Furthering its commitment to support the post-wildfire healing and recovery of the Santa Rosa community, Kaiser Permanente awarded a $250K grant to the Sonoma Community Resilience Collaborative. The multi-year program will train 300 local facilitators to lead evidence-based, mind-body resilience groups that will reach over 8,000 people across Sonoma County.
The program is a partnership with the Center for Mind Body Medicine (CMBM), which has worked with communities around the world following natural disaster or trauma.
Their model leverages our inner capacity for healing and the power of personal communities with notable results. Participants in a New Orleans program had a 17% decrease in PTSD scores and health care professionals in the group experienced a significant decrease in compassion fatigue three months following the training. Santa Rosa Community Health is spearheading the Sonoma County effort in partnership with over a dozen community organizations and leaders.
“Our vision is to develop our local capacity for long-term healing and resilience, which helps prevent trauma from progressing into more serious physical, behavioral, or social problems. Empowering lay people with proven tools and training, we create pathways for people to get support where they live, work, play, and congregate,” says Naomi Fuchs, CEO of Santa Rosa Community Health. “Our partnership with community health leaders such as Kaiser Permanente, gives us the support necessary to breathe life into this high-impact program.”
One hundred and fifteen people from health care, human services, education, and government participated in the first cohort that launched in late October and ended on January 12. Two Kaiser Permanente employees completed the eight-day training. “We are honored to partner with the Sonoma Community Resilience Collaborative to maximize resources and support for individuals in our communities, especially our most vulnerable populations,” said Judy Coffey, Sr. VP/Area Manager, Marin-Sonoma Service Area of Kaiser Permanente. Strengthening cross-community bonds and engaging people and communities most at risk for experiencing the negative effects of trauma are central to the program’s mission.
“It was great to be a part of such a wonderfully diverse group of people dedicated to the healing of our community,” says Raymond Dougherty, the Director of Spiritual Care Services for Kaiser Permanente and a participant in the first cohort. “The thing I appreciate the most about this training is the focus on experiential learning. Our first sessions were based on addressing issues of stress and trauma in our own lives, with a focus on developing healthy mind/body practices for ourselves. Then, out of our own experiences of healing and recovery, we are better equipped to bring these resiliency practices to the broader community.”
Exemplifying the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s motto ‘Teaching thousands to heal millions,’ Dougherty adds, “I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with KP staff and members as well as the surrounding community!”
An executive breakfast and community engagement workshop are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27. If you’d like to be notified about details or learn more about the program, visit www.cmbm.org/sonoma.