Kaiser Permanente Wants to Work With Local and Diverse Suppliers

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital Completes 1.6 Megawatt Solar Energy Generation Project With Ameresco

Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, and Sutter Health today announced the completion of a 1.6 megawatt solar energy system at the Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital (SSRRH). The 84-bed acute-care facility is one of 24 hospitals in the Sutter Health network and is known as one of the greenest hospitals in Northern California.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays installed at two sites on the SSRRH campus underscore Sutter Health’s broader commitment to environmental stewardship through the use of renewable energy, setting the Sutter Health Standard for solar. Carport solar panels installed at the hospital’s main parking lot and on the roof of the Bill and Elizabeth Shea House – a private, four-bedroom residence for families of hospitalized children – are expected to generate more than 2.4 million kWh of electricity annually – the equivalent of powering 206 households for one year.

“Clean sustainable solar power benefits patients, employees and the environment,” said Michael Purvis, CEO of SSRRH and Novato Community Hospital. “The addition of an eco-friendly energy source, along with our hospital’s green construction, recycling program and water conservation, helps deepen our commitment to a healthier community.”

The solar panels installed by Ameresco are projected to offset 40 percent of the hospital’s overall electricity usage and 89 percent of electricity used at the Shea House. As an on-site source of renewable energy, SSRRH will avoid 1,725 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually or the equivalent of 194,021 gallons of gasoline consumed.

“The size of this solar project makes it significant, as does its positive environmental and social impact for the surrounding community,” said Ameresco Vice President Bob Georgeoff. “Beyond the services and shelter provided by Santa Rosa Regional Hospital – particularly in the last two years following harsh wildfires in the region – Sutter Health’s dedication to sustainability and green building practices puts Northern California on a clear path forward to better air quality and a lower carbon footprint.”

In addition to the 1.6 MW solar panel system, Ameresco replaced the hospital’s parking lot lighting fixtures with high-efficiency LEDs. These will generate additional energy cost savings for the hospital over time and create brighter, safer spaces on campus for patients, visitors and employees.

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong thanks to its integrated network of physicians, employees and volunteers. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support the more than 3 million people in their care—nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population, in one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the world. Sutter team members adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey. For more information about the Sutter Health network visit: sutterhealth.org | facebook.com/sutterhealth | youtube.com/sutterhealth | twitter.com/sutterhealth.

About Ameresco, Inc.

Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for businesses and organizations throughout North America and Europe. Ameresco’s sustainability services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with Federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has more than 1,000 employees providing local expertise in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, www.ameresco.com.

The announcement of our entry into a solar energy asset arrangement is not necessarily indicative of the timing or amount of revenue from such arrangement, of the company’s overall revenue for any particular period or of trends in the company’s overall total assets in development or operation. This project was included in our previously reported assets in development as of March 31, 2019.

Redwood Credit Union Wins Two MAC Awards

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) received two awards for their marketing efforts at a ceremony in New Orleans on May 30, 2019. Given by the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC), these awards recognize outstanding marketing achievements in the credit union community.

RCU received a silver award in the Culture and Internal Branding category for an all-employee event called Day of Inspiration. Established to connect employees so they could be inspired, share inspiration, and foster new and lasting relationships, it also served to inspire positive member experiences.

The bronze award was given to RCU in the Image Enhancement, Public Relations, Rebranding, Brand Awareness, Financial Education category, for the rebranding of the “mall” area at RCU’s administrative offices. Of note are the educational videos strategically placed in themed sections—videos depicting the credit union’s history, green efforts, and community involvement. In other videos, members share their financial success stories and employees discuss RCU’s positive company culture.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by MAC,” said Suzanne Knowlton, RCU’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. “Each day, I’m privileged to work with a talented group of marketers who create content that educates and inspires our members, employees, and the community.”

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services, and more. The credit union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through its wholly owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4.5 billion in assets and serves more than 335,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook at facebook.com/redwoodcu, Instagram @redwoodcreditunion.org, and Twitter @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

About MAC

The Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) was started in 1986 by a group of credit union marketers and business partners. Their goal is to help other credit union marketers thrive, advance, and succeed.

