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Health Staff Recognized for Racial Equity Work

Article Maria Lorente-Foresti, Office of Diversity & Equity Director
Young Asian woman smiling at her coworker

On November 14, 2019,  San Mateo County Health was acknowledged for their participation and membership in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). GARE is a national network of government agencies working together to reach a place where race no longer determines one’s life path. Within BHRS, this GARE work is aligned with and supports our Multicultural Organizational Development (MCOD) efforts and plan. 

Seven County Health staff were recognized at the commencement for completing the Introductory Cohort, from Behavioral Health & Recovery Services, LEAP, Public Health, Policy & Planning and Family Health. This group invested a year in learning ways to enhance services and create a more inclusive and equitable space for all communities we serve and all people in our workforce. 

In addition to the Introductory Cohort, several County Health staff are in their third year on the GARE Implementation Cohort, working to advance the organization’s ability to work effectively and respectfully with people from diverse cultural, linguistic and social backgrounds.

In total, County Health’s GARE team consists of 23 individuals from six divisions. Since its inception in 2017, they have trained over 364 supervisors and managers from ten County Health divisions in the Race, Health and Equity trainings; held numerous Lunch & Learn sessions to continue divisional conversations on race; hosted film screenings to encourage learning and dialogue; completed a race and equity survey to hear the workforce’s experiences and thoughts; and completed a train the trainers to expand their capacity to offer these trainings to all staff across County Health in the upcoming year. 

The GARE team is a group of passionate individuals who meet monthly to support a racial equity lens in all our work. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Maria Lorente-Foresti, PhD, Director of the BHRS Office of Diversity & Equity at MLorente-Foresti@smcgov.org.  

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