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Promoting Economic Well-Being in San Mateo County

Staff Perspective Grace Streltzov

As Health Policy and Planning’s newest Community Health Planner, I’ll be supporting Get Healthy SMC objectives to improve health outcomes for San Mateo County residents by tackling economic obstacles to health like poverty and financial insecurity.

Not everyone in San Mateo County has the opportunity to live a long and prosperous life. Higher incomes and wealth are key determinants of health and there are widespread economic disparities locally. Median income for Black and Latino households in the county is not enough to meet basic needs and significantly less than other races.

Across the country, hospitals and health systems are using their economic power to reduce local health and income disparities. These large place-based enterprises, also known as “anchor institutions”, are using their resources to create wealth-building opportunities for excluded and low-income residents through inclusive workforce programs, equitable procurement policies, and mission-aligned investments.

One way San Mateo County addresses local health disparities is through its Emergency Medical Services Corps pilot, which prepares young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the healthcare and emergency fields. The renowned program, EMS Corps., not only provides access to good jobs for local residents, but also helps build an inclusive healthcare workforce that reflects our community.

I’m excited to apply my background in cooperative development, nonprofit finance, and small business support to community wealth-building endeavors like EMS Corps. Trained as a city planner, I enjoy using data and resident knowledge to better understand community needs.  I look forward to collaborating with you as we work collectively promote economic well-being throughout San Mateo County and ensure that every resident has the opportunity to reach their full health potential.