Wells Fargo Overhauls Giving Strategy, Commits $1 Billion for Affordable Housing

Wells Fargo said Wednesday that it’s overhauling its corporate philanthropy strategy to focus on three key issues hurting underserved communities: housing affordability, individuals’ financial health and small business growth.

The San Francisco-based bank (NYSE: WFC) said it’s committing $1 billion in philanthropy alone through 2025 to address issues tied to the “housing affordability crisis,” including homelessness, available and affordable rentals, transitional housing and home ownership.

“Wells Fargo is focused on paving a path to stability and financial success for individuals and families who lack access to affordable housing, tools to manage financial health, and capital for small business growth,” said Allen Parker, interim CEO and president of Wells Fargo. “Together, we can help spark systemic change and economic development for underserved communities.

“When people start businesses, learn how to build wealth and can afford a home in their neighborhood, communities will thrive,” Parker said.

Wells also said that it tapped Brandee McHale as the head of the Wells Fargo Foundation, effective Aug. 1. She’s currently a Citigroup Inc. executive and president of the Citi Foundation. She succeeds Jon Campbell who retires at year-end. He’s currently head of corporate philanthropy and community relations for Wells Fargo and head of the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Wells Fargo is also creating a $20 million “Housing Affordability Challenge” that will look for innovative ways to rapidly boost the availability of affordable housing. The bank hopes to find new ways to address challenges in construction, financing and support services tied to providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income families, seniors and the homeless.

While housing affordability is the issue Wells is tackling first under its new philanthropy strategy, Campbell said the bank could one day work with some of the numerous fintech startups, many based in the Bay Area, that are trying to improve the financial health of more Americans. The Federal Reserve recently found that nearly 40 percent of adults would have trouble finding the money for a $400 expense without borrowing or selling something.

Wells Fargo’s sharper philanthropic focus comes as more companies, nonprofits and philanthropists appear to be upping their game to address problems long associated with the Bay Area and other high-cost areas, such as homelessness and high-priced housing. Such issues are reaching crisis levels in cities across the country.

And things could be even worse in rural America, which the Wall Street Journal recently described as suffering from poverty, crime and other problems that once plagued the nation’s inner cities.

“America’s housing affordability crisis isn’t restricted to a few cities on the East and West Coasts,” Campbell said.

As Wells Fargo steps up, others are doing more, too. Last month, the Glide Foundation said it recently had a conversation with long-time supporter Warren Buffett, CEO of Wells Fargo’s largest shareholder, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B), on how to place the San Francisco-based nonprofit on solid financial footing for the next 50 years.

“Glide is seeing more people seeking help as they put off buying food or medicine so they can pay their rent,” said Glide President and CEO Karen Hanrahan.

In April, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) CEO and homeless advocate Marc Benioff and philanthropist Lynne Benioff said they’re giving $30 million to UCSF to put data behind possible solutions to the Bay Area’s homelessness and housing crisis. The couple’s gift, running over five years, is the largest private donation ever to fund research on homelessness.

So Wells Fargo’s sharper focus is timely. The bank says its philanthropy nationally can be more effective by concentrating on the three areas where it can better leverage its money and expertise.

Two areas of focus that are expected to get less attention from Wells Fargo’s philanthropic efforts are environmental sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

The bank anticipates that it will still have a significant impact on environmental sustainability through its substantial lending power, Campbell said. He sees the bank’s three focus areas in underserved communities as benefitting those who have been helped by its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

How the bank’s sharper focus affects philanthropy in the Bay Area and other local markets will become more apparent over time.

Wells Fargo is a major player in corporate philanthropy, in both the Bay Area and across the country. It’s often among the largest Bay Area corporate philanthropists. The bank’s 2018 cash contributions to Bay Area charities totaled $22.4 million and $369.5 million nationally, according to San Francisco Business Times research.

