April 14, 2016 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of April 14, 2016
(Approved on 5/12/16)

I.  Welcome and Introductions
Susan Buckley, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Cameron Mull, Nica Meggerson, Connie Sundberg
Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa
Kim Puckett
Larry Ciecalone, Leigh Pierre Oetker, Jeanette Hurst, Kim Rios, Sara Faught, Hilary Finch, Nancy Frost, Dawn Arledge
Jessica Callahan, Dian Pecora

Ovieda Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:30 am


II. Public Comments and Announcements
Jeanette Hurst asked about the process for responding to the Program Evaluation Team (PET) recommendations.  Commissioner Elliott explained that Jeanette will have an opportunity to respond during today’s scheduled Discussion Item in regards to the PET recommendations.


III.  Executive Director Report

  • May is Children’s Mental Health month. For the first time, the proclamation going before the Board of Supervisors on May 3rd will include language referring to infants, toddlers and young children!
  • Mary Ann travelled to Ukiah to attend the Region 1 IMPACT Hub meeting. She was nominated as a representative of the region on CA-QRIS, but Mary Ann declined. The IMPACT Coordinator position is in the process of being advertised.  In the meantime Celia Haro is helping Mary Ann with the IMPACT program.  An informational meeting for playgroup leaders and child care professionals is scheduled for May 18th.
  • The Playgroup workgroup met twice so far and has narrowed down long-term outcomes for playgroups. The workgroup is scheduled to meet in May to refine the indicators.
  • The Strategic Plan workgroup met and is scheduled to meet next Monday.  Former Commissioner, John Woolley, is serving on the workgroup and has asked for a summary of evaluation outcomes by Strategic Plan goals of funded programs for the current Strategic Plan cycle. Founding Commissioner, Nancy Frost, is also serving on this workgroup. Commissioners asked Mary Ann to regularly share highlights of the Strategic Plan workgroup sessions.
  • Mary Ann met with Robert Christensen and Deanna Sisk from Senator McGuire’s and Assembly member Wood’s office. They discussed the ACES study and the child abuse report rates of children in Humboldt County, and the importance of prevention.
  • First 5 staff is working on expanding social media and outreach, i.e. revising the First 5 Humboldt Facebook page and is working on infographics on the 5 Protective Factors and Family Strengthening. Mary Ann reminded Commissioners to “like” the new Facebook page.
  • The Community Report is in the final stages and will get printed soon. We are very excited about publishing this report.


IV. Approval of Minutes
Commission meeting minutes of March 22, 2016

The meeting minutes of March 22, 2016 were approved as written.


V.  Consent Calendar
Humboldt Area Foundation – Inclusion Training, Strategy & Coaching Series with the Haas Institute

Commissioners gave consensus to contribute $5,000 from the FY 15/16 Cultural Connections budget to support Humboldt Area Foundation’s Inclusion Training, Strategy & Coaching Series with the Haas Institute and Dr. John Powell.

Commissioners received the John Powell event flyer and additional information about Humboldt Area Foundation’s inclusion efforts. The suggestion was made to set up First 5 booths at the May 5th event at both the HSU site and the HCOE site.


VI.  Discussion Item: Conflict of Interest Policy
Per the recommendation of the Fiscal Subcommittee, discussion of sections of the First 5 Association Fiscal Management Guide is being placed on Agendas as a regular Agenda Item. The Conflict of Interest section of the Guide and the Commission’s Conflict of Interest Policy were presented at the last meeting. Mary Ann had suggested updates to the Conflict of Interest Policy at the last meeting and was directed by Commissioners to draft an updated Policy.

Mary Ann and First 5 Humboldt’s legal counsel, Hilary Finch, drafted an Amendment to the Conflict of Interest Policy.  Hilary said she did a lot of research and made sure the language in the Policy corresponds with the Statutory Law.  She cleaned up the language of the existing Policy and added specific reference to Subcommittees Conflict of Interests.  In addition, addressed was the appearance of Conflict of Interest within the Policy. Mary Ann shared she also looked at other First 5 counties Conflict of Interest policies.

