The Health Trust Hires Michele Lew as Chief Executive Officer

For Immediate Release: September 19, 2017
The Health Trust Contact: Gustavo Caraveo, gustavoc@healthtrust.org or (408) 513-8740

San Jose, CA, September 19, 2017 – The Health Trust is excited to announce the hiring of Michele Lew as Chief Executive Officer. After a thorough 9 month executive search, that started with 90 really well qualified candidates, The Health Trust is confident that we hired the right person for the job.

“Michele without a doubt meets all of the criteria we were looking for in a CEO. From her demonstrated commitment to serving the most vulnerable people in our community, to her experience navigating the local political landscape, the Board of Trustees and I are more than certain that Michele will successfully lead The Health Trust and advance the health outcomes of our clients for many years to come,” said Interim CEO and Board Chair Charlie Bullock.

Currently serving as the Local Government and Community Relations Director for Stanford Health Care, Michele previously served as President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) from 2005-2016, a nonprofit health and wellness organization with an $18 million annual budget and 170 staff members. It is her experience at AACI that most appealed to The Health Trust, for this is where she garnered the respect and reputation as one of Silicon Valley’s most transformative nonprofit leaders.

According to Patricia Gardner, CEO of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, “Michele Lew is an exceptional choice to lead The Health Trust into the future. She has a solid track record and commitment to improving health care for children, seniors, low income, disenfranchised and ethnic communities. Michele will immediately be able to lead efforts to build upon the great work of The Health Trust through innovation, collaboration and respect for the diversity of our community.”

The Health Trust has a long standing reputation as a change maker in this valley. Tackling issues such as aging, homelessness, food insecurity, chronic disease management, fluoridation and serving as one of the largest AIDS Services providers in the bay area, The Health Trust has never shied away from critical health issues plaguing our valley’s most vulnerable people. This factor played a part in Michele’s decision to take on the role as the next CEO of The Health Trust.

“Through direct services, policy advocacy, and grantmaking, The Health Trust is uniquely positioned to improve the health of everyone in our community,” said Michele. “I am thrilled to join The Health Trust team and I’m ready to take on the challenge of building health equity in Silicon Valley.”

As excited as both parties are about the prospects of this union, it will have to wait for January 2018. Out of respect for her current employer, Michele asked that she be allotted time to complete some of her current projects and responsibilities. This is a request that The Health Trust was more than happy to grant.

Between now and January 2018, Board Chair, Charlie Bullock, will continue to serve as Interim CEO, while keeping Michele apprised of all Health Trust related matters.

The Health Trust’s mission is to build health equity in Silicon Valley. With Michele Lew leading the charge, The Health Trust staff and Board of Trustees are supremely confident in its ability to accomplish this goal in the near and foreseeable future.

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About Michele Lew
Michele Lew currently serves as the Local Government and Community Relations Director for Stanford Health Care. Previously, she served as President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) from 2005-2016, a nonprofit health and wellness organization with an $18 million annual budget and 170 staff members.

Michele also served as the district director for former California State Senator/State Assemblymember Joe Simitian. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, and UCLA on education issues. Michele has served as board chair for the Santa Clara Family Health Plan and the Community Health Partnership, and served as the community member on the San Jose Mercury News editorial board.

A Santa Clara County native, Michele holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University and a master in public policy degree from Harvard University.

About The Health Trust
The Health Trust is a nonprofit organization building health equity in Silicon Valley. It ensures that health related grants, policies and services exist to support Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable communities. For more information, visit healthtrust.org.

Download a PDF version of this press release.

Meet Michele Lew, New CEO of The Health Trust

Michele Lew currently serves as the Local Government and Community Relations Director for Stanford Health Care. Previously, she served as President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) from 2005-2016, a nonprofit health and wellness organization with an $18 million annual budget and 170 staff members.

Michele also served as the district director for former California State Senator/State Assemblymember Joe Simitian. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, and UCLA on education issues. Michele has served as board chair for the Santa Clara Family Health Plan and the Community Health Partnership, and served as the community member on the San Jose Mercury News editorial board.

A Santa Clara County native, Michele holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University and a master in public policy degree from Harvard University.

Meet Our Front Desk Receptionists from Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School’s Corporate Work Study Program

We are officially in the 4th year of our partnership with the Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School’s Corporate Work Study Program! And with a new year comes new faces. We are extremely excited to have Priscylla A. (Freshman),  Moses G. (Sophomore), and Ahtziry V. (Junior) join Alana P. (Senior, who’s been with us from the beginning) as our front desk receptionists.

To get to know them better, we had each student answer a few questions. Check out their responses:

Priscylla A.
Q. What is your favorite subject in school?
A. My favorite subject is English.

