HHSA Connection SAFE, HEALTHY AND THRIVING COMMUNITIES
Cleaning Up The Meth health, law enforcement, judiciary, education, treatment,
prevention, and intervention agencies. The Agency's
Agency Participates in Bi-National Effort Alcohol and Drug Services is a key component in the
to Reduce Regional Drug Problem treatment facet of the operation. The unprecedented
n Feb. 1, the Agency helped kick off a joint effort effort will include local, state and federal law enforce-
between the U.S. and Mexico to eliminate the ment and health officials in San Diego and Imperial
regional production and use of methampheta- counties, as well as Mexico.
mine, or meth, by going after dealers and users, and pro- Due to U.S. drug enforcement efforts, many meth labs
moting education about the drug and treatment options. have moved to Mexico. The DEA, in coordination with
Meth, the most prevalent illegal drug in the San Diego MSF, is working with Mexican officials to expand efforts
region, is also known as speed, so officials dubbed a on both sides of the border.
new enforcement program "Operation Speed BUMP." Supervisor Dianne Jacob, a vocal advocate for the
BUMP stands for Bring Us More Prisoners, Bring Us regional crackdown on meth and a strong supporter of
More Patients, and Bring Us More Phone calls. the development of MSF, spoke at the kick-off. She out-
Speed BUMP developed out of the regional Meth lined the basic message of Operation Speed BUMP:
Strike Force (MSF), which is a multi-disciplinary group "If you have a problem with meth, sooner or later,
of 70 member organizations and agencies, including we're coming to get you. So get yourself into treat-
local, state, and federal representatives from public ment before you have to go to prison."
CLASSY CLASSIFICATIONS: NORTH INLAND REGION A Message from
The SIDS Expert Jean Shepard,
Promoting Community Awareness Agency Acting Director
I ncreasing(SIDS) isDeathof Diane
of Sudden Infant
L ike every year, this March
brings a number of retire-
ments. While we express our
Hall's top priorities.
gratitude for years of dedicated
Hall, public health nurse manager
in the North Inland region, serves service, and wish our soon-to-
as the Agency's SIDS coordinator. be former co-workers well, we
She is notified anytime an infant also feel the temporary discom-
dies suddenly with no other expla- fort of change, along with the energy of opportunity.
nation for the death. She also These days, budget considerations guide our evolu-
Hall (sporting a necklace tion more than usual. For instance, this month Betty
sends public health nurses to sup- she made) helps families
port grieving parents. deal with death. Morell (after 33 years of service!), is retiring from her
Thankfully, SIDS numbers are position of South Region General Manager (GM).
going down, she says - the latest figures show that it Rather than simply filling her position with a new
has declined 64 percent between 1991 and 1998. employee, current GMs Rene Santiago and Nick
Hall promotes the American Academy of Pediatrics' Macchione will each take on additional responsibili-
"Back to Sleep" campaign in the community. One of her ties to ensure that all programs run smoothly despite
own campaigns involved making tiny T-shirts for babies the loss. This is one example of continued commit-
that read "Put Me On My Back to Sleep." She is presi- ment to excellent services, with fiscal prudence in
dent of the Southern California SIDS Advisory Council. mind. By working together, we can make the best of a
Hall also enjoys collecting rocks for silversmithing challenging situation.
projects, and often wears her own home-crafted jewelry. Jean S hepard
Central/North Central Region
Finding the Bright Side of Taxes community-based agencies to establish volunteer
income tax assistance for working families. Last
Free Services Help Folks Get year, pilot sites completed more than 800 returns
Earned Income Tax Credit (570 from the Central Region). This year the goal
n January 31st, the Central Region kicked is to complete 2,000 returns and have $3 million in
off the tax season with a bang! Supervisor federal refunds.
