Health Leadership Class VIII Newsletter

Sierra Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Program is designed to strengthen the leadership skills of current and potential executives of nonprofit organizations and public agencies whose mission is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of Northern Californians.

Applications for Class IX, beginning in October 2009, are due June 1. Visit Sierra Health Foundation’s Web site for information and application materials.

Class VIII graduates celebrate

On April 3, 28 graduating members of Health Leadership Class VIII celebrated their achievements with family, friends and colleagues at Sierra Health Foundation. Excitement and appreciation were expressed by all, as these talented individuals received their certificates!

In his remarks, Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt stressed the commitment and excellence of the graduates and their service to their communities, while also highlighting the humor, collaboration and insight shared by the classmates throughout the sessions and their team project work.

USC Associate Dean Rich Callahan spoke about the growth of the individuals throughout the five-month course, which is designed to develop and enhance the five levels of leadership: individual, group, organizational, community and institutional.

Herb Schultz, senior advisor to the governor, shared remarks about individual resilience and perseverance. Outlining his own journey to reach his current position, he reiterated the need for persistence and steadfastness in this time of uncertainty.

Representing their fellow classmates, Joe Xavier and James Tillman spoke about the lessons and skills gathered from their experiences through this program. They thanked Sierra Health and USC staffs for their contribution to making this program a success. They also highlighted the tremendously valuable relationships built between the classmates. Mr. Tillman read a special audience-pleasing poem detailing the various memories of his classmates and their shared time together.

Welcoming Class VIII into the Sierra Health Alumni network were Maureen Pierce (Class I) and Tony Sauer (Class IV). They spoke about the benefits and camaraderie of the alumni network and how, through such connections, there is always an outlet for and resource from which one can facilitate strength, innovation and collaboration. They encouraged Class VIII to join the alumni network and enhance it with their experience and insight.

Class projects put leadership skills to work

Class VIII members presented the work of their project teams during the final session in April. As part of the Health Leadership Program, participants work in small groups to practice new leadership techniques, to learn from one another, and to use and expand their networks and resources to examine issues affecting nonprofit organizations and health concerns in the region. Class VIII projects were:

Boys and Girls Club of Auburn: Developing Youth and Strengthening Families

Team members: Terrie Berentsen, Torry Winn, Taurus Jackson, Jana Iversen, Kindra Montgomery, Eric Ruben and Angela Minniefield. This team’s objective was to create strong families and a stronger community through a comprehensive plan of action that included a parent advisory council, collaboration with other community agencies and a survey tool to solicit family input.

Measuring Effective Collaboration and Partnership

Team members: Molly Heck, Shani Adams, Diana White, John Sims, Lyn Corbett and Michael Minnick. This team developed an online assessment tool to help agencies plan and measure successful and satisfying collaborative experiences.

Fresh Producers

Team members: Marcel Horowitz, Michele Ornelas Knight, Jason Sample and Melissa Meng. The project presentation outlined and explained the various options to make fresh produce more easily available to Women, Infant and Children (WIC) clientele through Fresh Producers, a nonprofit program that trains youth as community health activists who work to improve access to high-quality fruits and vegetables for underserved populations.

Leadership, Development, Recruitment and Succession Guide

Team members: Joe Hejl, Jeff Jones, Shamus Roller, Joe Xavier and Ana Acton. This team designed a tool to assist organizations in the selection of candidates for high-level leadership positions. Specifically, the tool was intended to help identify the most important leadership attributes and to determine which applicant best meets the needs of particular organizations.

Sacramento Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition

Team members: Heather Frank, Pedro Toledo, James Tillman, Britta Guerrero, Elia Gallardo and Michael Vasquez. This project focused on unifying Sacramento area agencies to advocate for the needs of those they serve through shared resources and community partnerships.

Alumni continue to be intentional about networking

Health Leadership alumni continue to stay connected not only to refresh their memories on topics previously covered during the course, but also to continue building their leadership toolkit and strengthen their alumni network.

On Sept. 25 and 26, alumni gathered at Sierra Health to gain inspiration from Rod Hickman, former agency secretary for the California Department of Corrections. His message to the group was Leadership is a Lifestyle, and he asked the group, “Do you see everyone as a 10?” Because according to John Maxwell, “You get more out of your people when you think more of your people!”

Grantland Johnson, former California Secretary of Health and Human Services, presented his insights on Community Organizing, Collective Problem Solving and Mobilizing the Community.

During this fall session, alumni members Teresa Favuzzi, executive director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers; Laura Leonelli, director of the Southeast Asian Assistance Center; and Robina Asghar, executive director of Community Partnerships for Families, shared their experiences and strategies geared toward the diverse populations they serve.

The May 14 and 15 alumni session was Class VIII’s first introduction to the alumni program. This session, entitled, Ready?...8…Go!, was presented by Laree Kiely, a long-time Health Leadership faculty member, and her associate Beth Conley. The two-day session gave alumni members tools to have Mental Discipline (Contempl8), Creativity (Innov8) and Critical Thinking (Investig8) and to Influence Ethically (Communic8), Allow Emergent Processes (Co-Cre8), Implement (Activ8), Measure (Evalu8) and Network (Affili8). Ann Guerra, a Class VI alumna, stated this program was “The best! Fantastic!”

The next alumni session is scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18 at Sierra Health Foundation.

Learn more about the Health Leadership Program on Sierra Health's Web site.
Sierra Health Foundation · 1321 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
916.922.4755 · fax 916.922.4024 ·