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.
I’m so excited to be joining the team as its newest Senior
Community Health Planner and bringing over six years of
experience in transportation politics, policy, and planning. As a
recent transplant from Los Angeles, I look forward to working
with you and exploring this great county that my family and I now
call home. Prior to joining the Health System, I worked for
the city of Los Angeles, where I oversaw the transportation
agenda for Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tempore Mitch
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.
By now, most people who follow housing news know that Governor
Jerry Brown signed a landmark housing bill package in September
that is expected to fundamentally change the ways we fund and
approve housing projects in the state.
Many of you have interacted with me as the Contract Coordinator
of Health Policy and Planning. I coordinate the contract
development and amendment process with departments, program
managers, and other County departments. As we select the next
cohort of 2018 GHSMC Community Implementation recipients, I
wanted to take this opportunity to share the basics of the
contract process to clarify some of the questions we often
receive during the application and contracting process.
We are currently recruiting two intern positions to join us
part-time from November 2017 through May 2018. The Healthy
Economy Intern will help our staff with researching and
developing strategies to maximize opportunity for those facing
economic barriers in San Mateo County. The Healthy Neighborhoods
Intern will be researching and developing strategies to increase
active transportation options for all San Mateo County residents.
packets are due 9/8!
Get Healthy San Mateo County and its partners have a long history
of working to ensure that all residents of San Mateo County have
access to healthy and affordable fresh food. Get Healthy SMC has
supported numerous projects to achieve this goal, while we’ve
made great progress, there is still work to do. Get Healthy SMC
along with the San Mateo County Food System Alliance recently
embarked on an ambitious project to connect all of the various
food related efforts underway in the county to maximize their
impact in the community.
Active transportation, or the use of any human powered mode of
transportation such as walking or biking, is an important element
in staying healthy. When people are physically inactive this can
compound preventable health issues like obesity, diabetes, or
heart disease, but not everyone has the same opportunities for
staying active. These opportunities include infrastructure, such
as sidewalks, cross walks, or bike lanes, or it can mean having a
safe environment, public transportation within walking distance,
or other resources nearby, such as grocery stores.
The population aged 65 years and older in San Mateo County makes
up about 14% of the overall county population but is expected to
increase over the next forty years. Population projections show
this age group more than doubling by 2060, while showing a
decrease in the population under the age of 65 (Chart 1). With
these projections in mind, working toward increasing housing
options for this age group will support their ability to live
long and healthy lives here in San Mateo County.
Research shows that academic achievement is closely related to
health outcomes throughout the life course. Working with the goal
of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes, we
support academic achievement through implementation of
restorative practices in our schools and across San Mateo County
As many of you may know, Maeve Johnson will be on leave for a few
months. While Maeve is away, I will be handling her workload
pertaining to healthy housing issues throughout San Mateo County
and engaging in city planning efforts in south county as relevant
to healthy communities. My background is in city planning and
public health, and I hold a Ph.D. in city and regional planning
from UC Berkeley. My research at UC Berkeley explored issues of
environmental justice and land use in California’s Central
I’m excited to introduce myself and to have this venue to share
my perspective on how health and economics overlap and what it
takes to build a healthy economy in our county. I am the new
Community Health Planner, and I am coordinating the Healthy
Economy program. I look forward to working with all of you to
build a more inclusive and sustainable economy that promotes the
well-being of all San Mateo County residents and workers.
We know that housing and health have a strong connection. When
people have access to safe, affordable homes, they experience
better health. That’s why we’re excited to be part of San Mateo
County’s Home for All
initiative. Home for All is a Countywide effort to build more
homes in the county to meet the needs of residents and the
demands of a growing workforce.
time I wrote, I discussed how data can make an impact and
what resources Get Healthy San Mateo County (GHSMC) has coming
down the pipeline to equip our partners with data. I am very
excited to share that GHSMC has just expanded our data portal with more social, environmental,
economic, and health indicators!
Food is a central part of our lives during Thanksgiving and the
holiday season. It’s also an opportune time to reflect upon the
issue of hunger and food insecurity that affects millions of
people across the country who struggle with not having enough
food, are unable to afford a balanced and nutritious diet, or are
unsure when or where their next meal will be.
I lead our Epidemiology program at the San Mateo County Health
System and assist with statistical analysis and provide data for
policy and program planning. Our Epidemiologists at the Health
System help to ensure our policy work is grounded in evidence.
Through data reports and requests, we share health information
with community members and other stakeholders on the health of
San Mateo County.
Get Healthy San Mateo County Partners and Friends,
It’s been almost one year since we released our 2015-2020
strategic plan that highlights the four key priorities you
identified for the collaborative. As Health System staff
supporting Get Healthy San Mateo County (GHSMC), over this last
year we’ve learned a lot about the key priority areas, engaged
new areas of work, built new skills, and developed new
partnerships. We’ve learned from all of you!
The majority of children in San Mateo County and across the
country are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Get Healthy
San Mateo County (GHSMC) is working hard to change that by
supporting Farm to School initiatives in San Mateo County schools
that encourage students to become more engaged in the food system
and increase their interest in lifelong healthy eating.
Where we live, work, play and learn have an impact on our
health—the availability and accessibility of public transit, safe
places for us to walk or bike, our incomes, and even how much we
spend to live in our communities affects the quality and length
of our lives. Each of the above considerations is a choice we
make every day, yet the health of a community is not always
factored in by policymakers from the local to federal