On October 15, 2013, Behavioral Health staff were presented with the Probation Department’s Collaborative Partner Award during the annual Chief’s Awards held at the County Hall of Administration.
Public Safety Realignment was an opportunity to take preexisting partnerships and strengthen them. The collaboration between HCA and Probation is one of these relationships that have benefited from this shift in the criminal justice world.
Recognizing the importance of immediately linking offenders released from prison with appropriate resources, Probation embedded HCA staff in their probation offices. There are currently four assessment staff, one mental health caseworker, one re-entry case manger and one psychiatrist to assist with offender’s needs.
Probation and HCA staff work as a team to coordinate residence plans for offenders with mental health issues along with offenders that have participated in CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Substance Abuse Program (SAP). Both Probation and HCA staff attend SAP resource fairs at local prisons in order to meet face to face with as many offenders transitioning into the county upon release as possible.
Once in the community, probation officers work closely with HCA partners to link the offenders to in-patient and out-patient substance abuse services along with mental health counseling and psychotropic medication when appropriate. Recognizing that offenders who participate in community aftercare substance abuse treatment services are less likely to reoffend, the Probation Department and HCA contracted with sober living facilities in the community.
This continuity of care allows offenders who have demonstrated the willingness to remain sober to participate in Probation’s Day Reporting Center outpatient drug services which provides the opportunity for funded sober living housing.
Pictured (top row, left to right) are Probation Chief Steve Sentman, Dr. Donald Sharps, Brett O’Brien, Mike Priesing, Mitch Cherness, Allan Aloyian, and Teri Consunji. Pictured (bottom row, left to right) are Bhuvana Rao, Annette Mugrditchian, Jenny Hudson, Leticia Luna-Pinto and Meredith Desmond. Not pictured are Melissa Beck, Carla Romero, Scott Logan, Kristian Miranda and Cristina Sosa.
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The annual 2013 County Holiday Gift Drive for Operation Santa Clause (OSC) and Senior Santa and Friends (SSF) runs from November through December 23. Last year, donations enabled OSC and SSF to provide gifts and necessities to more than 42,800 children, teens, and families in need, and over 2,500 low-income seniors and adults with disabilities.
Each year, many holiday wishes have been granted for children who are abandoned, neglected, abused, or placed in foster care, and elderly and disabled adults served by the County of Orange Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency, Probation Department, Child Support Services and OC Community Resources.
Please join other County employees by giving to the County’s Holiday Gift Drive. New, unwrapped toys, gifts, necessities, gift cards, checks and cash are all needed to ensure Orange County’s most vulnerable children, teens, families and low-income seniors and adults with disabilities are not forgotten this holiday.
Donate online at: http://ssa.ocgov.com/volunteer/donations/osc_donation or http://ssa.ocgov.com/volunteer/donations/sr_santa_donation.
Angel Tags for the Tree – Angel tags provide gift suggestions for a child or senior in need of a holiday gift. Gift suggestions for each age group will be listed on the reverse sides of an Angel Tag which can be found on Christmas trees located throughout various County buildings. Gifts are greatly needed for all age groups and should be unwrapped and not heavily taped. If you would like to coordinate an Angel Tag drive for your unit, please call (714) 825-3159 or (714) 679-2438.
Gifts for Seniors – Cash donations and gift cards are needed for seniors to help purchase special request items like walkers and other medical equipment. Gift cards give clients the freedom to purchase items such as medication and clothing. For more information, please contact Eric Pittman at (714) 825-3111.
Donations – Cash, checks and gift card donations provide gifts and other special need items for toddlers and teens. Please make checks payable to Operation Santa Claus or Senior Santa and Friends and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, 1505 E. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705.
Volunteer Your Time – Assist with sorting gifts at the Operation Santa Claus Gift Shop. Volunteers are needed in November and December. To volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (714) 679-2438.
