More than 575 educators, health care providers, and children’s advocates came to Sacramento May 5-6 to join us in Advocating for Equity in Education & Health Care.
This year’s conference was anchored by legislative advocacy visits on Thursday that saw nearly 200 advocates wearing red fan out across the Capitol in support of school-based health care.
We organized more than 150 people to make 75 visits with legislative offices and seven visits with state agencies and organizations, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Health Care Services, and the California Primary Care Association.
The visits we scheduled received enthusiastic responses, including several requests to tour school-based health centers in various districts. The meeting that was scheduled with the Attorney General’s office even went over the allotted time! Students from the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District were incredible advocates, telling their stories and meeting with staffers.
We want to continue this momentum by encouraging legislators to tour school-based health centers. Contact Lisa Eisenberg if you are interested in hosting a tour of your site.
On Friday, we honored California Senator Dr. Richard Pan as a School Health Champion for his outstanding policy work to improve the health and well-being of children around the state. We also recognized Michelle Oppen from the Oakland Unified School District as a Champion for her work to strengthen wellness policies in her district. The San Fernando Teen Health Clinic, a school-based health center operated in partnership with the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, received the first Red Apple Award for its success in attracting students and partnering with teachers on campus. Read more about the awardees.
The day featured 23 workshops on tips and best practices for improving student health and academic success at school.
We ended the day with a riveting spoken word performance by young people with The Bigger Picture, a group of youth artists amplifying their voice to improve health policies in communities across California.