Dear friends, happy 2023!

The year is already off to an interesting start. Strange weather patterns are increasing, how we think about COVID is shifting, and of course the incidents of mass gun violence and Black people being killed by police officers remains unabating. It is both a tragic time, and a necessary time for us to stand firmly in the intersection of racism and first response. 

The tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of first responders is particularly difficult to bear witness to given the involvement and culpability of paramedics at the scene. Those of us who work directly with this dedicated group of folks know that we need to facilitate more conversations about power dynamics between medics and law enforcement officers to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for individuals and our communities. 

Our Transformations & Innovations Initiative addresses these complicating factors in the most vulnerable moments of crisis. In what has now become a signature grant initiative, through this work, the CARESTAR Foundation hopes to inspire communities by providing unrestricted funding to those working together to reimagine what first response in crisis situations could and should look like. By creating cohorts of grant recipients across the state, we also hope to spark innovative thinking and partnerships between organizations that span beyond just one city or county, and eventually create a statewide movement to center equity and humanity in emergency situations. 

CARESTAR is heading into 2023 with a renewed commitment to partnering with all of you to create the changes we imagine are possible. Let's get to work!

Tanir Ami,

CEO, CARESTAR Foundation


CARESTAR Welcomes New Grantees

We are pleased to announce and welcome two new grant partners!

Support for Actively Rising Youth was awarded $200,000 over two years for the Firefighter Youth Academy, a youth development and mentoring program that provides middle school and high school students with an opportunity to explore careers in public safety including firefighter, paramedic, or emergency medical technician (EMT).

We also awarded $15,000 to the College of Behavioral Leadership to support an EMS participant in the next Equity Grounded Leadership Fellow Program, a program for behavioral health leaders to cultivate a deep understanding of how inequities are perpetuated by and in the behavioral health system.

Community Paramedicine Grants Now Available to LEMSAs

CARESTAR is now awarding grant funds to support the expansion of community paramedicine (CP) programs across California.


These grants are intended to provide funding to LEMSAs that are pursuing CP or Triage to Alternate Destination (TAD) models, with funds available to support local CP-related activities including county-wide or program-specific activities.


Grants will range from $50,000 to $200,000 with exact amounts depending on the program and providers.

Visit www.carestarfoundation.org/CP for more information including eligibility and a link to the application.

Congratulations to Sedella Jefferson, our newest Program Officer!


In her new role, Sedella will oversee the Community Voices portfolio and will be responsible for ensuring that all of the Foundation’s grantmaking embraces and reflects a trust-based philanthropy approach. She will also continue to oversee the technical side of grants administration to ensure ongoing operational improvements to the team and best-practice use of technology across the organization. Learn more

Board Member Spotlight - Dr. Joseph Chiang, Chief Medical Executive at Sutter's Eden Medical Center

How did you come to join CARESTAR’s board?

I was introduced to CARESTAR through a colleague who knew Ken Meehan (one of CARESTAR’s founding board members). They had heard that the organization was growing its board and was specifically looking for people that worked in emergency and prehospital care, and represented different geographic locations outside of the Bay Area. CARESTAR’s mission to bring greater racial equity to emergency and prehospital care really spoke to me, and after connecting with a few board members, and with Tanir, I felt there was a lot of synergy. 

What aspects of your professional life do you lean on most as a board member?

I think it is my background as practicing ER physician. In that role, it’s critical to have a strong working relationship with your local EMS team, as well as with state EMS representatives. We work together and provide input on policies and protocols, and I have seen how decisions at that level can impact patient care. Having that level of intimacy and knowledge about how the stakeholders interact, operate, and collaborate has been a perspective that I have been happy to contribute as a board member.

Share with us why you are excited about the future of CARESTAR?

We’re a pretty young organization so still very much in "creation-mode", full of start-up inertia and positive momentum, and we have the flexibility and openness to experiment and iterate, and that’s very exciting. I’m also really enthusiastic about our move into impact investing and doubling down on our mission and vision in this way.