Commissioners reviewed the amended Conflict of Interest Policy. Subcommittee members will now be required to exclude themselves if they become aware of a Conflict of Interest issue. Commissioner Elliott inquired if Commissioners should or should not be part of any discussion about an Agenda item that relates directly or in-directly to a Commissioner’s work, or other matters Commissioners may have an interest in that may be perceived as a Conflict of Interest. Hilary explained that a Commissioner should not be part of any level of participation about a subject or proposal when a possible Conflict of Interest exists. Hilary explained the definition of direct conflicts, indirect conflicts, and appearance of conflict of interest, as defined by the Statute.

Commissioner Fisher Larson shared that ECCE Subcommittee members already recuse themselves when it comes to grant proposals that would directly or in-directly impact them, but it is good to see it in writing. Mary Ann said the amended Conflict of Interest Policy will make the Commission’s decision-making process more clear and transparent to the community. With a small community like Humboldt County, there will be perceptions of influence about a proposal or contract, but with the amended policy in place, this will help with the process.  Commissioner Lovelace said he appreciates the clarification and pointed out there were no big changes within the Policy, just refinements. Mary Ann announced that from now on at the beginning of each Commission meeting Commissioners will be asked about any possible Conflict of Interest that needs to be identified.

The amended Conflict of Interest Policy will be an Action Item at the next meeting.  Commissioners thanked Hilary Finch for her participation in this process.


VII. Discussion Item: Oral Health Initiative
Leigh Pierre Oetker from Public Health and Dawn Arledge from CCRP presented an update on the Oral Health Initiative, addressing the strategies identified in the Children’s Dental Strategic Plan for Humboldt County. Leigh gave a brief overview of the history of the Oral Health Initiative and the “Healthy Teeth for Life” report. Leigh shared that she has been involved in oral health related work in Humboldt County for many years through other work and in the last three years has worked with Public Health in addressing the Children’s Dental Strategic Plan. She said she’s in a perfect place in her current work as the Oral Health Coordinator to move children into getting better access to dental care.

Leigh talked about the recently released report from the Little Hoover Commission “Fixing Denti-Cal,” which addresses Denti-Cal, the inability to reform itself and delivering care. The report found that Denti-Cal is a dysfunctional program that can’t attract providers, and Californians with Denti-Cal can’t get access to much needed dental care. The report lists several recommendations that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Denti-Cal. Leigh also reported that the Medi-Cal 20/20 waiver (the Dental Transformation Initiative) is being launched, which is a 5-year initiative to improve access to dental care and aims to increase the use of preventive dental services for children. Dawn Arledge agreed, saying the State has been turning a blind eye to Denti-Cal, but it is at a turning point and new funding streams are available.

In regards to the local Children’s Dental Strategic Plan, Leigh has been focusing on five areas, which are 1) Data; 2) Oversight, Coordination & Advocacy; 3) Improving Access to Care for those at highest risk; 4) Culture Shift about importance of preventive care; and 5) Inreasing amount and quality of networking between all partners.

1) There is very little local data available about dental care, so the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment data was used as a roadmap for the Children’s Dental Strategic Plan. Dawn said the response rate was 60% over a 5 year period for the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment, and they also compared the data by school districts who offered free and reduced lunch. 2) Leigh reported the Hoopa community has a high rate of dental needs and she met with Dr. Bradshaw several times to address this.  She mentioned that the high “no show” rate of Denti-Cal clients in general needs to be addressed. Leigh is also coordinating with several entities to distribute dental supplies.  3) With the TOOTH Program’s HRSA grant, more children are being served with preventive care activities. 4) The MediCal 2020 Dental Transformation Initiative’s strategy aims to increase the use of “preventive” dental services to children, preventing and treating more early childhood caries and increasing continuity of care for children. 5) Leigh has been working on revitalizing the Dental Advisory Group, which continues to be strong and is growing. The Dental Advisory Group now meets every other month.

Dawn and Leigh talked about the Dental Transformation Initiative (Medi-Cal 2020), which has four domain areas. The fourth domain area includes a local dental pilot program, which will include incentive payments for private providers. The Burre’ Center, one of very few dental entities in Humboldt County that sees Denti-Cal patients, is at its capacity in providing services to Denti-Cal patients. It is hoped that the incentive payments will open access to dental providers. Dawn shared that only 14% of the Denti-Cal budget is reserved for prevention and 86% of the budget is reserved for dental care. It is anticipated that incentive payments will be available to dentists by January 2017. The pilot project will be competitive, with only 15 counties accepted to the pilot.

Larry Ciecalone from KEET TV mentioned that he would be open to partnering with First 5 or DHHS to advertise dental prevention activities.

