Healthy Communities

December 2019
Community partners working together
to build health and resilience
Greetings! Keep up with the ACEs Action Alliance, Trauma-Informed Schools, Evergreen and Vancouver Faith-Based Coffee groups
and Safe Kids Clark County.
To subscribe to the Healthy Communities Newsletter, please email
Our Community Meetings
For more information on the ACEs Action Alliance, resources, links to past newsletters, events and more, go to:
Special Thanks!

To our planning teams members; to Adventist Community Church and Cascade Park Baptist Church for sharing their lovely meeting facilities and hospitality; to community partner, Thea Weber, for providing snacks and coffee at Vancouver Faith-Based Coffee; to Randy DeWater, East Vancouver Community Church, for providing snacks and Dutch Bros for providing coffee for Evergreen Faith-Based Coffee.

Meets from 8:30 to 10:30 am on the third Wednesday of each month at Cascade Park Baptist Church, 1201 SE 136th Ave, Vancouver.
No meetings in December, June, July, or August .
This year's theme: Growing Together.

  • No December meeting

  • Wednesday, Jan.15: The Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the regular January meeting. Invitations will be sent in December (reservation required). Check in begins at 7:15 a.m.

  • Future meetings in 2020: Feb. 19, March 18, April 15, May 20

  • At our last meeting: Katie Benzel and Tanisha Harris from the YWCA Clark County CASA program, discussed the important role of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA volunteers) for children who have been abused or neglected. Training and support is provided for these generous folks who provide an incredible service for children who need a caring adult to represent their needs.
  • CASA volunteers are needed! For more information, scroll down to the announcement about upcoming CASA orientation sessions.

Meets from 9 to 11 am on the fourth Thursday of each month at
Adventist Community Church, 9711 NE St. Johns Road, Vancouver.
No meetings in June, July, August, November & December.

  • No December meeting

  • Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 : The Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the regular meeting for January. Invitations will be sent in December (reservation required). Check in will begin at 7:00 am.

  • Future meetings in 2020: Feb. 27, March 26, April 23, May 28
Safe Kids Clark County Monthly Meeting

Meets from 10 - 11:30 am on the third Tuesday of each month at ESD 112, 2500 NE 65th Ave., Vancouver (except December's meeting)

  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 17 - Different location for December meeting - AMR office, 409 NE 76th St, Vancouver, 98665

  • Future meetings:, Jan 21, Feb. 18, March 17, 2020
Car Seat Safety Class & Clinic  
Meets from 10 am - 2 pm on the third Saturday of each month at PeaceHealth Southwest Education Center, 400 NE Mother Joseph Place, Vancouver

  • Next class: Saturday, Dec. 21
  • More information here
Product Recalls
Safe Kids Worldwide lists product recalls each month. Please note: Product recalls never expire, so it’s important to check the recalls on a regular basis. This is especially important for hand-me-down or pre-owned children’s products. Used child car seats and bike helmets should never be re-used in case their integrity is compromised.

News you can use
New facts! The latest edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vital Signs series presents the CDC’s first comprehensive estimates of the potential to improve Americans’ health by preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). According to this report, preventing ACEs by creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children and families could prevent 21 million cases of depression, 1.9 million cases of heart disease, and 2.5 million cases of obesity/overweight. Read the report and view the video here.

What happened to you? That is the title of a new podcast series on ACEs that uses one person's story as a lens to understanding trauma and resilience. Tune in!

Got stress? Here is a new video from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child that can help you learn more about what toxic stress is, how it can affect you, and what you can do—both by yourself and in connection with your community—to deal with what you're experiencing. 

Relationships first! The Search Institute recently released this beautiful publication that helps us understand the how and why behind putting relationships first. Every child needs a caring adult relationship to help them build resilience and strength for a lifetime. Read more (or download a copy) here: Relationships First: Creating Connections That Help Young People Thrive.

What does the research say? You can find out at where Dr. Harise Stein of Stanford University posts the latest research regarding the health effects of abuse and neglect, including ACEs. No matter your professional arena (or personal interest) there is a growing abundance of research helping us to understand the lifelong impact of childhood trauma - and what we can do about it.
Announcements & Upcoming Events
This Santa is Special!
Do you know someone who has special sensory needs? This Santa understands. The Vancouver Autism Mom's Support Group has helped Santa understand what it takes to make kids or adults who live with special needs feel comfortable. Free photos, refreshments and activities!

  • 11 am to 2 pm
  • December 8
  • The Quarry Senior Living
Enlighten Our Community about Child Sexual Abuse as a #SHINE Ambassador
The Clark County Children's Justice Center wants to shed light on the issue of child sexual abuse. They are looking for adult survivors of childhood abuse who can pass on messages of healing and hope to others.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Amy Russell .
Bias, Bigotry and Brains: Using Neuroscience to Fight Racism
Understanding can lead to change!
Dr. Larry Sherman from OHSU will explain how racism can be connected to neuroscience at a special presentation.
  • Kiggins Theater
  • December 4
  • Doors open at 6:00 pm, event at 7:00 pm
  • Cost: $9.00 advance tickets
  • $10.00* suggested cover at the door
  • Food and Drink: Beer, wine, popcorn, pizza slices, and snacks available
  • For more info: visit  VIA Productions.
Warm-hearted volunteers needed
Share your warm heart with others by volunteering to help staff a Winter Hospitality Shelter.

Warm hearts, warm families!

