February 20, 2014 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of February 20, 2014 
(Approved on 3/19/14)

I.   Welcome and Introductions

Present:  Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Mark Lovelace, Dian Pecora
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Guests:  Debbi Towns, Nancy Howatt, Beth Heavilin, Meg Walkley, Sheri Johnson
Absent:  Sydney Fisher Larson, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Ronnie Swartz


Ovieda Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 am 

II.  Public Comments and Announcements

  • The Annual St. Joseph Health Fair is this Saturday, 2/22/14 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Bayshore Mall.  Jennifer Gonzales will have a First 5 Humboldt table at the Health Fair.  Commissioners were encouraged to visit the Health Fair.
  • Commissioner Elliott said that she returned from a two-week training about cochlear implants (implants for severe hearing impaired children) and the outcomes the implants have on children after the surgery. Commissioner Elliott shared her impressions of the training. 

III.  Executive Director Report

  • Wendy welcomed the newly appointed Commissioners.  She recently had a chance to meet one-on-one with each new Commissioner. Jessica Callahan introduced herself and shared that she has experience in serving on early childhood education boards.  Her interests are parental involvement and parent education. She also expressed interest in research/documenting playgroups for Evaluation purposes. Jessica is a stay-at-home mom and has participated in the First 5 Humboldt playgroups. Dian Pecora introduced herself and shared that she has been working in the health care field since the late 70s. Her interests are community organizing, playgroups, and school involvement; especially in the outlying communities in Humboldt County.
  • Wendy reminded Commissioners to RSVP for the March 6th fifteen year celebration breakfast.
  • A chart of current year and prior year Prop.10 revenues received was reviewed. Wendy mentioned that the Commission builds the budget on prior year revenue received.
  • The First 5 Association is following the possible regulation on e-cigarettes.
  • The First 5 Association is also following SB 837 (transitional kindergarten) and a companion bill “Smart Start,” which focuses on children age 0-2. Ready Nation is also paying attention to these bills and the transitional kindergarten movement.
  • Wendy shared the First 5 California Annual Report Analysis, which shows the expenditures by categories for FY 12/13 of all First 5 County Commissions.
  • Commissioners received the Humboldt Area Foundation Road Map, which represents a visual of the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Strategic Plan.
  • A newspaper article about the Parent Education Summit, sponsored by Humboldt County Office of Education, was shared.
  • The red folder was routed, which included a Thank You card, articles from the San Francisco Chronicle about soda tax proposals, an article about the kindergarten readiness act, and an article from the New York Times about Universal Preschool.


IV.  Approval of Minutes:  Commission meeting minutes of January 16, 2014
Commissioner Buckley requested an addition under IX. Discussion Item – The Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute in the 1/16/14 minutes.  She requested adding a sentence that reflects her concerns about the size of the allocation for this project.
ACTION:  The meeting minutes of Jan. 16, 2014 were approved with the additional sentence.


V.  Consent Calendar:
A.  December 2013 Postings
B.  January 2014 Postings
ACTION:  The December 2013 postings and January 2014 postings were approved as submitted. 

VI.  Action Item:  Commission Officers
Per the Commission’s Baylaws, “Officers selected by the Commission shall be two co-chairs and one chair-elect, and each shall serve a one year term beginning at the time of selection. At the January meeting, Mark Lovelace and Ovieda Elliott were nominated to serve as co-chairs, and Susan Buckley was nominated to serve as chair-elect for calendar year 2014.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the nomination for Mark Lovelace and Ovieda Elliott to serve as co-chairs, and Susan Buckley to serve as chair-elect for calendar year 2014.

 VII.  Information Item:  Program Report Highlights
Wendy reviewed First 5 Humboldt’s Evaluation Policy for Continuation of Existing Programs with Commissioners, and explained the process for program reviews. First 5 Humboldt funded programs submitted their mid-year reports by January 30, 2014. Wendy shared the mid-year reports from Paso a Paso, McKinleyville Family Resource Center, the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers, and a story from the Willow Creek Community Resource Center.

Wendy talked about the history of the Paso a Paso program.  The evaluation results of this program have been very consistent over the years. Paso a Paso’s goals of increasing the proportion of pregnant Hispanic women who receive early & adequate prenatal care, and increasing the proportion of Hispanic women giving birth to babies with a healthy birth weight, have always been outstanding. Commissioner Elliott had a question about the connection between Paso a Paso and Healthy Kids Humboldt and their work.  Commissioner Lovelace inquired about the number of people being served by Paso a Paso, and the number of people participating in the offered classes.

Wendy shared the history of the work with the McKinleyville Family Resource Center. This Family Resource Center had a huge turn-around in the last few years and has blossomed under the direction of the current Executive Director. Staff from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center has embraced the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support, and has participated in the recently held certification training. The Family Resource Center now has a viable board that is involved in fundraising and community activities, and has been able to form partnerships with other funders, including the County of Humboldt and the Cowell Foundation. Commissioner Elliott mentioned that she appreciates the steps taken to include self-care of staff, which was mentioned in the mid-year report. Wendy referred to the board meeting minutes that were attached to the mid-year report and encouraged Commissioners to read the minutes.

The Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers is moving forward to integrate the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support into the Family Resource Centers.  This year, we are working with three First 5 funded programs to integrate the Standards into their work, which are Manila Teenship, the Multiple Assistance Center and the Rio Dell Community Resource Center.