Commissioners received a proposal for funding in the amount of $25,000 from Public Health.  The funding request is for the Oral Health Coordinator, so she can continue in Fiscal Year 2016/17 to work with community partners on improving the oral health status of children and families in Humboldt County. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting.


VIII. Information Item: Subcommittee Reports

The ECCE Subcommittee met last Monday to discuss how to support providers in working with children with mental health issues. Subcommittee members explored ideas on how to support local providers.

The Evaluation Action Team met to review and revise Playgroup and Leap Into Literacy surveys.  Surveys are being distributed in the near future.

The Fiscal Subcommittee met last week and started reviewing First 5 Humboldt fiscal policies. Reviewed was the Policy for Administrative Cost.  Other policies for review are the Policy for Contracting & Procurement, the Fiscal Policy, the Supplantation Policy, and the Policy for the Sustainability Fund.

The Fiscal Subcommittee also reviewed the proposal from Public Health to further fund the Oral Health Coordinator for the Children’s Dental Health Strategic Plan.  Subcommittee members are concerned about spending down the Sustainability Fund.  This year, in order to fund core programs at $1 Million, about half of the funding is being drawn down from the Sustainability Fund!  The Fiscal Subcommittee will work on developing a draft for the Commission to re-designate any unspent budgeted funds back into the Sustainability Fund. With this in mind, the Fiscal Subcommittee recommends not funding any more proposals, including the proposal from Public Health, until the new Strategic Plan is in place.  In addition, in reviewing the Program Evaluation Team recommendations, the work of the Oral Health Coordinator was not focused on 0-5 activities.  Commissioner Fisher Larson shared that the intent of the Sustainability Fund was to sustain core programs over time.  She is eager to have a discussion about the Sustainability Fund and its purpose.  Nancy Frost shared that, if funding continues as it currently is budgeted, the Sustainability Fund would be depleted within the next 8-10 years. Commissioner Elliott asked to see the draft revisions to the fiscal policies before the Commission Retreat in July.  Commissioner Buckley requested that Commissioners receive Subcommittee meeting minutes, so they are more informed.

The PFS Subcommittee is meeting next Friday.  Updates will be available at the Commission meeting.


IX.  Discussion Item: Annual Program Evaluation Team Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2016/17
Mary Ann talked about the Program Evaluation Team (PET) process.  The Team includes current Commissioners, founding Commissioners, Consultants (fiscal and evaluation), and the Executive Director. The PET looks at recommendations made by the Evaluators, who form their recommendations from surveys, reports, site visits, compliance of Scope of Work and Evaluation requirements, and Strategic Plan priorities for the Commission.

Along with the PET recommendations, Commissioners received the draft budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17. New in the budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17 is the separation of playgroup expenses and Family Resource Center/other program expenses. In addition, as of Fiscal Year 2016/17 all First 5 Humboldt funded FRC coordinators are required to conduct quarterly time studies. Due to the Strategic Plan update process, all Agreements executed in Fiscal Year 2016/17 will be one-year agreements.

Commissioners reviewed the following PET Recommendation during today’s meeting:

KEET TV – Ready To Learn:  Jackie Hamilton is a consistent presence in the community. She is well-liked by children/families and programs and effectively interfaces with many programs throughout the county. Jackie locates new resources such as the Scholastic Books catalogue of Native American books.  Jackie expressed her concern that many playgroups now have a lot of 0-2 year olds and she would like some assistance from First 5 in how to better work with children age 0-2. The PET Recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $12,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17. First 5 Humboldt will provide resources on Infant-Toddler interactions and learning.

Blue Lake Community Resource Center & Playgroup: Commissioner Mull announced a conflict of interest, recused himself, and left the room during the discussion process.

The Resource Center works with families, including playgroup families, to organize community dinners and other activities. The Coordinator actively seeks technical assistance and other opportunities to expand what is offered to the 0-5 population. The new playgroup leader is enthusiastic and has expanded playgroup to a second day. Collaboration with other entities is strong and supportive. Playgroup attendance continues to grow.  The PET Recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $35,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

211 Humboldt and Women & Children’s Fund: 211 Humboldt is a resource and referral for families, agencies, and Family Resource Centers.  The agency has strong connections with HSU, WEX and Cal Works.  The number of calls continue to increase as do the number of follow-up calls.  Of concern is the sustaining capacity for 211 and the capacity to serve Spanish speakers.  The Website is not easily navigable and some searches yield no useful results. Parents often are not familiar with 211 as a referral service, until referred by the Family Resource Center or an agency. Evening and weekend calls do not get answered by 211 Humboldt, but are referred to an out of county 211 entity. The majority of 211 Humboldt staffers are HSU interns.

