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December 2017 Newsletter
Looking Back on Good Health


Achieving Better Health Through Equity
The American Public Health Association has compiled a series of case studies featuring health agencies that approach their work with a health equity lens. The health equity approach addresses social determinants of health and is showing to be cost effective for counties adopting this model. Our Health Policy and Planning Program has a deep focus on health equity and we commend APHA on providing more resources to support health agencies and stakeholders to implement health equity! Read these case studies.

Items to include in this newsletter

Staff Perspective Shireen Malekafzali

Reflecting on Our Work in 2017

Hello Colleagues and Friends – As 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to take the time to reflect with you on our collective priorities under Get Healthy SMC. We are half way through the five year strategic plan and have learned a lot as a collaborative on how the four community-identified priorities come together to impact healthy, equitable communities. We have now built strong partnerships with the leaders working across the priority issues and sharpened our strategies to have impact. I have one or two highlights for each priority that I want to lift up and celebrate with you.


Four San Mateo County Residents Selected by Emergency Medical Service Corps. Training

After a rigorous selection process, four San Mateo County young residents were selected to participate in the EMS Corps program. Congratulations to Emmanuel Gutierrez, Hakim Scott, Julian Miranda, and Filisione Etu! Participants will go through a five-month training to obtain their emergency medical technician certificate. This training opportunity aims to diversify San Mateo County’s emergency medical services workforce.


Developing Future Leaders 

Local government agencies in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County gathered for their quarterly Regional Fellowship and Internship Committee meeting on November 16. This committee is designed to address the surge of retiring government employees and filling those positions by attracting, growing, and retaining local talent. Strategies include offering programs such as job shadow day, leadership academies, and management talent exchange to appeal to university students.​ Learn more here


Daly City Makes Progress to Protect the Health of Kids

On December 11th, The Daly City Council introduced the Healthy Default Drinks in Kids’ Meals ordinance, joining five other California cities with such laws. This policy has been proven to lower the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among kids by simply requiring restaurants to replace sugary beverages with healthier options such as water and low-fat milk as the default offered with children’s meals.


Meal Kits and Pie Ranch Commitment to Equity

Pie Ranch is supporting health equity in our community by expanding the pilot program for its Health Meal Kits business venture. The meal kits use ingredients sourced from small regional farms to ensure the highest quality and to support the local economy. They provide recipes and ingredients for one breakfast, two dinners, and healthy snacks for a family of four. Piloted with families at the Google childcare center last year for $100 per week, the program expanded this year to reach residents in the Pescadero community.


School Wellness Alliance: Outdoor Education in San Mateo County 

According to research, spending time in nature can improve our physical and mental health outcomes. These benefits, along with the goal of increasing students’ understanding of their place in the environment, were the focus of the San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance’s fall meeting. Sharon Danks from Green Schoolyards America highlighted work in the United States as well as internationally to create greener spaces for students to play and learn.


The Big Lift is Seeing Early Success

The Big Lift initiative is a partnership between the SMCOE, San Mateo County, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to ensure that local students are academically proficient and reading at grade-level by third grade. The initiative focuses resources on students from under-resourced communities. The Big Lift is working to support the academic success of San Mateo County’s youngest students by increasing access to high quality preschool, offering summer programs, engaging families, and working to reduce absenteeism.


Scaling Up Restorative Justice Practices

San Mateo County educators are gathering for a final day of the Restorative Practices Justice Summit in January. It has been a 9-month long process to develop a strategic plan that will guide the expansion of Restorative Practices work in schools across the county. Please look out next month’s newsletter for more information on the School Wellness Alliance meeting featuring Restorative Practices on March 1st and the results of the strategic plan.


Opportunity More Housing near Transit in South San Francisco 

The city of South San Francisco is considering increasing the residential density in the Downtown Transit Core (DTC) district. Currently, the maximum density is zoned for 100 units/acre, but a proposal would allow increased densities up to 180 units/acre, with the provision of adding community benefits. These benefits provided by the housing developer could include a range of amenities, such as public art, additional green space, or a local hire program.