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April 2017 Newsletter
The Beginnings of Good Health


Daly City Council Exploring Mechanisms to Lower the Consumption of Sugary Drinks Among Children
The Daly City Council is exploring the adoption of a Healthy Default Beverages in Kids’ Meals ordinance. This type of policy has shown to lower the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The City could require restaurants that serve combination kid’s meals to replace sugary beverages with healthier options such as water and low-fat milk as the default offered with children’s meals. Other beverages would remain available upon request at no additional cost.  

The cities of Davis, Stockton and Perris have already adopted similar measures. Also, few large private companies have already adopted this practice such as the Disney Corporation that, in 2008, reported that at its American resorts 68 percent of beverage orders included the default healthier option. Read more about this ordinance.

Youth Commission Applications Open for Next School Year
The San Mateo County Youth Commission is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 term! Join a diverse group of youth to represent young people in San Mateo County. Offer youth perspective on important issues facing your community and work directly with the Board of Supervisors and County departments as a leader and voice for youth in the county!  Check out the details of this exciting opportunity and share with youth partners and your networks.  Application deadline is May 26th. Questions? Email Adam Wilson –

Plan Bay Area Open Houses
On May 4th join residents from across the Bay Area for a public open house to discuss how to plan for our region’s future growth. After two years of public discussion and technical work, the draft Plan Bay Area 2040 is out for public comment. Lend your voice to the discussion on future actions and transportation funding priorities that the Bay Area can take to encourage more efficient and effective transportation and an adequate housing supply while meeting goals to protect the environment. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) want to hear from you. Please consider attending a workshop, where you can view displays, ask questions and offer comments on Draft Plan Bay Area 2040. Can’t make May 4? Check out the listing for other meeting dates and locations here.

Spring has sprung! Take a Hike
Kaiser Permanente and the San Mateo County Parks department have partnered for 2017 to share tips on staying active, avoiding injuries to encourage Bay Area residents to explore parks while improving their mental and physical health. Check out the schedule today!   

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers

How Can We Improve Educational Attainment in San Mateo County?

Did you know East Palo Alto and Half Moon Bay have 60% or more of adults with a high school diploma or less, the highest in San Mateo County. The majority of cities in San Mateo County have 50% or fewer adults with a high school diploma or less. Educational attainment is the highest level of education a person completes. People who are highly educated tend to be healthier and live longer. How can we improve these numbers in San Mateo County?

Staff Perspective Justin Watkins

Supporting Academic Achievement

Research shows that academic achievement is closely related to health outcomes throughout the life course. Working with the goal of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes, we support academic achievement through implementation of restorative practices in our schools and across San Mateo County school districts.


San Mateo County Wants Your Housing Story!

San Mateo County is currently undergoing an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) and needs current or former residents and employees in San Mateo County to participate in a quick 10-minute survey. The survey aims to understand residents’ housing decisions and experiences living, working, or going to school in San Mateo County, as well as barriers to accessing housing in the county.


Measure K Funding for Affordable Housing

On April 11, affordable housing was one of several topics at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting.  A recommendation was made for the allocation of $30 million in Measure K funds for affordable housing initiatives in the FY 2017-19 budget, with the majority of funding supporting the development of new affordable housing units for seniors, veterans and families.  The Board was interested in identifying additional funding to increase the amount they allocate for affordable housing.


Integrating Wealth & Health

Assets and financial security are critical determinants of health. Asset Funders Network’s recent report, The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment across the Life Course, highlights studies that measure the impact of household wealth on health outcomes and healthy behavior. People with more wealth have lower death rates, lower rates of chronic diseases, improved mental health, and lower rates of smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.


Earned Income Tax Credits

It is Financial Literacy Month! The Center for Disease Control has identified Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) as a “HI-5” intervention capable of making a significant impact on a community health within five years. These credits provide a tax benefit to low and moderate income workers and are claimed when a worker files their annual tax return.


The City of San Mateo Crafting a Vision for its Downtown

The City of San Mateo is hosting a series of events to collect input for its Downtown Plan. On March 29, the City of San Mateo hosted its first community workshop to start crafting a vision for its downtown. Over 60 participants provided feedback on how to best accommodate projected population and job growth within the downtown area and make the plan area a more walkable and bike-friendly place.


May School Wellness Alliance Meeting  

Join education professionals from around San Mateo County to learn about adolescent brain development and the reasons young people are prone to risk taking. The meeting will also highlight strategies schools can use to support students through the developmental phase, including restorative practices and mindfulness.


Farm to School Forum

On Monday, April 17th the San Mateo County Health System partnered with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) organized a roundtable discussion on strategies to increase the amount of local fruits and vegetables in the school meal programs. The group also discussed strategies to increase the amount of garden-based education that students in SMC schools receive. The group hopes to improve student health by encouraging students to eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables.


Career Day for San Mateo County Teens

On April 4, HPP’s community health planner Heather Arata participated in the San Mateo County High School Job Shadow Day 2017. This event was the second annual event and drew about 50 seniors, juniors, and sophomores from different high schools in the county. The purpose of the day was to introduce high school students to different government career paths by having current county employees host workshops. We could see the future leaders of our county in the room!