You may already know that March is Women’s History Month. Did you also know that the nation’s first observance of “Women’s History Week” happened right here in Sonoma County, 45 years ago? It’s another reminder of the way our region has been a forerunner in equity and solidarity.
Our newsletter theme this month, Uplift Community Voices, dovetails nicely with 2023’s Women’s History Month theme, which is “Celebrating women who tell our stories.” You can learn more about this year’s theme and find other wonderful resources at the website of The National Women’s History Alliance, based in Santa Rosa.
This month the Healthcare Foundation announced grants totaling $100,000 to local community-based nonprofits who make exceptional use of Community Health Workers, or Promotores de salud (CHW/Ps). In our ongoing effort to uplift CHW/Ps, we spoke with Martín Cruz Rivarola, MPH, the Health Program Manager in the Public Health Division of Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services, about the work being done locally and nationally to recognize members of this vital workforce.
Closing the gaps in our region’s healthcare systems is a primary focus of the Healthcare Foundation. Last year, with funding secured from Providence and the Peter E. Haas, Jr. Family Fund, we supported the development of plans for Community Response Teams (CRTs)—made up of frontline agencies, and in particular CHW/Ps, who played a vital role in Sonoma County’s Covid-19 response and vaccine rollout. We are pleased to share with you below a link to the results of those efforts.
Also this month, we check in with Sonia Aguilar, a recent participant in our Mental Health Talent Pipeline scholarship program and now, having earned her master’s degree at USF Santa Rosa, a Post-Master’s Mental Health Fellow at Kaiser.
And finally, we are so excited to feature two women performers at Noche de Amor on June 3, Monica Maria and La Doña. Please join us for this fabulous celebration in support of community wellbeing.
We’re grateful to all the women and men working to make northern Sonoma County a more equitable and healthier place for everyone who lives here.
Community Partner Spotlight
Martín Rivarola on the Community Health Worker / Promotores Movement in Sonoma County and Beyond
The Healthcare Foundation values the job of community health workers, or promotores de salud (CHW/Ps), for the unique and vital role they play in ensuring equitable access and care in our region’s healthcare and health services ecosystem. As the local public health response to the pandemic so clearly demonstrated, these frontline lay health workers serve a critical function as trusted, culturally competent community liaisons. Without them, many of our region’s most isolated and vulnerable residents would have limited or no access to beneficial, even life-saving information, resources, and services.
For this reason the Healthcare Foundation stands with efforts to support the professionalization of CHW/Ps, including the recognition, compensation, and training they need and deserve to best serve their communities and thrive in their roles.
The Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project is a nationwide effort to inform community health worker practice and policy. The C3 Project aims “to expand cohesion in the field and to contribute to the visibility and greater understanding of the full potential of Community Health Workers to improve health, community development, and access to systems of care.” To this end, the C3 Project promotes a single set of CHW/P roles and competencies in order to better support and sustain CHW/Ps in their health and social services settings.
Don’t Do Anything For Me Without Me
A Report on the Community Response Teams Project
In Feb 2022, the Healthcare Foundation initiated a collaboration with community-based organizations across Sonoma County to plan and develop Community Response Teams (CRTs), local bodies comprised of community-based organizations, community members, and trusted liaisons like Promotores de salud (Community Health Workers) that could act quickly and sensitively, in coordinated fashion, in the next public health emergency.
The five-month planning process sought to build on the grassroots efforts that had been so vital in the pandemic response and to formally recognize the highly localized networks by sub-region or “zone.” The focus of this preparedness initiative was on connecting organizations that serve low-income, marginalized individuals, with direct lines of communication to the County, including the Department of Health Services and the Department of Emergency Management.
The project emerges from the Healthcare Foundation’s strategic focus on community resilience, engagement and support, and included as participating lead agencies the Center for Well-Being, Corazón Healdsburg, La Luz Center, Petaluma Health Care District, and River to Coast Children’s Services. We are pleased to be able to share with you the following report of the CRT planning process, which includes the tallying of lessons learned during the recent wildfires and pandemic, and which uplifts community voices in developing equitable and inclusive systems for health and wellbeing in our region.
Mental Health Talent Pipeline Spotlight
Catching Up with Sonia Aguilar
Sonia Agular received her master’s degree in counseling psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from USF Santa Rosa in May 2022. Sonia was one of six participants in the Healthcare Foundation’s Mental Health Talent Pipeline (MHTP) to graduate that day, MHTP’s largest cohort yet!
Sonia is currently a practicing clinician and post-master’s fellow at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center in its department of Mental Health and Wellness, which is the Center’s second-largest department serving more than 135,000 members.
The Post-Master’s Mental Health Fellowship program provides advanced training and clinical supervision, and meets requirements for supervised training for Associate Marriage & Family Therapists, Associate Clinical Social Workers and Associate Professional Clinical Counselors working toward licensure.
Sonia started at Kaiser in September 2022. She took time recently from a very busy schedule to speak with us about her first six months on the job.
We invite you to join us for NOCHE DE AMOR, our 2023 community celebration, to take place on June 3, 2023, 6-10PM at the gorgeous Bacchus Landing in Healdsburg. The festive evening will take place outdoors and feature fabulous food, wine and cocktails/mocktails, and live performances by cantora Monica Maria, followed by Bay Area phenomenon La Doña.
We invite you to join our growing list of NOCHE DE AMOR sponsors as an individual and/or on behalf of your business. Sponsorships range from $1,000 to $50,000, with attractive benefits including, placement on website and in monthly newsletter, on-stage and sponsor reel recognition. Champion, Visionary and Miracle sponsors who commit before March 31st will be featured on the event invitation.
Thank You to Our Current Sponsors
Barbara Grasseschi and Tony Crabb
Marc and Jeanie Kahn
Michelle Mercer and Bruce Golden
Courtney Cochran and Ronald Du Preez
Peter McAweeney and Tod Hill
Scott Hafner and Bill Glenn
Amy and Chris Hunsberger
Donna and Eddie Merideth
Darnell and Alma Bowen
Jean Lalla and Mark Stiger
Tim McDonald and Bob Scott
Danielle Restieaux Murphy and Matt Murphy
Kathi and Rick Safford
Steve and Wendy Smit
Your legacy gift can be one of the easiest and most thoughtful ways to leave a lasting tribute to your belief in equitable access to physical and mental health in northern Sonoma County. One of the simplest ways to make a legacy gift to the Healthcare Foundation is to name the Foundation as a beneficiary of your estate through a will or a trust. To LEARN MORE or if you are considering leaving a legacy gift to the Healthcare Foundation, we invite you to contact Development Director Mary Ott at 707-395-4928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to recognizing you as one of our Legacy Circle Donors. As an added incentive, a generous anonymous donor will contribute $5,000 for new or newly disclosed commitments to the Legacy Circle in 2023.