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Sierra Health Foundation grants support local groups

The Sierra Health Foundation has awarded 19 grants to local programs, two of which serve Nevada County, as part of its Responsive Grants Program.

The foundation provided about $250,000 this year to support programs that improve the health and well-being of its Northern California funding region, which includes 26 counties.

Sierra Forever Families, a Nevada City-based private nonprofit agency focused on finding and nurturing permanent families for foster children, received the maximum $15,000 grant, which will support a family recruitment project.



The project seeks to provide outreach with Nevada County groups and faith-based organizations and use multiple media channels to recruit permanent families for foster children, said Juli Kramer, donor relations specialist with Sierra Forever Families.

“Family recruitment is the No. 1 thing for us, and it’s a really great focus for us to be able to do that, thanks to Sierra Health (Foundation).”
Juli Kramer
donor relations specialist with Sierra Forever Families

“Family recruitment is the No. 1 thing for us, and it’s a really great focus for us to be able to do that, thanks to Sierra Health (Foundation),” she said.




The project will include outreach to community groups, neighborhood associations and through social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and email blasts and a letter campaign, Kramer said. The funds will also support the organization’s mission to support the mental and physical health of children in foster care through pre- and post-placement behavior health support.

“It is really unique among agencies to stay with the family after the child is placed,” Kramer said. “We have behavior health care support for families if the child has issues developmentally, any time from young childhood through the teen years.”

The Native Alliance of the Sierra Nevada Foothills is another local agency awarded a $15,000 grant for the services it provides in Placer and Nevada counties.

Native Alliance of the Sierra Nevada Foothills seeks to improve the well-being of Native American women who have experienced domestic violence through culturally relevant prevention, counseling, advocacy and family support services. The grant will support such efforts, said alliance Executive Director Anno Nakai, who cited the statistic that 1 in 3 indigenous women will be victims of assault at some point in their lives.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice report, American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races.

The statistic is due to multiple factors, including lack of status and empowerment of indigenous women, Nakai said, adding 75 percent of the violence against native women is committed by non-native partners.

“It’s really meaningful to support our women and fill in gaps around access to mental health services. There’s a gap where a lot of people who have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression as a diagnosis and haven’t been able to access mental health services through medical services,” Nakai said.

“The grant helps to restore a sense of well-being for our women (to) have connections between each other. It’s also prevention for our young ladies coming up, that they learn to have a voice, and teaching our young women to value themselves.”

Since its founding in 1985, Sierra Health has awarded $87 million in cash grants to 938 nonprofit organizations. The organization also provides meeting and event space for nonprofits through its Conference and Convening Program, which houses about 15,000 people annually for its meetings at Sierra Health Foundation.

The Responsive Grant Program is one of 11 that supports its mission, including the Respite Partnership Collaborative, Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership, Healthy Sacramento Coalition, Positive Youth Justice Initiative, Youth Pathways to Health, Conference and Convening Program, Health Leadership Program, Nonprofit Innovation Center, and Grizzly Creek Ranch Camp and Conference Center.

The Responsive Grants Program addresses the question of nonprofit organizations and public agencies of how to improve health and well-being in their communities and how a grant from Sierra Health Foundation could help support their work. At least 30 percent of available funds to support projects serve rural areas in the funding region and the remaining funds serve urban or urban/rural areas.

For information, visit sierrahealth.org/rgp or contact 916-922-4755.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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