Follow-up: Childhood Coalition Leader Resigns

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, April 18, 2008

The chair of the Sacramento County Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, John Berchielli, had six felony convictions in the last two years. Five of them involved the growing and selling of marijuana and endangering his teenage daughter. The latest conviction was for welfare fraud.
Sacramento County public health officer Dr. Glennah Trochet has been helping the coalition develop its obesity prevention plan for several years. She says her staff is now examining why the county didn’t know about Berchielli’s criminal record.
Trochet: “We will absolutely be reviewing this incident to find what lessons we can learn from this so that we do better in the future.” 
Trochet says there is no screening process for outside volunteer coalitions the county works with. She says that could change. Trochet emphasizes that the county health department’s policy is to do a criminal background check on all volunteers who have direct contact with clients.

Despite Berchielli’s resignation Trochet says the obesity prevention coalition will now focus on getting funding to implement the plan the group of health experts unveiled last night.