Wells Fargo’s shifting priorities may spur concern in the nonprofit community, an issue Wells was eager to address.

“By sharpening our focus on housing affordability, financial health and small business growth, Wells Fargo aims to make a bigger impact on solving core societal problems,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido. “As we align to the three priorities, some funding will shift, but it is a transition that will take place over time. And we may support the same organizations but in different ways.”

Wells Fargo has also consistently boosted its corporate philanthropy over the past 25 years, including a 55 percent jump in contributions after tax reform in 2017. Starting this year, Wells is targeting 2 percent of after-tax profits for corporate philanthropy.

“With this increase in funding, we are able to do more,” Pulido said.

Link to Article

Canine Companions Model for Sketch Artists at NYC’s Society of Illustrators

I’ve lived in New York City for over 20 years, and I thought I had experienced a good amount of what this sprawling metropolis has to offer. But two weeks ago, I found something entirely different, all because of Spike.

The Society of Illustrators is a non-profit organization of artists and members with the mission of promoting Illustration, its history, practices and artistry. It’s the oldest organization of its kind in the world, with notable members like Norman Rockwell and Rube Goldberg. And it’s housed in this beautiful townhouse in Manhattan.

Twice a week, the Society hosts a “Sketch Night” which is open to the public. You bring your pencils, watercolors, oils, and/or iPads — yes, we saw a lot of iPads — along with $20, and hopefully walk away with a masterpiece. Each Sketch Night has a different theme. They provide the live models, chairs, a small-plates buffet, and have a lovely bar where you can purchase drinks surrounded by amazing artwork.

Fellow Canine Companions puppy-raiser Jenny Sherman attended a Sketch Night and thought it would be a great idea to feature live puppy models — great for the pups and for the artists. She approached them with the idea and luckily they agreed.

The event lasts three hours, so we had several shifts of dogs and puppy-raisers. The room was packed, so we put the dogs in several locations so the artists could easily see at least one of them. Spike and I took the first shift on stage, and his brother Swain was in a different part of the space.

Spike — and I — had to be perfectly still for five to ten minutes at a clip, as dozens of sketch artists created their versions of us. We’d then change positions so they could get another angle. The venue played dog-themed music (“How Much Is That Doggy In The Window”) while everyone worked, some with a glass of wine or cocktail by their side. It was such a pleasant experience.

Some Sketch Nights feature nude models, and I was informed that even more people show up for those nights. (Don’t worry, Spike kept his Canine Companions cape on the whole time.)

The event was also a great training experience for Spike. One of the goals for training a puppy is to ensure your dog will maintain a command until you give him a new command or release him. And to model, you need to be completely still.

Aside from a couple of restless rearrangements, Spike nailed his duty. He was more or less still and posing for a couple of hours, which was awesome.

Fellow puppy-raisers Ann and Bob Benson, and Jane Nagy, brought Simba, their 6-month-old Canine Companions puppy-in-training, and he was a huge hit. At one point he just fell asleep on stage, actually making it easier for the artists to sketch him.

Several artists posed with Spike and the other pups and their artwork. They asked questions about service dogs and the training. It was truly an open atmosphere of creativity and comradery.

If they ask Spike to come back for a nude night I’d have to think twice — but we will definitely be back to further enjoy this hidden gem of New York City.

To learn more about Canine Companions for Independence, visit CCI.org.


Sonoma Raceway Launches 50th Anniversary Book

To honor 50 years of racing history in the Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Raceway has released its limited-edition 50th anniversary book.

The photo-filled memoir chronicles the raceway’s history over five decades, including its tumultuous early years, emergence on the national racing scene and transformation following its purchase by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. in the mid-1990s. The book includes highlighted sections on the raceway’s modernization in the late 1990s and its community involvement.

The book relied heavily on extensive research and writing by motorsports historian Gary Horstkorta, as well as editing and design by Llew Kinst and photography support by Allan Rosenberg.

