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Dear Valued Residents,
 

We are closing on week 3 of California's stay at home order. The world seems to be taken hostage by COVID-19. Times are challenging, no doubt.

On a national level, we are experiencing an economic freefall. On a personal level, many of us feel a certain sense of dread of the illness itself, and of the length of time cooped up as shelter-in-place deadlines extend.

You are not alone. 

We all are celebrating holidays separately — but next year, we all hope to be together. 

Additionally, we are seeing a kind and unified response to this pandemic.


Blood drives are booked to capacity. Bipartisan efforts are happening; the government has shown it can respond quickly and decisively in a crisis by snipping red tape. Telehealth and human ingenuity are at an all-time high. Donations of food, PPE items, and neighbors helping neighbors are evident, as told by digital platforms. We are seeing retired medical care professionals step up and register to volunteer for the surge at healthcare.ca.gov. Humanity is evolving fast to the situation.

We are learning how to respond to the unknown, and applying what we learn to solve the problem before us at high speed.

All we can do is believe we will get through this, as society has always done.  


Wishing good health and prosperity,



March 7, Hall of Administration

Please watch the latest special meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to discuss #OCCOVID19.

***
Special Request to the Board from HCA

COVID-19 presents challenges to the Health Care Agency (HCA) Behavioral Health Services (BHS). To overcome these challenges, they are offering services by telephone (voice only) or telehealth (video and voice). Beneficiaries or clients can receive in-home remotely, as providers may deliver services regardless of location; care is on par with in-person visits.

HCA has expanded its on-line and telephonic resources for first-responders and other community members riddled with stress and fear. The HCA website offers extra support online at OC Links and the NAMI Warm Line.

Our global economy has been gut-punched; behavioral Health has doubled over. Funding sources are often based on tax revenues and are anticipated to be lower for the next two fiscal years.

While HCA looks for additional grants or funding opportunities, now is the time to leverage the funds to begin a Credentialed Peer Specialists Program.

Peer support services are support staff who check-in daily with people to share their personal experiences of behavioral health recovery. Senate Bill (SB10) may establish a state certification program, empowering California providers to bill federal Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) for 50% of the cost of services provided by certified peers.

California is lagging in peer certification despite its proven benefits to both peers and clients. Studies show reductions in hospitalizations, less depression, and enhanced self-advocacy.

A statewide peer specialist certification program offers a standardized career path to qualified people seeking formal training. BHS Peers are key to a solid behavioral health program, effective in supporting recovery for mental health and substance abuse.

FEMA indicated it will not reimburse for COVID-19 mental health services. HCA welcomes additional reimbursement opportunities for mental health services.

Daily COVID-19 facts and figure count HERE
Proper Disposal of Protective Equipment
As we continue to wear disposable gloves and masks to protect ourselves, please remember to properly dispose of used protective equipment in the trash bin. Littering of waste can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health, including children who may not realize the items they are touching can potentially be hazardous.
 
OC Waste & Recycling is encouraging Orange County residents to make smart decisions to help us all stay healthy and safe during this difficult time. For more information on waste and recycling services, please visit oclandfills.com and follow @OCWaste.
April 7 — COVID-19 Surge Prep Update.

OC Public Health Department made an official recommendation for mask-wearing for essential workers, the food industry, and the general public. This advisory falls into line with surrounding counties and CDC guidelines. 

Supervisor Don Wagner urged the Board that it should act only upon the latest science and medical information under the guidance of Public Health Director Dr. Nichole Quick, the CDC, and public health experts.

“Our role should be to empower Dr. Quick, in her professional capacity, to give the leading-edge medical recommendations to flatten the curve," said Supervisor Wagner.

The Board followed Supervisor Wagner’s recommendation, demonstrating its ability to limit its powers on issues outside its purview, deferring to medical experts who are constantly updating their knowledge of this virus.

Media: 

LA Times
Voice of OC
OC Register
Meet New Commissioner Courtney Smith

Supervisor Don Wagner recently appointed Courtney Smith as County Commissioner for the Mental Health Board. She resides in Irvine, CA and is passionate about advocating and devoting her time towards activities that benefit the mental health of others.

Courtney volunteers on Crisis Text Line where she texts individuals in need of someone to talk to. She is also the founder of
Glimmering Bridges, a grassroots volunteer organization founded in response to COVID that provides weekly phone calls with the hope of lessening isolation and connecting people with resources. 

Congratulations, Courtney! The Third District looks forward to your services and thanks you for your dedication to public health.
Donating Blood and Platelets Saves Lives

Team Wagner donated at 
LifeStream Blood Bank because plasma, blood, and platelets (especially platelets) are in short supply. At this time, donating is safe during COVID-19 and it saves lives. California's stay at home order does not apply to blood banks or blood donors. 

If you are healthy and feeling well, please call 1-800-879-4484, contact on-site blood donation sites at UCI and Hoag hospital, the American Red Cross, and other blood donation organizations. 

Please consider being someone's lifesaver today! 


Watch FULL FB video here
 

 


Community Yard Sign Partnership

The Community Foundation of Orange (CFO) and Orange Home Grown Foundation (OHG) are proud to partner to support our community during this time of uncertainty. Materials donated by The Home Depot (Taft & Tustin). 

Local volunteers are handcrafting orange wooden signs for front yards to encourage strength, hope, and unity.

How to purchase signs:

1) Purchase a blank sign, painted with chalk paint for personalized messages: $50.

2) Sponsor "A Hero Lives Here" sign. Donated to a local healthcare worker or a first responder of your choice or allow us to place your sign for you. (We will be working with local healthcare agencies for sign donations): $75 each.
(continued) 100% of the proceeds will purchase food from the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market to be donated to WasteNot OC Coalition. Food will be used by WasteNot OC to prepare meals for families in need during the COVID-19 crisis. 

WHO: The Community Foundation of Orange and Orange HomeGrown Foundation

WHAT: “Orange” community yard signs  and "A Hero Lives Here" yard signs

WHY:  To not only support the small family farms of OHG, but to support WasteNot OC in their efforts to provide healthy meals to the food insecure in our community.

WHERE: Signs can be pre-ordered at communityfoundationoforange.org and orangehomegrown.org and are available for pick-up or front door delivery.

Order your signs
here

Local Heroes Spotlight

Tammie Bullard and her mom, Merry Richter, started making 100% cotton protective masks several weeks ago. Each reusable face covering is washed and preshrunk. Together, they designed over 700 homemade face coverings to date, donating them to hospitals and community members. Team Wagner District Representative, Al Murray, presented them with certificates for their service to our community in need.
Thanks for reading! 
Supervisor Don Wagner is proud to represent nearly 600,000 diverse residents in the communities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, the unincorporated canyons, and Yorba Linda. Team Wagner is honored to serve you. 
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Our mailing address is:

OC BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
THIRD DISTRICT
333 W. SANTA ANA BLVD
SANTA ANA, CA 92701

Office number: 
(714) 834-3330

Questions or comments about this newsletter?
Please contact Communications Director Rachel Lurya:
rachel.lurya@ocgov.com

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