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									                      Fresno County Mental Health Services Act
                        Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
                                        May 9, 2005
                                   6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
                            California State University, Fresno
                    University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium
                                    5245 North Backer
                                     Fresno, CA 93740


The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.


Dr. Gary Zomalt, Director for the Department of Children and Family Services convened the
meeting and did a brief introduction on the provisions that will provide an opportunity to
transform community mental health systems for Fresno County.

Dr. Zomalt reported that during the initial Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) planning with
stakeholders a steering committee was formed and an initial draft of the Fresno County Plan-to-
Plan was conditionally approved by the State.

Dr. Zomalt proceeded to introduce Giang Nguyen, newly appointed Interim Director of
Behavioral Health. Ms. Nguyen shared her background and experience in the mental health
field. Ms. Nguyen indicated that she is looking forward to working with all areas of service
involving mental health within the community.

Dr. Zomalt introduced Susan Thompson, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health and Karen Rea,
Deputy Director of Children’s Mental Health who will have direct responsibility for coordinating
the planning process and outcomes of the Plan in collaboration with the consultants.


Dr. Zomalt reported that although the consultant contract was still awaiting approval by the
Board of Supervisors, Vera Kennedy was selected and is being recommended to serve as the
Plan Coordinator for the Fresno County MHSA Community Planning Process. She has been a
leader from the beginning of the interim meetings and will proceed to walk through the Seven-
Step Community Stakeholders Planning Process Timeline.

Ms. Kennedy introduced herself as the Plan Coordinator along with the following members of
the team:

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      Greg Kennedy – Task Force Coordinator
      Van Lam - Task Force Coordinator
      Virginia Guerrero – Project Assistant/Transcriber
      Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola – Evaluator
      Dr. Christina Magana – Evaluator
      Kathy Philips, Fresno Unified School District – Outreach
      Kelley Brooks, NAMI of Fresno – Social Support

Ms. Kennedy reviewed the Planning Process Timeline as noted on the handout. Deadline for
completion of the draft three-year Plan to be submitted to the Mental Health Board is September
30th. The draft must be available for 30-day public comment. Comments and recommendations
received will be incorporated or a justification for not being integrated into the draft will be
documented. All stakeholders will have a voice.

      Community Dialogue: May-June 2005 – The Plan has not been started there is still
       much work to be done with a community dialogue to be put in place. This step will
       involve identification and involvement of stakeholders; initiation of dialogue; share
       process & schedule task force group meetings; stakeholder orientation and the
       development of a Strategic Communications Plan due on May 31, 2005.

      Stakeholders Group Formation: June-July 2005 – This step involves the identification
       and outreach for everyone to participate from consumers to community members. This
       step will include task force group formation (this will involve four areas based on
       population: older adults, adults, transition age youth, and children. Evaluation task force
       members will be integrated into each of the four identified populations to ensure
       continuity between the Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan and its Evaluation
       Plan. This step will also include MHSA & mental health information sharing;
       development of community vision & mission and identification of training needs.

      Stakeholder Training: July-August 2005 – This step will include task force group
       building; provide identified training on the MHSA, recommended State guidelines;
       Systems of Care, applied research methods including evaluation, outcomes development,
       logic models and other areas as needed; identify existing data; outline needed
       assessments; and develop Information Gathering and Monitoring Process Plan with a
       deadline of August 15th.

      Assessment Protocols: August-September 2005 – This step will involve the review of
       existing and new data, where it will come from and how it will be collected. This step
       will be comprised of conducting needed assessments; reviewing existing data; drafting
       assessment findings/recommendations and identification of potential transformation ideas
       and /or solutions.

      Dissemination of Assessment Findings: September-October 2005 – The assessment
       findings will occur through all media outlets as well as through community forms. This
       step will include dissemination of findings through general and multicultural media

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       outlets; dissemination of findings through community forums and small group meetings;
       and re-evaluate and redesign task force groups for implementation.

      Develop & Implement Action Plan: September-December 2005 – The final step will
       be to develop and draft Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan by September 30,
       2005; develop evaluative outcomes and indicators; identify evaluation and data
       measurement tools; examine the process, evaluate outcomes and measure the impact of
       the community stakeholder planning process; develop timeline for Three-Year Program
       and Expenditure Plan implementation; schedule task force group implementation meeting
       schedule for ongoing tracking, monitoring and evaluation; conduct meetings with
       community to present the Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan; and submit the
       final draft including stakeholder revisions and recommendations following a 30-day
       public comment period, public hearing by the Mental Health Board, and approval by the
       Board of Supervisors to the California Department of Mental Health by December 30,

Ms. Kennedy asked Ms. Thompson and Ms. Rea to identify county staff that will be serving as
Task Force co-chairs on behalf of the county. Representing Children’s Mental Health for the
Transition Age Youth (16-24) Task Force co-chair will be Yuleen Al-Soudi, and Nancy McCart
will serve as a co-chair for the Children’s Task Force. Representing Behavioral Health for the
Older Adult Task Force co-chair will be Grace Gomes and the Adult Task Force co-chair will be
Debbie DiNoto. Ms. Thompson indicated that they are still making a decision on who would
serve as the Transition Age Youth co-chair representing Behavioral Health.

