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April 2021 Newsletter
Building Healthy Communities through Youth Leadership


Items to include in this newsletter


Join Our Team! Seeking a Community Health Planner

We are recruiting a community health planner to join our Health Policy and Planning team. Applications are continuous and the recruitment will close on May 12, 2021.  We are looking for a team member that has experience advancing health equity through policy and system changes in areas such as urban and community planning and collaborative programming for youth success. This position requires a motivated individual with strong critical thinking, project management, facilitation, oral and written communication, and data analysis skills.


Congratulations to Our Staff!

Justin Watkins, one of Health Policy and Planning’s Community Health Planner’s has accepted the Work Out of Class Senior Community Health Planner role. In this role, Justin will be taking over supervision of the County’s CalFresh Healthy Living Program staff and continuing to lead the Healthy Food Access and Healthy Schools efforts. Angie Cavazos, who has previously supervised the CalFresh Healthy Living Program has transitioned back to Family Health to support the County’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the next year, along with our colleague, Liz Sanchez.  

Health by Numbers

Maternal and Infant Health

In commemoration of Black Maternal Health week this month, it remains critical that we continue to focus on eliminating disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes for African-American women in San Mateo County.  In 2019 Black women represented 3 percent of Health Plan of San Mateo clients with the least amount of births but comprised the highest rate of C-section births at 35.3 percent as compared to all other races/ethnicities.  (Health Plan of San Mateo 2019 data)


Updated Fact Sheet: Immigrant Eligibility for COVID-19 Related Benefits  

Protecting Immigrant Families and Keep Your Benefits updated an overview of immigrant eligibility criteria for COVID-19 related benefits including health care, cash and food assistance.  Please note that accessing these benefits is not considered a public charge test and immigrant families should seek the resources they are eligible for during this difficult time.


Local Tenants Experiencing Evictions During the Pandemic

Around 1,500 families have been evicted from Westlake Apartments during the pandemic, a large apartment complex located in Daly City. In response, a group of tenants have been organizing with the support of Faith In Action Bay Area to ask the City to guarantee the rental protections that were enacted by the Federal and State governments during the pandemic to ensure people have a stable home.


Equity-Driven Organizations Advising Housing Policies

The Health Policy and Planning Program is excited to be part of Let’s Talk Housing San Mateo County Equity Advisory Group to ensure that the next decade of housing policies reflect the needs and also the assets of historically marginalized communities. The pandemic shed light on the severe housing crisis that many of our residents experience and how their poor housing conditions impacted their health outcomes.


New Case Study on Local Schools Efforts to Keep Feeding Families During the Pandemic

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) in partnership with the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Mateo County and Get Healthy SMC recently released a case study, PERSEVERING THROUGH COVID-19: Schools Support Food Access in San Mateo County, that highlights the great work that local San Mateo County school districts have done to maintain and in some cases expand their school meal programs.


Embedding Equity in the Multijurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (MLHMP)

The MLHMP helps local jurisdictions to plan to protect the health and well-being of their residents and maximize the protection of properties during disasters such as earthquakes or extreme heat events. The Health Policy and Planning Program is part of the MLHMP steering committee to help embed equity through a process that has not centered equity in the past. Please take this survey to identify how local residents are impacted by disasters. The survey is available in 6 languages.


Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature (Park Rx)

With warmer days approaching, it is a good opportunity to improve your health and well-being by spending time outdoors.  Spending time in nature has proven to:

·       Reduce blood pressure and headaches
·       Lower stress
·       Reduce mental fatigue, anger and frustration