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Opening 2022 with Amanda Gorman’s poem

Opening 2022 with Amanda Gorman’s poem

Vesper Society links arms with leaders and communities to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. We open 2022 by sending wishes for a healthy new year and Amanda Gorman’s poem, New Day’s Lyric. She continues to inspire us by saying “For wherever we come together, we will forever overcome.”   May this be the day We come together. Mourning, we come to mend, Withered, we come to weather, Torn, we come to tend, Battered, we come to better. Tethered by this year of yearning, We are learning That though we weren’t ready for this, We have been readied by it. We steadily vow that no matter How we are weighed down, We must always pave a way forward. This hope is our door, our portal. Even if we never get back to normal, Someday we can venture beyond it, To leave the known and take the first steps. So let us not return to what was normal, But reach toward what is next. What was cursed, we will cure. What was plagued, we will prove pure. Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree, Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee, Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake; Those moments we missed Are now these moments we make, The moments we meet, And our hearts, once all together beaten, Now all together beat. Come, look up with kindness yet, For even solace can be sourced from sorrow. We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday, But to take on tomorrow. We heed this old spirit, In a new day’s lyric, In our hearts, we hear it: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne. Be bold, sang Time this year, Be bold, sang Time, For when you honor... Read More

Let’s Stay Connected

Let’s Stay Connected

This photo of the Redwood Sky Walk was taken at the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, Humboldt County. It is California’s oldest zoo, founded in 1907. “The Redwood Sky Walk is a self-guided interpretive experience designed to educate, inspire, and delight visitors. Learn about the rich hidden ecology of the world’s tallest trees from an entirely new perspective.” Redwood tree roots are shallow and can extend up to 100 feet from the trunk. The roots intertwine with other roots, sometimes even fusing, and together form a root system that strengthens all the trees. We chose this image for the holidays because of you – our program partners, friends, colleagues, fellow travelers on this journey we call life. We are grateful to be connected, for it grounds us and inspires us to keep moving forward. These past two years have been so hard and we all had to dig deep into our emotional reserves. As a part of the Vesper community, do stay in touch with us, let us know how you’re doing. We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and joyous holiday season. May the coming year be a good... Read More

La Clínica Opens New Comprehensive Health Center in Vallejo

La Clínica Opens New Comprehensive Health Center in Vallejo

Vesper Society links arms with leaders and communities to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. We congratulate La Clínica on the opening of their new comprehensive health center in downtown Vallejo, which sits on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay in Solano County, 30 miles north of San Francisco. The 26,000-square-foot facility has transformed the former JC Penney department store into a modernized health center to serve 13,000 patients with integrated services, including dental care and optometry services, all under one roof. This new facility will expand access to health care for residents who face the highest poverty levels and some of the worst health outcomes in the Bay Area. As the only full-scope community health center in the city and the primary source of care for thousands of its residents, La Clínica is proud to be part of the solution to build a healthy and revitalized Vallejo for all. In 2020, La Clínica served nearly 37% of Vallejo’s low income residents, 45% of its uninsured population, and nearly 26% of its Medi-Cal beneficiaries. By doubling La Clínica’s previous capacity, community members will also have greater access to enrollment assistance for health insurance coverage as well as programs such as CalFresh and WIC. Additionally, the new health center will help spur economic revitalization for the city by expanding foot traffic to local businesses and providing the community with 100 full time jobs at full capacity. This includes $7.8 million in wages and benefits distributed annually and more than $1 million of goods and services purchased annually. About La Clínica At the invitation of major healthcare providers such as Kaiser and Sutter Solano Medical Center, La Clínica has been present in Vallejo for nearly 20 years. In 2002, La Clínica took over a struggling health... Read More

Congratulations Yammilette Rodriguez!

Congratulations Yammilette Rodriguez!

