Merced

Background

Background

Southwest Merced and the east Merced County unincorporated communities of Planada, Le Grand, and Beachwood-Franklin combine to make up the BHC area in Merced.  With a diverse population exceeding 55,000, these neighborhoods share challenges including high levels of poverty, unemployment, lack of access to health care, and the highest level of disconnected youth in the state.

In spite of its challenges, Merced Building Healthy Communities (MBHC) and its partners are changing the narrative and advocating for improvements on multiple levels. From increasing health access and addressing exclusionary school discipline policies with restorative alternatives, to empowering our youth so their voices are heard, MBHC is bringing together diverse youth and residents, as well as community groups and local agencies to create a safe and healthy community filled with opportunities for all.

Merced Community

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • The BHC Merced site is home to 55,000 people and growing. 61 percent are Hispanic with 17 percent linguistically isolated.
  • The median household income in Merced is $30,000. 51 percent of residents are below the poverty line, in comparison to 22.9 percent statewide. 43 percent of youth are living in poverty.
  • Merced has the highest level of disconnected youth (13.5 percent) statewide.
  • In 2014, the City of Merced reestablished its Youth Council so that youth have direct voice into City decisions.
  • In 2014, Merced voters approved Measure T, which will replace the at-large voting process for city council members with geographic districts that will assure all parts of the City are represented.

Focus Areas

Focus Areas

Residents and partners in Merced are driving change across many systems and issues. The map below gives a snapshot of the breadth of their actions (click the boxes under each category to learn more), followed by more information on the top three priorities for the coming year.

Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
  • Discipline Policies and Practices
  • Youth Leadership
  • Parent Engagement
  • Community-Education System Partnerships
  • Sons and Brothers/BMOC
  • Restorative Justice Practices
School Wellness
Health Happens in Schools
School Wellness
  • Food and Water
    • Nutrition Policies
  • Physical Activity
  • Walkability
    • Safe Passage to School
    • Joint Use, Physical Education
  • Wellness Committees
  • Parent Engagement
Comprehensive Supports
Health Happens in Schools
Comprehensive Supports
  • School Based Health Services
    • Trauma Informed Approaches
  • Health Career Pathways
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
  • Farmers Markets
  • Community Gardens
  • FreshWorks
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
  • Health in All Policies
  • Safe Routes to Schools
  • Walkability and Bikeability
  • Community Plan Update
Community and Economic Development
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Community and Economic Development
  • Public Private Partnerships
Systems that Restore and Heal
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Systems that Restore and Heal
  • Trauma Informed Healing
  • Restorative Practices
  • Juvenile Justice
    • Victim Offender
  • Law Enforcement
    • Community Relations
  • Jail/System Prevention
    • Prevention
  • Ceasefire
Healthy Youth Opportunities
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Healthy Youth Opportunities
  • Public Funding for Youth
  • Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership
  • Career Pathways/Job Training
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
  • Community Transformation Grant
  • Cross Sector Leadership Development for Equity
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
Health Happens in Prevention
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
  • ACA Education and Outreach
  • Medi-Cal and ACA Enrollment
  • Systems for Remaining Uninsured
Health Care Services
Health Happens in Prevention
Health Care Services
  • Frontline/Community Health Workers
  • Career Ladder Programs/Workforce Development

 

 

  • Restorative Justice & Improved School Climate: Merced BHC’s Schools Action Team and its partners are working together with four school districts in Merced County to replace zero tolerance policies with restorative approaches. Improving school climate and student wellness efforts are also among their top priorities.
  • Youth Opportunities and Youth Voice: Investing in Merced’s future means investing in their youth. In response to years of disinvestment, the Neighborhoods Action Team is on the front lines with local youth advocating for youth inclusion in decisions that impact them.  Advocacy has led to the establishment of a Merced City Youth Council and heightened awareness of the importance of long-term investments in youth which are being pursued.
  • Expanding Health Access To all Merced: Merced BHC  recognizes that everyone in Merced County and beyond should have equitable access to affordable health coverage. That is why Merced BHC’s Prevention Action Team and its partners have coordinated outreach efforts to dramatically increase health coverage enrollments, as well as advocate for a statewide #Health4All solution.  Much work remains but our BHC collaborative is moving with momentum and promise.

Learn More

Connect

Get Connected

Brian Mimura cropped color

Brian Mimura, MPH
Program Manager, Southwest Merced/East Merced County

Brian Mimura joined The California Endowment as Program Manager for Merced in January 2012. Prior to 2012, Mimura was with First 5 Merced County, first as Associate Director of Planning and Evaluation and then as Executive Director, where he shifted the organization to focus on outcomes-based funding driven by community priorities. Mimura’s experience also includes: Director of Development and Special Projects for the Fresno California Health Collaborative; Project Consultant for the Malaysian National AIDS Council Program Evaluation Project in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia; and Project Consultant for Fresno County Health Services Agency’s Southeast Asian Project. Mimura earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Irvine, and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina.

Contact
Name
Mark Chalico
Title
Communications Specialist
Address
658 West Main Street Merced, CA 95340
Phone
(209) 383-4242
Send Email