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Department of Health Services

A Portrait of Sonoma County

Talking Points

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  • A Portrait of Sonoma County explores differences in health, income, and education by neighborhood, race and ethnicity, and gender.
  • The report finds that education is the biggest predictor of a community’s health and income potential.
  • Community-wide recommendations are to make universal preschool a reality and to increase anti-smoking efforts. 
  • Place-based recommendations include improving neighborhood conditions to make the healthy choice the easy choice, mending holes in the safety net for undocumented immigrants, addressing inequalities in educational opportunities, reducing youth disconnection, and improving pay.

Some key findings of the report show

  • The most extreme differences in well-being are found near each other with East Bennett Valley (highest) less than five miles away from Roseland Creek (lowest).
  • There is as much as a ten year difference in life expectancy between neighborhoods.
  • Variations in education are large.  99.5% of adults in East Bennett Valley have a high school diploma versus only 54% of adults in Roseland Creek.
  • Priority areas that have the most opportunity for improvement include: Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest Santa Rosa; Cloverdale; and the Springs in Sonoma Valley.   

What can you do?

  • Discuss the report with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers
  • Volunteer in and/or donate to areas of the County with highest need

What can your organization do?

  • Build awareness of inequities among staff and boards
  • Create shared ownership that your organization has a role to reduce inequities
  • Incorporate the Portrait in strategic planning and/or program planning
  • Use the report to guide and strengthen advocacy/policy work
  • Use the report to drive investment decisions or strengthen funding applications

A Portrait of Sonoma County, commissioned by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, includes a Pledge of Support signed by over 90 organizations and elected officials, including healthcare providers, schools, non-profit organizations, community coalitions, local media, and many more, all of which have pledged to consider the report in their future planning efforts. Please add your support.