Greg Cox and Central Region Deputy In addition to the Bronze Triangle, the three
Director Rene Santiago were on hand at the other tax assistance sites in the Central Region
Bronze Triangle opening the doors for income tax include the Diamond Neighborhoods, Jackie
season. Here, and at other Robinson YMCA and the Home Start City Heights
locations throughout Tech Center. For locations in the other five regions,
the County, resi- call the County-funded hotline at (877) 816-3482.
dents can get free
assistance in prepar-
ing their taxes. Taking Healthy Action
The IRS esti- Employee Wellness Initiative Launched
mates that more than orth Central Region (NCR) has launched its
$25 million dollars went 2003/04 Employee Wellness Initiative as part
unclaimed in the 2001 of the County's Work Safe/Stay Healthy goal. The
tax year. objective of the Employee Wellness Initiative is to
These tax preparation provide NCR employees with information about
sites are focused on help- the benefits of choosing a healthier lifestyle through
ing the low income families a variety of activities, resources and services.
claim these monies. Many believe that if they don't A brief survey was sent to all NCR staff to gath-
owe any taxes, they don't need to fill out the forms, er information about their needs and how they feel
and as a result millions go unclaimed. about their general health. Results from the survey
The maximum refund this year is $4,294 for a will help determine activities and events that pro-
family with two or more qualifying children. The mote healthy lifestyles and a safe work environ-
income limit to qualify for the EITC is $34,692 for a ment. All activities will be designed for maximum
married couple with a least one child. staff involvement and activity and tailored to meet
In a continued effort to support working families, the areas of interest identified by the survey.
the County Board of Supervisors voted to expand Future events may include a fitness competi-
the program to all six Regions. With more than tion, health fairs, and specific presentations on
$300,000 in grants, the County provided funding to health related issues.
Tid Bytes - Information Technology Division
Did you know...A password is restricted information and is not to be shared with anyone under any cir-
cumstance. For more info, click below:
Training & Development - Group Human Resources
Look for new and ongoing required and career development classes in the Quarterly Calendar, distrib-
uted by group e-mail, or check out:
http://hhsa_intranet/tdc/calendar.asp (access restricted to County employees)
North Coastal/Inland Regions
Cutting to the Chase families and seniors
in North County,"
Regional Budget Forum Attracts North said Nick
County Leaders Macchione, HHSA
ore than 70 North County Executive Deputy Director.
Directors, CEOs, elected officials and other "We must continue
leaders gathered on Thursday, February 26 the dialogue, in
for the North County Budget Impact Forum. Co- good times and
hosted by the bad, and the suc-
Breakout sessions provide an opportunity
HHSA North cess of this event is for detailed discussion.
Coastal/North evidence of the
Inland Regions commitment and trust of our regional leaders."
After hearing presentations by Macchione and
Terry Hogan, HHSA Finance Director, on the impacts
of the State budget cuts on County programs, atten-
the event provided
dees participated in one of six breakout discussions
facilitated by members of the HHSA Executive Team.
HHSA Deputy Director Nick Macchione pres- potential budget
Palomar Pomerado Health provided a catered lunch.
ents information on budget impacts. impacts as well as
A summary document from the forum is being
a venue for community partners to discuss other cuts
developed in collaboration with Palomar Pomerado
North County health and human service programs
Health and will be distributed to attendees, other
are experiencing, now and in the coming months.
community partners, the Agency Executive Team and
"Our goal with this forum was to engage our com-
others in early March. For more information, please
munity partners in an honest discussion of what cuts
we are all facing, and what this means to children, contact Carey Riccitelli at (760) 740-4130.
Working Hard to Stay Healthy
Committee Formed to Promote Wellness
ore than 80% of South Region staff want
healthier choices offered in their office extra mats at entrances on rainy days to prevent
vending machines. Two-thirds of all falls on slippery wet floors.
employees do not exercise at least 30 minutes The committee has now broadened their mis-
daily, although the same percentage would consid- sion to encompass general employee health pro-
er taking a fitness class at work if it were offered motion. A free lunch-hour nutrition class was
during lunch or at the end of the day. These are offered to educate employees on how to eat better,
some results of a survey conducted recently by the and a walking club was started to encourage staff
South Region's Illness and Injury Prevention to take their breaks and increase physical fitness.
