February 14, 2014

San Diego and Imperial Counties are brimming with passionate people and energetic organizations working to advance health & wellness for the underserved in our communities.


More and more, we see these organizations collaborating, sharing ideas and resources to amplify the power of their individual efforts. We are excited to see this trend continue through an already very busy 204.

We hope that sharing our travels with you will build awareness for programs and organizations in our community and inspire others to get involved, to collaborate, and to spread the word.

Jan. 14. Multicultural PHII Advisory Board meeting: As recipients of a national CMMI (Center for Medicaid & Medicare Innovation) grant through PICO, Dr. Rodney Hood and San Diego Organizing Project have launched a project to reduce the number and cost of emergency room visits by frequent users in the Southeast San Diego area. In the early launch period they have been very successful in reduction of costs and look to continue to expand in order to reach their two-year goal of 200 enrollees.


Jan. 16. Campaign to End Homelessness Downtown, Leadership Team Meeting: As always, we had an insightful meeting as to the successful projects as well as the challenges to ending homelessness downtown. One of the highlights was the County Board of Supervisors encouragement of county staff to participate in the WeAllCount effort on January 24.

Community Information Exchange (CIE) Steering Committee:  The CIE has now moved into the implementation phase of their work. Under the leadership of Scott Bechtler-Levin, Executive Director, the group is determining the first cohort to participate in the CIE. This effort will allow for smoother care coordination through the exchange of data which will reduce, if not eliminate, the need to make multiple phone calls to provide care for an individual seeking services.

Jan. 22Text4baby: I met with Anna Hoff for an update on our Text4baby project, and I was excited to hear about the effort to better engrain this program into the statewide efforts to educate pregnant and parenting women so that birth and first-year-of-life outcomes can be improved.

Jan.23. In an effort to continue our education on healthy eating, we hosted a Lunch and Learn program with Cooking 4 Life. We had yummy vegetarian lasagna and a salad – all prepared in a way to not waste the nutrients!

IT for Politicos at The San Diego Foundation: It seems that everyone is talking about big data and transparency.  This group presented on various ways that government can be more transparent by utilizing and sharing data more broadly.


Jan. 24. WeAllCount: I arrived at Golden Hall at 4:00 a.m. to participate in the annual WeAllCount campaign. Over 1000 volunteers—at 20 different locations throughout the county, including 60 of us at Golden Hall—went out into the streets to count and interview the homeless. The reality of their situation hits you as you sit on the sidewalk to ask them the survey questions. One homeless woman told me she wished others knew that they see others look away, afraid to brush up against someone on the streets. She said, “We are people too.”

Jan. 28. I had dinner with Jan Masaoka of CalNonprofitsLaura Deitrick of USD, and others to talk about the work and challenges of San Diego non-profits. We are all looking forward to the results of their most recent study!

Jan. 29. Leichtag Foundation: I took a tour of The Ranch with Anahid Brakke. I learned about how the Leichtag Foundation is having a positive impact on the food system in San Diego County by providing farm and greenhouse space, planning for opportunities to partner with others to use their land and the land around them for education and growing purposes.

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Reception:  Following my tour of The Ranch, I had an opportunity to meet the Leichtag Fellows and talk with people from around the country who are learning about, educating others, and providing funding for building more sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Vulnerable Populations Networking Meeting: Sylvia attended this event held at the San Diego State Campus in Calexico, organized by the United States – Mexico Border Health Commission.


Jan. 30. Federal Funding Formula for Homelessness: I attended a gathering hosted by Representative Scott Peters and attended by other elected officials: Board of Supervisor Greg Cox, San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and emceed by Kris Michell, CEO, Downtown Partnership. It seems everyone working in the homelessness arena was there to talk about the fact that San Diego has the third largest homeless population, yet through the funding formula we are only 17th in the amount of funds we receive.

AHF_Nancy_Sasaki_180-headshotThank you to everyone that invited us to be a part of their work, and thank you to everyone who is working to make our communities healthier and happier.

With the start of a new year recently behind us and an upcoming announcement of Mission Support Grantees ahead of us, we anticipate an active February and look forward to meeting more people passionate about making a difference. If you would like to be involved in these meetings, events, and discussions, please email me at nsasaki@alliancehf.org. The more we can share our support and encourage collaboration, the more good that we can do.

Nancy L. Sasaki, Executive Director, Alliance Healthcare Foundation

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