Sierra Health's Partnerships brings you bimonthly news, opportunities, tools and resources.

We dedicate this issue of Partnerships to our friend and colleague, Steve Vorous, who passed away Dec. 13, 2005. Steve was our CFO for the past eight years. He was a nonsmoker and avid athlete who fought a yearlong battle with lung cancer. Steve made a significant contribution to the foundation and was a true partner. He always engaged those he worked with in a spirit of respect and collaboration. We will miss him.


Watch our Web site!

A number of grant opportunities will rollout in 2006. Make sure to visit and read Partnerships for regular updates and applications.

Foundation to expand organizational assessment grants to 26 counties

Sierra Health Foundation will expand its organizational assessment grants in mid-2006 to its full 26-county funding region in Northern California. Since 2002, the foundation has awarded 34 organizational assessment grants as part of its strategy to improve the long-term viability and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.

Organizations eligible for these $10,000 grants must be nonprofit, health-related, have 501(c)(3) status, and an annual operating budget of more than $500,000. Counties in Sierra Health Foundation's funding region include: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano (eastern portion), Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

During the assessment, grantees work with a consultant to identify their organization's strengths and weaknesses, and areas that need improving. An action plan is then developed to set priorities and create benchmarks that, when achieved, will improve the organization's long-term success.

Consultants experienced in organizational development with nonprofits, and who'd like to be part of the consultant pool, should send their resume and which counties in the funding region they'd like to work in to Pat Kelsaw, Sierra Health Foundation Program Consultant, To be eligible for selection by the grantee organizations, selected consultants must attend, on their own time, a special one- to two-day training in the first half of 2006.

For information on the foundation's organizational development program visit Sierra Health's Web site. Applications for the next round of funding will be available online this spring. Details about the organizational assessment process can be found in the Spring 2005 GrantWise, a Sierra Health e-newsletter that provides tips to attract and use funds wisely.

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Learn more about REACH Program Improvement Grants at March conference

Sierra Health Foundation will award grants of up to $10,000 to improve quality and participation in youth programs in the California Capital Region. These grants are part of Sierra Health's newest grant program, REACH: Connecting Communities and Youth for a Healthy Future. Grants will be awarded three times a year to public agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups that serve youth ages 10-15. Proposal deadlines for the second and third rounds of funding are April 15 and Sept. 15. Round 1 grant awards will be announced mid-March.

Those interested in these grants will want to participate in one of two conferences: A proposers' teleconference on Monday, March 6, from 1-2:30 p.m., or a conference at the foundation offices in Sacramento on March 7 from 9-10:30 a.m. To reserve a line for the teleconference, click here. For assistance, e-mail or click this help link.

To register for the proposers' conference at the foundation offices at 1321 Garden Highway, Sacramento, send an e-mail to using the subject line "3/7 Proposers' Conference." Include your name, the name of your organization, and a phone number. Attendance is limited to 100 people. Attending a conference is encouraged but not required to apply for a grant. Learn more about this grant and other REACH grant opportunities on Sierra Health's Web site. To download a MS Word file of the grant application click here.

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Sierra Health and local foundation announce joint youth grants

Sierra Health Foundation and Sacramento Region Community Foundation (SRCF), working in partnership, are pleased to announce their grants to youth teams in the California Capital Region. These grants of up to $2,500 each will improve communities and give participating youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills. The projects were solicited, reviewed and recommended for funding by a team of youth who were recruited, trained, and managed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. Program details and a list of 2005-2006 grantees can be found on SRCF's Web site.

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Foundation publishes guide on how to engage youth

The second in a series of Sierra Health Foundation reports on youth development is now available. Engaging Youth: A How-To Guide for Creating Opportunities for Young People to Participate, Lead and Succeed is designed for organizations that wish to increase youth participation in their programs. Readers will find best practices from organizations that have successfully implemented youth leadership programs, and a catalogue of youth leadership opportunities in the greater Sacramento region. The guide also includes a list of resources for information and assistance in youth development and engagement. The guide is available to download on the foundation's Web site. A printed version is also available. To request a copy of the printed version, send an email to with the subject line, "Engaging Youth."

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Applications for the 2006-2007 Health Leadership class available in April

Applications for Sierra Health Foundation's sixth Health Leadership class will be available in April and due in June. The seven-month program begins in early October. The program is designed to reward and develop experienced nonprofit leaders, and to expand their growth and impact within the communities they serve. The ideal candidate:
  • Leads a health or social services nonprofit organization, local public agency, or department
  • Has tenure of five years or more in an executive management role
  • Supervises a team of employees throughout the program's timeframe
  • Works for a nonprofit organization or public agency that serves one or more counties in Sierra Health's 26-county funding region
  • Demonstrates the capacity to become a vital leader in the community
Learn more about the program on Sierra Health's Web site and by reading the Health Leadership Program newsletters. To add your name to Sierra Health's mailing list, click here.

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Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities, by Mark Friedman, 179 pp. Trafford Publishing, 2005.

Reflections: On Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions. Lessons learned from The California Wellness Foundation.

Insure the Uninsured Project's Annual Conference, Feb. 7 and 8 in Sacramento.

Sierra Health Foundation | 1321 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
916.922.4755 | fax 916.922.4024 |