September 18, 2014 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of September 18, 2014 
(Approved on 10/20/14)

I.   Welcome and Introductions
Present:  Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Dian Pecora
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Consultant:  Nancy Howatt
Guests:  Kit Boisvert Meyer, DeAnna Sanders, Irene Gil
Absent:  Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Ronnie Swartz

Dian Pecora called the meeting to order at 8 am

II.  Public Comments and Announcements
Jennifer Gonzales announced that she will be tabling at the North Country Fair this Saturday and Sunday.

III.  Executive Director Report

  • Commissioners received an L.A. Times article about kindergartners immunization rate in California. Wendy shared the related map of State-wide immunization rates.  Locally, we placed the immunization ad in the Kid’s Digest again, as we did last year.  Immunization will also be addressed at the upcoming workshop with Parent & Family Support program leaders, as we did last year.  Commissioners gave input about immunization in Humboldt County.  Addressing and promoting immunization will be an Agenda Item in the near future.
  • The Fatherhood Forum continues to meet on a quarterly basis.  Wendy no longer facilitates the meetings and Nick Vogel of the Redwood Community Action Agency has volunteered to be the facilitator. The Fatherhood Forum is undergoing a change in leadership and members. The meeting venue also will be changing.
  • Wendy, Andrea, and Nancy Howatt participated in a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) webinar about financial management updates.  The GFOA now recommends that First 5 Commissions change their Auditor every 6 years.  Other changes proposed include recording pension obligations in the Audit Reports.
  • We will take an updated photo of Commissioners at the beginning of the Oct. 20th meeting.  Please arrive about 10 minutes early, so we can have the photo shoot prior to the start of the meeting.
  • A “Helping Hands Humboldt” workshop will be held at the Fortuna Fire Hall on Oct. 11th from 9 am to 12 noon.  Commissioners were invited to attend.
  • The red folder was routed, which included breastfeeding data information and invitations to the LatinoNet Health Fair on Oct. 19th.

IV.   Approval of Minutes:  Commission meeting minutes of August 20, 2014
ACTION:  The meeting minutes of August 20th were approved as written.

V.  Consent Calendar:
A.  June 2014 Postings
B.  July 2014 Postings
C.  CLIF Award:  Holiday Funding Partnership
ACTION:   The Consent Calendar items were approved as presented.

VI.  Discussion Item:  Commission Business

            Commissioners discussed the current meeting schedule.  Due to other obligations, some Commissioners are not able to attend evening meetings that are scheduled on Wednesdays.  It was proposed to change the meetings to either the 4th Monday or to the 4th Tuesday.  Commissioners proposed continue with the morning meetings on the second Thursday of the month, and change the Wednesday evening meetings to the fourth Tuesday of the month. Andrea will e-mail a draft meeting schedule for 2015 to Commissioners for review.  The 2015 meeting schedule will be presented at the next Commission meeting.

            Wendy asked for volunteers to review the Commission’s policies and the proposed revisions to some policies.  The meeting should be about 1 ½ hours. Please contact Wendy if interested in reviewing the policies.

            Commissioners reviewed the Subcommittee membership list. The Advocacy Subcommittee has not met in a long time and the recommendation is to dissolve this Subcommittee. The Health & Well-Being Subcommittee is being reorganized and new members will be invited to join. Please contact Wendy if you want to add members or to propose changes to the Subcommittee membership list. 

VII.  Information Item:  Resource for Child Care Licensing

            Jennifer Gonzales gave a presentation on a training video for family child care applicants. In order to apply for a family child care license, Deanna Sanders, Community Care Licensing Analyst for the State of California has been available to answer questions and to help with the application process.  With State budget cutbacks, Deanna’s position will not be filled upon her retirement.  This means, the child care licensing applications will have to be filled out individually by each applicant, and then the application will be routed to Chico. Chico is the regional office, which currently covers 15 counties throughout California.

            Last year Jennifer conducted key informant interviews with 30 early childhood professionals to find out ways to support the early childhood education field in our County. The overwhelming response was to capture Deanna’s knowledge and find a way to continue utilizing this valuable information. Jennifer met with Deanna and proposed capturing her knowledge in a digital format.

            Jennifer and Deanna have worked on the digital training video over the last several months.  The training video walks you through the whole family child care licensing application process. The training video has been designed in sections, so when the State changes the requirements or forms, the section can be easily updated. The video also has a section about “what to do” after the application has been submitted. Commissioners watched a short section of the training video. The training video will be posted on the humkids website, the blog, and will be made available to partners’ websites.  The content of the training video is currently being translated into Spanish. Jennifer gave a big “Thank You” to Deanna Sanders for all her time, to Access Humboldt for use of their facility and help with formatting the training video, and to Dino Novello and Lila Corral for help with the Spanish translation.  Jennifer and Deanna are planning on developing/adding more training sections in the future.