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There are horrors far worse than the frequent misspelling of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), believe it or not. In the HIPAA world, the moment you know you have a breach on your hands resulting from either inappropriate social media use at work, theft of an unencrypted laptop, or unencrypted email, among other things, it’s the equivalent to the adrenaline rush experienced while watching the nerve wracking scene where Jack Nicholson hacks his way through the hotel room door with an axe and pokes his head through the splintered gash in The Shining.
In June 2013, an emergency department employee at the University of Arizona Medical Center innocently took a picture of something at her work station and posted it on Facebook. That picture unfortunately happened to include her computer screen which was displaying a woman’s personal health information (PHI), including her name, address and social security number. Though the picture was removed 30 minutes after its original posting, it was enough time for someone to steal her identity and use the information to apply for food stamps. The Arizona woman filed a police report and though the Facebook posting was taken down, the photo still exists on the social media site through the files of the employee’s friends. October 22, 2013; Green Valley News Reports
On October 12, 2013, several laptop computers containing the confidential records of 729,000 patients were stolen from an administrative office of AHMC Healthcare located in Alhambra, California. The laptops contained private health information including patient names, insurance numbers, payment records, diagnosis or procedure codes, and social security numbers of patients treated at Anaheim Regional Medical Center and five other hospitals. Orange County Register
4 million patients’ protected health information including patient names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers and clinical information, including physician, medical diagnoses, medical record numbers and health insurance data were compromised after the theft of unencrypted company computers at Advocate Health System on July 15, 2013 in what is the second biggest HIPAA breach ever reported. www.healthcareitnews.com/news/behemoth-hipaa-breach-sounds-alarms
On May 14, 2013, an administrative clerk at Dent Neurological Institute in Buffalo, NY accidentally attached a file which included information about 10,200 patients and inadvertently mailed it to 200 unauthorized people. www.healthcarebusinesstech.com/recent-hipaa-breaches
A HIPAA horror story can be avoided by following agency and department policies and procedures that will mitigate culpability and by learning from the mistakes of others. For privacy related concerns or questions, please contact Nikoo Tabesh, CHPC, Privacy Analyst at (714) 834-5172 or Linda Le, CHP, CHPC, Deputy County Privacy Officer at (714) 834-4082.:
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All timecards are due to HCA Payroll by 10 a.m. on the last day of the pay period. Whereas the submission of the timecards in VTI may be electronic, the auditing of the timecards is still a detailed and manual process with a final firm deadline. When timecards are late, our time to do our job is shortened. Your cooperation is appreciated.
As we approach the Holiday Season, here are a few reminders to ensure happy payroll processing:
All supervisors should review those listed as your Acting Roles. It is advised that everyone has a minimum of two and verifies they will be here for payroll processing in your absence.
Early timecard submission for the Thanksgiving Holiday: All timecards are due on MONDAY, 11/25/13.
Early timecard submission for the Christmas Holiday: All timecards are due on MONDAY, 12/23/13. A reminder will be sent for that pay period.
HCA Payroll staff are here to help and can be reached at (714) 834-5744 or via email at HCAPayroll@ochca.com.
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The holidays are upon us once again. For many of us, the word “holiday” is a synonym for a get-together involving many people and food. When preparing foods this coming holiday, make sure that food safety is part of your planning. Environmental Health’s Food Protection Program offers the following tips to help make your holiday meals safe.
Buy your turkey preferably 1-2 days before you cook it.
Pick up the turkey, dairy, and eggs just before checking out.
Bag the frozen turkey or keep it separate from fresh produce.
Avoid buying fresh, stuffed turkeys.
Store the turkey in the freezer if you bought it early in the month.
Keep turkey in the refrigerator if cooking within 24-48 hours.
Keep the turkey in its package in a pan to keep any juices from getting into fresh produce or food.
Refrigerate pumpkin pie and other foods prepared ahead of time.
Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the turkey or any food.
There are 3 ways to defrost a frozen turkey safely:
Defrost turkey in the refrigerator (40°F) approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
Submerge turkey in its original package in a pan of cold water deep enough to cover the turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes, and allow 30 minutes thawing for every pound. Cook the turkey immediately.
