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Partnership Selected as 1 of 8 Regional Efforts for National Research Project 


The Partnership has been selected as one of 8 regional efforts to be featured in a research project on Regional Solutions for Rural and Urban Challenges. The project explores the possibility that regional collaboration and solution-seeking can be an effective way of improving social and economic opportunity and health for all people and places within a region. We are looking for examples of policy and practice that promote boundary-crossing, multi-sector solutions to regional challenges while advancing opportunity, health, and well-being in ways that do not leave behind rural areas, low-income people, and people of color. The project is being conducted by LOCUS Impact Investing and is funded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

As part of this project, OCED Executive Director and Partnership Lead Executive, Ismael D. Herrera was host Alan Okagaki and Chris Danis from the LOCUS team during their July 29-31 site visit. During their time in Fresno, CA, Herrera facilitated meetings with the twelve individuals to help the LOCUS team gather many different perspectives from people who have been active in the Partnership. Ultimately, they asked: Under what conditions are regional collaboration and solution-seeking approaches most effective in improving social and economic outcomes?  This is seen as a counterpoint to the prevailing narrative of growing divisions between rural and urban populations along economic, social, cultural, and political lines.

A second site visit by the LOCUS team is being considered to coincide with the Partnership’s Q3 Board of Directors meeting in Kern County on September 20. A final report on this national project will be available later this year. 

Interview Itinerary

Monday July 29th, 2019

9:00 am: Luisa Medina, Partnership Deputy Co-Chair

Director of Development, Central California Legal Services, Inc.

10:00 am: Karen Ross, Partnership Deputy Co-Chair

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

12:30 pm: Jim Suennen, Partnership Board Member

Associate Secretary, External Affairs, California Health and Human Services Agency

2:00 pm: Courtney Kalashian, Partnership Energy Work Group Lead

Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization

4:00 pm: Andrew Mendoza, Partnership Board Member

Manager, Community and Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente Central Valley Area

Tuesday July 30th, 2019

8:30 am: Lee Ann Eager, Partnership Board Member

Chief Executive Officer, Fresno Economic Development Corporation

Co-Chair, California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation

9:30 am: Dorene (DeeDee) D’Adamo, Partnership Board Member

Vice Chair, State Water Resources Control Board

11:00 am: Mary Renner, Partnership Board Member

Chief Operation Officer, Central Valley Health Network

12:00 pm: Sarge Green, Partnership Water Work Group Lead

Interim Director, Center for Irrigation Technology, CSU Fresno

Water Management Specialist, California Water Institute, CSU Fresno

3:00 pm: Vito Chiesa, Partnership Chair

Supervisor-District 2, Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors

Wednesday July 31st, 2019

10:45 am: Peter Weber, Former Partnership Board Member and Partnership Executive Committee Chair

11:30 am: Lynne Ashbeck, Partnership Board Member

Senior Vice President, Community Engagement and Population Wellness, Valley Children’s Healthcare