Health Care Agency - What's Up - keeping staff informed and current

Issue 13-05

May 2013

Inside this issue …


CHS Wound Care Team targets inmates

 Healing should come naturally, but sometimes due to various complications such as diabetes, poor circulation or infection, the healing process can be slow and difficult resulting in wounds that will not heal. In an effort to address these challenges, Correctional Health Services (CHS) formed a wound care team that has added an exciting dimension to the quality of healthcare services that CHS already delivers to our incarcerated patients.

The concept of the wound care team was envisioned by a group of wound care certified nurses who recognized the need for a more comprehensive approach to wound care in the jails. Wound care team members have completed specialized training from the Wound Care Education Institute and are certified by the National Alliance of Wound Care. Michael Tigno, LVN WCC, Jessie Perlta, LVN WCC, and Ava Chavez, SR RN WCC comprise the group of wound care specialists at CHS who deliver wound care tailored to each patient’s specific needs.

The types of wounds treated by the team include chronic wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, lacerations, burns, gunshot wounds, dog bites, spider bites, and abscesses, just to name a few. Because these wounds can result in complications, including the loss of limbs and life-threatening conditions, effective treatment is vital.

The specialized approach of the CHS wound care team has successfully helped to heal many chronic wounds. The team provides thorough evaluation and collaboration with a team of specialists and develops a treatment plan that meets the patient’s individual needs. The patient’s progress is carefully tracked and reassessed so that changes can be made to the treatment plan if necessary.

The goals of the team are to heal the patient’s wound, shorten healing time, reduce discomfort and pain, and educate the patient about effective wound management and prevention of recurrence of the wound.

The wound care team believes that they will only continue to improve the care of their patients in line with CHS’ mission statement “to provide healthcare with respect, compassion and integrity through a culture of teamwork and accountability.”

Pictured (left to right) are Michael Tigno, Comprehensive Care LVN; Ava Chavez, Senior Comprehensive Care RN; and Jessie Peralta, Comprehensive Care LVN.
Pictured (left to right) are Michael Tigno, Comprehensive Care LVN; Ava Chavez, Senior Comprehensive Care RN; and Jessie Peralta, Comprehensive Care LVN.

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CCS Employee of the Quarter announced

Congratulations to Araceli Cueva, Office Specialist with HCA’s California Children’s Services (CCS) program on being selected as the CCS employee of the quarter on May 1, 2013.

Pictured (left to right) are Araceli Cueva and CCS Division Manager Lynn Einarrson-Woods.
Pictured (left to right) are Araceli Cueva and CCS Division Manager Lynn Einarrson-Woods.

Araceli recently received her 10-year service award with the County of Orange. As an Office Specialist, she answers phone calls from providers and families, renews authorizations for medical services and provides office support to the medical staff. Araceli is recognized by her peers as being a team player, working well with others, going above and beyond her job responsibilities to be helpful, and is commended for her positive attitude.

Candidates are nominated for the CCS employee of the quarter by their peers for their outstanding and significant contributions to CCS or the work environment, their leadership skills, being a team player, and commitment to the children and families served by the CCS Program.

CCS is a statewide program that provides medical case management for children with special health care needs and medically necessary physical and occupational therapy through the Medical Therapy Program. The program provides services to more than 13,500 children from birth to 21 years with qualifying medical conditions. The goals of the CCS program are to promote a child’s optimum health potential, increase the level of functional independence and improve the quality of life for the child and their family.

For more information about the CCS program, visit the CCS webpage at

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Compliance begins with youCompliance Update

Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Essentially it means you can make a difference, if you choose to. We are all responsible for results (good or bad) and we can influence the outcomes in matters of compliance within organizations. We will touch on how compliance begins with you, and why is it important.

Compliance means fulfilling official requirements, doing the “right” thing, or taking action to correct what is wrong. Laws and regulations are put in place to protect people’s rights and to hold organizations and professionals responsible for operating in compliance with the requirements, to protect those who receive the organization’s services, and to protect the integrity of a program and the program funds.

Organizations often enter into Conditions for Participation (CoP) agreements with federal, state, and even private entities. When organizations are approved to participate, they are expected to carry out the services that the agreement requires. If the organization does not meet the requirements, they may have to return the program funds they received, often with penalties or fines for not carrying out the services as agreed.

Workforce members also enter into conditional agreements with their employer when they are hired. Those conditions may vary, depending on what type of services the organization provides. Most organizations maintain and communicate codes of conduct and policies and procedures, and they provide education to help their workforce comply with the requirements they must meet. When employees do not meet conditions of employment, it can quickly affect the organization’s compliance, and it could result in harm to those receiving services from the organization. It may also affect the employees’ future employment.

Many organizations have compliance programs to help their workforce comply. Compliance programs exist to identify risks and oversee corrective actions, but anyone can identify a compliance concern. Additionally, compliance programs are designed to keep employees aware of current requirements, to help them identify and know how to report compliance issues, and to provide a “confidential message line” for the workforce to report potential or actual concerns without fear of retaliation.