Ms. Thompson informed the group that all information regarding the outcome from the Board of
Supervisors regarding selection of the consultant, meeting notices, agendas, minutes, etc. will be
posted in the County’s website.

The contact information for the Fresno County MHSA Planning was provided to the group:

Phone Number: (559) 930-8009

Website: [under What’s New Heading]


Discussion followed. Based on stakeholder feedback, it is to be noted that Substance Abuse
should be included within the process of developing the Plan. A contact name of Clifford
Garoupa with the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board will be notified of this action.


Ms. Kennedy proceeded with the planning process as indicated by the stakeholders present,
noting that there are some steps that must occur to insure participation by community
stakeholders, including contractors, the mental health board, county staff, family workers,

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providers of services, community members, consumers and their families. To ensure outreach
efforts to additional or potential stakeholders are appropriate, meeting participants were asked to
provide feedback on the development of a Strategic Communications Plan. Ms Kennedy
reviewed the significance of developing a Strategic Communications Plan and the steps for
developing one:

        1.   Define your mission
        2.   Identify your audience
        3.   Develop your message
        4.   Identify practical strategies and appropriate vehicles for transmitting your message
        5.   Build a plan and create a calendar for implementation
        6.   Implement your plan
        7.   Evaluation what happens

To initiate discussion, Ms. Kennedy asked stakeholders, “How do we identify our mission? By
asking the following questions: What are the opportunities or needs that we exist to address?
What are we doing to address these needs? What principles or beliefs guide our work?”
Discussion followed and stakeholder feedback identified the following comments.

1. What are the opportunities or needs that we exist to address? (Our purpose)

      Transformation
      Improve the quality of life for consumers
      Provide services to all the people of Fresno County
      Provide an opportunity for consumers to tell use what they need
      Provide support for families when they are blind sided when someone becomes ill
      Educate consumers about why we are transitioning
      Develop a culturally sensitive approach
      Recognizing co-occurring disorders/self-medication
      Simplify process
      Ensure proper funding so that we don’t fail
      Ensure that it is not business as usual
      Reduce stigma on mental health issues
      Collaboration on and between agencies, interagency and private providers
      Elimination of medical necessity
      Eliminate confusion about what is out there
      Promote wellness and recovery
      Empower families to make contact with services
      Continuum of care, accessibility, effectiveness
      Appropriate messages to community, simplicity
      Ongoing communication, education that is culturally and linguistically appropriate
      Individualized, comprehensive services for consumers and families
      Ensure families have what they need
      Transparency, not Fresno County politics
      Recognition of need from all of us, inclusion
      Encourage utilization of community resources

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      Focus on population that may not understand that mental health is part of daily life

2. What are we doing to address these needs? (Our way of doing business)

      To define the needs of customers
      Educate
      Holding meetings that are accessible and publicized
      Training
      Identify vulnerable populations and strategies to reach them
      Well organized and well planning community education
      Decentralized, go where they are
      Age and language appropriate
      Hear the needs of consumers
      Engage, outreach
      Develop languages for each group regardless of education level
      Giving voice to consumers and families
      State that it will be inclusive
      Gateway for consumers voice
      Self-reflective
      Hear what helps people, non-traditional

3. What principles or beliefs guide our work? (Our values)

      Customized services based on consumers needs
      Focus on consumer and family strengths
      Identify resources to help them out
      Do not harm
      Realistic, compassionate
      User-friendly
      Awareness, encouraging
      Understanding and overcoming barriers to care
      Navigating (education) the system
      Integrated, holistic service approach
      Modeling behavior, avoid disconnection, and value prevention
      Some will need intensive services, need for continuum of care
      Exist for the benefit of people we serve
      Treat people with dignity and respect
      Accommodate others beliefs
      Recognize there are many pathways to health
      Recovery is attainable
      Meeting consumers why they are
      Families are consumers
      Healthy, prosperous community
      Not reaching some groups
      Treat us as customers with respect and dignity
      People participation in making decision, validate

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      Be flexible
      This is a bottom up program
      Respect, value and believe in consumers
      Principle of wellness
      Families as partners, non-cookie cutter approach
      People working in mental health are dedicated
      Goal to get less intensive services
      Transition for consumers and families
      Holistic approach
      Outreach to pre-consumers, those in need
      Eliminate stigma
      Wellness and recovery mean different things to different groups
      Inclusive, realistic, compassionate, accessible, respectable
      Building and foster relationships with consumers and families


Monday, May 16, 2005
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
California State University, Fresno
University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium
5245 North Backer
Fresno, CA 93740


Meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.

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