Urban Forestry offers In-School Classes
The City of Vancouver Urban Forestry Department seeks opportunities to teach kids at local schools about trees. Hands-on activities can be tailored to each class's specific needs.

Contact Autumn Weir or Ashley Lehto at the City of Vancouver.
Volunteer mentors needed for
Camp Mariposa
Camp Mariposa is a free, weekend camp program for children ages 9-12 who are affected by the substance use disorder of a loved one.

Responsibilities include a one year commitment, ability to develop positive mentor relationships with youth, ensure camper safety and participate in all activities. Volunteers should enjoy working with kids aged 9-12, be comfortable staying in a camp setting and interacting with campers and staff, be a good communicator, be committed to the safety and well-being of the campers, be friendly, happy and have a good sense of humor.

Volunteers make a difference in these campers lives. Contact Trista Wolles, Program Supervisor, for more information at 360.605.7628 or

Camp Mariposa is a program with Lifeline Connections.

Please share: Youth Substance Use Survey

Do you live in the following zip codes: 98661, 98662, 98664? The Central Vancouver Coalition wants to hear from YOU! We are asking community members to complete this survey to help us understand your thoughts and feelings surrounding youth substance use. Your feedback will help us to better serve youth and families in our community. This survey is anonymous, and your responses will be kept confidential. If you’re interested in learning more about the coalition, please join us at our monthly meeting on the 3 rd Thursday of the month at Fort Vancouver High School from 2:30–4:00 pm.

ECEAP openings available

The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program still has openings at:

  • Captain Strong in Battle Ground (5)
  • Hough ELC on Esther St. in downtown Vancouver (16)
  •  Lincoln on NW Daniels (13)
  • Park Crest in Evergreen District (10)

For more info, call the Enrollment Team at 360.952.3466 or go to

R & R for grandma and grandpa

Children's Home Society is holding a respite event for grandparents raising grandchildren. Kids can enjoy a safe, fun day on:
  • Saturday, Dec. 7
  • 10:45 am to 5 pm
  • Jim Parsley Center, 2901 Falk Rd.
  • Includes swimming and lunch
  • Call Sandy to sign up at 360.334.5578
Mentors needed at Fort Vancouver High School

Trappers4Trappers Mentor Group at Fort Vancouver High School needs adult mentors, snacks and small prizes.
Time commitment: two Thursdays per month from 9:30 to 10:30 am.

Clark County survey of low-income community needs
Clark County Department of Community Services (DCS) will started their annual survey on Nov. 1. It is available online in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chuukese. Data collected will inform DCS's funding prioritization for the coming years. Last time the survey was administered, approximately 10% of our county's low-income population participated. Let's see if we can help get a broader voice represented.

Link to survey:

For more information, click here or contact Rebecca Royce at 564.397.7863 or
Become a CASA Volunteer!

For those interested in helping foster youth engaged in the judicial process due to abuse or neglect, learn more about the CASA program. Find out how you can use your heart and skills to support these children. The Clark County CASA program is holding information sessions in November and December at the YWCA, 3609 Main Street, Vancouver:

  • Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 12 noon
  • Monday, Jan. 6 at 12 noon
  • Monday, Jan. 6 at 6 pm

For more information, contact Katie Benzel at 360.909.9142 or

Don't face brain injury alone

The Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Management Program is free to brain injury survivors and their families. Support Group meetings at 2 pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, Conf. Rm B.

ABCD Dental offers free dental resources for kids on Apple Health

The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program, for children birth to 5 years old, provides resources and an updated list of dentists who accept Apple Health. For information, brochures or a presentation about ABCD dental, please connect with Anna Cruz at 564.397.7371 or via email at
About our coalitions and community groups
The ACEs Action Alliance is:
A multi-sector collaborative of public and private organizations and individuals. We raise awareness about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their long-term impact. We promote trauma-informed approaches and policies to support resilience and healing for people of all ages. All are welcome at monthly meetings.

The Trauma-Informed Schools Team is open to anyone who works in or with schools in Clark County. We meet monthly to explore tools, resources and applications of trauma-informed principles for schools.
Check the calendar at for current meeting information and other resources.
Faith-Based Coffee is:
A non-denominational bridge that joins faith partners, communities and local schools to share learning, meet the needs of children, families and neighborhoods, and address emergent needs that arise in our community. All are welcome. Members maintain the separation of church and state at meetings and when fulfilling needs by serving from the heart without promoting personal religious beliefs or engaging in religious recruitment.
Safe Kids Clark County is:
A member of  Safe Kids Worldwide , a grassroots network of more than 600 coalitions and chapters that work closely with law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, health professionals, educators, businesses, public policy makers, and, most importantly, parents and kids to promote safety. Priorities include proper car seat use, baby's safe sleep, reducing child vehicular injuries and deaths, and water safety. Local coordination provided by American Medical Response (AMR).

A local forum for community members and health professionals to connect and collaborate in order to deliver appropriate services that meet the needs of the diverse populations of Clark County. At each of our bi-monthly forums, the Clark County Community Health Access Resource Group (CHARG) strives to illuminate and educate participants on a handful of themed topics relating to health access.

The Healthy Communities Newsletter is published the first week of each month.
To submit announcements or share information, please send complete information or attach a high resolution .jpg or .png file to by the 20th of the month prior.
All submissions will be screened prior to publication.

If you would like to receive the Healthy Communities Newsletter, please email