Abogando por el Acceso a la Salud | Advocate for Health Access

This month, Amy Ramirez reflects on her first month as the Healthcare Foundation's Executive Director. We also hear from board member Paul Greenall and supporter Sharon Roper.

Amy Ramirez

Dear Friends,

I’m elated by, and grateful for, the widespread support and engagement that made June 8’s Noche de Amor annual celebration such a success, and June 11’s midday meet-and-greet such a stimulating and informative discussion of the Healthcare Foundation’s role in advancing health equity for northern Sonoma County.

In the spirit of continuing the dialogue in this period of leadership transition, I offer below some further reflections on my first month on the job and what I’m absorbing and appreciating about the needs and priorities of the people, organizations, and system of care the Healthcare Foundation serves. 

As a complement to this picture, we also offer below a revealing conversation with retired clinical social worker Sharon Roper, who with her husband Robert have been steadfast supporters of the Healthcare Foundation’s work. 

As an MSW myself, I am deeply impressed by Sharon’s lifelong commitment to community mental health and her keen insights into what we have and what we are lacking in terms of programming that can meet the needs of northern Sonoma County’s most vulnerable and underserved residents.

This month, too, we feature a conversation with one of the newest members of our Board of Directors. We could not be more grateful to have Paul Greenall join us in steering the Healthcare Foundation’s mission. As you will learn below, and can read further in his bio on our website, Paul brings enormous experience and heart to the pursuit of health equity and health justice. Welcome, Paul!

For all you do in supporting this work and making what we do possible,

My heartfelt thanks,

Amy Ramirez
Executive Director

North County in the Lead: A conversation with Executive Director Amy Ramirez

Amy Ramirez and Wanda Tapia-Thomsen

On the heels of June 8’s Noche de Amor community gathering, as well as a lunchtime online meet-and-greet on June 11 to open up further opportunity for community members to ask questions and get to know the Healthcare Foundation’s new executive director, we thought we’d follow-up with Amy to see what kinds of conversations, questions, and insights have been in the mix so far.

Both events come amid many one-on-one meetings Amy is also having with people and organizations across northern Sonoma County. 

“Right now, all I’m doing is going around researching and taking in all I can to understand our local organizations,” says Amy, “what they’re doing, what their pain-points are, and where the Healthcare Foundation fits into that work — how we can help build them up.”

The following conversation with Amy, who assumed her duties as executive director at the end of May, took place on June 13.

Full Article (5 min read)

Supporter Spotlight: A Conversation with Sharon Roper

Sharon Roper

Sharon Roper’s interest in mental health goes back to her earliest years as a social worker. 

Born and raised in Tulsa, Sharon graduated from Oklahoma State before pursuing her master’s at Rutgers and beginning a career in social work that took her to California in the mid-1970s. She spent the following decade working in San Jose at a residential treatment center for children under 12, and in San Jose Hospital’s acute care unit for children and teenagers with mental illness, before opening her own practice. 

Children and families remained a focus of her work and expertise. “There’s always plenty of need there,” she explains. “It just fit me. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

In 1985, “looking for a little bit smaller of a town,” Sharon and her husband, Robert, moved to Healdsburg, where the couple lived for the next 36 years until losing their home in the 2020 Walbridge Fire. They now live in Santa Rosa. Although Sharon retired from private practice about 20 years ago, she has remained active in supporting community health as a volunteer.

Welcoming the Healthcare Foundation’s increased focus on mental health, the Ropers have been generous and stalwart supporters of the organization for several years now. Sharon kindly spoke with us recently about her lifelong dedication to supporting mental health for some of our society’s most vulnerable members.

Full Article (3 min read)

Board Member Spotlight: A Conversation with Paul Greenall

Paul Greenall

We are delighted to share the following conversation with Paul Greenall, who joined the Healthcare Foundation Board earlier this year. 

Paul is Chief Executive Officer of the innovative digital pharmacy and care platform Truepill, and comes to the Healthcare Foundation as an experienced growth strategist and operating executive with deep expertise in healthcare delivery and technology.

Originally from London, Paul discovered Sonoma County soon after relocating to California in the early 2000s. Captivated by its beauty and its people, he tells us he spent the following 15 years trying to find a way to live here full-time. Finally, five years ago, he and his partner settled in Healdsburg and he hasn’t looked back.

“I truly believe it is one of the best places to be in the world,” says Paul. “I always tell people the importance of loving where you live. I love where we live.”

Full Article (1.5 min read)

What a beautiful time we had on Saturday, June 8! We are so grateful to all of you who were able to share Noche de Amor 2024 — A Benefit for Health Justice with us, including all who could not join us in person but offered your support — your fellowship was felt and appreciated. 

As you know, this year we piloted a brand new approach to fundraising rooted in community-centered principles. We’re so pleased by the positive feedback and the number of people who donated at the event and, more than anything, by the inclusive spirit that we felt.

We have raised just over $300,000 and came close to our Fund-A-Need goal. If you would like to help us get to that goal, you can still do so by going here

We also want to thank our remarkable sponsors for their crucial support, our wonderful mistress of ceremony Ariel Kelley, our moving and wonderful speakers Stephanie Sosa Manrique and Bernice ‘bere’ Espinoza, and our exceptional musical talent, The Curtis Family C-Notes and Mónica María — You all bring the community to community celebration, and it’s both powerful and beautiful when we gather together!

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