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

Issue 13-08

August 2013

Inside this issue …


Kim Pearson, new Correctional Health Services Deputy Agency DirectorCHS Deputy Agency Director Appointed

 Congratulations to Kim Pearson on being appointed Correctional Health Services (CHS) Deputy Agency Director (DAD). Ms. Pearson has been serving as Interim DAD since February 22, 2013 and has provided outstanding leadership.

She joined the Agency as the Assistant Director of Nursing for Correctional Medical Services in 2009, was promoted to the CHS Director of Nursing in 2010, and accepted a new assignment as the Chief of Operations for CHS/Adult Health Services in 2011. HCA is grateful to have her as part of the agency and appreciates all of her efforts and accomplishments.

Ms. Pearson has a dual Master’s degree in Business Administration and Healthcare Administration, is a licensed registered nurse, and possesses 30 years of clinical and healthcare operations experience. 

Please join HCA in congratulating Kim on her promotion to this critical role.

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Public Health Quality Academy logoPublic Health Services Quality Academy

One of the things that makes the Health Care Agency a unique place to work is our commitment to excellence and constant willingness to improve. In support of this, the Public Health Quality Academy launched in March 2013 provides intensive training and support to a cohort of 45 HCA employees on how to improve the quality of services across Public Health Services.

The cohort consists of employees from all divisions within Public Health including Disease Control and Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Family Health, Health Promotion, the Public Health Laboratory, and Public Health Nursing, as well as representatives from Contract Development and Management and Program Support.

Academy participants attended a series of trainings held in March and June to learn about key concepts of quality improvement (QI) and its significance to public health. After engaging in interactive learning activities focusing on QI concepts and tools, participants formed teams composed of those who work within and outside areas of project topics which include:

Participants continue to meet regularly with their groups to strategize, implement and evaluate progress toward their project goals. They have also begun to share what they have learned by conducting trainings within their program areas.

For questions regarding the Academy, please contact Public Health Projects Manager Jane Chai at (714) 796-0404 or via email at

Public Health Quality Academy photo collage

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Compliance Training Reminder
Deadline is September 3, 2013Compliance Update logoNotice of Privacy Practices graphic

Thank you to the 49% of the HCA workforce for completing the 2013 Annual Compliance Training. All HCA employees are required to complete the mandatory training by September 3, 2013. The Annual Compliance training is designed to give everyone an overview of the compliance program and important HIPAA privacy updates. It also demonstrates the important role that each of us play in maintaining compliance in our workplace and the integrity of the Health Care Agency. Annual Compliance Training can be found on the intranet or here. When you have completed the training, please print out a copy of the certificate to keep in your own files. You are encouraged to complete the training as soon as possible, as there are only four weeks left. If you have any questions about the training or encounter any problems, please contact the Office of Compliance at (714) 568-5614 or at

The NEW 2013 Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)

The NPP has received a makeover because of the recently released Omnibus HIPAA Rule (Final Rule) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in January 2013. The NPP is a mandated document given to patients that outlines how protected health information about them may be used and disclosed and under what circumstances their specific authorization may not be required. The Notice of Privacy Practices also describes the HIPAA rights related to use and disclosure of the individual’s health information.

Besides the NPP’s new look when compared to its 2006 counterpart, the new Final Rule requires the HIPAA Privacy Notice to inform individuals by including statements regarding: an individual’s right to be notified following a breach of their unsecured PHI; being contacted about fundraising and their right to opt out of receiving such communications; most uses of and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes and sales of PHI which require the individual’s authorization; uses and disclosures not described in the Privacy Notice that can be made only with the authorization from the individual; and an individual’s right to restrict certain disclosures of PHI to a health plan when the individual (or any person other than the health plan) pays for treatment at issue out of pocket in full.

