Well-being encompasses many dimensions; it’s not only our physical and mental health, but also how we nourish our spirit and the community that surrounds us. This integration of body, mind, spirit, and community is known as whole person well-being, and it’s something I am committed to supporting in my career and as a member of the Healthcare Foundation board.
Whole person well-being is intimately connected to our social environments, our connections to our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, our work, our faith, and our outlets for creativity—these interconnections are key in defining our health.
The natural and physical environments we inhabit together are also essential to our well-being. Human-centered design, a particular passion of mine, recognizes and builds on this truth. Consider the places and spaces you feel most welcome, where you experience a deep sense of belonging. When individuals and communities create rich environments of belonging, we all thrive and flourish together and whole person wellness can be achieved.
Community Wellness Centers (CWC) are wonderful examples of places where whole-person wellness is realized. Fully understanding the complexities that community members face and using their voice to directly inform the look, feel, and sound of their community center is paramount to this. Making a commitment to ensuring community voice is at the table is one of the reasons I am a proud board member of the Healthcare Foundation. As described in this issue, the recent funds that the Healthcare Foundation secured will help to realize a CWC for residents, by residents in Cloverdale. This project (one of many) continues to deepen our commitment to our guiding principles of community, compassion and equity and champions the whole person.
Also herein, you will find news on recent Healthcare Foundation grants to northern Sonoma County community-based organizations supporting the mental and behavioral health of community members, including youth, through culturally responsive and compassionate approaches, as well as supporting the resiliency of hardworking bilingual service providers.
Social media plays a central role today in keeping us connected to each other and to our community. In this spirit, we are fortunate to be welcoming Melissa Gomez, our new social media manager who is truly knowledgeable, compassionate and talented. Welcome, Melissa–we are so pleased you have joined the team.
Finally, in case you missed it on our social media channels last month, we are sharing a profile of Healthcare Hero Elizabeth Gore, whose perspective on the work of the Healthcare Foundation will inspire you. If you want to know how you can join Elizabeth in helping us realize greater whole person well-being for all in our community, please be sure to read her Q&A.
Thank you for supporting your community, and be well!
Cloverdale Community Wellness Center
Investment in Social Capital and Community Mental Health
In March, the Healthcare Foundation secured support from North Sonoma County Healthcare District to convene local community-based organizations for a two-year, community-design process that will lead to a future Community Wellness Center (CWC) in Cloverdale.
This project is geared to supporting the social and cultural life and expressed needs of the entire Cloverdale community, with special attention to lifting the voices of the Latinx community. The ideas and perspectives of neighborhood residents will be leading forces in the design and implementation of the CWC, beginning with the development and planning process.
The initiative will consist of an in-depth engagement and collaboration with Cloverdale residents to conceptualize and design a CWC that truly serves their needs, and involves the active participation of the local community, from farmworkers to city officials. The Healthcare Foundation has partnered with two Cloverdale organizations, Nuestra Comunidad and La Familia Sana, to host and perform outreach to local community members, and provide stipends for childcare to encourage working people to participate. This design/visioning process will also coordinate with and enhance Alexander Valley Healthcare’s plans to construct a new health facility in Cloverdale. The Healthcare Foundation has contracted with On the Margins, a local health consultancy and advocacy group, which already has a track record creating and delivering culturally responsive and needs-based health and healing programming for the Cloverdale community, to facilitate this two-year design process.
New Grants to Support Mental Health
In March, the Healthcare Foundation announced grants totaling $100,000 to three local organizations that provide mental health services and resilience training. The recipients of the grants are SOS Community Counseling ($25K), Side by Side ($25K), and the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation (IMCF) for its Imagine You initiative ($50K).
These funds will support increased access to mental and behavioral health services for vulnerable and underserved populations across northern Sonoma County. The grants to SOS and Side by Side are each for general operating expenses, providing these community-based nonprofits with the flexibility to determine for themselves where to direct the funds to do the most good.
The grant to Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation is to translate the organization’s Imagine You Resilience Skills curriculum into Spanish, in a process involving two northern Sonoma County partner organizations to make sure the content, concepts, and delivery are truly culturally responsive.
Introducing Our New Social Media Manager, Melissa Gomez
The Healthcare Foundation is fortunate to have a small but mighty staff dedicated to supporting the vision of eliminating health inequities in our region by keeping all aspects of the work we do humming along day by day. That includes making sure the way we communicate over social media is accessible, meaningful, helpful, and inspiring to our community. To this end, we are very pleased to welcome Melissa Gomez to the team in the role of the Healthcare Foundation’s social media manager. When not enlivening our social channels, Melissa is a full-time graduate student with a focus on healthcare and health equity. In the following exchange, she shares a little about herself and the broader interests that inspire her in her new role.
What brought you to your new role at the Healthcare Foundation?
Although communications and marketing is not my career path, it is something that combines a number of the things I enjoy doing: advocating, writing and helping others. Being a first-generation college student, a Latina, the daughter of two struggling working-class parents, and a caregiver for my siblings, all helped me develop the instinct for serving my community. This evolved into a passion, which led me to study sociology and gerontology. I began doing social media management at my first job at Generation Housing, where I learned how social justice is intersectional, and also how powerful and crucial social media is in creating true change. I am happy to be able to spread awareness and compassion through these channels.
Healthcare Hero Spotlight on Elizabeth Gore
We are pleased and honored to count Elizabeth Gore among the Healthcare Foundation’s Healthcare Heroes, those donors who make sustaining multi-year pledges of support to our vision of eliminating health inequities in northern Sonoma County. Since 2016, the combined pledges of our Healthcare Heroes have put over $900,000 to work in our region.
Elizabeth serves as President and Chairwoman of the Board for Alice, the first-ever artificial intelligence platform for business owners; previously served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell Technologies; and is part owner of Gore Family Vineyards in Sonoma County. Elizabeth is also the Emeritus Chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council and previously served as the first-ever Entrepreneur in Residence for the UN Foundation and Vice President of Global Partnerships, where she founded strategic grassroots efforts such as Nothing But Nets, Girl Up, and Shot@Life. A former United States Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Bolivia, Elizabeth has also been a leader at organizations, like the Points of Light Foundation, Share Our Strength and the Texas A&M Foundation. She was named by People as one of the “Top 100 Extraordinary Women,” and is one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Women to Watch.” Elizabeth resides in Sonoma County with her husband, Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, and her two children.
The following exchange took place in March, during Women’s History Month, when we asked Elizabeth to share some of her reasons for being a Healthcare Hero.
Can you tell us a little about your connection to Sonoma County?
Sonoma County, specifically Healdsburg, is where the men in my life were born: My husband – James Gore, my son – Jacob Gore and my best friend and brother in law – Tom Gore. The dirt and soil in this county runs through our family’s bloodline and I am proud to call this beautiful community home. To live in a place that is diverse in industry, topography and people, is a blessing. I even got my Mom and brother to move here from Texas! To keep our rich diversity, we have to ensure that all people have the opportunity to be provided with affordable housing, equitable jobs, and healthcare.
A special opportunity: A generous, anonymous donor will contribute $5,000 for the first five new or newly disclosed commitments to the Legacy Circle in 2022. Contact us today and multiply your impact!
"My parents gave a large gift to the Healthcare Foundation and Denny and I want to do the same to honor the important work that the Foundation continues to provide for our entire community. Legacy gifts can be the best gift to an organization that is established for a future of great work."
- Katie and Denny Murphy, Legacy Circle Donors