Q. What do you like to do with your free time?
A. During my free time I like to go to the park with my dog.

Q. My favorite vegetable is…
A. My favorite vegetable is potatoes.

Q. When I exercise, I like to…
A. When I exercise I like to listen to music. 

Q. If you could pick one super hero power to have, what would it be and why?
A. If I had to pick a super power it would be to fly because then I could get to places faster and I don’t have to deal with traffic. 

Q. What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
A. When I grow up I would like to become an FBI agent because my dad worked as one and he inspired me. 

Moses G.
Q. What is your favorite subject in school?
A. Favorite subject in school is Health and Wellness 2 (P.E).

Q. What do you like to do with your free time?
A. In my free time I like to spend good quality time with my family.

Q. My favorite vegetable is…
A. My favorite vegetable is spinach.

Q. When I exercise, I like to…
A. When I exercise, I like to hear music and left weights and do body weight exercises.

Q. If you could pick one super hero power to have, what would it be and why?
A. One super hero power I would choose is The Flash’s power because I would be able to travel the world at the blink of an eye.

Q. What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
A.  When I grow up I aspire to be someone prosperous and happy that is able to give and help other people in need.

Ahtziry V.
Q. What is your favorite subject in school?
A. My favorite subject in school is math.

Q. What do you like to do with your free time?
A. During my free time, I like to draw while listening to music and play basketball.

Q. My favorite vegetable is…
A. My favorite vegetable is broccoli.

Q. When I exercise, I like to…
A. When I exercise, I like to listen to music.

Q. If you could pick one super hero power to have, what would it be and why?
A. A super hero power I would want to have is invisibility because then I would prank and scare people.

Q. What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
A. I aspire to be a fashion designer.

Alana P.
Q. What is your favorite subject in school?
A. My favorite subject in school is Psychology because I love learning about the why people think.

Q. What do you like to do with your free time?
A. I like to hang out with family and go swimming.

Q. My favorite vegetable is…
A. My favorite vegetable is a cucumber.

Q. When I exercise, I like to…
A. When I exercise I like to listen to music because it helps me stay motivated.

Q. If you could pick one super hero power to have, what would it be and why?
A. If I could have one superpower, it would be to alter time so that I can live moments over again.

Q. What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
A. I aspire to be a midwife nurse someday so that I can help mothers feel safe and supported.

Health Trust Board of Trustees Changes: Sonya Arriola and Eva Terrazas are Moving On

We would like to thank Sonya Arriola and Eva Terrazas for serving as Board of Trustees members and helping us navigate the strategic direction of  The Health Trust.

According to Sonya, “Helping to further the mission of The Heath Trust this past year has been a rewarding experience. The vision of creating ‘a healthier Silicon Valley for everyone’ continues to inspire me as I know The Health Trust stands in service to all residents. From food equity to housing, and everything in-between, The Health Trust is committed to tackling the health related issues plaguing the most vulnerable families and individuals in our community. Although personal obligations are regretfully driving me to step back from Board service across several organizations, I leave The Health Trust with confidence in its future knowing that the Board, Leadership and staff are all working together to strengthen the organization while improving health outcomes for everyone. I wish The Health Trust continued success!”

The Health Trust Board of Trustees is currently recruiting new members and looks forward to filling the vacancies left by Sonya and Eva with candidates that will further strengthen and diversify our Board.

Health Trust Leadership Changes: Ira Holtzman, CFO, and Kim Castaneda, Development Director, Take on New Opportunities

We would like to acknowledge and thank Ira Holtzman, our CFO, and Kim Castaneda, our Development Director for their dedicated service to The Health Trust. Both Kim and Ira will be pursuing new and challenging opportunities starting this October.

After 21 years as The Health Trust CFO, Ira Holtzman will be moving on to be CFO of the YMCA of Silicon Valley to oversee an operating budget nearly four times that of The Health Trust.

Kim Castaneda will be joining the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano as Development Director. Albeit a hard decision for her, this is a great opportunity for Kim that allows her to be closer to her family and loved ones.

Although we are losing two members of The Health Trust family, we are more than confident that they have created the infrastructure and processes needed within their respective departments to help us move forward with new leadership.

We wish Kim and Ira the best of luck on their next big adventure!

In their words…

“I’ve been here at The Health Trust since it was born from the sale of the former hospital system. Everywhere I look, I see memorable fingerprints of past and current workings by dedicated, amazing and passionate staff. My time here is so memorable and irreplaceable. We all have opportunities in “life” that catch us by surprise and I take leave from here knowing this was one of those once in a lifetime events that I just couldn’t pass up. The Health Trust and FASS are in position to make great future strides and will continue to work wonders in our community in very different and complementary ways. I wish all of you the best of luck and thank you for allowing me to be your partner.”

-Ira Holtzman

“This was a really hard decision but one I had to make. As excited as I am about the direction of our development department, being away from my family this past year was starting to weigh on me. I believe in the work of this organization and I wish all of you the best in your efforts to help the most vulnerable among us.”

