News from the District:
August 24, 2023
Eden Health District Acknowledges National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Eden Health District Board member Mariellen Faria recently accepted a proclamation (see below) from the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), on behalf of the children and families of our community, declaring September National Childhood Obesity Awareness month.
“Childhood obesity continues to be a significant health concern locally and nationally. Research has shown that access to physical activity is essential to improve health and wellness. The availability of public parks and recreation creates healthy communities,” Faria said when accepting the proclamation on August 22.
“HARD has and continues to make parks and recreation available throughout the district. The more accessible the parks are to the community, the more of an impact they make on the health and well-being of children. Eden Health District supports HARD’s efforts to curb childhood obesity by building more community parks and creating recreation opportunities for children and adults,” she added.
Eden Health District looks forward to continued collaboration with HARD to improve the health and wellness of all members of our community.
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
WHEREAS, September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month; and
WHEREAS, during the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, increasing more than fourfold among children ages 6-11; and
WHEREAS, 31.8 percent or 23 million children and teenagers ages 2-19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic; and
WHEREAS, significant disparities exist among the obesity rates of children based on ethnicity and economic status; and
WHEREAS, the financial implications of childhood obesity pose a financial threat to our economy and healthcare system, carrying up to $14 billion per year in direct healthcare costs, with people in the United States spending about 9 percent of their total medical costs on obesity-related illnesses; and
WHEREAS, due in part to the childhood obesity epidemic, 1 in 3 children (and nearly 1 in 2 minority children) born in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lifetime if current trends continue; and
WHEREAS, some consequences of childhood and adolescent obesity are psychosocial and can hinder academic and social functioning and persist into adulthood; and
WHEREAS, participating in physical activity is important for children and teens as it can have beneficial effects not only on body weight but also on blood pressure and bone strength; and
WHEREAS, proper nutrition is important for children before birth and through their lifespan as nutrition has beneficial effects on health and body weight, and is important in the prevention of chronic diseases; and
WHEREAS, public, community-based, and private sector organizations and individuals throughout the United States are working to decrease childhood obesity rates in the United States through a range of efforts including educational presentations, media campaigns, websites, policies, healthier food options, and greater opportunities for physical activity; and
WHEREAS, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District is extremely proud of our parks and recreational facilities and programs and their contribution to building healthy active lifestyles to recreate, play and build self-esteem, confidence and sense of self-worth, which contributes to the quality of life in our community;
NOW, THEREFORE, Let it be proclaimed that the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District Board of Directors does hereby declare the Month of September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
January 7, 2022
Eden Health District Receives More Than $1.25M in Funding From State’s COVID Relief Fund
The Eden Health District has been awarded $1,250,663 from the California Special District Covid Relief Fund. The District plans to use the funds to continue critical pandemic related services in partnership with community and public agencies. The funds were made available from a $100 million allocation provided by the State Legislature and Governor Newsom in the 2021-2022 State Budget.
“We our very grateful for the receipt of this award. It will help us increase our pandemic related services to the most vulnerable in our community. Covid testing, vaccination, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), and spreading reliable and vital information have been the pandemic priorities for our District and this award will allow us to sustain and expand our reach,” said Mark Friedman, Chief Executive Officer.
Eden Health District is committed to improving health outcomes for the community’s most vulnerable residents by working closely with community and public agencies through prevention, health education, and rapid response to emerging health issues.
This funding arrives after special districts across California experienced budget and staff cuts necessitated as a result of the COVID pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, California’s special districts provided essential services to their local communities, maintained a large portion of the state’s critical infrastructure, and employed thousands of front-line workers, but initially received none of the COVID relief funding available to cities and counties.
“Special districts are addressing our biggest statewide challenges, all at the local level,” said Neil McCormick, CEO of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). We applaud Governor Newsom and our Legislature for recognizing this and responding to our requests for partnership. Special districts make a difference throughout California and this funding will make a difference in the communities special districts serve.”
Statewide, more than 2,000 independent special districts across the state serve the needs of all 40 million Californians at some level, and more than 60 percent of these local agencies provide specialized services to a disadvantaged community.
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About Eden Health District: The mission of the Eden Health District is to improve the health of the community we serve by providing access to direct and indirect care services and health education.
