determinants of health and reducing health disparities in underserved communities. Successful applicants will be in organizations that work to improve community health and well-being and reduce health disparities across a broad range of issue areas.

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.

Applications for Class XIII are due by April 25. Visit the Health Leadership Program web page to download the application and brochure.

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Chet Hewitt receives community service award


Photo of Chet Hewitt and Congresswoman Doris Matsui

Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt received the Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Event on Feb. 6 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento. The award was named in memory of the late congressman, who was a co-founder of the annual MLK Celebration event and a passionate leader in his efforts to make Sacramento and our country a better place. The MLK Celebration Committee recognized Chet with this award because he embodies the values and philosophy that Mr. Matsui and Dr. King stood for.

Photo: Congresswoman Doris Matsui presents Chet Hewitt with the Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award.

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City of Sacramento to support efforts to reduce number of African American child deaths


On Feb. 16, the Sacramento City Council voted to support the efforts of the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths (RAACD) with a commitment of $750,000. This is in addition to funding of $1.5 million annually for five years approved by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and $18 million over five years committed by the county’s First 5 Commission and its child welfare and probation department.

In October, County Supervisor Phil Serna and the Steering Committee on RAACD presented the Sacramento City Council with the strategic plan, African American Children Matter: What We Must Do Now, and an implementation plan detailing action that will be taken to reduce the number of African American child deaths in Sacramento County. Tragically, in Sacramento County for the past 20 years, African American children died at two times the rate of other children. In 2013, following a Blue Ribbon Commission report, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors established the Steering Committee, a community-driven body, to reduce deaths among African American children by 10 percent to 20 percent by 2020.

Funding Opportunities

The Steering Committee on RAACD is accepting proposals for Community Incubator Lead grants and a Community Communications contract. Proposals are due by noon on March 4. Get information and application materials on the RAACD web page.

The Steering Committee on RAACD is funded by the County of Sacramento and First 5 Sacramento, and is managed by the Center for Health Program Management. Learn more on the Center web site.

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San Joaquin Valley nonprofit leaders discuss pressing issues at State Capitol


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San Joaquin Valley Health Fund grantee partners joined Sierra Health Foundation, the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Latino Legislative Caucus at the State Capitol on Feb. 11 for a policy briefing on Tackling Inequities in the San Joaquin Valley.

The nonprofit leaders shared their concerns about some of the most pressing issues facing the region, which have profound impacts for all of California, such as addressing racial and economic disparities for community safety, civic engagement of farmworkers, drought and water quality, affordable housing and immigrant integration. Guest speakers included Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt and Martha Guzmán-Aceves, Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

The briefing was an opportunity for legislators and their staff to hear about innovative ways that San Joaquin Valley communities are addressing disparities and injustices in the region.

Learn more about this work on the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund web page.

Photo at Capitol

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Positive Youth Justice Initiative evaluation report documents progress, challenges


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Implementation of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative began in 2013 to test a series of reforms designed to transform juvenile justice into a more just, effective system and improve the lives of youth engaged in the system. Alameda County Probation Department, San Diego County Probation Department, San Joaquin County Probation Department and Vallejo City Unified School District in Solano County each received $400,000 for this work.

An independent, external evaluation team from Resource Development Associates was selected to evaluate the initiative’s implementation. The evaluators recently released a cumulative report examining Positive Youth Justice Initiative implementation over its first two years. Overall, the external evaluation found that the initiative has encouraged systems and staff to commit to new and ongoing reforms, while also recognizing that it takes time to overhaul traditional practices, shift culture among staff, and for youth to experience the results of those changes.

The year two evaluation reports and cumulative first phase implementation evaluation reports are available on the Positive Youth Justice Initiative web page.

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After the Doors Were Locked book launch held at Sierra Health Foundation


We were honored to host a book launch on Feb. 24 for colleague Daniel Macallair, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. His book, After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of 21st Century Reform, looks at what history can teach about modern-day youth corrections reforms. Drawing from his nearly 30 years of experience and research, Mr. Macallair shares the compelling and incisive story about the nation’s largest youth corrections system and the daily reality of institutional life.

The event included a discussion with Mr. Macallair and Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt about the history of congregate institutions and the repeated efforts to reform the way youth were treated in those institutions. They also took part in a panel discussion, which included Samuel Nunez, Executive Director of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, and juvenile justice advocate Ruben Mesta, who both shared their experiences in the juvenile justice system, as well as their suggestions for reform.

Takarra Johnson from Sacramento Area Youth Speaks opened the event with a moving spoken word performance about the realities of juvenile justice.

We will post a video of the event on our YouTube channel soon.

Learn more about After the Doors Were Locked on the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice web site.

Book Launch panel photo

Photo: Panelists Daniel Macallair (left) and Ruben Mesta.

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Art exhibit celebrates Black History Month


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Visitors to our Conference and Education Center are enjoying an exhibit by Sacramento artist Larry S. Love. The artist likens his improvisational methods to those of a jazz musician. Love states, “As in jazz, I also work spontaneously; cutting and repeating forms just as a musician continuously repeats a theme.”

Love’s collages will be on display through April.

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