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SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS MID-YEAR GRANTS; REPORTS SHOW DISTRICT FUNDS STABLE

From: Don Shoecraft <don_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 11:24:59 -0800

www.sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Dec. 2, 2010

Contact: Don Shoecraft, Sequoia Healthcare District Public Information, 650-594-0556

SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS MID-YEAR GRANTS; REPORTS SHOW DISTRICT FUNDS STABLE REDWOOD CITY — Sequoia Healthcare District directors Wednesday approved two grants, one to provide bridge funding that will enable the Edgewood Center for Children and Families to continue its HealthyKin model program through June and another to fund the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance temporarily while the healthcare district’s Community Grants Committee can review the request in the context of the district’s $1.65 million annual Caring Community grants program.
The $59,464 grant to HealthyKin represents the total requested through June, 2011; the $8,000 approved for the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance (SMCUCA) funds its program through February, 2011.
The grants were considered in the context of reports from Sequoia Healthcare District’s independent auditor, which found the district in compliance with the highest fiscal accounting standards, and from its investment advisor, who reported the district’s reserves continue to earn income substantially higher than many invested by comparable public entities.
Additionally, the San Mateo County Controller has notified the district that its property tax revenues will be $750,000 more than estimated this year.
In keeping with its policy that 100 percent of tax revenues be returned to the community in programs and community funding, the board approved a budget change that increased community grants spending next year by $700,000.
The net effect over past spending will be close to neutral, however, since community grant funding had been reduced last year by $650,000 due to lower-than-expected property tax revenues. Sequoia Healthcare District has supported Edgewood Center for Children and Families, which traces its history to an 1851 Gold Rush orphanage, for several years.
Edgewood’s HealthyKin program educates, supports and serves caregivers who take in children who are removed from their parents because of crises such as substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, economic hardship, divorce, domestic violence or other challenges.
Robin Randall, M.D., Edgewood’s medical director, said the move of a child out of a family situation often means a move to a grandparent, a sibling or other relative.
Twenty-seven percent of the families receiving these children live in poverty; 78 percent of recipients are single female heads of household.   Dr. Randall said in many cases the result is the decline in health of the caregiver, which cascades into a decline in health of the child. Compounding the difficulties is the fact that both caregiver and child populations are more susceptible to chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiac disease, obesity and others. HealthyKin has adopted Stanford University’s Adult Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for Youth and Young Adults intends to roll out its version of the program, called Be Your Own Boss, in January. Sequoia Healthcare District’s grant funding last year permitted Edgewood to reach 860 seniors and 645 families in the district and helped train 12 nurses in community nursing, according to Edgewood Development Director Kristine Leja.
Action on the SMCUCA grant request followed an analysis by district legal counsel Mark Hudak, who at the request of Chairman Don Horsley reviewed potential conflict of interest issues as they relate to board members endorsed for election by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. The council is a stakeholder in the alliance, along with groups such Peninsula Interfaith Action and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County; representatives from both agencies appeared before the board in support of the application.   Mr. Hudak reported that decisions by the court, including the California Supreme Court, and rulings of the state Fair Political Practices Commission make it “very clear” that such endorsements do not disqualify an elected official from voting on an issue such as the SMCUCA grant request.
According to Program Coordinator Kirsten Snow Spalding, whose position would be partially funded by the grant, the group seeks to help San Mateo County monitor federal health care reform as it considers ways to create a five-county public health insurance option that would be in competition with private insurers. Private health insurers have adopted various strategies in the wake of national health insurance reform, with some dropping out of the market entirely and others announcing double-digit premium increases. Expansion of the county into adult health insurance was a recommendation of San Mateo County’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for Adult Health Care Expansion, an ad hoc panel drawn from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, health insurers, physician groups and hospitals.
Through such efforts as the Health Plan of San Mateo, which Sequoia Healthcare District helps fund, 20,000 county residents now have health insurance, with 24,000 remaining uninsured. “We’re working for the rest,” Spalding said. District directors, noting that the alliance’s $50,000 request may compete for funds with other nonprofit organizations that within the week will begin the application process for 2011-12 fiscal year grants, referred the application to the district’s community grants committee.
The grants committee will make its funding recommendations to the full board in February; consequently, directors approved $8,000 in funding to help the alliance carry on from Dec. 31, when its current funding terminates, until February.

###    Received on Thu Dec 02 2010 - 11:25:52 PST


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