Committee. The information will be used by the The information collected
committee to more effectively promote worksite in the new survey
wellness. suggests that
The South Region Illness and Injury Prevention there is still
Committee, comprised of staff from all South much that can
Region programs, was formed a year ago to brain- be done to help
storm ways to prevent staff injury and thereby South Region
reduce the region's high workers' compensation employees "work
claim rate. The group analyzed injury reports and safe, and stay
quickly acted to implement several relatively simple healthy."
measures to prevent injuries, such as laying down
Firestorm Review contractors continue
to provide to the
Team expertise serves a variety of needs community:
ast fall, the devastating fires that affected so Coordination with
many in San Diego were a real test of other disaster
courage and generosity. And, they tested how response organi-
well we are prepared to handle a large-scale disas- zations
ter. From the onset of the fires and continuing up to Participating in
today, one major consideration is the mental health local community
of San Diego County residents. All of us have been meetings to
affected to some degree, and this calls for a wide identify community
range of services. needs
Prior to the firestorms, San Diego County Providing educa-
Mental Health Services (MHS) had trained 300 tion about mental
clinicians and community partners in Critical health disaster
Incident Stress Management response. This earlier response and
effort enabled the County to deploy trained staff stress manage-
into the field readily and confidently, to provide ment
immediate mental health disaster response servic- Identifying those
es to evacuees, survivors and first responders. who may need cri- Lauren Beauchamp, Special Ed. Services
Assessor for the AB2726 program in
Seven Red Cross shelters were established sis counseling Central, serving at the Alpine LAC.
within 24 hours of the onset of the fires. MHS was and/or support
asked to support the shelters and later the Local groups, or more intensive mental health services,
Assistance Centers (LACs) seven days a week and connecting them with ongoing services
with a minimum of two mental health clinicians per Working with special populations such as youth
day, through the middle of December. Within the and older adults
first week following the firestorms, 158 mental Services are provided through the FEMA grant
health staff had already been deployed to provide at no charge to the public.
crisis counseling support services, information and Initial requests were for immediate basic needs
linkage. Crisis intervention has also been available such as food, clothing and shelter. Now, increased
through the 24-hour Access and Crisis Line. numbers of requests are coming in for crisis coun-
San Diego was one of three counties included seling and support groups. MHS has applied for an
in a State mental health grant funded by FEMA to additional nine-month grant to meet these requests
provide immediate crisis counseling and interven- through November 2004 and is optimistic it will be
tion services from October 26, 2003 through approved.
February 24, 2004.
To meet the increased demand, two contractors
were hired to provide short-term, intensive out- MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AT
reach services to the impacted communities, with WINTER SHELTER FOR SINGLE ADULTS
the County providing grant coordination and liaison Telecare (REACH) and Episcopal Community
with the State. New Alternatives provides crisis Services (Friend to Friend) have joined North
counseling and educational outreach in the North Central and Southeast Regional Mental Health
Inland/Central Regions of the County, and Clinics to provide triage, information and referral
Community Research Foundation serves the East for single adults at the Newton Tent shelter from
Region and Ramona. Services are available to 5-7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
people who resided in the Presidential Declared Mental health services have been provided
Disaster area, even if they have relocated else- since December and will continue through March
where in the County. 20th, at 16th and Newton in San Diego. For
Some of the important services the two shelter information, click here
When Disaster Strikes
A new fleet of specialty nurses are ready to help
he new Bioterrorism (BT) Public Health Nurses (PHNs) are an example
of enhancements made to public health capacities since September
11th, 2001. Funded by federal BT dollars, each HHSA Region in San
Diego County has one full-time BT PHN. What exactly do they do?
For starters, the BT PHNs conduct communicable disease case
investigations for the Community Epidemiology Division, giving them the
experience needed to respond to large outbreaks of disease or BT events.