-Kim Castaneda

Getting to Zero Mini-Grant Funding Announcement: Year 2 – 2017-2018

INTRODUCTION
As of 2016 there were 2,648 people living with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in Santa Clara County, with 134 new cases in 2016. Additionally from data from the State of California, it is estimated that another 9% of persons with HIV are unaware of their infection. The progress made thus far to decrease the number of new infections and improve the health of those living with HIV has relied on a wide range of health and community providers working together in innovative ways.

With funding provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, The Health Trust launched the Getting to Zero (GTZ) HIV initiative in 2016. The initiative aims to have “zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from HIV, and zero stigma related to HIV.” Getting to Zero Santa Clara County/Silicon Valley operationalized the initiative using collective impact concepts to engage a wide range of stakeholders in order to identify and develop goals, objectives, and strategies and carry out actions that will lead to the goals stated above.

An important component of the initiative includes awarding mini-grants totaling $100,000 per year over the course of the project to promote community agencies’ ability to recognize and respond to the greatest needs within their scope of work. Serving as the backbone agency, The Health Trust seeks to collaborate with community-based organizations, public agencies, clinics, schools and other groups to award one-time mini-grants in support of the GTZ campaign and the four objectives listed below.

The priority objectives are the following:
1. PrEP and PEP Implementation
2. Universal, comprehensive STD Screening and Targeted HIV Testing
3. Initiation of HIV Care and Retention in HIV Care
4. Reduction of Stigma

Mini-grants may be used to support health care providers in establishing infrastructure or programs related to four objectives in clinical settings. Mini-grants to non-clinical organizations may similarly support these four objectives in community-based settings, including but not limited to clinics, schools, and non-profit organizations. In addition to the aforementioned strategies, The Health Trust will consider other innovative strategies and activities that address the broader goals of Getting to Zero.

GRANT AMOUNT RANGE AND ALLOWABLE EXPENSES
Grant awards will range from $1,500 – $20,000 with a total of $100,000 for this round of funding, $50,000 of which may go to clinical organizations and $50,000 to non-clinical organizations. Grant funds are to be used for the planning, staffing, materials, supplies, outreach and marketing needed to address any of the GTZ priority areas.

KEY DATES
Application Release Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Application Due Date: Thursday, August 31, 2017 by 5PM
Informational Workshop Date: Wednesday, September 6 from 2-3:30pm (By invitation only)
Grant Award Announced: Monday, September 18, 2017
Project Timeframe: October 1, 2017-June 30, 2018

PROPOSAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
● Projects must directly benefit Santa Clara County residents.
● Proposals must be completed and all costs incurred by June 30, 2018.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS 
Please visit gettingtozeroscc.org for application instructions and for more information.

Please e-mail questions related to this funding announcement to Maria Garcia at MariaG@healthtrust.org.

Download the Funding Announcement PDF.

SOMOS Fuertes: An Economy of Scale Opportunity that Strengthens Communities

Imagine a community where a network of highly-skilled peer educators and community workers brings together local public institutions, nonprofit organizations, private sector entities and local engaged residents to effectively transform the communities in which, they operate, work, live in, and have a vested interest.

Now, imagine these highly-skilled peer educators and community workers being paid fairly, increasing their ability to exercise their personal power and ensure the success of their own families, neighbors and community.

This is what SOMOS Mayfair’s SOMOS Fuertes Network of United Promotor@s is accomplishing.

In 2012, we began to issue grants under our Disruptive Innovation initiative. The goal of the initiative was to catalyze entrepreneurial thinking and implement creative solutions to existing health and social issues impacting Silicon Valley. Over $1 million was invested in eight organizations, one of which was SOMOS Mayfair.    

What started out as seed funding for a feasibility study on a peer educator job training program, led to pilot funding for SOMOS (We Are) Connected!, and culminated in SOMOS Fuertes Network of United Promotor@s, which recently received support from Google in the form of a three year $500,000 grant!

Currently, SOMOS Mayfair is looking for organizations interested in conducting engagement activities resulting in better understanding of and accountability to the communities in which they operate. What they’re offering is well-trained, highly-skilled Promotor@s to carry out short-term community engagement projects with work that involves conducting community outreach, surveying & focus group facilitation, on-site childcare, advocacy training, and translation and interpretation services.

Working with SOMOS Fuertes Network of United Promotor@s will not only provide organizations a better understanding of the community in which they operate, but it will also result in better outcomes for organizations.  