Thaw in the microwave oven. Remove any packaging and keep turkey in a microwave-safe pan to catch any juices. Cook the turkey immediately. Microwave ovens may vary so be sure to check the manual for the minutes per pound and power level to use for defrosting.
Remove any giblets from the turkey cavity and cook separately.
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Make sure working areas and surfaces, utensils and plates are also clean.
Use separate cutting or chopping boards for meats and for fruits/vegetables. Avoid putting cooked food on cutting boards that have touched raw food.
Avoid wiping your hands that have touched raw food with dish towels.
Keep raw food away from vegetables and side dishes that will not be cooked.
Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Cook the stuffing separately.
Use a food thermometer. You can’t tell if the turkey is cooked simply by looking.
Check to make sure every part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, even if your turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator. Check the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast.
Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.
Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165°F.
Any dish containing eggs should be cooked to reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
Use a separate clean spoon whenever tasting food from the pot. Do not use the same spoon for stirring to taste the food.
Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
Keep the pumpkin pie and any cold dessert in the refrigerator at 40°F.
Use clean serving spoons for each dish.
Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or eating.
Carve the turkey with a clean carving knife and fork.
Store left-over food within two hours after serving, including pumpkin pie.
Use several shallow storage containers to store left-over food.
Store in the refrigerator if eating left-over food within 3 days.
Keep in the freezer for longer storage time.
Label and date all of your leftovers so you know how long they’ve been in there.
For more tips on food preparation, visit the following websites:
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October rocked Red Ribbon Week! Red Ribbon Week is a nationally celebrated anti-drug awareness campaign that began in 1985 in memory of a fallen DEA Agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. In honor of Red Ribbon Week, a county-wide kickoff event “Rock ‘N Road,” was held on Saturday, October 19, in conjunction with the City of Mission Viejo’s 25th Annual “Walk Against Drugs” and Supervisor Bates’ Safety Expo.
The triad of events led to an estimated turnout of approximately 5,000 people, mostly families, receiving information ranging from earthquake preparedness and community resources to teen safety driving and drug facts. Festivities for the day included a Battle of the Bands, Battle of the Banners, and recognitions.
The Battle of the Bands provided Orange County middle and high school students with the opportunity to compete for a grand prize, a FREE recording studio session in LA. Bands submitted original music prior to the event and the top three finalists played live on stage in front of a panel of judges, including County Supervisor Todd Spitzer. The winning band “Sharp Turn Ahead” featured eighth grade students from Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach.
Supervisor Spitzer, along with Supervisor Bates, presented the Red Ribbon Week Resolution to the organizers of Rock ‘N Road, Erin Meluso (RADD) and Phil Falcetti (NCADD-OC). Supervisor Bates also fittingly presented an “Award of Excellence” to the City of Mission Viejo’s Mayor, Rhonda Reardon, in commemoration of the 25th Annual “Walk Against Drugs.”
“Battle of the Banners” is a county-wide contest giving the opportunity for youth to create the 2014 Red Ribbon Week theme and logo for Orange County. A total of 31 entries were received and judged by the Rock ‘N Road Youth Committee. Banners were then displayed at the Rock ‘N Road event for public voting. The 1st place winner was McAuliffe Middle School followed by Project Access-Stratford Place and then Magnolia High School’s Friday Night Live Chapter.
To learn more about Red Ribbon Week, visit the Red Ribbon Week campaign website at http://redribbon.org/. For more information about HCA’s Alcohol & Drug Education & Prevention Team (ADEPT) Red Ribbon program, visit http://media.ocgov.com/gov/health/phs/about/promo/adept/syp/redribb/default.asp.
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Safe Toys and Gifts Month
World AIDS Day—1
National Handwashing Awareness Week—1-7
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None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.—Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
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What's UP is a newsletter for employees of the County of
Orange, CA, Health Care Agency.
Phone (714) 834-6644
FAX (714) 834-7644
Pony Bldg. 38-S, 4th Floor
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©2013 Orange County Health Care Agency