Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant—Champions for Children and Youth
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In 2019, Drs. Kathy Fields and Garry Rayant led the launch of the Center for Children and Youth (CCY), the brainchild of Dr. Anita Friedman, Executive Director of Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS). Together they developed a new and more comprehensive approach to addressing services for young people.

Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant

Dr. Garry Rayant and Dr. Kathy Fields

“JFCS has changed so many lives through their exceptional services,” says Dr. Kathy Fields. “Through serious crises including fires and the pandemic, JFCS has responded with elegance and compassion for all the families involved.”

But the problem confronting children and youth is overwhelming. It is a well-known and documented fact that anxiety, depression, drug use, and even suicide have affected large swaths of our young people across the country. Together they came up with a belief and a vision:

“JFCS’ Center for Children and Youth will transform our system of mental health care in California by bringing the strategic vision and bold leadership necessary to provide the most advanced forms of care at scale across the state.”

Today, in the space of a few short years, their vision is becoming a reality.

Not only have Kathy and Garry been major funders of what has become the “Bay Area’s leader in world-class services for children and teens,” but they also have lent their expertise to making CCY a highly influential legislative advocate for better public policy on behalf of youth.

Garry chairs CCY’s Advisory Council, which is charged with political advocacy:

“We have assembled a team of extraordinary subject experts on the council, representing agencies and organizations bringing together the best people to advocate for children and youth. On the clinical side, Nancy Masters, Associate Executive Director, par excellence, directs clinical services at CCY, where thousands of children and families per year are helped. Jeff Weiner, policy director at CCY, has done a yeoman’s job in helping to educate us about the issues, and has been a mentor in advocacy and lobbying skills.”

CCY has become a force for change and is now well-known in Sacramento. Says Garry, “We’ve lobbied for some major changes and helped to pass bills to improve mental health screening and awareness in schools to improve social emotional learning, and, most recently, co-sponsored legislation to reign in the social media companies and hold them accountable for their effects on children and youth.”

Looking to the future, Garry & Kathy feel optimistic: ‘It’s incredible to see how successful CCY has been in such a short time, but there’s much more to do—the trajectory now can only carry us forward.”

Posted by Admin on August 14, 2023