The new NPP will be available for ordering by mid-August and more information will follow. Until then, a few important things to take note of are that copies of the current NPP will have to be discarded and replaced by the new NPP, posted in a prominent place in each clinic and provided to new clients no later than September 23, 2013. Look for the NPP to be posted to the County and HCA websites soon. If you have any questions about the new NPP, please contact Nikoo Tabesh, Privacy Analyst at (714) 834-5172 or Linda Le, Deputy County Privacy Officer at (714) 834-4082.

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.Safety Line - 714.834.SAFE

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Payroll Tips logoHelpful hints for manual mileage claims

The on-line mileage claim process has significantly streamlined the reimbursement process when claiming for miles driven or for parking. However, the manual (paper) claim forms are still required when claiming anything else, such as meals or travel reimbursements. Below are some helpful hints to ensure your claim is processed in a timely manner.

If any required receipts are missing, you must attach a detailed memo identifying the amount, purpose of the purchase, date, and city where the item was purchased. In addition, for claims which include meal reimbursements, you must also certify that the amount does not include purchases of alcoholic beverages. If you have any mileage claim or payroll-related questions, please contact HCA Payroll at (714) 834-5744 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or email us at

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National Immunization Awareness Month logoThe month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunizations are one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the 20th Century. While immunizations have significantly reduced the incidence of many serious infectious diseases, vaccination rates for some diseases are not meeting national public health goals. Not everyone realizes immunizations are not just for children – they are needed throughout our lifetime.

As we prepare for the upcoming school year, here are some important reminders to keep you on track.

Off To College: Young Adults

College Prep means vaccines, too.

Getting ready for college means making sure you are up to date on all doses of the recommended vaccines – both to protect yourself and others around you. Some diseases can spread quickly in settings like college dorms and classrooms. Don’t wait –make back-to-school appointments for vaccinations now. Many colleges and universities have vaccination entry requirements. Visit for additional information.

Back to School: Children, Pre-Teens & Teens

Back to School protect your student at every age!

Preparing for school means gathering supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure children are up to date on their vaccines. “Immunizations are a safe and effective way to help our kids stay healthy in school and protect them from vaccine-preventable illnesses that can be very serious and have lifelong consequences,” said Dr. Chapman, Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the State Public Health Officer. “As families make plans for heading back to school, those plans should include making sure their children are up-to-date on required immunizations for school, including an adolescent whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) for incoming 7th graders.”

Getting all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health. Check the childhood immunization schedule for all recommended vaccines (ages 7 to 18) at

Babies from Birth to Age 2

Protect Your Baby right from the start!

Pregnancy is a great time to plan for your baby’s immunizations – and to make sure you have the vaccines you need to protect yourself and pass protection to your baby during the first few months of life. In addition to the vaccines recommended for adults, women need a flu shot every year, and the Tdap vaccine to protect against whooping cough with every pregnancy. Additional information can be found at

Adults Need Vaccines, Too

Vaccines are not just for kids.

Many adults don’t realize they still need protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are not just for kids. Adults still need certain vaccines, both to protect themselves and their loved ones. Additional information can be found at To learn more about National Immunization Month, visit the National Public Health Coalition website at

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Nurse Family Partnership® ROI

During Public Health Week in April, more than 20 HCA Public Health Services programs created posters conveying how their program is returning on investment.

This month, we are sharing a poster from the Nurse Family Partnership® (NFP), a program within the Public Health Nursing Division. This program provides intensive prenatal and postnatal home visitation by registered nurses and targets low-income mothers and their first-born children – in Orange County, the program specifically targets adolescents.

Numerous cost-benefit analyses have examined return on investment for NFP at federal, state and local levels. An analysis conducted in 2005 by the Rand Corporation found a net benefit to society of $34,148 per higher-risk family served. That’s a return of $5.70 for each dollar spent on the program.

For those higher-risk families, the analysis found that communities recovered the cost of the program by the time the child reached the age of four. Congratulations to our Public Health Nurses who are saving lives and saving money.

This is Public Health photo collage

Nurse Family Partnership®

A 2012 analysis by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, found that NFP saves governments money across Medicaid, Child Protective Services, criminal justice, safety net spending (TANF and food stamps) and special education.

