Celebrating our partners and honoring our heros
By The PHCD Team | May 28, 2016
On May 26, PHCD hosted our second annual Community Partnership Appreciation Breakfast. This event celebrated the collaborative work of our local partners - including nonprofits, schools, city agencies, and health and social service providers - to improve the lives of our District residents.
The breakfast also provided us the opportunity to honor individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Three awards - the Golden Heart Award, the Healthcare Hero Award, and the Non-profit Health Equity award - recognized work that significantly impacted the health of our residents.
The Golden Heart Award was given to the Safety Team at Xandex Inc., who successfully implemented a cardiac emergency response plan and staff CPR certification protocol in addition to serving as the catalyst for the purchase of an on-site AED. As sudden cardiac arrest continues to be the number one cause of death in the workplace - killing 10,000 workers every year - we were so proud to recognize their remarkable efforts.
Petaluma Police Corporal Bill Baseman received our inaugural Healthcare Hero Award. Officer Baseman. PHCD created this award because we wanted to recognize a District-area resident who has shown remarkable commitment and exemplary service to benefit the individuals and the communities that reside in Southern Sonoma County.
Officer Baseman was nominated by Lt. Ken Savano, who described not only Officer Baseman professionalism and commitment to the law enforcement profession, but his empathy, his compassion, his respect for everyone and his desire to help all those in need. It was Officer Baseman's vision and his action that served as the foundation for the Petaluma Sober Circle project. His ability to recognize the needs of individuals battling addiction and homelessness and his willingness to step up and take action to help them were the catalyst for what is now a multi-agency two year pilot project to help the chronically intoxicated homeless find a path to sobriety and health. Officer Baseman has truly demonstrated outstanding leadership as a public servant who understands the meaning of a healthy community and is truly a health care hero.
Our very first Non-profit Health Equity Award was in fact given to two fantastic organizations working to reduce disparities in health outcomes within and among communities in our District borders. The winner of the award was the Meals on Wheels program, operated by Petaluma People Services Center. Meals on Wheels doesn’t just serve daily, fresh, nutritionally-balanced meals to low-income or homebound seniors in Petaluma, it offers the opportunity for social contact, security checks, and counseling, linkages to other social services programs and supports these residents aging within their homes and their communities. In its first year of operation in 1984, Meals on Wheels served 500 meals; now, it serves 26,000 meals a year.
As the recipient of the Non-Profit Health Equity Award, the program received a $5,000 contribution from PHCD.
A special recognition was given to another amazing non-profit serving residents on the opposite end of the life spectrum - United Way of the Wine Country, in recognition of their Schools of Hope and School Readiness Backpack programs. These two programs work to improve education outcomes among children in our community, and in-doing so improve their chances at a life of good health and opportunity. Schools of Hope is an early literacy program that pairs children reading below grade level with local volunteers to help build their reading and critical thinking skills and get them over the hump and reading at grade level. The program began in Petaluma with just one school site, but has now expanded to six schools and this previous year worked with 50 students, the majority of which were low-income or English-language learners.
Like the Schools of Hope program, the School Readiness Backpacks prepare children to learn, but also empower parents to support their children and prepare them for kindergarten. The backpacks are distributed to low-income families with children ages 3-5, and include more than 80 activities for parents or caregivers to use to engage their children at home. They also include music, crayons, safety scissors and information and resources to prepare their children to learn.
Special recognition included a $1,500 award to support the operation of these programs in Southern Sonoma County.
Spending the morning recognizing our partners and celebrating our collaboration made our hearts swell with pride and gratitude. Petaluma is truly a community of partnerships!