On January 31 Christine Tien, The California Endowment Regional Director, welcomed 50 key community leaders to the Salvation Army community room to introduce the “Health Happens Here” messaging and publicity efforts for the coming year. This was the first occasion many of the group had to meet each other and learn the depth and diversity of projects now in place in South Sacramento. Tien explained how BHC is organized.

“Building Health Communities is a 10-year, $1 billion plan of The California Endowment. In connection with staff-led statewide policy initiatives, 14 communities – including South Sacramento –  are taking action to make where they live healthier.”

As one of the speakers, Isaac Gonzalez, introduced himself and explained his role as a mentor for those interested in “telling your story” using the AccessLocal.tv web site.  He is one of several grantees helping to improve the health and well being of South residents by reducing gang violence, eating healthy foods, finding health insurance for low-income families and more. He clarified, “You are all doing wonderful and significant actions but unless we tell the media about our successes, the ‘news’ will continue to reflect only negative stories. I’m here to help you turn this around.”

Periodically, we will update our readers on BHC involvement. We have nine more years to build upon this early success.