“I’ve seen up close the difference in quality between hiring SOMOS Mayfair’s Promotor@s child care providers and other organizations. Our families were much better served by the SOMOS team.“  – Elementary School Principal

Truth be told, SOMOS Fuertes has the potential to provide a “quadruple bottom line benefit” for Silicon Valley:

  • impact the social determinants of health
  • increase economic opportunity & income for community members
  • increase the efficiency & effectiveness of nonprofits & public institutions
  • strengthen the sustainability of SOMOS Mayfair

If you are a public institution, nonprofit organization or private sector entity, partner with SOMOS Fuertes Network of United Promotor@s to strengthen the communities in which you operate. Call 408-937-2566 or email fuertes@somosmayfair.org.

The Health Trust Makes Health Partnership Grants Totaling Over $930,000

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2017
The Health Trust Contact: Maria Garcia, mariag@healthtrust.org or (408) 513-8729

The Health Trust Makes Health Partnership Grants Totaling Over $930,000

Supporting local organizations to build health equity in Silicon Valley

San Jose, CA, June 30, 2017 – On June 28, 2017, The Health Trust Board of Trustees approved eight health partnership grants totaling $937,108 to support The Health Trust’s mission of building health equity in SIlicon Valley. Specifically, the awarded grants will help increase food security for vulnerable populations, promote physical activity and support our fluoridation initiative.

Breakdown of Grants

The Food Trust
Historically, neighborhood corner stores are known for their easy access to candy, unhealthy snacks and liquor with little to no healthy options for the consumer. Over the last four years, The Health Trust has been a leader in rewriting that narrative by transforming cornerstores into “healthy cornerstores” that offer a wide selection of healthy foods, making the healthy choice an easy choice. The Health Trust is ready to conclude its Healthy Cornerstore Program at the end of the calendar year. Through the support of a $90,320 grant, The Food Trust will ensure that every active store receives the proper technical assistance to ensure its sustainability after the program ends.

Bountiful Churchyards
Faith-based organizations have the potential to serve as a strong food access point for individuals who are homeless. Bountiful Churchyard has been awarded a $49,000 grant to  partner with Farming Hope to provide weekly congregate meals to individuals who are homeless, provide them with employment training, and host monthly pop-up lunches and dinners to support program costs. Immanuel Lutheran Church is located in the Burbank neighborhood in San Jose, which has been identified in the Food for Everyone report as a high-need area with a sizeable population of individuals who are homeless and lack food resources in the vicinity.  

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
In light of the high number of independent-owned restaurants in San Jose, Catholic Charities developed a network of restaurants called the Senior Bites Network to address the lack of access to Senior Meal Programs or congregate meal sites for low-income seniors. Over the last year, Catholic Charities identified over 10,000 low-income seniors who reside within the Senior Bites Network and partnered with 12 restaurants to offer nutritious meals for seniors with a price point of $5-$6 per meal. In an effort to strengthen the Senior Bites network and through a $50,000 grant, Catholic Charities plans to recruit additional restaurants into the network, evaluate program impact, and develop a sustainability plan.

Valley Verde
In an effort to improve healthy food access and healthy eating for seniors and families, through the support of a $42,000 grant, Valley Verde plans to work at two affordable housing complexes by providing gardens and gardening classes to residents of the Cambrian Center and El Rancho Verde. The goal of the project is to improve food security and decrease food expenses for seniors and families.

California Dental Association Foundation  
The Health Trust has been on the cutting edge of providing dental services to low-income children in Santa Clara County. Through this work we have seen the impact of the lack of fluoride in the water, leading to poor oral health outcomes. Building on the work of the past eight years and through a $149,000 grant, CDAF will continue to provide technical expertise, strategic advice and project management for the Santa Clara County Fluoridation Initiative.

Sun Street Centers
Substance abuse is considered one of the most pressing issues in N. San Benito County. Currently women in need of rehabilitation services are referred out to other counties because said services are not available. In an effort to address this need, The Health Trust has awarded a $50,000 grant to Sun Street Center to create an environment to support the first state-licensed residential substance abuse treatment facility in N. San Benito County, targeting women who are pregnant or have custody of young children.

City of San Jose  
Promotion of physical activity is instrumental for the health and wellbeing of our communities. Through carefully designed routes that include some of San Jose’s low-income neighborhoods, and with the support of a $20,000 grant, the City of San Jose will continue the work of Viva CalleSJ. Viva CalleSJ promotes the inclusivity of all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status into physical activities in many forms, including walking, biking, or running in neighborhoods throughout San Jose.

Public Health Institute
Through the support of a $486,788 grant, The Public Health Institute will provide individuals the opportunity to advance their professional careers in the field of public health.

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About The Health Trust
The Health Trust is a nonprofit foundation building health equity in Silicon Valley. It ensures that health related grants, policies and services exist to support Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable communities. With regard to grants, The Health Trust prioritizes projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Bolsters health promotion and primary prevention efforts
  • Includes a system, policy, practice, or environmental change that can have an impact beyond the grant period
  • Includes a feasible sustainability plan
  • Follows promising and best practices

For more information, visit healthtrust.org.