About CSDA: The California Special Districts Association is a 501c(6), not-for-profit association representing more than 2,000 independent special districts that provide water, sanitation, fire protection, park and recreation, healthcare, electricity, port and harbor, resource conservation, library, cemetery, and other specialized community services throughout California.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2021
Contact: Mark Friedman
Eden Health District
Transparency Certificate of Excellence Awarded to Eden Health District
Castro Valley, CA — Eden Health District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. “This award is a testament to Eden Health District’s commitment to open government,” said, Mark Friedman, CEO. “Our staff is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information and facilitate engagement and oversight.” To receive the award, the Eden Health District demonstrated the completion of essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.
SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation, and other recognition programs.
Special districts are independent public agencies that deliver core local services to communities, such as water, wastewater treatment, fire protection, parks and recreation, healthcare, sanitation, mosquito abatement, ports, libraries, public cemeteries and more. Districts are established by voters to meet specific needs through focused service. They can be specially molded to serve large regions or small neighborhoods depending on the need.
Local Elected Officials Promote “Mask On” Public Education Campaign In Castro Valley
August 14, 2020 – Eden Health District Directors Pam Russo and Roxann Lewis, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and City of Hayward Council members Elisa Marquez and Mark Salinas came together in Castro Valley yesterday to encourage the public’s use of masks and face coverings to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
Mask On Eden Area: Eden Health District Launches Public Education Program Promoting Mask Use
August 5, 2020 – Gordon Galvan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Eden Health District, announced today that the District has launched a public education campaign to encourage the use of masks and face coverings in public to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
Working in collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Cities of Hayward and San Leandro, the District has printed “Mask On” posters for each city and community in the Eden Health District area. The posters are free and intended for businesses, health clinics, schools, churches, public agencies and nonprofit organizations to display in their entrances.
Eden Health District Announces The Passing Of Director Charles Gilcrest
August 4, 2020 – With great sadness, Gordon Galvan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Eden Health District, announced today that Director Charles Gilcrest passed away last night, August 3, 2020, from complications due to a heart attack he suffered. Gilcrest served on the Board of Directors since 2016. Always an advocate for patients, Gilcrest championed the District partnering with public and nonprofit agencies to expand access to healthcare, including mental health services, for the underserved members of the community. Recently, Gilcrest helped oversee the opening of a free Covid-19 testing center in San Leandro sponsored by the Eden Health District.
“Charlie Gilcrest was tireless in his efforts to support the people and causes he believed in. He was the best kind of friend you could have, whenever and whatever you needed, he would drop everything and come help, no questions asked,” stated Galvan. “Charlie brought passion, energy and foresight to the Eden Health District Board. We will greatly miss his leadership and empathy for the underserved.”
“Charlie brought a wealth of knowledge and history about the area we serve during his time on our board,” added Director Roxann Lewis. “We will miss his candid thoughts and perspective views on District issues. Thank you Charlie for your service on our Board.”
Mark Friedman, the Eden Health District Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Charles Gilcrest was a dedicated public servant and dear friend to so many. He was a wonderful example of humility and compassion who was always looking for the best way to serve the residents of the Eden area and his beloved city of San Leandro.”
Gilcrest served on the Board of Directors of the San Leandro-based non-profit organization Davis Street Community Center. As a Director, Gilcrest was instrumental in leading Davis Street’s successful transformation in 2015 of its long-standing free health clinic into a Federally Qualified Heath Center. Rose Padilla Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the Davis Street Community Center, stated, “It’s time for Charlie’s homegoing. His spirit will live on through the lives he touched; he was a champion for most vulnerable in our community. I will miss his wit, his wry sense of humor and the weekly visits!”
A lifelong resident of San Leandro, Gilcrest was active engaged in community affairs his entire adult life and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of San Leandro’s history. Among the positions Gilcrest held were President of the Business Association of South San Leandro (BASSL) and of the HalcyonFoothill Neighborhood Association, Chair of the Joint Project Area Redevelopment Advisory Committee and of the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and member of the City’s Human Services Commission. Gilcrest was present at nearly every San Leandro community festival, volunteering for Davis Street and other nonprofit organizations participating in or organizing the festival.
San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter declared November 7, 2018, as Charles Gilcrest Day in the city, observing “Charlie has mentored and guided both aspiring and veteran political leaders and continues to be a loyal, beloved friend and community advocate who ardently dedicates himself to San Leandro.”
