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Newsfront

Tri-Valley cities win awards for youth health initiative

Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore receive statewide honor recognizing cities for collaboration, including ‘authentic youth voice

The cities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore are being rewarded for their efforts in collaborating on youth health programs. The Tri-Valley Adolescent Health Initiative (TVAHI), a partner- ship among Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, county Supervisor Scott Haggerty, and the three Tri- Valley cities recently received two statewide awards.

The League of California Cities awarded the Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in Local Government to the health initiative. The award, a component of the league’s annual Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program, recognizes city programs in 11 categories that deliver the highest quality and level of service in the most effective manner. The initiative also received the City, County and Schools Partnership Award for 2008. The award is given to the applicant that exhibits a proven effort in demonstrating collaboration among local juris- dictions. The panel of judges, which included mayors, city councilmembers, school board members and county supervi- sors, awarded the Partnership Award to the initiative based on the uniqueness of the col- laboration of the three cities, the county and the inclusion of “authentic youth voice” in creating the initiative.

“The panel was impressed that the initiative is addressing

the important issue of access to health care for adolescents,” according to city of Pleasanton spokeswoman Joanne Hall.

Since its inception in 2005, the health initiative has cre- ated a Youth Planning Board consisting of three adolescent representatives from each city; gathered information from more than 4,200 Tri-Valley stu- dents with a youth-developed Student Health Survey; pub- lished That One Place, a youth- developed resource guide for middle and high school stu- dents that has been distributed to 10,000 students; secured grants and funding from pub- lic and private sources; and assembled more than 125 adult stakeholders from all parts of the public, private, government and nonprofit community sec- tors to engage in the initiative. Based upon input from the planning board, the initiative’s next steps will be for youth and adults to work together to develop programs to improve mental health support systems for teens and their families by focusing on early prevention and emphasizing youth devel- opment; build on the strength of youth, families and com- munity and further improve regional coordination of pro- grams and local best practices.

“If you want youth programs to succeed, you need a part- nership between youth and adults,” said Youth Planning Board member Jennifer Lund.

“Nothing will get done with- out these two groups working together. Youth have the ideas and know what they need. Adults have the resources to make things happen.”

In 2005, the Tri-Valley region’s fastest growing popu- lation was youth ages 5 to 14. The initiative started with a regional survey, anchored by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton. The 2006 Tri- Valley Student Health Survey revealed that one in three teens did not receive necessary medi- cal care for illness and injuries, and four in 10 youth did not receive counseling for stress, depression or family problems. In addition, County public health reports state that ado- lescents in the Tri-Valley have more than two times the aver- age rate of depression com- pared with their peers in the remainder of Alameda County. Using the data as a foundation for action, the initiative estab- lished a cross-system, regional coalition that included youth and adult leadership and rep- resentatives from cities, school districts, community service providers, county agencies, youth and parents.

With Haggerty’s leader- ship, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the allocation of Measure A, a 2004 voter-approved health initiative, to support the initial funding of the initiative.

  • Janet Pelletier

Happy birthday U.S. Navy

Active service members and reservists celebrated the United States Navy’s 233rd birthday with a rousing celebration at the Pleasanton Hilton last Saturday.

Three-hundred attendees gathered with much pomp and circumstance as is traditional in military celebrations. The event included a flag salute, toasts to all the branches of the military and special guest of honor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe R. Campa Jr., who is based in Washington, D.C.

Campa Jr. was seated at a head table with other high-ranking guests. In front of the head table was an empty seat with a bell, a glass and a single red rose, representing all of the service members who are still listed as missing in action. Commemorative coins to mark the occasion were being sold at the start of the event, but at dinner, it was announced that a man associated with the rodeo industry who was not a guest offered to pay for all the remaining coins as a way of saying thanks to attendees for their military service.

To celebrate the Navy birthday, which is also being celebrated this month all across the nation, Campa Jr. and the youngest and oldest Navy service members helped cut the cake with a sword. The Navy birthday is Oct. 13, 1775. The Navy ball was hosted by the Moffett Field Chief Petty Officers Association, which includes members from across the Bay Area and out- lying areas. This is the first time a Navy ball has been held in Northern California in 12 years.

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