Compliance begins with you, because of the difference your decisions can make. When an issue is identified by anyone, it is important that the organization is able to quickly respond and correct the issue to protect everyone’s interests. Non-compliance comes in many forms—some can be very serious, and we often hear about those in the media. Compliance issues can range from financial issues (e.g., banking, investments, grants, or billing standards); to health care concerns (e.g., infection control, quality, and professional practice standards); or environmental matters (e.g., construction, oil and gas, or utilities) and more. When in doubt, ask. Talk with someone about your concerns, or use the confidential hotline to report your concern. Your choice to report or not report can make a big difference, and this is just one way that compliance begins with you.

Compliance Hotline (866) 260-5636-The HCA Compliance Program offers a confidential telephone hotline to vice your concerns about any situation that may conflict with Compliance Program principles. You may call the hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the number shown above.

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Safety Refresher Training

It’s that time again … HCA Safety will be launching the “2013 Annual Safety Refresher Training” from now until June 21, 2013. In addition to providing important safety updates and refresher basic safety information, employees will also have an opportunity to provide feedback via an online survey. This feedback will be beneficial in assisting the HCA Safety Program in continuing to provide for safety needs at HCA. For questions regarding the “2013 Annual Safety Refresher Training” or for any other safety related questions, please call the HCA safety line at 714-834-SAFE.

Update: Quarterly Safety Meeting

On April 11, the HCA Safety Program hosted the 2nd Quarterly Departmental Safety Representative (DSR) meeting for 2013. More than 100 dedicated DSRs attended this informative meeting that provided discussions and training on completing the annual safety and health inspections checklists, Bloodborne Pathogen and Respiratory Programs, and the ergonomic evaluation process.

In addition, the HCA Safety Office recognized outstanding individuals who demonstrated timeliness in regard to submission of safety related documents. These DSRs provided continuous immediate attention to safety issues which assisted the Safety Program by ensuring that hazards, chemicals information, program plans, and injuries were reported in a timely manner compliant with Cal/OSHA regulations. The HCA Safety Office commends the following individuals for their exceptional effort in making safety a priority at their worksite:

Safety Line - 714-834-SAFE

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Earth Day at the Bay 2013

On April 20, the Orange County Public Health Laboratory participated in the 23rd annual Earth Day celebration held at OC Parks Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center located in Upper Newport Bay.

This annual event is organized by the Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of the California Coastal Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, City of Newport Beach, Orange County Parks, Orange County Health Care Agency, and the University of California Irvine. It focuses attention on ways to protect our planet through recycling, reusing, conserving resources, and preventing pollution.

Public Health Microbiologists Melissa Nakahara and Joe Guzman along with Lab Assistant Intern Hazzel Perez, and student volunteer, Brian Galliher talked with event participants to educate them on HCA’s beach monitoring efforts to protect public health when recreating at any of the State, County, and City beaches located in Orange County.

Kids young and old had the opportunity to play a “Filtering for Bacteria” game, which introduced them to indicator bacteria found in polluted water and the potential sources for these bacteria. Participants also had the chance to test a water sample using filtration equipment, as well as use a microscope to view bacteria that can be found in polluted beach water samples.

Earth Day at the Bay 2013 had a great turnout with an estimated 3,000 attendees. The Public Health Laboratory always welcomes the opportunity to participate in these educational outreach events to bring awareness to HCA’s role in protecting the public, as well as protecting the earth. For more information about HCA’s Ocean Water Protection Program or the Public Health Laboratory visit or

Student Volunteer Brian Galliher and Public Health Microbiologist Melissa Nakahara educated the public about HCA’s beach monitoring program.
Student Volunteer Brian Galliher and Public Health Microbiologist Melissa Nakahara educated the public about HCA’s beach monitoring program.

Pictured (left to right) are Brian Galliher, Hazzel Perez, and Melissa Nakahara.
Pictured (left to right) are Brian Galliher, Hazzel Perez, and Melissa Nakahara.

Public Health Microbiologist Melissa Nakahara demonstrates how to filter a water sample, while an attendee views bacteria through a microscope.
Public Health Microbiologist Melissa Nakahara demonstrates how to filter a water sample, while an attendee views bacteria through a microscope.

Earth Day celebration attendees had the opportunity to play a “Filtering for Bacteria” game while visiting HCA’s Public Health Laboratory booth.
Earth Day celebration attendees had the opportunity to play a "Filtering for Bacteria" game while visiting HCA’s Public Health Laboratory booth.

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Avian Influenza A (H7N9)in the news

On April 1, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first human infections ever with an avian (bird) influenza virus A (H7N9). As of May 17, 2013, 131 confirmed human infections have been reported in China (130) and Taiwan (1, exposed in China), with 36 deaths (27%). Additional cases are expected to occur. Extensive investigation in China has identified probable limited human-human transmission in small family clusters, but no sustained human-human transmission thus far. Most cases are presumed to have resulted from exposure to infected birds..