Additionally, by visiting patients and families in their homes, PHNs use their
unique assessment skills to identify other public health issues and make
They recently played key roles in the smallpox vaccination program and
the Operation Safeguard Mass Vaccination exercise. With their leadership,
130 smallpox responders have been vaccinated in the County and 116 staff
received instruction on mass prophylaxis clinic operations. They were also
instrumental in coordinating the basic Workforce Readiness and
Preparedness training to more than 5,000 HHSA employees, or 93.3%, Mimi Llamado, Central BT PHN, pic-
exceeding our Quality First goal of training at least 75% in the first quarter. tured second from left with other
Firestorm 2003 tested the preparedness activities of the BT PHNs. Their HHSA employees at Operation
Safeguard San Diego.
involvement in updating regional communication plans allowed the Agency to
provide 1,020 nursing hours to 13 Red Cross shelters during that fateful week. They also served as
liaisons to health care and disaster preparedness partners. They’re a busy group!
Aging & Independence Services
Seniors Reach for who will talk on "Marketing a Helping Each Other
Positive Image of Aging," and
the Summit Phyllis Moen from Cornell Seniors and kids definitely
Upcoming event slated to University who will talk on "Work have something to share
enlighten and inspire as a Component of Retirement."
A IS has also helped kick off
an intergenerational compo-
ging & Independence Aging Summit
featured speaker nent to the First 5 program.
Services has been focus- George E. Some 11 agencies in the county
ing on creating a new Vaillant, M.D., is
Director of the are being funded by the First 5
image of aging and on helping Harvard Study of Commission to bring older
individuals see a productive, Adult
Development, adults and children ages five
meaningful life when they look at and a and under together for the mutu-
their present and future. researcher, psy-
chiatrist at al benefit of both. AIS is assist-
As a part of this goal, AIS is Brigham and ing with the recruitment and
sponsoring the 2004 Aging Women's Hospital, and professor at the
Harvard Medical School. training of the senior mentors,
Summit to be held April 19 at the
who will receive a stipend.
San Diego Concourse in down-
town San Diego. The featured The Aging Summit is open to
the public, and will include lunch. If you know of any adult age 55
speaker will be Harvard psychia- and older who might be inter-
trist George Vaillant, author of The cost is $20, or $10 for sen-
ested in working with children
the book "Aging Well." Other iors age 60+, students and per-
ages 5 and younger, and/or their
speakers include communica- sons with disabilities. To register,
families, have him/her call AIS
tions specialist Marvin Waldman, call (800) 827-4277. at (800) 510-2020.
Support Divisions - Compliance Office
Who Ya Gonna Call?
HHSA Compliance Office is ready to hear from you
s part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Agency clients receive services in accordance with
applicable federal and State laws and guidelines, HHSA has established an anonymous
Compliance Hotline. This hotline provides a way for employees to direct any questions or concerns
they might have about billing, confidentiality, or conduct issues without fear of retaliation. Employees can
also call the Compliance Office directly (anonymously if they wish) at (619) 515-4244 or report their
concerns directly to their supervisor or manager. All employees will soon receive a letter and other
materials regarding the new hotline.
All employees are encouraged to review HHSA's Compliance Policies and
Procedures. The policies can be found in Section M of the HHSA
Manual of Policies and Procedures on the County Intranet at:
HHSA recognizes that its greatest strength lies in the talent and
skills of employees who perform their jobs competently and
professionally and who daily live up to the Agency's Compliance
"An ethical workplace is your right...and your responsibility."
Child Welfare Services
No Empty Nest
building activities which helps them contribute posi-
Graduating foster teens keep on tively to their living environment. A case manager is
learning - and working - at home on-site to help the graduates
an Pasqual Academy, which is the fill out college, scholarship and
County's residential educational job applications, help them
campus for foster teens, has develop their Transitional
a successful Transitional Living Independent Living Plan and
Program on campus. Two support them as they
homes on the campus make their way into
have been designated adulthood.
for this program, with With 32 students
more homes becoming slated to graduate
available by June 2004. high school in June
Currently, there are 2004, the Transitional
nine graduates of the Living Program will con-
Academy who are living in tinue to grow and devel-
the homes. Program partic- op, not only in the popu-
ipants must attend college lation, but also in the
and/or work. They also par- enthusiasm and opti-
ticipate in chores, food mism that the graduates
preparation and community bring with them!
