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August 2015 Newsletter
Health you can count on


We’ve got a lot of great opportunities to get involved in advancing healthy, equitable communities next month. Mark your calendars!

  • Wednesday, September 2: Our strategic plan for building healthy, equitable communities is coming out next week! Based on local health data, research, and extensive community feedback, we will focus on 4 key priorities through 2020. The strategic priorities document will include details on each priority area and the connections to health, as well as data and specific opportunities for action. 
  • Tuesday, September 8: Mark your calendar for next year’s community implementation funding opportunity! The Request for Proposals is coming out September 8 and due October 8. 
  • Thursday, September 17, 4-6:00pm, San Mateo County Health System, 225 37th Avenue, Room 100: Check out our upcoming in-person meeting to share our new mission and strategic priorities, as well as the community implementation funding opportunity.
  • Tuesday, September 22 (time TBD): Informational webinar on our strategic priorities and community implementation funding.

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers

Financial insecurity

Did you know households living in Atherton and Hillsborough earn about 4 times more than households living in North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto? Financial insecurity makes it difficult to afford basic needs, leading to higher rates of depression and stress, and subsequently more health problems.

Staff Perspective

The Economics of Health

Hi, Get Healthy Partners,

I’d like to talk about one of the most important but least discussed factors that shape our health – economic security. To start, let’s look at a stark example that clearly shows the relationship between health and economic security in San Mateo County: 19 years. That’s the difference in the average age of death between residents of San Mateo County’s most and least wealthy cities. Let that sink in for a moment… people’s lives are being cut short by nearly two decades based on their income levels and where they live.


Telling local data 

Just how healthy are San Mateo County’s students? We’ll get a clearer picture thanks to a new initiative we’re working on with local school wellness coordinators. Starting this school year, we’ll be able to collect more information on students’ nutrition, physical activity, and social skills though the Healthy Kids Survey. This will help us all make better decisions about how to prioritize health where it’s most needed. 


School meals rule

Students like healthier school lunches and are eating more of them with more whole grains, fruits and veggies, and less salt. 95% of schools have improved the quality of school lunches, nourishing kids and helping them develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Join the Back to School #FoodFri tweet chat 8/28 from 10-11am to learn more about how to bring even healthier food to your school.


Deserved time to be healthy 

The state paid sick days law went into effect last month, granting sick time for an estimated 40% of California’s public and private employees. Before this bill, many part-time and temporary workers in San Mateo County had been without sick leave – and are now covered by the law. This is in line with our key priority for creating a healthy economy, where everyone should have access to economic opportunities and benefits for healthy living.


Waking up the bright side

Paying way too much for where you live and need some encouragement? Check out this great post from the Greenbelt Alliance on how local efforts can tackle the affordable housing crisis. Stable and affordable housing protects health by allowing for the safety and security needed to be healthy. As one of our key priorities, we look forward to working with you to create healthier places for everyone to live in our county.

News Shireen Malekafzali

Stemming the Displacement Tide

Curious what’s being done to help people stay in their homes? Join the Federal Reserve Bank of SF’s panel discussions tomorrow, 8/26 from 9am to 12:30pm and hear from Bay Area researchers, advocates, and policy makers who at the forefront of statewide and national anti-displacement efforts. Learn about innovative and collaborative data analysis, advocacy networks, and policy tools that are driving changes in policy and practice across the Bay Area. Our own Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Manager for Policy, Planning and Equity, will be on one of the panels.


Wear a helmet: Important info ahead

The Silicon Valley Bike Summit is tomorrow, 8/26, and featuring a panel presentation from Get Healthy with preliminary data on street safety. Our own Jessica Osborne, Senior Community Health Planner, and Corina Chung, Health and Equity Data Analyst, will be presenting. We’ll also show a sneak peak of our promo video on creating healthy streets in San Mateo County featuring San Mateo County Health System Public Health Director ST Mayer and Jeff Tumlin from Nelson\Nygaard.


What good health is worth

It’s been over a year and a half since Mexico passed a national soda tax, and the results are in! Sugary drink consumption declined by 6% in 2014 – and as much as 12% in the last part of the year. This trend resembles the tobacco tax where sales decreased more dramatically over time. Data shows that low income households lowered their sugary drink consumption the most. We’ll cheers our water glasses to that!