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Wellness Matters
Winter 2020

Wellness Matters Newsletter

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Article Diane Tom, Communications
2019 Highlights graphic

2019 BHRS Highlights

Below highlights some of the new and continuing developments for Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) in 2019. We would like to recognize the many people—clients and their families, partners, staff and community members—whose passion, commitment, hard work and support every day, helped make them happen. 

Article Scott Gilman, MSA, CBHE
Scott Gilman, BHRS Director

From the Director’s Desk
A vision of a world free of stigma

There are certainly an unlimited number of issues and challenges facing California’s public mental health and substance use (behavioral health) system. Examples of headlines include rising suicide rates with teens increasing the fastest, meth and cocaine death rates surpassing the opioid epidemic, correctional facilities and emergency rooms filled with individuals suffering from behavioral health issues, and national criticism over high levels of homelessness.  

Article Scott Gruendl, BHRS Assistant Director
A mother and father with their baby

Medi-Cal Healthier California for All: Integrated Health Services
Broader delivery system, program and payment reforms & consolidating health and social services

The most vulnerable California residents need access to various services spanning from behavioral and physical health services to substance use disorder treatment, In-Home Services and developmental help. When the care is hard to coordinate, patients struggle to navigate it on their own and might end up not accessing it at all. 

Article Marshall Wilson, Measure K Communications Officer
Mother sits with her child

Connecting children to services long before the 1st day of kindergarten
Early Childhood Community Teams

The idea is that children as young as toddlers from even the most economically disadvantaged areas of San Mateo County should have access to services that are routine in middle class homes.  

These children will then start preschool and kindergarten with the same skills and socialization as their peers. This will set them on the road to success in school and, in the big picture, help close the opportunity gap between well-off families and those with minimal means. 

Article Stefan Luesse, Health Insurance Outreach & Coordination Manager

Updated Public Charge Rule
Won't apply to many foreign-born residents

Last summer, the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated policy related to the “public charge” rule aimed to limit immigration benefits for people using certain federal programs.  

A public charge is defined as an individual who relies primarily on government programs to meet certain basic needs such as housing, food or healthcare.  

Article Diane Tom, Communications
Health Ambassador graduates

Health Ambassador Program Continues to Grow
Empowering local residents to support their communities

This year, a record number of 19 people graduated from the free public education program geared towards improving the health and well-being of individuals in San Mateo County. 

The Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Health Ambassador Program (HAP) was created in 2014 to honor the important role that community members play in healing and supporting others in their communities. 

Article Francis Lu, MD
Nang Du, MD

In Memory of Nang Du, MD

Nang Du, MD served as the Medical Chief of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ (BHRS) North County Clinic in Daly City for over 11 years.  Born in Chau Doc, Vietnam on October 10, 1950, he passed away on November 12, 2019. 

Census 2020: What’s at Stake

Census 2020: What’s at Stake

The next national census is less than 60 days away. Every 10 years, the federal government is required to count each and every person living in the country — regardless of citizenship status, age, or criminal history.

Article Maria Lorente-Foresti, Office of Diversity & Equity Director
Young Asian woman smiling at her coworker

Health Staff Recognized for Racial Equity Work

On November 14, 2019,  San Mateo County Health was acknowledged for their participation and membership in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). GARE is a national network of government agencies working together to reach a place where race no longer determines one’s life path. Within BHRS, this GARE work is aligned with and supports our Multicultural Organizational Development (MCOD) efforts and plan. 

Bullhorn graphic

More News and Upcoming Events

Doris Estremera Receives Commendation

Congratulations to Doris Estremera who recently received a commendation for the Women in County Government Award nomination for outstanding commitment and service to the people of San Mateo County. Doris currently works with the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) and provides oversight, planning and reporting of our Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. Read the full story here.