National Blood Donor Month blood drive
San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB), the local blood bank serving San Diego County, is celebrating National Blood Donor Month throughout January by inviting eligible individuals to donate blood and convalescent plasma in 2021 with the goal of creating a robust supply that can meet local hospital patient needs.
National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.
San Diego Blood Bank is currently antibody testing each blood donation as part of their regular testing panel to qualify donations for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. As this is not a diagnostic test, it will not detect active COVID-19 infections or recent exposure.
Additionally, anyone who donates at a San Diego Blood Bank donation location or mobile drive throughout the month of January will receive a special-edition T-shirt – the second in a three-part commemorative collection for blood donors (while supplies last).
“On top of local demand for blood and convalescent plasma, we are also being called upon to help supply national surge centers with plasma as there is a huge spike in usage across the country,” said Dr. David Wellis, San Diego Blood Bank CEO. “We need our community to come together and donate and there’s no better time than National Blood Donor Month.”
To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health. Appointments are required and available by visiting www.sandiegobloodbank.org or by calling 619-400-8251.
Homeless Taskforce creates new board structure
Two boards rather than one will guide efforts by the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless (RTFH) to end homelessness in San Diego County while enhancing the organization’s ability to bring critical funding to the region.
By separating its board of directors into a policy advisory board and a new, financially oriented board more akin to traditional nonprofit boards, the RTFH has created a stronger governance infrastructure for the organization tasked with leading the region’s efforts to end homelessness.
One board, the Advisory Board, will continue to convene the region’s elected officials, service providers, and civic leaders for discussions about policy and best practices. The second board, the 501c3 Non-Profit Board, will focus on the fiscal oversight of the organization, acquiring funding and allocating it where it’s needed most.
“First and foremost, this was a decision-based in good governance,” said Tamera Kohler, CEO of RTFH. “The evolution of the RTFH into an agency responsible for tens of millions of dollars of funding to homelessness programs throughout the region created an opportunity for us to separate our policy experts and the decisions they make from those responsible for fiscal oversight.”
The RTFH is the authority and lead coordinator in the San Diego region for new and best practices and policies to prevent, alleviate and ultimately end homelessness in San Diego.
The RTFH board of directors historically has had 31 members, has been chaired by an elected official and has included homeless service providers, elected officials, business and civic leaders and those with lived experience. That body, known as the Continuum of Care (CoC), remains intact and continues to advise on new and emerging initiatives and coordination of services throughout the region.
The RTFH also oversees the distribution of funding throughout the San Diego region from a diverse range of sources, including the state of California’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant Program (HHAP), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Notice of Funding Availability and a Flexible Housing Pool. This funding responsibility will now be that of the new nonprofit board of directors and RTFH staff.
In 2018, the RTFH was given the responsibility of allocating more than $18 million in funding from the state of California’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) and nearly $8 million from the federal government’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP).
The CoC remains responsible for the policy, advocacy, and research, the annual countywide Point-in-Time Count, and management of the region’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
For more information about the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless, visit www.RTFHSD.org.
Civic Community Partners, Norwood Development form mid-income housing fund
Civic Community Partners and Norwood Development Strategies announced the formation of a San Diego housing investment fund to increase the production of housing in San Diego County that is affordable to middle-income families.
To launch the fund, Civic has contributed $400,000 through the Middlemarch Fund which has in turn made its first investment in Secoya on Fifth.
“Secoya” is an upcoming eight-story, 100-unit mixed-income housing development in the heart of Bankers Hill, steps from Balboa Park. According to developer Russ Murfey of Murfey Company, “we acquired the best site we could find near Downtown’s employment base along transit and designed a mixed-income housing development that intentionally mixes a broad spectrum of household income levels under the same roof. We are breaking ground today (Monday), and the project should be complete in 2022.”
The goal of the Middlemarch Fund is to raise $100 million from employers, foundations, and social impact investors to invest in a number of similar projects located throughout the county. Civic and Norwood are actively working to identify qualified projects to receive this type of investment.
