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May 2017 Newsletter
The Longevity of Good Health

Newsletter

We Won Because of YOU – A Big Thank You to Our Partners 
On May 24, the San Mateo County Health System received the exemplary Health Equity Practice Award by The California Endowment for Get Healthy San Mateo County’s 2015-2020 strategic plan’s strong commitment to advancing health equity in our communities. It is with great honor and it is with tremendous gratitude to our partners that we receive this award. Without our strong partnerships we cannot achieve positive health outcomes for all residents. THANK YOU! 

Livability Index Scores Identifies Strengths and Deficiencies
Did you know San Mateo County scored 55 out of 100 on quality of life for all ages compared to other communities across the nation?  Check out your city’s score on the Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Public Policy Institute’s Livability Index, a comprehensive tool which scores communities and neighborhoods across several categories such as housing, neighborhood, transportation, health, and opportunity.   How well does your city score?

It’s not too late! Comment on Plan Bay Area
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for Plan Bay Area 2040 was recently released. The report identifies transportation, air quality, land use and physical development, climate change and greenhouse gases, noise, biological resources, visual resources, cultural resources, public utilities and facilities, hazards, and public services and recreation.  If you did not get a chance to attend one of the Plan Bay Area open houses, it’s not too late to submit your suggestions. June 1 is the last day to submit a comment.

Items to include in this newsletter

Staff Perspective Heather Arata

Income Insecurity and Housing for the Senior Population

The population aged 65 years and older in San Mateo County makes up about 14% of the overall county population but is expected to increase over the next forty years. Population projections show this age group more than doubling by 2060, while showing a decrease in the population under the age of 65 (Chart 1). With these projections in mind, working toward increasing housing options for this age group will support their ability to live long and healthy lives here in San Mateo County.

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Senior Housing Improvements in Pacifica 

A 100-unit senior housing complex in Pacifica recently completed important renovations. The project began in 2015 to rehabilitate an existing housing development, upgrading it with amenities for energy efficiency and social spaces for new nutrition classes and other social services. The non-profit developer Bridge Housing supported this renovation and does work across San Mateo County to provide housing for seniors.

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San Mateo Cities Use Local Ordinances to Tackle Affordable Housing 

When it comes to producing affordable housing, cities have a variety of tools they can use to ensure residents of all income levels have access to safe, stable, and healthy housing. The city of Pacifica has taken bold first steps to enact rent control and just cause evictions, which are evictions requiring a clearly stated legal reason, and both of which will be going to the ballot in November. Other cities, such as Redwood City, have opted to take on affordability through preserving existing affordable housing.

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Seniors in the Workforce 

San Mateo County’s seniors are an essential part of the local economy. Nearly 19% of county residents over the age of 65 are working in the labor force (ACS 2011-2015) and many are working full time and year round. Forty-five percent of San Mateo County senior employees work more than thirty-five hours per week for fifty or more weeks of the year (ACS 2011-2015).

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Accessible Planning for Aging Residents

As many American communities experience growth in their senior population, planners are designing environments that are accessible for aging residents. San Mateo County residents over the age of 65 are projected to account for 25% of the population by 2030. Investments in pedestrian safety, accessible wayfinding, and affordable senior housing can all help communities be more aging-friendly.

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San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance meeting- Adolescent Brain Development 

On May 10th over 40 people came together for the spring meeting of San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance. The meeting focused on learning more about the science behind the adolescent mind. Educators and school staff heard from Dean Blumberg of Kaiser San Francisco about the changes that occur in the brain during adolescence and why some young people are more likely to engage in risky behavior. The meeting also included a presentation on the implementation of Restorative Practices in San Mateo-Foster City School Districts (SMFCSD) middle schools.

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A Closer Look at Childhood Poverty

The Public Policy Institute of California recently released a new report looking at child poverty in California that found child poverty rates for the Bay Area, Sacramento area and Northern California were around 20%. They also identified that Latino children and children with immigrant, young, or single parents are much more likely to be poor. Using this information, we can develop interventions that target the most impacted populations to better address child poverty.

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Educational Attainment and Life Expectancy

Public Health professionals have long recognized the relationship between income, wealth and overall life expectancy. The higher one’s income, the longer they can be expected to live. Education plays a key role in how much income a person can make. While we still see differences in life expectancy along racial lines, we do know that among people of the same race those with a higher educational attainment can be expected to live longer.

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