“Developing this book was a key part of our celebration of the raceway’s first half-century and all of the amazing events and personalities who have been part of that history,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president & general manager. “We are very pleased with how it turned out and eternally grateful to Llew, Allan, Gary and our staff for the countless hours of research and archiving that went into it.”

The 50th anniversary book will be available for purchase for $30 at Wine Country Motorsports, located at the raceway, as well as raceway merchandise stands during major event weekends.

Redwood Credit Union’s Earl Chavez Honored with Volunteer of the Year Award

Earl Chavez, assistant branch manager at the Ukiah branch of Redwood Credit Union (RCU), was recently honored with a Volunteer of the Year Award by the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce.

Presented to businesses and leaders making a difference in the community, “Celebration of Commerce” awards also went to LACO Associates for Business of the Year, Wicked Slush for New Business of the Year, Mike Mayfield for Business Person of the Year, Mendocino County Youth Project for Nonprofit of the Year, Charley Myers for Lifetime Achievement, Mendocino Book Company for Community Involved, Dharma Realm Buddhist University for Beautification, and Pamela’s Products for Visionary Leader.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Chavez. “I’m thankful to be able to go out into the community and help where needed and to have an employer like Redwood Credit Union that supports those efforts.”

Chavez, who joined Redwood Credit Union in 2014, is a longtime Ukiah resident who attended Ukiah High School and Mendocino College. He supports many community activities and volunteers his time as president of the Redwood Empire Lions Club. He also serves as president of the board of directors for the Ford Street Project, which offers emergency shelters, a community food bank, substance abuse treatment, and housing assistance for low-income and homeless families.

“We’re so fortunate to have Earl in our community,” said Megan Barber Allende, CEO of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. “He recognizes the necessity of service in our rural community and inspires his colleagues, peers, and even the next generation to follow his lead by acknowledging the contributions of others and modeling the way with wonderful enthusiasm and humility.“

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services, and more. The credit union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through its wholly owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4.5 billion in assets and serves more than 335,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit www.redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook at facebook.com/redwoodcu and Twitter at @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

North Bay Children’s Center’s Bright Futures Makes Impact

“In 2018, Kaiser Permanente granted $150,000 to the North Bay Children’s Center’s (NBCC) Bright Futures campaign to help insure in the broadest sense a healthy path of for a successful life for all children, “said Alena Wall, Regional Community Health Manager, Kaiser Permanente. “We support the total health of the communities we serve, which includes addressing the social determinants of health and instilling healthier habits early in life.”

“Evidence demonstrates that two years of post-secondary education is a key indicator for a healthier life,” said Patricia Kendall, Medical Group Administrator, Kaiser Permanente and Member, NBCC Board of Directors. The two year post high school education is best predicted by reading at the third-grade level in the third grade. And the best indicator of the reading appropriately is attending a qualified pre-school. Kendall believes, “Health begins in pre-school and we are blessed to have the model for the nation in NBCC.”

“On May 22, we celebrated the opening of our new temporary campus that will serve as our Novato home for 125 children over the next two years while we launch the next phase of the Bright Futures construction project to rebuild our C Street Campus,“ said  Susan Gilmore, Founder and Executive Director of NBCC. “The financial support from Kaiser Permanente is helping us make our vision — of giving all children the strong start they deserve — a reality.”

According to Gilmore, NBCC’s Bright Futures campaign will rebuild, re-equip and modernize the C Street Campus in Novato expanding its capacity by 37% to serve 190 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers annually with high quality child care and early education. These efforts will also help NBCC grow innovative programs like the Garden of Eatin’® Nutrition Education program into a national model intentionally designed to facilitate education, promote engagement and build strong school and public partnerships that stimulate healthy communities.