What do you see as CARESTAR’s greatest challenge in the years ahead?

I think our biggest challenge will be in maintaining focus. The issues we’re looking at will not be solved overnight and we do not give huge grants compared to some of the other foundations in healthcare. Therefore, I think we need to be very judicious in what we choose to support and be conscious of not spreading ourselves too thin. Only then will we be able to really leverage our money, and our influence, to the greatest impact.

What do you do outside of serving on CARESTAR’s board?

I love to stay active, mostly through running and keeping up with my kids. My wife and I have two children, both under the age of 10, and both of whom are busy with sports so they keep us on our toes. 

In Loving Memory

We are heartbroken about the sudden passing last month of Raquelle (Kelly) Lynne Myers, Executive Director of the National Indian Justice Center, a CARESTAR grantee, partner, and friend.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kelly's family and the tribal community that she loved and advocated for.

New Report Shows Nascent Shortage in California’s EMT and Paramedic Workforce

A new report funded by the CARESTAR Foundation, from the Healthforce Center at UCSF provides much needed baseline data on the racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity of California’s EMT and paramedic workforce.

California has approximately 12,000 employed EMTs and 10,000 employed paramedics delivering critical urgent care in the state, but employers are facing increased difficulty recruiting and retaining them.

Healthforce Center’s Timothy Bates and Janet Coffman examined the available data to improve understanding of the supply, distribution, and demographic characteristics of this workforce, as well as the pipeline of new EMTs and paramedics in training.

They found that California’s EMTs and paramedics are younger and less racially/ethnically and linguistically diverse than California’s overall workforce. The limited diversity in this workforce raises questions about the extent to which EMS workplaces foster equity and inclusion.


A broader understanding of this workforce is limited by inconsistent data from training programs and EMTs and paramedics, and the available data do not provide insights about their career trajectories. Systematic data reporting about the EMT and paramedic workforce and their career trajectories could improve recruitment and retention in these critical occupations. Learn more

States Strive to Reverse Shortage of Paramedics, EMTs

Low wages, a lack of work-life balance and burnout are among factors driving emergency medical services personnel around the country to quit ambulance duty. Last year, the turnover rate for full-time emergency medical technicians was 36% and for full-time paramedics, it was 27%, according to an American Ambulance Association survey. The turnover rate includes both resignations and firings, but nearly all of the EMTs and paramedics who left did so voluntarily. More than one-third of new hires don’t last through their first year, the survey found. Pew Charitable Trust

Study: More law enforcement agencies turning to ‘non-police responders’ in mental-health crises

A recent report found nearly 40 percent of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies recently adopted programs that send behavioral health specialists to some emergencies. The changes come amid continued scrutiny over situations involving mental health crises that end in police violence as well as persistent racial disparities in police stops — the circumstances that occur when one racial group is pulled over at rates higher than their share of the population. The report was published last week by the Brennan Center for Justice, a New York-based think tank that focuses on criminal justice, voting rights and other public policy matters. San Diego Union Tribune

California police more than twice as likely to use force against Black people – report

An annual report from the state's Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board found Latino and Black residents are disproportionately affected by ongoing ‘pretextual stops’. Data was gathered on stops by officers from 58 law enforcement agencies in 2021, and the findings are based on the officers’ perceptions of the race, ethnicity, gender and disability status of people they stop. The data suggests that racial profiling remains a systemic problem in the state when officers use minor violations as a pretext to investigate someone or launch a search that would otherwise not be justified. Guardian


We are committed to being a transparent organization and holding ourselves publicly accountable to our values and goals. With that in mind, in order to better understand how we are allocating dollars, who leads the organizations we fund, and which communities are being served, we conduct an annual grantee feedback survey and regularly analyze our grants portfolio. While we still have much work to do to, we are excited to share a few key data points about our grantmaking for 2022.

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