The Women & Children’s Fund is popular with agencies who work with low income clients in need. 84 families with 92 children age 0-5 were assisted in 2015.  Requests made to help paying for items included counseling, medical bills, strollers, cribs/beds, birth certificates, safety equipment, and high chairs. The PET Recommendation is to discontinue funding for 211 Humboldt, and continue funding the Women & Children’s Fund in the amount of $5,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Jeanette Hurst shared that 211 Humboldt is in the process of hiring another person to coordinate the phones, who is bi-lingual. She said that they have at least one bilingual person on site at all times.  She is going to be working with a consultant to revamp the website, which does not get a lot of hits. The website will be easier to navigate in the future and no longer will be case-sensitive. Jeanette talked about applying for possible state funds, SB1212, which would supply funds for emergency preparedness. She asked if the Commission will consider funding 211 Humboldt for another year, until SB1212 has passed. Jeanette says 211 Humboldt is part of the Network of Family Resource Centers, and has a lot of calls from parents about playgroups. Commissioners discussed the possibility of providing bridge funding from July – December 2016. Commissioners discussed several concerns addressed in the PET Recommendation. The suggestion was made for 211 Humboldt to write a proposal for bridge funding after the concerns in the PET Recommendation have been addressed.

Rio Dell Playgroup: There has been a big turnover in Family Resource Center (FRC) staff and playgroup staff in Fiscal Year 2015/2016. The long-time FRC coordinator left in December 2015 and the playgroup leader left in February 2016.  In addition, the FRC moved to a new location in 2015.  All new staff members hired are enthusiastic and are working to build relationships with the community. One of the new playgroup leaders is bilingual. The new playgroup leaders are in need of training and technical assistance from First 5 staff. As of March 2016, playgroup activities are now offered two days per week. The PET recommendation is to conduct an in-depth review and explore benchmarks with the playgroup leaders. It is recommended to continue funding the playgroup in the amount of $5,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Arcata Play Center: Commissioner Mull announced a conflict of interest, recused himself, and left the room during the discussion item. The Arcata Play Center continues to be a popular program for parents with children age 0-5, with high attendance.  New staff members have been hired and the leaders are enthusiastic about bringing community services representatives to the playgroup to share resources with families.  Staff is also actively working on improving the environment and seem to work well together.  The program has a fair amount of volunteers and parent surveys are very positive. The site stays open consistently throughout the year.  Some parents had concerns about immunization and some children not being vaccinated.  The playgroup leaders need training in welcoming families, getting to know them, and supporting new families to connect with other families. The PET recommendation is to continue funding at $14,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.  In addition playgroup staff is encouraged to work the Public Health to provide accurate information on immunization.

Manila Family Resource Center and Playgroup: The oversight of the Family Resource Center (FRC) and the Playgroup transitioned in 2015 from the Manila Community District Services to Redwood Coast Montessori. The transition has gone smoothly, and Redwood Coast Montessori is excited about supporting the FRC and playgroup. The FRC coordinator left in early 2016 and a new coordinator has been hired recently. The playgroup leader started working in 2015. Of concern is the number of field trips of the playgroup, which should not be part of regular scheduled playgroup activities, making it difficult for new parents to connect to the playgroup. First 5 playgroup activities should be offered consistently at the same site. The FRC/playgroup site is an older site and is in need of regular janitorial services. Both the new FRC coordinator and the playgroup leader need to receive training and support from First 5 staff.  The PET recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $20,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.  Commissioners questioned the high cost of the playgroup (about $16,000) and questioned what other funds/matching funds are available to help cover the cost. It was mentioned that the playgroup is in need of equipment and that some current Fiscal Year funds should be available to purchase some of the equipment.  Commissioners recommended to reduce the annual funding to $15,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17 and to offer a one-time allocation up to $5,000 to purchase equipment in Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Mattole Valley Resource Center and Playgroup: This Resource Center is fairly new and has been making good strides. The space is set up and staff is working on formulizing policies. The preschool teacher, playgroup leader and FRC staff have developed a strong team in support of children age 0-5 in the community.  The school seems to view the preschool and playgroup as an integral part to the educational community. FRC staff and playgroup leaders have been actively participating in First 5 trainings and are reaching out to First 5 staff for technical assistance. The PET recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $18,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

