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2011 Employee Recognition Awards - Health


GOLD - Shared by members of the Homeless Persons Health Project, including:

Left to Right:
Nora Krantzler
Paul Gendreau

Renee Robison
Christine Sippl
Matt Nathanson

As members of the Health Services Agency's Homeless Persons Health Project (or HPHP), Christine, Renee, Nora, Paul, and Matt constantly look for ways to implement innovative solutions to the problems our community experiences around homelessness. In addressing what can be complex issues, they always look at every angle to determine the best and most efficient way to serve vulnerable clients with care and dignity while also serving the best interests of the community. HPHP staff are keenly aware that homeless individuals facing serious chronic conditions that require hospitalization are at risk for repeated readmissions because they have no stable living accommodations once released from care. Under Christine's leadership, and with support by each member of the team and the entire HPHP staff, a Recuperative Care Center is slated to open in the fall, providing a 12-bed recuperative care center that will increase the success rate for homeless individuals transitioning from hospital stays, resulting in extremely positive impacts for patients, the health care system, and the community. Christine, Renee, Nora, Paul, and Matt consistently demonstrate incredible compassion and integrity in working with clients, making a genuine impact in the lives of people who often experience painful invisibility. Each of these employees provides extraordinary service to homeless individuals in our community, and their efforts are sincerely appreciated.


SILVER - Michela Barcus

Michela has worked as the Health Services Manager with the Health Services Agency's Care Team for 26 years, consistently providing support and guidance to a team of nurses and social workers who oversee case management for low-income and disenfranchised people infected with HIV. As a result of State budget cuts, fewer staff members are available to treat a greater number of clients with increased needs, making an already challenging job even harder. In the face of this extraordinary task, Michela always finds ways to acknowledge her staff for the incredible work they perform, making sure there is an opportunity for staff to consider both the good and difficult parts of their jobs and recognize the positive impacts they have on the lives of clients. She has done an exceptional and thoughtful job managing reductions in funding so that impacts on clients and staff are as minimal as possible, even if it means that she takes on more work herself. Michela's efforts have made a profound difference in the health and well-being of many clients, and have made an equally important difference in the lives of staff members who are fortunate enough to have her as their manager. Michela is to be commended for her ability to manage a complex program with intelligence, dignity, and grace, while consistently demonstrating compassion for staff and clients.


BRONZE - Shared by members of the Low Income Health Program Eligibility and Outreach Committee, including:

Top Row, Left to Right:
Maria Love
Ron Dudley
Kimberly Petersen
Kennedy Cosker
Julia Sheehan

Bottom Row, left to right:
Dee Ann Coulsen
Carmen Robles
Irene Ruiz
David Brown

Members of the Low Income Health Program (or LIHP) Eligibility and Outreach Committee worked on planning and implementation of the local program known as Medi-Cruz Advantage. This effort required that they develop the eligibility regulations, notices of actions and letters for applicants and clients; assist with eligibility determination software development and testing; and create both a communication plan and a training plan. Once those elements were in place, they provided training for Health and Human Services staff and for staff at the Central Coast Alliance for Health, local hospitals, and community clinic partner agencies. This extraordinary collaboration between two departments necessitated blending required regulations with local needs, aligning regulations with Medi-Cal when possible, conducting data matches between two different computer systems across two departments, and cross-training Health Services staff on the Human Services Department's Benefits CalWIN system. They went on to create an MOU for Human Services to provide fraud and fair hearing services, defined parameters between departments, and created business processes for both departments. As a result of their excellent work, Medi-Cruz Advantage will provide health insurance to approximately 2,200 residents who previously did not have comprehensive health care coverage. Each member of the Committee is to be commended for successfully completing the many components to make this program a reality.