January 2020
Community partners working together
to build health and resilience
It's a whole new year 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 and East Vancouver Community Church for providing snacks; and to 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 June, July, August and December
This year's theme: Growing Together.

  • Wednesday, Jan.15: Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the regular January meeting.
  • Reservation required
  • 7:30 to 9:00 am
  • Check in will begin at 7:15 am

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

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 and December

  • Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 : Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the regular meeting for January.
  • Reservation required
  • 7:30 to 9 am
  • Check in will begin at 7 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
ESD 112, 2500 NE 65th Ave, Vancouver

  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan.21

  • Future meetings: Feb. 18, March 17, April 21, May 19
Car Seat Safety class and 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, Jan. 18
  • More information here
Tobacco 21 signed into law
On Jan. 1, Washington state joined 17 other states, the District of Columbia and Guam by adopting a new law that limits tobacco and vapor product access. The law protects youth by making it illegal to sell tobacco and vapor products to anyone under 21 years of age.

Read more about child passenger safety at Target Zero.
New car seat law effective Jan. 1, 2020
Are you aware that a new child car seat law takes effect this month? The new law decreases the chance that children will die or be seriously injured in a collision.

Starting Jan. 1:
  • Children up to 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children ages 2 - 4 years of age must ride in a car seat with a harness. 
  • Children shorter than four feet, nine inches and who have outgrown the child harness seat must use a booster seat, regardless of age.
  • Children under 13 must ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
For more information,
read about Apollo in The Columbian.
Meet Apollo, AMR's Therapy Dog
Apollo, an adorable 11-month-old brown labradoodle, has joined American Medical Response (AMR) Vancouver as their therapy dog. While Apollo was in training over the past year, he attended events, met people and charmed children. After he is fully certified as a therapy dog, Apollo will be on-call every day and will respond to calls with AMR's critical incident stress management team and will attend local events.

Kanessa Thompson, AMR paramedic and coordinator of Safe Kids Clark County, is Apollo's handler. Apollo will live with Kanessa full time until he completes his training and becomes fully certified.
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
Making resolutions for the new year? Try mindfulness instead! This insightful post by Castle Craig Hospitals, intended for folks in recovery, has helpful advice for all. Read more here.

Free online training about trauma-informed approaches in mental, behavioral and physical health care available through Washington Health Care Authority. These are online versions of the courses that En Route Consulting recently taught here in Clark County . You can register here or find more resources at HCA's website on trauma-informed approaches.

Poverty can impact the brain of a growing fetus, but it doesn't have to. A new study reported in Pediatrics (Dec. 2019) reported that home nursing visits through the Nurse-Family Partnership program resulted in statistically significant improvements in language, mathematics and cognitive achievement and a reduction in criminal convictions among 18-year-olds whose mothers had received NFP support before and after they were born. Another study of single mothers with limited personal resources found that NFP home visits saved $17,310 per family in public benefit costs over the same 18-year period.

Educators! Here are 10 Simple Steps you can take to address toxic stress in the classroom. An easy read with practical tips that can help build safety, predictability and belonging for children at school. Regulated brains learn better, connect more and grow healthier. Read more here.
New paid leave law supports families. Washington residents working in companies with more than 50 employees and working an average of 16 hours per week or more are eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave starting in 2020. 

Employees can apply for leave with the Employment Security Department to get a partial wage replacement, up to 90 percent of their typical pay, capped at $1,000 per week. Paid Family and Medical Leave helps to alleviate stress for families. Find out more about the law here: .

Feel free to print or share the poster.
Announcements & upcoming events
Registration NOW open for local courses on ACEs and Resilience
Two opportunities to learn more about ACEs and resilience are offered again this winter through Clark College Economic and Community Development:

  • An iCAN workshop will begin Jan. 29 for three weeks. Taught by Curtis Miller, this course is ideal for those who work with or care about people who are adversely impacted by trauma. $89. Click here to read more and register.

  • Adversity to Resilience is an eight-hour course that meets once weekly for four weeks, beginning on Feb. 5. The course explains the basics of trauma, toxic stress, brain development, epigenetics and resilience. The class has been approved for early learning STAR hours and educator CLOCK hours. $79. Click here to read more and register.
It takes a big heart to shape little minds
Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF) works with families on goal setting, identifying needs, medical, dental, vision, and hearing screenings. We provide nutritious meals for our children, offer family engagement events, and offer our parents a chance to be a part of how we operate with positions on our Parent Policy Council. We offer an amazing preschool experience where children are prepared for kindergarten as well as family services that assist families in bettering their situation.

EOCF is now enrolling for preschool opportunities in the following Vancouver School District areas:

  • Hazel Dell Elementary
  • 99th St. Center
  • Starcrest
  • Fruit Valley
  • MacArthur

NO CHARGE for eligible families.
Call to discover more at 360.567.2720.

Gracias por su interes. Para ayuda en Español llame 360-567-2720

To learn more and complete an online application at   and we will contact you.
Hablamos Español.
Speak out to address homelessness on February 3
Council for the Homeless invites you to join them in Olympia to advocate for public policy that supports our neighbors experiencing poverty and homelessness.

Email Laura to reserve your spot on the bus!

Transportation and training provided. No experience necessary. 
Beacon Health announces availability of
Southwest Washington Mental Health Block Grant funding

Beacon Health Options is seeking grant requests to support mental health service needs, priorities and innovative programs to serve the communities of Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties. In particular, Beacon is looking to fund innovative programs that support integrated care delivery for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances. Responses are due by 5 pm on Friday, Jan. 17.

For more information or application forms, contact
Turn adversity into resilience: Help others heal from 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 .
ECEAP openings available

The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program through ESD 112 has openings throughout the year.

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

Warm-hearted volunteers needed
It is cold and wet outside!

Share your warm heart with others by volunteering to help staff a Winter Hospitality Shelter.

Warm hearts, warm families!

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. Camp Mariposa is a program with Lifeline Connections.

As a volunteer, you can make a difference in these campers' lives.

Contact Trista Wolles, Program Supervisor, for more information at 360.605.7628 or

New dates for CASA volunteer information sessions

If you have a heart to help foster youth who are engaged in the judicial process due to abuse or neglect, learn more about the CASA program.

The Clark County CASA program is holding information sessions in January and February at the YWCA, 3609 Main Street, Vancouver:

  • Monday, Jan. 6 at 12 noon
  • Monday, Jan. 6 at 6 pm
  • Thursday, Feb 13 at noon
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18 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 are 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
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.
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 pdf file to by the 20th of the month prior.
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