Promoting Healthy Development

Building Capacity to Effect Change in Communities

Encouraging Volunteerism

Elliot Gann, CEO of Today's Future Sound, explains how the grooves on a vinyl record work to students at Grass Valley Elementary School in Oakland on Feb. 3, 2014. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

OAKLAND -- On a recent school day at Grass Valley Elementary, a classroom was quickly transforming into a state-of-the-art music studio.

Children smiled and laugh as they listened to Zapp & Roger's "More bounce to the ounce" music sample. Soon they moved into their groups and all that is seen are rushed hands gravitating toward the drum-pad machines and portable turntables.

It was time for Today's Future Sound, a music production and media arts program that is used to empower inner-city youth as artists and community members. Founded by Elliot Gann in 2012, the program teaches beat making, music theory, music production and DJing to youth in the Bay Area and nationally. It is being used in both the Oakland and Berkeley school districts as an after-school program.

I recently read a report by a panel of experts entitled, Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy, published by the American Psychological Association. This report includes a profile of Adam Lanza and the 2012 Sandy Hill school shootings, as well as established research data on mental illness and gun homocide. I was gratified that the report stresses the need for early and robust mental health counseling as a way of addressing anti-social behavior before it escalates to gun violence.  The report particularly recommends school-based mental health services.

To our Colleagues & Friends,

The BACR family was dealt a heavy blow when our cherished Payroll Manager, Charles Nelson, passed away unexpectedly on November 27th.

Chuck was greatly respected for his integrity, honesty and dedication to his work, working holidays and weekends to ensure that each of our 1200 employees received their paychecks accurately and on-time.

Everyone knew of him, but not everyone knew him.  Those who worked closely with him will miss his eclectic love of music, his poignant sense of humor, his unique personal style and his gentle caring soul.

The first electronic cigarettes from China reached the US market in 2007, and the Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) market has been exploding ever since.  They are currently not FDA regulated or approved for tobacco (nicotine) cessation. 


These are devices that utilize a humectant (propylene glycol and/or glycerin) to produce a vapor when liquid nicotine is heated.  An atomizer (older and simpler models) or cardomizer (more popular today) powered by a battery heats the liquid.

An Implementation Guide for Community Health Centers

Just published in September 2013, "Help Your Patients Quit Tobacco: An Implementation Guide for Community Health Centers" is a new, free guide to integrating tobacco cessation support in health care settings. Some of the topics covered in the guide include:

  • Effective patient interventions, such as the 5 A’s – Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist and Arrange [follow-up] -- the gold standard evidence-based protocol for cessation support 
  • Updated pharmacotherapy options, including dosage recommendations 
  • Billing codes for Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare reimbursement for on-site cessation counseling (Page 33)
  • Realistic discussions of implementation challenges and practical solutions 
  • Streamlined charting suggestions for tobacco screening and subsequent cessation related interactions with patients

Many former smokers have been successful using either the Great American Smokeout (GAS) or New Year’s resolutions – or both – as added motivation for making quit attempts. One of the principles of GAS is non-judgmental, open experimentation with tobacco cessation or reduction, even if it means going only that one day without cigarettes or chew. For more details on how you can strengthen your quit plans and find solidarity with thousands of others on Great American Smokeout Day, November 21, 2013, check out: