Petaluma Health Care District awards grants

The Petaluma Health Care District announced grant awards of $94,500 to community nonprofits working to increase literacy and fight homelessness and hunger. The district also honored an adult educator who works with immigrant populations in Petaluma and two volunteer advocates for CPR training.

The district was expected to give out the grants, which total double the amount it awarded last year, at its annual Community Partnership Appreciation Breakfast Thursday.

Karla Lounibos is being honored with the Health Hero Award. A parent educator and family mentor at Petaluma Adult School, she has served thousands of immigrant families and staff over the past decade as a teacher, mentor and advocate, said Ramona Faith, the health care district CEO.

“As an immigrant parent herself, Karla identifies with the challenges and fears of raising children in a new culture and she strives to empower parents as their child’s first and most important teacher,” Faith said in a statement. “Education and access to services are key social determinants of health, and Karla ensures that some of our most under-resourced families receive the support they need to succeed.”

The HeartSafe Community Golden Heart Award went to Paul Marini and Leslie Hart in recognition of serving as volunteers advocating for the importance of community-based CPR and AED training.

Faith said grant winners were selected by a focus on health priorities. The grants strengthen programs and initiatives that reflect these priorities, she said.

Grant Recipients include:

Buckelew Programs, $10,000, to support a program connecting families to mental health services.

Burbank Housing, $10,000, to support Burbank Housing’s two after school programs.

Committee on the Shelterless, $10,000, for the Mary Isaak Center Emergency Shelter.

Kids Scoop News, $5,000, to provide the free children’s newspaper’s health education content.

Literacyworks, $10,000, to support the development of new workshops focused on health literacy.

Mentor Me, $10,000, to support a program aimed keeping kids caught up in the juvenile justice system connected to school.

Petaluma Adult School, $9,500, to address the complex health and development needs of under-resourced children and families.

Petaluma Bounty, $10,000, to provide low-income families with nutrition education and food from the Petaluma Bounty Farm, a program of Petaluma People Services Center.

Redwood Empire Food Bank, $5,000, to help expand the reach of REFB in the Petaluma area.

Seeds of Awareness, $10,000, to support select Petaluma schools to create social justice-oriented, mindfulness-based training and emotional support program.

The Salvation Army, $5,000, to provides free food boxes to those in need.

“The partnerships in Petaluma are a testament to the vitality and community spirit of southern Sonoma County,” said State Senator Bill Dodd. “The programs and organizations are highly interconnected and effective. Petaluma Health Care District is a model of this successful approach. The district makes a huge impact.”

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