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March 2021 Newsletter
Moving Forward Together


Items to include in this newsletter


The Work Continues…

As we get ready to search for a permanent replacement for our former manager for Health Policy and Planning unit and Health Equity Officer, Shireen Malekafzali, we have two current Health System staff who will be fulfilling her former duties. Dr. Curtis Chan, the Deputy Health Officer, will take on the role of Public Health Equity Officer coordinating the equity efforts of the Health System’s COVID-19 response and health equity initiatives.


Thank You, Heather!

Community Health Planner, Heather Eastwood, will be moving on to work for the Office of Epidemiology and Evaluation in San Mateo County Health. Heather’s data analysis and policy skills have been instrumental in developing the Creating Safer Streets Near Schools report and informing funding sources to prioritize infrastructure improvements around under-resourced schools with high collision numbers. We are lucky that you are not going too far from us. Thank you for all your work with HPP!


Get Healthy San Mateo County’s Accomplishments

The Get Healthy San Mateo County collaborative effort is supported by a small but mighty Health Policy and Planning (HPP) team. The team recently realized that while we enumerate outcomes for our yearly work plan and review key accomplishments and challenges each year, we didn’t have a short list of key accomplishments over the course of the Get Healthy San Mateo County strategic plan that the HPP team was instrumental in achieving.

Health by Numbers

Reducing COVID-19 Rates in Vulnerable Communities

CA State uses a health equity metric that requires local health jurisdictions to reduce disparities in the COVID-19 positivity rate in the lowest quartile communities. The measure identifies census tracts that have less healthy conditions such as low income, low education completeness, and poor health access along with other socio-economic indicators.  Between 2/7 and 3/7 of this year, the County reduced COVID-19 positivity in the lowest quartile communities from 4.6% to 1.9% (–2.7% reduction), as compared to the Cou


Welcome, Dr. Rakhi Singh!

CalFresh Healthy Living is very excited to have Dr. Singh join us as our new Champion Provider to work with the Nutrition, Education and Obesity Prevention, NEOP program. Dr. Singh specializes in family medicine and is a provider at the Fair Oaks Health Center in Redwood City.  She is very passionate about bringing equity into healthcare.  We are planning projects that will increase healthy food access for CalFresh Healthy Living participants and Fair Oaks patients. 


South San Francisco Adopts Vision Zero Goal!

On February 24, 2021, South San Francisco (SSF) city council adopted a Vision Zero resolution to achieve zero roadway fatalities by 2025. By adopting this goal SSF joins five other San Mateo County cities (San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Daly City) prioritizing roadway safety. At the special council meeting, the council highlighted their previous involvement and commitment to safer streets near schools by participating in walk audits with the County Office of Education (COE) and Health Policy and Planning (HPP) at Sunshine Gardens and Los Cerritos.


Daly City Youth Health Center and Jefferson Union High School District Awarded Funding to Deliver Civic Empowerment Training for Youth

We are excited to share that the Daly City Youth Health Center (DCYHC) in partnership with Jefferson Union High School District has been selected to implement their Be The Change (BTC) Advisory project as an additional youth-focused civic empowerment training effort of the CCCS Racial Equity Subcommittee.  BTC will empower and educate youth in Daly City to address social determinants of health through civic engagement and policy change, culminating in the creation of a youth advisory board to inform the programming and services of the DCYHC.  We look forward to sharing more update


Free Tax Preparation Services Available for Community Residents

As we near the deadline to submit taxes, Tax-Aid is providing free tax preparation assistance for community residents through a variety of virtual and curbside services, including partnering with CCCS member Fair Oaks Community Center in Redwood City to host curbside events.  Please visit Tax-Aid’s website or call 415-229-9240 to find out more information on how to receive assistance from their expert tax volunteers.   


New EMS Corps Cohort Beginning Summer 2021!

We are excited to announce that the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Corps award-winning workforce training program will be ramping up for another cohort slated to begin in July 2021.  This program provides hands-on training, mentorship, and job placement assistance for young people from underrepresented communities to become Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).  Recruitment will begin in April, please stay tuned for more information! 


Ensuring the Safety of Essential Workers During the Pandemic

Get Healthy San Mateo County participated in the first kick-off session of New Crisis, New Laws, New Tools, a learning circle hosted by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) focused on strengthening physical protections for essential workers, such as enforcement of AB 685 Covid-19 Infection Prevention Requirements (Reyes) and community-based prevention and education efforts, among others.  In support of essential workers, the cities of San Mateo and South San Francisco have recently