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Health and Human Service Department Earns Three Awards

January 09, 2015

At Tuesday’s Placer County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, Matt Cate, the Executive Director for the California State Association of Counties, presented three CSAC Challenge Awards to the County’s Health and Human Services Department for innovative and cost-effective programs developed by the county.

“We’re here because Placer County has received three awards,” said Cate. “That’s a terrific accomplishment.”

The three award-winning Health and Human Services programs are: the Co-Occurring Program; the Older Adult Services Coordination Program; and the Human Services Center.

“These awards speak to the Placer model of striving to continually provide the most responsive and cost effective services to our residents,” said Board Chair Kirk Uhler.

Cate noted that receiving even a single award is noteworthy for any county in the state, and that it is unusual for a county to receive three awards. CSAC annually reviews programs and efforts from all 58 counties in the state. 

“We’re excited for our staff to receive this great recognition,” said Placer County Director of Health and Human Services Jeff Brown. “These rewards reflect the superb commitment to develop and implement innovative solutions to best meet the needs of our constituents.”

Placer County’s Co-Occurring Full Service Partnership Program serves individuals with mental health and substance use disorders by engaging them in ongoing services, reducing hospitalizations and emergency services usage. The program’s intent is to reduce expensive and restrictive placements in the County’s Psychiatric Health Facility. In its first year, the program saved $244,718 and reduced placements by 43 percent.

As the number of elderly in the community increases, so do the challenges to coordinate care for those with a variety of needs. The county’s Older Adult Services Coordination program integrates public and private service delivery to better serve the county’s aged population. In its first year, the program increased the stability for 25 older adults who would have likely lost their independence, while saving the county $100,000. 

Placer County’s Human Services Center used leading-edge technologies to efficiently deliver public assistance, improve performance and give outstanding customer service. The center maximizes technology, streamlines business processes and improves customer service. The center includes three significant business changes:

  • The county’s call center was the first in California to serve all assistance programs for applications and on-going beneficiaries. The center also received a National Association of Counties Award earlier this year;
  • The Task Based Workload Management/Client Self Service moved from a case-based model to a task-based approach to process applications and on-going benefits. This allowed any staff member to assist an applicant or beneficiary; and  
  • The Lobby Management-Improving Visitor Experience adopted a “greeter” approach for lobbies frequented by Human Services’ clients and visitors. This allows for immediate assistance and reduces wait times. The greeter can take paperwork, provide forms, and divert customers to lobby phones that tie to the call center or to lobby computers to apply online or print needed documents.

These three business changes resulted in streamlining beneficiaries’ application processes, improving customer service, and increasing staff productivity.   

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