Sierra Health - Partnerships

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


REACH Program Improvement grants available for youth programs

From the creation of youth advisory councils and youth centers to neighborhood beautification projects and mentor training, REACH Program Improvement grants fund projects and programs that benefit young people and their communities throughout the capital region. Since this program began two years ago, Sierra Health has awarded 44 Program Improvement grants totaling more than $400,000.

Program Improvement grants are available to nonprofit organizations that work with youth ages 10 to 15 in the California Capital Region. Grants up to $10,000 are awarded to improve the quality of youth programs or increase the number of youth who participate in quality programs. Application materials for the Spring 2008 grant cycle are available on the REACH Web site. Applications are due to Sierra Health Foundation by noon on May 15. This will be the last Program Improvement grant cycle in 2008.

Applicants are required to have participated in a proposers' conference call within 12 months of the application due date. Participants learn about the program and receive helpful information for submitting a successful grant application. A conference call for this grant cycle will be held on April 14 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Register for the call.

Get more information about Sierra Health's REACH youth program on the REACH Web site.

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Applications available for Health Leadership Program Class VIII

Are you in a position of leadership at a nonprofit organization or public agency in Northern California? Are you ready to strengthen your leadership skills and achieve personal and professional growth? Consider joining a dynamic group of like-minded professionals in Sierra Health Foundation's Health Leadership Program. Applications for Class VIII, beginning in the fall, are available now. This six-month, intensive course is open to leaders of nonprofit organizations and agencies whose mission is dedicated to improving health and quality of life in Northern California communities.

The curriculum, delivered by the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, and the Marshall School of Business, is designed to develop highly skilled, motivated and effective leaders who will use what they gain from the course to strengthen their organizations and communities.

The ideal candidate:
  • leads a health or social service nonprofit organization, local public agency or department,
  • supervises a team of at least three individuals throughout the scheduled leadership program,
  • works for a nonprofit organization or public agency that serves one or more counties in Sierra Health's 26-county funding region, and
  • demonstrates the capacity to become a vital leader in the community.
The brochure and application, with further eligibility requirements and information about the program, are available on Sierra Health's Web site. Applications are due to Sierra Health by noon on June 30.

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Smiles for Kids event a success

By Cathy Levering, Executive Director, Sacramento District Dental Society

Thanks to Sierra Health Foundation and other donors, the Sacramento District Dental Society and its Foundation had another successful Smiles for Kids Day on Feb. 2. Smiles for Kids (SFK) kicked off in fall 2007 with more than 21,000 kids being screened by 55 member dentists through the program. On SFK Day in February 2008, nearly 100 SDDS member dentists and 300 staff volunteers treated 700 kids at 27 different sites, and more than $310,000 in dental services was donated.

In addition, more than 400 kids will be placed with one of our 190 volunteer doctors (general dentists as well as specialists) to receive critical follow-up treatment through the Smiles for Kids Adopt-A-Kid program. An estimated $300,000 will be donated through the Adopt-A-Kid program with an additional $334,000 to be donated through the Smiles for Kids Orthodontic program, which will treat 60-65 patients this year. In total, the Smiles for Kids program hopes to donate more than $900,000 in dental treatment for 2008. And… still counting! Final numbers will be in on June 30!

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Conference looks at ways to make communities aging friendly

It's been called the “Silver Tsunami,” the “Silver Sunrise,” the “Age Wave” and the “Gray Dawn.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today about one in eight Americans is over the age of 65. In 20 years, that number will change to one in five. Experts on aging issues are encouraging communities nationwide to prepare for a growing number of older adults, with regard to housing, transportation, health care, support services, opportunities for involvement and more.

To promote discussion about aging and our communities, Sierra Health Foundation and other funders partnered with UC Berkeley's Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services and Community Strengths for the recent Creating Aging-Friendly Communities online conference. Live and prerecorded online events on Feb. 20, Feb. 27 and March 5 offered participants an opportunity to engage with national experts, discover what other communities are doing to be more aging friendly, access tools and training materials and network with people across the country.

As part of the conference, Sierra Health hosted an onsite event in Sacramento on Feb. 20, with facilitation provided by Marilyn Hopkins, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Sacramento and Jennifer Piatt, director of the LIFE Center. Online presentations and discussions included “Why Our Communities Must Become More Aging Friendly,” “Community-Based Supports in Aging-Friendly Communities” and “Communities for All Ages.” A conference report will be available in the near future and will be posted on Sierra Health's Web site.

The online conference was offered free-of-charge nationwide with funding from Sierra Health Foundation, The California Endowment, the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation and MetLife Foundation.

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The Public's Views on Health Care Reform in the 2008 Presidential Election, by Sara R. Collins and Jennifer L. Kriss, reports on findings of a survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund from June 2007 to October 2007 regarding the importance of health care reform in voting decisions, the extent of reform and who those surveyed think should be responsible for financing health insurance coverage.

The Community Services Planning Council in Sacramento recently completed the Healthy Futures Project Regional Report, a profile of the nine-county Sacramento Region, which includes individual profiles of each county.

The IRS published new regulations governing 403(b) retirement plans in July 2007. 403(b) plans are offered by public schools and some nonprofit organizations. While most new regulations take effect after Dec. 31, 2008, some are effective this year.  

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