A Foundation of Connection

This month, find out about our collaboration on Community Response Teams, our latest Mental Health Talent Pipeline recipient, and how you can make a lasting, transformational impact for community health.

Kathi Safford

Dear Friends,

Our connection to one another is our strength.

When I joined the Healthcare Foundation Board in January 2021, we were undergoing a strategic planning process to determine where our efforts could have the biggest impact–especially in building resiliency among our region’s most vulnerable communities in the face of public health threats and emergencies. As you’ll read below, this year we supported the Community Response Team initiative, a planning process to develop hyper-local networks of coordinated response teams, or “hubs.” I am very pleased to share the successful outcome of this important collaboration.

August is National Wellness Month. During this month, we are reminded of the importance of self-care, healthy routines, and stress management. As an extension of the work we are doing to better the mental wellness of our community,  we’re thrilled to be able to introduce you to Jennifer Chavez, one of three new scholarship recipients this summer in the Healthcare Foundation’s Mental Health Talent Pipeline (MHTP) program. With support from MHTP, Jennifer starts this fall in USF Santa Rosa’s master’s program in counseling psychology, with the goal of serving the Latinx community as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Also, in observance of National Make a Will Month, my fellow Board member Peter McAweeney draws on his legal expertise to offer a handy overview of options for those interested in legacy giving to benefit the health and wellness of our northern Sonoma County neighbors into the future.

Everything the Healthcare Foundation does is made possible through our  essential connection with you–our community of supporters. On behalf of the staff and board of the Healthcare Foundation, thank you for all you do to support the health and well-being of our region.


Kathi Safford 
Board of Directors

Community Response Teams: Cooperation and Resilience at the Grass Roots

Earlier this year, the Healthcare Foundation convened local stakeholders and initiated a process to collaboratively develop local Community Response Teams (CRTs) across Sonoma County. CRTs are made up of frontline agencies, community members, and trusted community liaisons like promotoras de salud (community health workers) who are prepared to respond in a coordinated fashion to community needs and vulnerabilities in the event of a public health challenge or emergency. The Healthcare Foundation received support for the CRT project from Providence and the Peter E. Haas, Jr. Family Fund. 

The CRT project was inspired by the growing network of community-based organizations (CBOs) in Sonoma County, many of whom we helped fund over the last year to work on Covid-19 education, mitigation, testing, outreach and vaccination efforts. The five-month CRT planning process, which began in February, sought to uplift those grassroots efforts and to formally recognize the highly localized networks by sub-region or “zone.” The focus was on connecting organizations that serve low-income, marginalized individuals to each other, with direct lines of communication to the County, including the Department of Health Services and the Department of Emergency Management.

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Mental Health Talent Pipeline Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Chavez

Jennifer Oseguera Chavez grew up in the Cotati and Rohnert Park area and, before transferring to UC Davis in her junior year, had spent all her life in the region. “I have loved growing up in Sonoma County,” she says. After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2021, with a double major in Spanish and Psychology and a minor in Chicano Studies, Jennifer returned to northern Sonoma County to pursue a career in the mental health field. As she prepares to begin her studies in the fall as a graduate student at USF Santa Rosa, with support from the Healthcare Foundation’s Mental Health Talent Pipeline scholarship program, Jennifer shared some of her reflections on her journey thus far. The following conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Legacy Giving: Exploring the Many Options Available

Photo courtesy of On the Margins

Legacy giving, sometimes referred to as “planned giving,” is a way for people to leave sustaining gifts in their wills or estate plans to the nonprofit organizations that have inspired their charitable giving during their lifetime. Legacy giving lets donors know that their gifts will have a lasting, transformational impact in their community for years to come.

Here at the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County, we are often approached by donors with questions about how they might best include the Foundation as part of their planned giving. We also hear from people who wish to tell us that they have already made a legacy gift to the Foundation as part of their estate planning. We established the Healthcare Foundation Legacy Circle to publicly acknowledge (for those who wish) the generosity of our donors who have included the Foundation in their estate plans. For those who are thinking about including the Healthcare Foundation as part of an estate plan, we offer the following information about some of the more common ways of doing so.

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An Opportunity for New Legacy Circle Members!

A generous, anonymous donor will contribute $5,000 for the first five new or newly disclosed commitments to the Healthcare Foundation’s Legacy Circle in 2022.

Contact us today to set up a meeting with Development Director Mary Ott at 707.395.4928 or mott@healthcarefoundation.net.

Become a Hero for Community Health!

We invite you to join us as a Healthcare Hero.

As Scott Hafner, our Board Chair, shared during his remarks at Noche de Amor, “Our Healthcare Heroes give us the financial security that allows us to make consistent, impactful grant-making.” Healthcare Heroes are the “donors and friends who are with us through thick and thin, who are committed to our mission of eliminating health inequities in our region.”

With your Healthcare Hero pledge today, your partnership will be recognized on our website, at our events, in our newsletter and annual report.

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