The cost savings benefits are secondary to the effect the program has on the families. NFP lets firstborns with low-income parents get a safe and healthy start on life. The program reduces crime, substance abuse, child maltreatment, preterm births, associated special needs and infant mortality.

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BHS EHR Project Enhancement is underway

In mid-September, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the project completion of Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Electronic Health Record (EHR). Working with the current EHR vendor Cerner Corporation, the goal is to build upon the existing system by adding the functionality needed for clinical staff to complete documentation of their services, assessments and treatment plans, as well as electronic prescribing of medications and other tools to enable staff to perform clinical work within the supportive environment of an EHR.

Articles will periodically be included in “What’s Up” to keep staff informed of the progress and timeline of the EHR project. To learn more, an informative blog “BHS EHR Info” can be accessed on the HCA Intranet at Staff can also subscribe to receive an email notification when a new article or FAQ has been posted.

What is the Behavioral Health Services Electronic Health Record?

An EHR is a computerized system where consumer health-related records are created, stored, used, exchanged and retrieved. The Integrated Records Information System (IRIS) is the electronic health record for BHS. In its entirety, the BHS EHR will include a longitudinal electronic record of all relevant consumer health information such as demographics, financial/insurance information, assessments, progress notes, treatment plans, e-prescriptions, medications, past history and appointment schedules.

Some of this functionality is present in IRIS today and has been used successfully for several years, such as registration, scheduling, reporting and billing. The current goal is to expand upon this functionality using a three phased approach. The first phase includes:

The first phase is targeted to go live March 2014 with Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) Santa Ana and Children and Youth Services (CYS) East Region. This phase will include a limited number of clinics to properly assess and test the deployment.

Following successful testing, phase two will include expanded deployment to AMHS, Prevention and Intervention, Center of Excellence and CYS county outpatient mental health programs. The final phase will include connectivity and data sharing with contract providers, consumers and Health Information Exchanges (HIE). This phase is targeted for completion in 2016.

The Agency is excited about the future of the BHS EHR and benefits it will bring to staff and consumers.

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Environmental Health focuses on food at OC Fair

More than 24 Food Protection Program staff from Environmental Health (EH) were on hand during the opening day of the OC Fair on Friday, July 12 to inspect more than 200 food operations including bacon-wrapped deep fried pickles! Thank you to all EH team members for a great job on making sure that the foods served at the fair were prepared and handled safely.

Pictured (top row, left to right) are Randy Dossett, Gerrit Kovach, Kevin Dugan, John Banoczi and Shelley Wallevand. Pictured (middle row, left to right) are Glenn Dimaano, Ashley Reynolds, Matthew Reighter, Lara Adourian, Christina Valdez, Janene Bankson, Jenafer Forester, Bruce Freeman, Jennifer Russell, Leslie Moffitt, Lia Gountoumas and Brian Wong. Pictured (bottom row, left to right) are Todd Naffziger, Kevin Do, Karen Newe, Mary Jin, Linda Rodriguez, Britney Nguyen and Valerie Kenekeo. Not pictured are Tom Wong and Naomi Tesfamichael.
Pictured (top row, left to right) are Randy Dossett, Gerrit Kovach, Kevin Dugan, John Banoczi and Shelley Wallevand. Pictured (middle row, left to right) are Glenn Dimaano, Ashley Reynolds, Matthew Reighter, Lara Adourian, Christina Valdez, Janene Bankson, Jenafer Forester, Bruce Freeman, Jennifer Russell, Leslie Moffitt, Lia Gountoumas and Brian Wong. Pictured (bottom row, left to right) are Todd Naffziger, Kevin Do, Karen Newe, Mary Jin, Linda Rodriguez, Britney Nguyen and Valerie Kenekeo. Not pictured are Tom Wong and Naomi Tesfamichael.

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September Health Observances

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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
Pony Bldg. 38-S, 4th Floor 

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