We are thrilled to announce that Vesper Society board member Yammilette “Yami” Rodriguez was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees. Yami will serve an eight-year term at the nation’s largest four-year public university, with 486,000 students on 23 campuses. Created in 1960, CSU educates the most ethnically, economically, and academically diverse student body in the country that prepares its students to become leaders in our changing economy. A long-time Central Valley director at the Youth Leadership Institute, Yami joined the Vesper board in 2019 and currently serves as chair of the governance committee. We asked Yami about her experience with the CSU system. This appointment has great significance for me because my higher education experience was so meaningful. CSU Fresno gave me the opportunity to be engaged as a leader at a young age. One of the many things I valued most about CSU Fresno were the mentors, counselors, and professors who supported me as adult allies. They opened doors for me as a student leader and I became President of the Hispanic Business Student Association. What experience from your youth development work will guide you in serving as a CSU trustee? After working with young people for the past 20 years in the nonprofit and higher education sectors, I have seen firsthand the need that many students encounter throughout their educational journeys. I will pursue access to higher education which means equitable college enrollment for people from all walks of life which includes streamlining the process for transfer students. I want to make sure that pathways are opened for first generation, low income, and historically marginalized students. Student success is a top priority and all CSU students deserve a quality education with innovative programming to prepare them for an ever-evolving... Read More

Building Our Future Behavioral Health Workforce

Building Our Future Behavioral Health Workforce

Vesper Society links arms with leaders and communities to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. With long-term solutions in view, we are one step closer to realizing the potential for thriving, healthy communities. When the California Future Health Workforce Commission released its final report in 2019, the message was clear: the California health system is facing a crisis. “At the core of the challenge is the simple fact that California does not have enough of the right types of health workers in the right places to meet the needs of its growing, aging, and increasingly diverse population,” the report stated. At Vesper Society, we were hearing about this problem from our community health clinic partners, especially those serving the Latinx, Native American, and rural communities. Now, these staff shortages are becoming more acute because the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on existing frontline health workers, with 20-30% saying they are considering leaving the profession. Combined with retiring Baby Boomer physicians and nurses, we are facing a looming health worker shortfall. Vesper Society has partnered with the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University to figure out how we can support efforts to build a health care workforce that comes from the community it serves. Humboldt State University (HSU) is uniquely positioned to educate the workforce that we urgently need. In fact, its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program welcomed its first cohort last year. HSU announced last month that it is preparing to become the third Polytechnic University in California, with new academic programs beginning in fall 2023. This is an incredible opportunity to build healthcare workforce pathways from high school to community college to university. Working with HSU, we are particularly focused on behavioral health careers. Vesper Society has always... Read More

Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo Celebrates 50 Years of Health Care Excellence

Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo Celebrates 50 Years of Health Care Excellence

Vesper Society links arms with leaders and communities to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. We congratulate Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo in Imperial County, CA on their 50th  anniversary! Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo (CDSDP) was established in 1970 with one small medical clinic in Brawley, CA. It was a pioneer health center that launched a national movement to provide local access to health care for hardworking farmworkers and their families. CDSDP was one of the first two health centers designated as a migrant health center in the State of California. Starting with a staff of 12 employees and a budget of $300,000, CDSDP quickly became an integral part of the community. And as local needs changed, CDSDP expanded its health care services to the general population. Today, CDSDP operates 10 health centers and five dental clinics in Imperial and Riverside Counties in Southern California. This is a valuable service in this geographically-isolated area where social and economic disparities create many barriers to health care. CDSDP’s health centers are located in areas designated as Health Manpower Shortage Areas, Medically Under Served, and High Migrant Impact Areas. Given its proximity to the US-Mexico border, CDSDP’s expertise lies in its ability to serve and treat a large Latino, primarily Spanish-speaking population. CDSDP’s award-winning telehealth and outreach departments assist a hard-to-reach population in overcoming barriers to accessing quality health care. Transportation is provided for free for those patients that need it and health centers have been expanded or renovated to become one-stop shops where all services from dental to pharmacy and laboratory are offered in one facility. CDSDP’s Board Chair, Rosendo “Rusty” Garcia, takes “pride in Clinicas’ 50-year history and ties to the community. I am humbled to be part of an organization that goes above and... Read More

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