Petaluma Health Care District, a public agency and a California special district, funds evidence-based health programs and invests in local nonprofits that provide critical social services and address the root causes of poor health.

During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, PHCD provided $280,000 in charitable funds, sponsorships and in-kind technical support to 33 Southern Sonoma County nonprofits, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Mentor Me, North Bay Children’s Center, Petaluma Educational Foundation, United Way of the Wine Country Schools of Hope, COTS, PEP House and Mother’s Care.

PHCD brings together area leaders, residents and organizations to tackle Southern Sonoma County’s greatest health needs through the Community Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area. CHIPA is an 80-member community collaborative. PHCD has hired staff to support and grow CHIPA and continues to fund efforts to improve resident health.

Through CHIPA, PHCD is raising awareness of the links between educational success and health, the impact on childhood trauma on life-long health outcomes, and access to healthy food.

CHIPA recently hosted a screening and panel discussion about Paper Tigers, a documentary that follows an alternative high school as it radically changes its approach to disciplining students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences. In addition, it funded transportation costs to bring Petaluma area high school students to a regional health care career symposium.

Also in 2016, PHCD launched Petaluma Sober Circle’s two-year pilot project with 10 community partners, which connects intoxicated homeless individuals to services and housing.

“We have seen measurable success by addressing the needs of homeless residents struggling with substance abuse,” said CEO Ramona Faith. “Calls for service from serial inebriates have decreased to police and fire authorities, and transports of inebriates to Petaluma Valley Hospital have also declined. Many individuals have completed substance abuse treatment and have returned to a supportive shelter or permanent housing.”

In 2016, PHCD received the Jefferson Award for Public Service from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, which is given to outstanding organizations and individuals who have had a deep impact on the quality of life in the communities they serve.