“Charlie Gilcrest had an indomitable spirit. He will be missed by many, but none so much as my partner Irish,” stated Shelia Young, San Leandro Mayor Emeritus. “Charlie never forgot to check on him even during his own health concerns. We are both touched by Charlie’s personal caring style. I could write volumes of stories of his community involvement from the Halcyon Neighborhood Association to the BASSL to campaign support for so many candidates. He made his mark on San Leandro in many ways. We will miss him and wish him restful peace for all eternity.”
Eden Health District Board Appoints Pam Russo as New Director
April 21, 2020 – Castro Valley, CA – Gordon Galvan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Eden Health District, announced that by a unanimous vote the Board has appointed Pam Russo as a Director. Ms. Russo was sworn into office on April 15, 2020. The Directors acted to fill a vacancy on the five-member Board due to the resignation of Megan Lynch, who resigned her position in advance of attending medical school.
“At an unprecedented time in public health, the Board is grateful that Pam Russo stepped forward to serve as a Director. She brings a wealth of experience in the field of health care and deep knowledge of the health needs of our community,” stated Galvan. “At the same time, the Board greatly appreciates the exemplary service Megan Lynch provided for the past four years. We wish her outstanding success as she embarks on the next stage of her career in health care by studying to become a physician.”
“I’ve spent most of my professional life in healthcare and am excited for this opportunity to serve the public. I know the importance of being able to respond to critical situations while staying in touch with people and their health needs,” Russo commented. “I am focused on working with my colleagues on the Board to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic for the residents of the Eden Area.”
A Registered Nurse with a 35-year history in healthcare, Russo worked at St. Rose Hospital, including in all clinical areas of the Hayward facility. During her last 15 years as an administrator at St. Rose, Russo oversaw the fundraising arm of the hospital, government affairs, marketing and project management work.
Russo currently serves as the Executive Director of Hayward Area Recreation & Park District (H.A.R.D.) Foundation. Russo has been actively involved in the development and build out of Mia’s Dream Come True Playground in South Hayward; an all-inclusive park designed for children with special needs. A Director on the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Board, Russo is also an active member of the Hayward Rotary Club.
A longtime resident of Castro Valley, Russo volunteers throughout the Eden Area in multiple communities.
Eden Health District Selects Mark Friedman As New Chief Executive Officer
March 30, 2020 – Castro Valley, CA – The Eden Health District announced today that it has appointed Mark Friedman as its Chief Executive Officer. The former CEO of the Thomas J. Long Foundation and First 5 Alameda County as well as a three time Mayor of the City of El Cerrito, Friedman commenced his service as the District CEO on March 18, 2020.
“We are excited to have Mark as the District’s new CEO. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the fields of public health, government and community service, and philanthropic giving combined with a deep commitment to improving access to healthcare. The Board will work closely with Mark to leverage its resources to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Gordon Galvan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Eden Health District.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as the new CEO of the Eden Health District during this unprecedented time,” commented Mark Friedman. “I look forward to working under the direction of the Board of Directors to partner with county and city agencies, healthcare providers and non-profit organizations to rise to the challenge COVID-19 poses to the health and welfare of the residents of the Eden Area.”
An initiative already started by the District has been the launch of a free COVID-19 Bulletin that synthesizes the near overwhelming news on the pandemic. With an emphasis on the East Bay, the bulletin also condenses the latest state, national and international news into manageable summaries. The Bulletin is a joint project with the East Bay Community Foundation.
“The COVID-19 Bulletin provides local policy makers and community members accurate and timely information to help them make the best policy and personal choices in response to the pandemic,” stated Friedman.
The bulletin is posted online at https://ethd.org/daily-bulletin-update/. Persons who wish to receive the bulletin directly by email should contact District Clerk Barbara Adranly at email@example.com to request to be added to the District’s bulletin distribution list. Announcements regarding community services and the response to the pandemic can be sent to the same address for inclusion in future bulletins.
About Mark Friedman
Friedman serves on the Board of Directors of the East Bay Community Foundation, and served as its Board Chair from 2017 to 2019. Friedman served as the Chief Executive Officer of First 5 Alameda County for 15 years and was the CEO of the Thomas J. Long Foundation for 4.5 years serving as one of the largest philanthropic givers in the East Bay, concentrating on grants to community organizations improving education, services to seniors, services for people with disabilities, and providing critical safety net services.