Some of the challenges for the Family Resource Centers are retaining core workers, and the lack of funding to retain core staff. Most Family Resource Centers are working with AmeriCorp workers that only are able to work on a short-term basis. When looking at the current Family Resource Center core workers, most will be retiring in a few years and new core workers need to be trained. Commissioners talked about strategies and advocacy for long-term sustainability for Family Resource Centers. Some Family Resource Centers are integrated with the Schools and/or other organizations. For example, Arcata is exploring ways to establish a Family Resource Center and they recently opened a school-based Family Resource Center to get the work off the ground. Wendy questioned if funds from Headwaters Fund would be appropriate for Family Resource Centers, since some communities were impacted by the decline of the timber industry. It was suggested to identify the Family Resource Centers impacted by this and have them submit an application.  Commissioner Lovelace shared that some changes are occurring to the distribution of Headwaters Fund money.  The maximum grant amount per year now is $50,000 instead of $300,000, due to retaining the sustainability of the funds.

The story from the Willow Creek Community Resource Center mid-year report was shared and Commissioners agreed that Family Resource Centers are a great support for all families, including families with special needs children.

Nancy Howatt asked if technical support for administrative tasks could be available, i.e. development of policies for the McKinleyville Family Resource Center. Nancy inquired if the Cowell Foundation could provide some technical support.


VII.  Information Item:  Children’s Budget
Wendy shared information about the Children’s Budget. Wendy has been participating in meetings with Funding the Next Generation about the development of a Children’s Budget. Two issues addressed in the meetings were:  What is a Children’s Budget and how to get started with the process; and Strategies for getting support from statewide policymakers, agencies, and organizations.

Commissioners received handouts about the Children’s Budget, including examples from other counties about the make-up of Children’s Budgets and the financial breakouts/categories within the Children’s Budget. The Solano County financial categories were reviewed, which are broken out into several categories, with costs divided by prevention/early intervention, safety net, and intervention & treatment. Wendy explained that a Children’s Budget would be updated each year. The vision is that a Children’s Budget would be developed with public funds for the first year, and then nonprofit and private funds could be integrated the second year. The local funders are talking about how a Children’s Budget would help in making funding decisions by showing where funds are needed. Wendy said that the support from the County Board of Supervisors is essential to develop a Children’s Budget. Commissioners discussed how a Children’s Budget would be helpful for the public to better understand where governmental spending is going. Commissioner Lovelace suggested setting up a meeting with Department of Health & Human Services administrators and the County Administrative Officer to talk about the concept of creating a Children’s Budget. Commissioner Lovelace also asked if Board of Supervisors resolutions are available as templates in an electronic format.


IX.  Discussion Item:  The Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute
Commissioners received the updated Working Concept Paper and the First 5 Humboldt Rationale for Support.  The Rationale breaks out goals, background, opportunity, next steps, funding strategy, and stories.  Commissioners also reviewed a handout from the 0 to 8 Mental Health Collaborative and an e-mail from Dean Lee from Humboldt State University (HSU). 

Wendy assured Commissioners that there are a number of ways to protect First 5 Humboldt’s interest and any funds committed. First 5 Humboldt’s commitment would be the first step in a long planning process; and it would help to attract additional funding sources to help launch the Institute. Humboldt State University is hosting a retreat on March 23rd to discuss and plan for the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute. A renowned facilitator, Starhawk, who has expertise in collaboration and visionary planning, is facilitating the meeting. Representatives from Humboldt State University, First 5 Humboldt, the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, and strategic partners will be invited.

Meg Walkley talked about the history of the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, the relationship with First 5 Humboldt and with the Child Trauma Academy. Meg shared that the work to promote an integrated system for early childhood mental health has been a long-time effort, both at county and state levels. The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative has been instrumental to provide coordinated trainings in the county on social/emotional development; and in initiating the Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health certification process in the county. The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative provided the pre- and post-Dr. Perry trainings and was an integral partner in bringing Dr. Perry to the North Coast for the conference. The Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute would be able to provide ongoing professional development for professionals working with children, and would achieve a community-wide impact.

Beth Heavilin shared that there is a lot of interest in the professional field for the establishment of the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute.  She said that people always are looking for professional training and support, which is sparse in Humboldt County. The Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute would provide a solid base for receiving training and resources that are needed to work with children impacted by trauma. Local School Districts also are interested in this.

Commissioners inquired about partnership with the Education Department at HSU. Sheri Johnson said that the Education Department at HSU has a new chair, who will be involved in this venue.  Commissioners also inquired about the concept of finding funding partners Wendy explained that interest exists throughout the First 5 Northwest Region. Local funders could be a resource.  Sheri also mentioned that Dean Lee is in conversation with the Dean of Research, who is looking for available resources.  A part of the Retreat would be to consider financial support.

Commissioners questioned what impact the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute would have in Humboldt County, how it would be furthering primary prevention, and what the real results would be. The large allocation amount from First 5 Humboldt also was questioned. In addition, Commissioners are not in favor of supporting funds being used to support the general administrative expenditures at HSU. Commissioners also questioned the commitment of HSU, since two clinical programs have been dissolved in recent history, and are having difficulties seeing this project as a long-term vision. Commissioners asked how they can be assured that this would be an ongoing program. Commissioners are supportive of the upcoming Retreat to receive more information.

Wendy again re-assured Commissioners that no funds will be released until all concerns have been addressed, a clear plan/budget has been approved, and funding partners have been identified.  In addition, an Agreement with HSU will need to be executed and it will clearly articulate the requirements for the release of funds.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 am. 

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
5 pm to 7 pm
Humboldt Area Foundation, Emmerson Room

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


Future Meetings:
Thursday, April 17, 2014;  8 - 10:30 am, First 5 Humboldt Office
Wednesday, May 21, 2014;  5 – 7:30 pm, location TBD
Wednesday, June 18, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Commission Retreat, July 2014; Day/time/location TBD
Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Humboldt Office
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014; 5-6:30 pm, location TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, location TBD