McKinleyville Family Resource Center: The FRC has been working with community partners to develop a new facility and in partnering with DHHS to provide services to the community.  FRC staff and supervisors are good at collaborating with others and connecting parents to resources. Additional staff has been hired and trained.  The FRC now is focusing on strengthening existing programs and in bringing in new resources. The PET recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $35,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.  First 5 staff will be working with FRC staff on clarifying the Scope of Work and benchmarks for 0-5 focused work.

McKinleyville Playgroup: The playgroup site has a high number of children age 0-5 and their families attending playgroup activities. The staff has worked on creating a comfortable and safe space for infants and their families. Due to the large space at the playgroup site, it is difficult for staff to support families to make connections, but staff has worked hard to improve outreach and welcoming practices.  The environment has also seen improvements. The supervisor needs to inform First 5 when a change in staff occurs, so new playgroup leaders receive adequate training. Parents at this site are concerned about unvaccinated children and sick children attending. PET Recommendations include working on ways to improve health practices, including hand washing and cleaning of toys.  The recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $14,389 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Tiny Tots Playgroup: Tiny Tots staff continue to offer quality activities to children age 0-5 and their families. Parent surveys continue to be very positive. Staff has been continuously participating in First 5 trainings and has reached out for technical assistance, and support, when needed. The current coordinator is retiring and has been training and mentoring her replacement. Staff is mindful of the needs of the families who attend this group. Families are well-supported and are supportive of each other. The PET recommendation is to continue funding at $3,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS): MOPS has a high attendance of mothers, has a good volunteer support, and mothers report they feel supported.  A lot of MOPS parents are involved in being Foster Parents. MOPS brings in speakers on a regular basis to help parents gain knowledge about topics of interest, i.e. immunizations and Foster Care. Child care during MOPS meetings has multiple rooms for different ages with age-appropriate activities. Of concern is that MOPS coordinators change on a regular basis and First 5 staff need to offer more support to MOPS. More site visits will be scheduled in FY 16/17 to offer technical assistance. The PET Recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $5,000 for Fiscal Year 2016/17.

Orleans Playgroup: Orleans Playgroup has been a stable presence in the community and survey results from parents are positive. The number of attendance has increased and parents attend playgroup on a regular basis. The playgroup leader has expressed the need for a back-up leader when she is unable to run the playgroup, i.e. illness, vacation, etc. Many parents do not have reliable ways to be reached, so it is hard to give them notice of unexpected closures. The PET recommendation is to increase funding by $500 to $3,500 for Fiscal Year 2016/17 to support a substitute playgroup leader.

Southern Humboldt Playgroups: The 0-5 Coordinator continues to provide support to the playgroup leaders throughout the Southern Humboldt communities. She is a strong advocator for prevention and early intervention, and continues to have strong connections to the community. Of concern is that there is no wiggle room in the budget for playgroup leaders to attend staff development sessions. The 0-5 Coordinator brings the playgroup leaders together for training and tries to bring First 5 workshop information to the playgroup leaders.  The PET recommendation is to continue funding in the amount of $50,000.  In addition First 5 Humboldt will provide funds up to $1,000 in stipends to playgroup leaders from Southern Humboldt to attend First 5 Humboldt workshops.

The following Program PET Recommendations will be reviewed at the next meeting:  Discovery Museum, FUN Play Center, HCOE Partnership, Willow Creek FRC, Children’s Dental Strategic Plan, Health Access Worker, Nurse Family Partnership, Paso a Paso, TOOTH, Library, and Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center.  All PET recommendations will be an Action Item at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11 am.


Next Meeting:
Thursday, May 12, 2016

8:30 am to 11 am

Adorni Recreation Center conference room
1011 Waterfront Drive, Eureka

Chair:  TBD

Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501


Future Agenda Items:

  • PET Recommendations
  • Strategic Plan
  • Approval of revised Subcommittee Membership
  • Fiscal Policies
  • Family Child Care and Educational Standards
  • Humboldt County Birth Data