A Message from our Executive Director and Board Chair
Pictured: Executive Director Kim Bender and Board Chair Scott Hafner
2022 has taught us that we are not going back to what we previously called “normal.” Over the last two years, we learned to pivot and flex; we now know that listening and learning to adapt is the new normal. Covid is now part of our everyday lives. We are gathering with friends and family and traveling again, but with a mask in our pocket and an understanding that all plans may be derailed at the last minute by a positive test. We have collectively learned to roll with the unexpected, and increased our compassion for those who are most impacted by the hardships that Covid causes.
At the Healthcare Foundation, we continue to listen to and learn from you, our community. We are incredibly grateful to our stalwart supporters who share our vision of eliminating health inequities in northern Sonoma County. This year, with your help, we have been implementing our strategic plan in creative ways, all in support of increasing equitable access to culturally sensitive healthcare and mental health services to promote overall community wellness.
In our Health Education & Professional Development area of focus, we continue to be amazed by the success of the now 18 participants in the Mental Health Talent Pipeline scholarship program. We are extending the pipeline by building an innovative, bilingual, bicultural clinical traineeship program to create more permanent opportunities for new therapists in our region.
“Our investments in community wellness are multi-year and have the potential for positive, generational change throughout our region. This groundbreaking work is only possible due to the support of our donors, partners and volunteers.”Kim Bender and Scott Hafner
In our Community Resilience, Engagement & Support area of focus, we launched the “community response team” (CRT) initiative to better prepare for future health crises: these hyper-local, health-based networks capitalize on the successful vaccine outreach and education work done by Promotores de Salud and community-based organizations with whom we partnered over the last year. We are also thrilled by the progress in our more “upstream” investments in community mental health: the community wellness center convenings are fostering the kind of community programming and social organizing capacity, through partnerships that include the voices of community members, that measurably increase residents’ sense of safety and belonging, and life-expectancy. Our investments in community wellness are multi-year and have the potential for positive, generational change throughout our region. This groundbreaking work is only possible due to the support of our donors, partners and volunteers.
Over the past two years, we have built a more diverse board, bringing new perspectives to our understanding of the communities we serve. We are grateful for all that we are learning, and invite you to join us in reflecting on our collective impact over the last year.
With tremendous appreciation for your part in this work,
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