            Deanna shared that there has been a big drop of licensed child care homes in Humboldt County, and in the child care licensing applications.  Currently, she only has two child care providers she is helping with the application process. Wendy said that the ECE Subcommittee is very attentive to the child care issues/demands in Humboldt County.  Commissioner Lyon mentioned that training videos are an excellent idea, and that a training video could also be a good tool for the application process in the Foster Care system.

VII.  Discussion Item:  Breastfeeding in the Workplace

            Commissioner Callahan led a discussion on the value of supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. Kit Boisvert Meyer and Irene Gil from the WIC Program were invited to participate in this discussion.

            Commissioner Callahan learned that in discussion with breastfeeding mothers, most mothers say they stop breastfeeding when re-entering the workforce.  Most small businesses do not have a space available for mothers to breastfeed their infants. Commissioner Callahan asked how the Commission can be a resource and be supportive to breastfeeding mothers. What approach can the Commission take in educating small businesses to understand the value of breastfeeding, and what can businesses do to be supportive to breastfeeding mothers? For instance, HSU has infant care, but no place set-up for pumping breast milk. To encourage breastfeeding in the workplace, ways to recognize small and large businesses for their support could be given on an annual basis. Creating maps of breastfeeding friendly businesses to give to parents, and/or creating lactation-friendly symbols/stickers are other ways to promote breastfeeding in the workplace.

            Commissioner Pecora shared that the Breastfeeding Task Force of Humboldt County has been in existence for many years and has 20 members. Members include nurses, lactation consultants, midwives, and other health professionals. The Breastfeeding Task Force meets to promote and protect breastfeeding as a norm in our community.  Members do this through advocacy, education and support in a cultural sensitive way. Commissioner Pecora shared that the Breastfeeding Task Force currently is going through a transition and is moving from technical assistance toward policy advocacy.  The brochure from the Breastfeeding Task Force was reviewed.  Commission Buckley mentioned that the brochure needs to be updated.

             MediCal Managed Care also offers a partnership with OB Providers to provide breast pumps free of charge to income eligible women.  This service is being underutilized in our county. In addition, 55% of mothers in Humboldt County are eligible to receive services from WIC, but WIC services are also being underutilized, partly because the vouchers are not user-friendly. More outreach/education could be done, so mothers can utilize these services.

             Wendy shared that a conversation with Commissioner Lovelace and the “Humboldt Made” director was initiated last year to discuss “Humboldt Made” onesies. The onesies were going to be sold by “Humboldt Made” providers to promote their businesses. The onesies could be given out at local hospitals and could have a small card attached about “breastfeeding friendly” businesses. Wendy also had a conversation with Cedar Reuben, member of the Workforce Investment Board, about retaining valuable employees and ways to recognize breastfeeding friendly businesses. In addition, ReadyNation (a business partnership for early childhood and economic success) is seeking a partnership with the First 5 Association of California.  Wendy will talk to Moira Kenney about addressing breastfeeding in the workplace in her conversation about ReadyNation.

             Commissioner Pecora shared that some laws are in place in California, for instance that businesses cannot discriminate against breastfeeding or pumping breast milk in the workplace. Hospitals have new regulations to have lactation consultants on staff, but the new law isn’t going in effect until 2025.  Kit Boisvert Meyer said that she has been approaching local hospitals about the “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative,” but most hospitals are not concerned about implementation until 2025.

              Commissioner Callahan requested moving forward to develop a proposal to strengthen “Breastfeeding in the Workplace” which would work on specific tasks/goals. We could work with larger businesses and smaller businesses to educate them about creating breastfeeding friendly spaces. Wendy offered draft a proposal for the October meeting agenda.


IX.   Information Item:  Commission Legal Counsel

               Legal Counsel Blair Angus was introduced. Blair talked about the kind of legal services she provides to the Commission. Contracts with grantees are a huge part of her work with First 5. Contracts are useful documents that make it clear what is expected and can clear up misunderstandings, if necessary. Contracts are also a good tool for auditing purposes.  Blair said the most important part of the contract is the Scope of Work, which breaks down the work to be done during the contract period. Part of Blair’s job is to assist with assessing risk, which is not always easily distinguished. A good solid agreement will help in the process. Sometimes the grantee does not accept the standard condition of the contract and tries to negotiate the terms of the agreement.  Blair is the contact person for this and negotiates the terms of the agreement.  The agreement with the City of Eureka was discussed. Blair advised that separate contracts for separate activities with the same entity are easier, for instance St. Joseph Hospital.  We partner with several programs at St. Joseph Hospital, and a separate agreement for each program is desired.

              Blair also helps with drafting of legal letters to grantees, which will show documentation for auditing purposes.  Commissioners received a copy of a letter to St. Joseph Hospital, which Blair has helped create.

             Wendy shared that she tries to meet with Blair on a quarterly basis to get her input and advice on legal challenges, policy language, and program issues.  Commissioners thanked Blair for her presentation.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 am

Next Meeting:
Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
5 – 7 pm
Wharfinger Building, Bay Room
# 1 Marina Way, Eureka

Chair:  Susan Buckley

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

Future Meetings:
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, Humboldt Area Foundation
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Office