The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Sonoma County Implements Innovative Health Initiative

thumb_2_health services partnership 650.jpg

Sonoma County Implements Innovative Health Initiative

Sonoma County Department of Health Services and Health Action Receives Grant to Implement Innovative Health Initiative

Following a very competitive process, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services and Health Action were awarded up to $850,000 in funding over three years to create an Accountable Community for Health (ACH). An ACH is a new, localized approach to improving community health by linking the efforts of health care systems, government agencies, community organizations, and the public to improve the health of everyone living in a specific geographic area. Funded by the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI), this ACH will address cardiovascular disease, which is the leading chronic condition, and a leading cause of death in Sonoma County. 

“This is an enormous opportunity for Sonoma County to lay the building blocks for future. Health starts in our schools, our homes and our workplaces; the ACH model changes how we operate – improving coordination across different systems and sectors to improve health, lower costs, and achieve sustainability of prevention efforts.” Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane stated. Supervisor Zane is the liaison to the Department of Health Services. 

Sonoma County has already laid the foundational elements of an ACH with Health Action's existing community partnerships and current work under Health Action’s Committee for Healthcare Improvement. The Committee for Healthcare Improvement’s “Hearts of Sonoma” initiative has had success working with the healthcare system to address the risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and smoking. Health Action, in collaboration with the other ACH participants, will coordinate existing and new efforts targeting individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease and specifically measuring cost savings and health outcomes.

“This is another example of how Sonoma County’s innovation is leading the way,” said Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, liaison member to Health Action. “This project illustrates the idea that the most successful way to truly improve the health of a community is to bring together partners from every sector. We are a leader across the state for doing this important work.”

CACHI was established by The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Sierra Health Foundation to advance innovative health models to improve population health and reduce health disparities. CACHI is being supported by Community Partners, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that helps foster, launch, and grow creative solutions to community challenges. Sonoma County is one of six California counties selected to receive this award.

“This grant not only helps advance our efforts to improve community health, but also provides recognition of the vision and success of Health Action. We are starting with a small cardiovascular disease pilot, but we hope to eventually apply the ACH framework to all of Health Action’s work addressing health equity,” Board of Supervisors Chair Efren Carrillo stated.