NBCC developed the Garden of Eatin’ program 15 years ago in response to the growing childhood obesity epidemic. The program teaches garden-based nutrition and health education to children and families using evidence-based strategies with measurable outcomes. Kendall added, “The Garden of Eatin’ is an example of how to introduce local fruits and vegetables to the next generation so their ‘go-too and comfort foods’ are the healthier options and also teaching families how best to prepare the fresh foods—this will help promise a brighter future.”\

To learn more about the North Bay Children’s Center and how you can get involved, please visit the campaign web site. For more details about the Bright Futures campaign, visit https://www.nbcc.net/donate/bright-futures-campaign/ or the Garden of Eatin’, visit https://www.nbcc.net/garden-of-eatin/.

Kaiser Permanente San Rafael and Santa Rosa Hospitals Recognized as Safety Leaders

Kaiser Permanente hospitals in San Rafael and Santa Rosa received an “A” grade, the highest possible, for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group, continuing a track record of excellence.

“These safety scores are truly a hallmark of excellence,” said Tarek Salaway, MHA, MPH, MA, Sr. Vice President and Area Manager, Marin-Sonoma. “We have continuously received these top A grade scores since the grading system began in 2012. This reflects the ongoing commitment by our physicians, nurses, and staff to provide safe, compassionate, high quality care to the communities we serve.”

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, released its Spring 2019 Hospital Safety Grades after examining publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, infection prevention and patient safety practices at U.S. hospitals, which are then assigned letter grades based on their safety track record of performance.

As of this year, there are only five hospitals in the entire state of California that have received a straight A grade in the biannual report which began in 2012. Two of those are Kaiser Permanente San Rafael and Santa Rosa.

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 national performance measures to assign a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade methodology has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

For more information about the award, please visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org. Additionally, read the Look insideKP article entitled, “Kaiser Permanente Northern California Hospitals Receive Top Patient Safety Scores.

Sonoma County Office of Education Increases Student Engagement

According to El Molino Dance Teacher Jolene Johnson, “Teaching is more than just learning, it’s about building relationships and communicating beyond the classroom.”

On Friday, May 17, the Sonoma County Office of Education hosted the Rooster Fellowship Public Exhibition at the Petaluma Hotel in downtown Petaluma. Greeted by educators and volunteers, it was obvious that the community was pulling together to positively impact the educational system in our community – one student at a time.

Kaiser Permanente granted $62,000 in August 2018 to the Sonoma County Office of Education’s Rooster Fellowship as the next iteration of the Restorative Culture Collaborative and E3 Community of Practice work and endeavors to bring lofty efforts to scale. The Fellowship is fearlessly facilitated by the brilliant Becky Margiotta of the The Billions Institute. Borrowing from Improvement Science’s “Wedge and Spread” model, our approach has been to leverage all levels in a system to produce replicable solutions around empathy,  equity, and engagement. This school year, the focus has specifically been on student engagement.

The Rooster Fellowship Public Exhibition attendees were asked to provide feedback to the six schools participating in the Rooster Fellowship throughout the 2018-19 school year, including:

1. Casa Grande High School (Petaluma City Schools)
2. El Molino High School (West Sonoma County Union High School District)
3. Old Adobe Charter Elementary School (Old Adobe Union School District)
4. SCOE Special Education at Windsor Middle School (Sonoma County Office of Education)
5. Slater Middle School (Santa Rosa City Schools)
6. Windsor High School (Windsor Unified School District)

El Molino High School presented “Increasing engagement through discovery of self and community,” in which they found that by providing a safe environment that promotes reflection, growth and confidence, students are more likely to be engaged with their learning. They did this with community circles, welcoming students at the door, interactive personal and peer critiques, increased opportunities to reflect and share voice, teacher/student feedback surveys, empathy interviews and more. According to the data, El Molino fellows found that students learn to selfreflect, self motivate, persevere, and self-advocate while being more present and engaged in their own learning.

“We are thrilled to see the transformation of the six fellowship school sites which has resulted in deeper student involvement and a climate where students are engaged with empathy and authentic compassion,” said Kaiser Permanente’s Regional Community Health Manager Alena Wall. “As we work with the community to restore a culture of success for all in Sonoma County, it is powerful to see students taking an active role in their education and finding their voice – because it matters!”