The vision of The Health Trust is to make Silicon Valley the healthiest region in America.
Our work includes direct services, grant making and policy advocacy. It is organized under three initiatives: Healthy Eating, Healthy Aging and Healthy Living. Our work also includes Destination Home, a public-private partnership galvanizing our community to end homelessness in Santa Clara County.
The Healthy Living Initiative ensures that health related policies and services exist so that race, language, income and age do not keep residents from enjoying the healthiest lives possible. These disparities are often associated with differences in race, income, age and access to quality early childhood opportunities. People who live in the heart of San Jose have an average life expectancy of 79.5 years, compared to 86.7 years for residents of Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto. Among racial/ethnic groups in Santa Clara County, Latinos have highest rates of obesity and African-Americans have the highest rates of hypertension.
To eliminate these disparities, The Healthy Living Initiative targets families and individuals in vulnerable communities and provides the services and connections people need to enjoy the healthiest lives possible.
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Research shows that when people live in neighborhoods where fast-food outlets outnumber stores that stock fresh produce, they experience higher rates of obesity and chronic illness. In Santa Clara County, economically disadvantaged students are 62 percent more likely to be obese or overweight compared to non-disadvantaged students. Building on The Health Trust’s successful efforts to enact public policies that encourage healthy eating, the Healthy Food Initiative is bringing fresh produce to neighborhoods most in need through several exciting programs.
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The Healthy Aging Initiative ensures that all older adults are able to advocate for themselves and that they have access to coordinated healthcare and supportive services.
Our community is experiencing a dramatic increase in its older adult population. Nearly 30 percent of Santa Clara County residents will be over age 60 by 2030, with half of these over age 75 and one in four living at or near poverty. It is predicted that 70 percent of people who reach age 65 will need some kind of long-term care. At the same time, we are seeing a redesign of how healthcare and supportive services are delivered and paid for.
That’s why we are engaging elected officials, community leaders and older residents in a multi-tiered strategy to create sustainable neighborhood and service delivery networks that enable older adults to age in their communities with independence and dignity.
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The 2013 Santa Clara County Homeless Census & Survey estimates that, on any given night, over 7,631 men, women and children are homeless in the streets of Santa Clara County. Housing instability is one of the most critical social determinants of health and is typically entwined with a cascade of other problems, often including multiple chronic health conditions. The chronically homeless, relying on uncoordinated care from safety net providers such as emergency rooms, jails and mental health systems, suffer poor health outcomes at a great cost to themselves as well as to the public safety net system.
A program of The Health Trust since 2010, Destination: Home’s work is to provide permanent homes and supportive services to the county’s most vulnerable residents.
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