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March 2017 Newsletter
Together in Good Health

Newsletter

San Mateo County Ranked Healthiest County in California 
Yesterday the 2017 County Health Ranking, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked San Mateo County the healthiest County in California.  The ranking moderately reflects San Mateo County’s affluence.  The report showed that San Mateo County has lower rates of uninsured adults and children, higher rates of physical activity and excellent opportunities to access exercise, lower smoking rates, and lower violent crime.  These factors contribute to San Mateo County having lower rates than most California Counties of premature death before the age of 75 years. Find out more details of this ranking here

Staffing Changes 
In late March, the Health Policy and Planning team said farewell to a dear team member Jasneet Sharma, who is moving to the Office of Sustainability to work on climate resiliency. While we are sad to lose such an important part of our team, we are excited to have her leadership on the issue of climate change, which has many impacts on public health. We know many of you connected with her directly on Get Healthy SMC efforts. Please know that our team continues to be here for you. Please connect with any of us directly in Jasneet’s absence. We will soon open recruitment for the position of Senior Community Health Planner. If you might be interested, please check the County’s employment opportunities website in the next two weeks.

Items to include in this newsletter

Post Heather Arata

A New Lens on Health

Hello Get Healthy SMC partners!

As many of you may know, Maeve Johnson will be on leave for a few months. While Maeve is away, I will be handling her workload pertaining to healthy housing issues throughout San Mateo County and engaging in city planning efforts in south county as relevant to healthy communities. My background is in city planning and public health, and I hold a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley. My research at UC Berkeley explored issues of environmental justice and land use in California’s Central Valley.

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Relocation Assistance Ordinance 

On February 14, 2017, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance requiring landlords to make relocation payments to tenants who are displaced from their rental units when a unit is deemed uninhabitable.

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State Legislators Prioritize Housing Needs

Housing issues are a top priority for California state lawmakers as the legislative cycle began this year. Many housing bills were introduced that range from identifying permanent sources of funding for affordable housing to ensuring anti-discrimination for immigrants in rental housing. Bills are making their way through committees at this time, and housing groups as well as concerned residents are making their wishes known to their legislators. Given the connections between housing and health, we’ll be tracking what opportunities evolve at the state level.

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Home for All Shares What We Need

We know the housing challenges we have in San Mateo County – we don’t have enough homes to match the jobs added and our housing is not affordable for all – and now the County’s Home for All Initiative is sharing what we need! Compiled in a great visual map, you can see the current progress we are making to meet our housing needs across San Mateo County. Take a look

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Female Frontline Health Workers

The State of California’s Employment Development Department projects that the healthcare and social assistance sector will grow by more than 25% between 2012 and 2022 in San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin Counties. Many positions in this sector are “frontline worker” occupations, which can be characterized by lower-wages and higher turnover. Nationally, frontline workers are predominantly women.

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Bay Area Open Space Under Threat from Sprawl, Study Warns

Some of the most scenic landscapes in the Bay Area are in danger of being developed as a result of the hot economy and housing shortage. At Risk, indicates that 293,100 acres of farmland and natural areas in the Bay Area could be paved over in the next 30 years if suburban sprawl is not stopped. By supporting developments of affordable housing and housing developments near BART, CalTrain or high-frequency bus stations, we can preserve and protect open space.

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How Climate Change Is Making Us Sick Now

A new study released by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health indicates that climate change is impacting health across the nation now. Extreme weather events and air pollution are contributing to the spread of disease and threatening our nutrition and mental health. Data compiled from patient surveys shows the most vulnerable are the most impacted by climate change. Find out more and what we can do to prepare and prevent.

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Projects Identified for OBAG 2 Funding

Communities throughout San Mateo County will soon have much needed new resources for improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. On March 9th, the Board of Directors from the City & County Association of Governments (C/CAG) approved several projects for submission to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission‘s One Bay Area Grant Program, known as OBAG 2, now in its second round of funding.

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San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office’s Immigration Forum 

The Health System participated in the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office’s Immigration Forum on March 21st in Menlo Park to address community concerns and to reassure residents the Sheriff’s Office does not investigate or enforce immigration laws, or inquire about or report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), an individual’s immigration status. The  County also continued to share our dedication to providing services to all residents regardless of immigration status.

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SMCOE Achievement Gap Summit Highlight

On March 9th over 200 school staff, administrators, school board members, county partners, community-based partners, and students came together for the San Mateo County Achievement Gap Summit at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City. The meeting highlighted Bernard, Shirley and Khalil Kinsey’s collection of African American art, artifacts, and primary source documents. The Kinsey Collection highlights the role African Americans played in the history of the United States.

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Shaping Our Success Youth Jobs Summit 

The two-day summit will foster the growth of 120 underserved youth from Redwood City, Belle Haven, East Palo Alto, and North Fair Oaks through employment education skills and connection to summer job and internship opportunities. Participants will hear from engaging speakers, learn job application tips, résumé and job interview do’s and don’ts, and how to dress for success. Day one: April 15, 2017 from 9 AM to 4 PM in Redwood City.

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