For more information on funding and the qualification requirements, contact Michael Lengyel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
County opens ‘Vaccination Super Station’
On Jan. 11, the County of San Diego took the lead to get more front line health care workers vaccinated by collaborating with regional partners UC San Diego Health, the Padres and the City of San Diego to open the County’s first COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station. Health care workers must make appointment online and provide proof they’re a health care worker. Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher brokered deal with partners to join County’s supersized “POD” pilot.
This new “POD” (point of dispensing) program being piloted by the County is a way to quickly and safely vaccinate the 500,000 health care workers in our region eligible for Phase 1A-Tier categories on the state of California’s vaccine priority list. The County had previously established four small pods across the region that were administering hundreds of vaccines to health care workers daily that will continue to operate, but the Vaccination Super Station will enable up to 5,000 doses per day of vaccines to be administered.
The Vaccination Super Station operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Vaccines will only be administered to healthcare workers who have made an appointment online at VaccinationSuperStationSD.com. The County’s Vaccination Super Station is located at the Padres-controlled Tailgate Lot, an expansive space located on Imperial Avenue near Petco Park.
Fletcher said the County hopes to eventually replicate the supersized vaccination POD model across San Diego County. No timetable has been set, but the Chair said that as the model proves effective, and more doses of the vaccine become available, and individuals designated for Tier 2 and Tier 3 are eligible, having the Vaccination Super Station model will be vital to distributing the vaccine to more people in a fast, safe environment.
The County of San Diego administered its first COVID-19 vaccines on December 16, 2020.
Quick tips for health care workers who make an appointment at the Vaccine Super Station:
Health care workers are encouraged to first contact their healthcare providers to request the vaccine, but if none are available, then they should make an appointment for the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Super Station
Appointments are required and have to be made at www.VaccinationSuperStationSD.com
Do not schedule an appointment if you have COVID-19, or are sick. Please follow CDC guidance for those situations
Medical professionals administering the vaccine will be wearing personal protective equipment.
Wear a mask
Acceptable forms of proof to be presented at the County’s Vaccine Super Station: Employee ID badge with photo or other documents, including a professional license and a photo ID, signed letter from their employer on facility letterhead and a photo ID; or, a payment stub or timesheet from their healthcare employer or in-home supportive services with a photo ID.
Nurseries, Kate Sessions Commitment partner to plant trees
Local nonprofit Kate Sessions Commitment is partnering with Walter Andersen Nursery, City Farmers Nursery and Mission Hills Nursery to offer new, affordable 5-gallon trees for a perfect, pandemic-safe winter activity.
Delia Juncal, Director of Tree Nursery Partnerships said, “Growing or gifting of trees demonstrates hope for the future, and planting a tree is such a positive way to start the new year.”
Kate Sessions Commitment is an active network of arborists, gardeners, community advocates, climate activists, local businesses, and neighbors across San Diego. Its mission is to advocate and take action for the equitable advancement of a San Diego County tree canopy to benefit community health, well-being, climate, and economic opportunities.
Explained Team Leader and Urban Forester, Anne Fege, PhD., “Planting and caring for a tree is an act of creating a better future and leaving a legacy for future generations. And it’s something that can be done safely, outside in the fresh air, either alone or with family.”
The Kate Sessions Commitment program offers high-quality nursery trees that are relatively easy to grow in San Diego. Certified arborists have been working with local nurseries and have reserved ornamental, native trees, and fruit trees to receive the Kate Sessions Commitment logo as an indication of meeting quality standards.
Participants can choose from over 20 varieties of trees including natives and fruit trees, hand-selected for optimal growth and sustainability in the local climate. View the full list of trees on the pre-order page at katestrees.org.
Kate Sessions Commitment chose to launch this program now, as winter is the ideal time to plant new trees. They chose 5-gallon trees because that is the ideal size for an individual or family to plant without the need for tree delivery or other assistance, keeping people safer during the pandemic.