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
How can we share information that inspires people to take
action for their health?
Many people lack basic access to services, which includes
information about health and conditions that impact health in
their community. Many times even when people have access to
information it is not always presented as clearly as possible.
This ultimately produces the same result: people lacking the
resources to take action for their health and neighborhood.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Mountain View, El Cerrito,
Palo Alto, Sunnyvale… The list of jurisdictions raising their
minimum wages has grown exponentially in the past several years,
culminating this spring with the near simultaneous signing of
statewide $15 minimum wage legislation in both New York and
California. Originating in high-cost large metropolises, the
movement has spread to whole states and smaller cities, including
many throughout Silicon Valley.
Over a year ago, I sat with East Palo Alto (EPA) residents and
listened as they identified health problems facing their
community. They discussed more obvious health concerns such as
EPA’s high rate of asthma (over twice the County’s rate) and
challenges with accessing healthcare. Residents also raised
issues like overcrowding in housing, the lack of middle income
jobs, and inadequate transportation to connect the community to
opportunities. This workshop was part of EPA’s effort to link
health to the City’s long range planning process.
Greetings, Get Healthy San Mateo County Community,
As the new Public Health Director at the San Mateo County Health
System, I am excited to have the privilege to serve all who live,
work, and play in San Mateo County. Having worked at the federal,
state, and local level, I’m excited to continue working to reduce
health disparities and promote health equity here in San Mateo
Many of you know me as the friendly face checking you in at our
events, answering any questions during the RFP process, and
supporting you so you can continue the great work you do to
create healthy, equitable communities. I’ve been working with Get
Healthy SMC for over six years and have seen the power of our
partnerships – recognizing we can all achieve more and be more
effective than working alone.
2016 is here and what an exciting year it promises to be for Get
Healthy SMC and our partners! The vision of healthy, equitable
communities that all of you developed over the course of 5
workshops, focus groups and surveys, was compelling,
comprehensive and inspiration:
As a Communications Specialist with Get Healthy San Mateo County,
I help strategize how to communicate our four priorities for
building healthy, equitable communities for all in San Mateo
County to create policy level change. I have the privilege of
working with a smart, dedicated team of public health
practitioners who work hand-in-hand with you – our cities,
partners, county agencies, hospitals, schools, and leaders – to
help San Mateo County residents live longer and better lives.