To date, no H7N9 infections have been reported in birds or humans in the United States. Given the extensive travel between China and the U.S., cases in the U.S. can be expected. However, unless the virus mutates (changes) to become able to spread among humans effectively, a pandemic (worldwide outbreak) will not occur. As you may recall with the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, infections with this virus spread rapidly and many people in Orange County were affected, with 226 persons requiring intensive care unit admission and 57 deaths. Fortunately, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic was not as severe as others in history, with about 0.2% of cases dying, compared to over 2.5% for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

What HCA is doing about H7N9:

What you can do:

For more information about H7N9, see For information about Influenza preparedness, see

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405 W. 5th St. Employee of the Month Program

To recognize employees with one or more years of HCA service for excellent performance over and above typical job responsibilities, HCA Director Mark Refowitz introduced the HCA 405 W. 5th Street Employee of the Month program which began in April 2012.

An individual is recognized each month and gets to park in the former Director’s parking space at the 405 W. 5th Street parking garage. Any HCA employee may nominate a qualifying HCA employee who works at the 405 W. 5th street building that they believe has demonstrated outstanding achievement in any one or more of the following areas:

Nominations may be submitted by email to Lisa Alford at Final decision will be made by HCA Director Mark Refowitz. For more information, please contact Lisa Alford via email at

Past winners of the award include:

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17th Street Testing, Treatment and Care ROI

Although Public Health Week has already become a distant memory, the theme will be continued throughout the year. The 2013 theme, “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money,” refers to Return on Investment (ROI) – a performance measure. More than 20 HCA Public Health Services programs participated in Public Health Week and created posters conveying how their program is returning on investment.

This month we are sharing the poster from HCA’s 17th Street Testing, Treatment and Care. Did you know that for every HIV infection prevented, an estimated $355,000 is saved in the cost of providing lifetime HIV treatment? Check out the poster presentation to see how our local program is returning on investment by saving lives.

17th Street Testing, Treatment and Care Mission Statement poster

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National Nurses Day logo


Celebrating HCA’s nurses

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Each year the American Nurses Association selects a theme to highlight nurses. This year’s theme is “Delivering Quality & Innovation in Patient Care.”

At HCA there are more than 405 Nurse Practitioners, Public Health Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Licensed Vocational Nurses who provide quality health care services to improve community health outcomes. Nurses play an integral role in our mission to protect and promote the optimal health of individuals, families and our diverse communities.

HCA’s professional nurses coordinate and provide high quality care in an array of settings. They work in clinics, offices and in client’s homes. They also work at the jails, homeless shelters and other agencies. They provide direct care, case management, consultation, support, education and outreach to individuals, families and the community.

Often described as an art and a science, nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers. To learn more about National Nurses Week, visit the American Nurses Association website.

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Resource Fair highlights County resources

A “Get Connected” resource fair was held on May 2, 2013 at HCA’s 17th Street Clinic to showcase County resources and make connections with other County agencies to learn valuable information in working with clients.

Attendees included employees working with clients in HCA, Social Services Agency (SSA), Community Resources (OCCR), Child Support Services (CSS) and OC Probation. Information booths and drop-in workshops, as well as an “Ask the Expert” panel to brainstorm resources and assist with challenging situations were offered at the event.

2013 Resource Fair photo collage

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May is Mental Health Month

Celebrated during the month of May, this year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Pathways to Wellness,” which focuses on the strategies that we can put into practice to help each of us achieve wellness and good mental and overall health. More than the absence of disease, we have wellness when we reach a balance between our emotional, physical, spiritual, relational and mental health.

Because living a “successful existence” means something different to each individual, wellness can be many things, but it generally includes the pursuit of health. Your pathway to wellness can be:

Did you know?

To recognize Mental Health Month, President Obama issued a proclamation which calls upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. For many of the tens of millions of Americans who are living with a mental health issue, getting help starts with a conversation; talking about it with someone they trust and consulting with a health care provider.

For more information, please visit the HCA emotional well-being website or the Mental Health America 2013 Mental Health Month website.

Sabrina Noah from Supervisor Bates’ office presented Prevention and Intervention Division Manager Jenny Qian with a 2013 Mental Health Month Resolution signed by the Board of Supervisors during the May 6 MHSA Steering Committee meeting.
Sabrina Noah from Supervisor Bates’ office presented Prevention and Intervention Division Manager Jenny Qian with a 2013 Mental Health Month Resolution signed by the Board of Supervisors during the May 6 MHSA Steering Committee meeting.

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June Health Observances

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Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, It empties today of its strength.

—Author Unknown

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What's UP is a newsletter for employees of the County of Orange, CA, Health Care Agency.

Tricia Landquist
Deanne Thompson
Anne Fialcowitz

Phone (714) 834-6644
FAX (714) 834-7644
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