Support Divisions - Information Technology
Let’s Get this Data Sorted requesting for years. Features that will streamline
communications between workers, store scheduling
New computer system will revolutionize information, eliminate the need for large batch print-
information gathering and usability ing (CalWIN keeps forms online), provide quick links
f your relationship with technology is love/hate, to reference materials, extensive online help capa-
get ready to be happy. A new, multi-million dollar, bilities, real time updates...and the list goes on.
18-county effort is underway to provide a vastly Getting to implementation day (sometime within
improved information system that will especially help the next few years) still requires a huge effort of
those in all facets of Public Assistance. planning, coordinating and managing, and here is
The CalWORKS Information System, or where the real challenge lies. Since this system will
CalWIN, is designed to replace the aging main- cross many business unit boundaries, a true coali-
frame-based Case Data System (CDS). For San tion of staff and resources coupled with a common
Diego County, the project is being managed by the goal has been assembled.
Information Technology Division using tireless and Although needs differ, the Agency’s requirement
talented resources from throughout the Agency, is the same: supply exceptional service to the public
specifically from Policy and Program Support while maintaining an efficient and function-rich
Division and from the Public Assistance Staff. The environment.
CalWIN system looks to revolutionize the business The CalWIN project truly is about working
of collecting assistance data, performing eligibility together, be it 18 counties, or 18 sets of departmen-
calculations, facilitating State reporting and to trim tal users. And, the new system will hopefully raise
error rates. the bar regarding how we leverage and apply tech-
The CalWIN system includes many features that nological solutions to our ever-growing business
HHS's (Formerly eligibility technicians) have been needs, thus ensuring our ability to serve and lead.
HHSA Overview - Aging & Independence Services - hyperlinked!
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provides per-
Each month, the HHSA Connection will feature sonal care and domestic services for income- and
the services of the Agency’s different divisions, need-eligible aged, blind and disabled persons.
to provide a broad overview of the Agency. Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP)
This month, the series kicks off with AIS - you provides case management services for seniors age
just might be surprised at all they do. 65 and older who are eligible for Medi-Cal and are at
risk for institutionalization.
he County of San Diego's Aging & Management and Assessment of Social and
Independence Services (AIS) serves older Health Needs (MASH) serves frail and disabled
adults, disabled persons, those at risk of abuse, adults age 60 and older, who are at risk of nursing
and others who would be at risk of institutionalization. home placement and ineligible for other care man-
AIS is the only single public or private organization
for seniors in the county that combines so many HomeAssist helps frail seniors 60 and older maintain
services under one jurisdiction, and sets the standard independence through homemaker, respite, escort
for integration of services throughout the country. and money-management services. Enrollment is lim-
Most of these services are accessed through the AIS ited; priority is given to low-income seniors.
Call Center, (800) 510-2020 or (800) 339-4661 for Linkages serves adults 18 and older who are at risk
persons calling from outside San Diego County. of institutionalization and are ineligible for other care
AIS assists elderly and disabled clients to remain Family Caregiver Support Program services
include support groups, respite, counseling and help
independent in their homes as long as safely possi- with resources.
ble by linking them with appropriate services: Continued on page 8
Continued from page 7 Project CARE is a community net- Thanksgiving dinners delivered by
work program that enables home- volunteers.
