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February 2017 Newsletter
The Business of Health


Addressing Racial Equity 
We are so proud that the San Mateo County Health System has joined the Government Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE) to focus on how to address racial equity. As the health department, we have a responsibility to proactively address health inequities in our county that have deep ties to race and ethnicity. We also recognize the responsibility as a large employer to be inclusive and mindful of the different races and cultures of our 2,500 employees. Representatives from across the Health System will be led by the Office of Diversity and Equity to build internal capacity and ultimately develop an action plan to improve racial equity in the Health System. GARE launched its northern California cohort earlier this month with an intensive training to deepen our understanding of the opportunities for government to advance racial equity. There were several hundred people from government jurisdictions across the Bay Area, including Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties. We look forward to sharing more on these efforts as they develop.

Take the Health System Partners Survey
The San Mateo County Health System is conducting a research project called Perception 360. We are seeking input from staff, stakeholders, and community members to learn about impressions of our work and mission, positive and negative. The goal is to gather as much honest information as we can from the people whose lives we touch every day. Learning more about how the Health System is perceived will allow us to improve how we communicate and deliver our services. This link will take you to an online survey that can be completed in about 5 minutes. All responses are confidential. We value your opinion and hope that you will share it with us by Friday, March 3.  

Items to include in this newsletter


Thinking Outside of the Classroom

High educational attainment means kids can grow up to be highly educated adults and live healthier and longer lives. In Pacifica, almost one in three adults has a high school degree or less. To improve education and therefore health outcomes, the local school district and tight-knit community prioritized educational achievement.  Read the full case study here.

Health by Numbers

Third Grade Reading Proficiency Link

85% of students with parents who have a college degree meet 3rd grade reading proficiency compared to 44% of students with parents who don’t. Third grade reading proficiency is strongly related to future educational attainment which impacts health. More highly educated adults tend to be healthier and live longer, and the more money a person makes – the more opportunity they have to be healthy.  See the county-wide map here.


What’s Fair in San Mateo County and Housing 

San Mateo County will conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing to analyze existing and historical patterns of fair housing issues in the County. The analysis will include looking at concentrated areas of poverty and how these relate to location of affordable housing and access to opportunities such as transit, jobs and good schools.  This is a great opportunity to identify and address historical inequities in housing in our community.


Student Grants Available for EMT Training 

Thanks to a new partnership between the San Mateo County Health System and the Emergency Medical Services Corps program of Alameda County, the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services Corps program is now seeking San Mateo County minority male residents, ages 18 – 26 to join the program. The program is a renowned training that focuses on preparing underrepresented young men to enter the health care and emergency medical services fields.


SSMC Cost of Living Indicators Report Event 

This year Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) is focusing its indicators research on the cost of living and its impacts on our neighborhoods, health, and culture. The kick-off event will take place on Thursday, March 2 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the Sobrato Center in Redwood City.


Tackling Hunger 

Nearly 16% of children in San Mateo County are food insecure. Join the 2017 Hunger Action Summit that will bring together hunger advocates and community leaders together to discuss the intersections of hunger along with other issues such as poverty, education, housing and health. The summit will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 8am to 1:15pm at Santa Clara University. Space is limited; RSVP today!


Planning Healthy and Equitable Communities 

The City of San Mateo kicked off the Downtown Specific Plan process in January and is hosting their next community workshop on March 29 at 6pm at the San Mateo Library. Share your thoughts on the future of Downtown with city staff, decision makers and fellow neighbors. The Downtown Specific Plan is a great opportunity to enhance the transit-oriented development attributes San Mateo downtown already has in place.


Most Vulnerable, Most Impacted by Climate Change 

The big take away from the national Climate Change and Health meeting? Climate change is a serious and immediate threat to human health - higher temperatures and precipitation will increase the likelihood of disease transmission through vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks, water borne outbreaks, extreme heat events and health problems associated with allergens.


Call for Youth Conference Presenters 

The San Mateo County Youth Commission is looking for facilitators for the annual San Mateo County Youth Conference. If you or any youth you work with are interested in facilitating a presentation or workshop for youth from across the county, please visit the following link for more information and to apply: The Youth Conference will be held at the San Mateo County Event Center on Saturday, April 15th.


Addressing Teacher Shortage 

California is facing a crisis with a shortage of quality teachers in specialized areas with those proficient in these areas are seeking out higher paying jobs in the tech industry. A California state lawmaker is hoping to make teacher credentialing easier and more affordable.