Protection and Advocacy bound adults to live independently in
Services Education and Enrichment
their own homes. Services include
AIS ensures the right to safety and "Are You OK?" phone checks, Vial Services
dignity with the following services: of Life to store medical information, AIS encourages seniors and per-
minor home repair program, and a sons with disabilities to broaden
Adult Protective Services (APS)
Safe Return program for the memory- their awareness of the community
serves adults 65 and older, and
impaired. and participate:
those 18 and older with disabilities,
who are harmed or threatened with Veterans Services Office assists RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer
harm. APS investigates cases of veterans and their dependents and Program) urges adults 55 and older
neglect, abandonment, and physi- survivors in obtaining benefits from to volunteer at nonprofit and public
cal, financial or sexual abuse. After the federal, state and local agencies agencies. RSVP volunteers serve
a report of suspected abuse comes administering programs for veterans. schools, hospitals, day care centers,
to the Call Center (800) 510-2020, libraries, senior centers, police sta-
an assessment is made, with rec- tions, animal shelters and hundreds
Health Independence Services of other community organizations.
ommendations on how the situation
Since enjoyment of life is predicated
can be improved. Referrals to other Intergenerational Program pro-
on good health, it is not surprising
programs often follow, along with motes projects throughout the coun-
that a number of AIS services are
emergency provisions for food, ty that bring young people and older
shelter, or in-home aid. Abuse calls adults together for mutual benefit.
can be made 24 hours a day. Health Promotions Program
Reports are confidential. informs and motivates seniors to Outreach & Education Team pro-
take responsibility for their own good vides mandated training about elder
Senior Mental Health Team does health through a lifestyle of proper and dependent adult abuse. Team
in-home assessments and initiates nutrition and adequate exercise. A members are also building regional
help for persons age 55 and older network of senior organizations, action networks to identify needs for
with mental disorders. Help includes health care organizations, hospitals, seniors and adults with special
crisis intervention, psychiatric pharmacists, dietitians and nurses needs, plus promote Project CARE.
evaluation, counseling and case participate in this program.
Feeling Fit Clubs, a program of the County of San Diego
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Health Promotions Team, offer spe- Health and Human Services Agency
Program provides advocates for cialized exercise classes that meet
residents in long-term care facilities. regularly at sites throughout the Board of Supervisors
These advocates maintain a pres- Greg Cox, District 1 Dianne Jacob, District 2
county. The focus is to help older Pam Slater-Price, District 3 Ron Roberts, District 4
ence in the facilities; respond to, adults improve their balance, strength Bill Horn, District 5
and resolve, complaints; act as and flexibility in a fun setting. Chief Administrative Officer
mediators; support residents' rights; Walter F. Ekard
and witness certain legal docu- Senior Dining Centers provide
Health and Human Services Agency
ments. Visits by ombudsmen are people 60 years and older with at Acting Director
unannounced, and discussions with least one hot, nutritious meal each Jean M. Shepard
residents are confidential. Phone: weekday, served in a social setting. The HHSA Connection is produced by the
(800) 640-4661 or (858) 560-2507. The meals provide peer contact, Office of Media and Public Affairs, a section of
the Health and Human Services Agency
access to information, plus activities Strategy and Planning Division
Public Administrator/Public at the dining sites. Editor
Guardian acts as conservator of Jennifer Mallory
estates for those in danger of losing Home-Delivered Meals serve Section Editors
assets. The office also handles adults 60 and older who are home- Mental Health: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bonita Maglidt
estates of deceased persons and bound. A hot meal is delivered each Public Health: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pete Sison
arranges for the final disposition of Alcohol & Drug Services: . . . . . . . .Ron Yardley
weekday and frozen meals are Aging & Independence
those deceased without assets. provided for the weekends. Services: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Denise Nelesen
Phone: (858) 694-3500. East Region: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Eve Leon-Torres
MOMeals supplements private- Central/North Central Regions: . . .Elise Lorentz
Edgemoor has long-term, skilled sector meal services to the home- North Region: . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nina Constantino
nursing care for patients not easily South Region: . . . . . . . . . .Sharney McLaughlin
bound elderly. MOMeals provides Child Welfare Services: . . .Debra Zanders-Willis
cared for in private-sector facilities.
Edgemoor also includes rehabilita- hot, nutritious daily breakfasts to the Financial & Support Services: . . .Marion Morris
Information Technology: . . . . . . . . .Maria Tellez
tion therapies and a psychiatric unit. most-frail elders, plus festive Resource Development: . . . . . . . . .Lynn Eldred