Plumas health care pilot program seeks to bolster health resources and support

The California Department of Health Care Services announced that the Small County Whole Person Care Collaborative (consisting of the counties of Plumas, Mariposa and San Benito) has been approved and selected to receive a second round of total funds in the amount of $10,362,176 to implement its local WPC Pilot program.

The San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency coordinated the application process and submitted it on behalf of the three counties.

Louise Steenkamp, who wrote the portion pertaining to Plumas County, is “thrilled” with the decision to award “California’s first and only Small County Collaborative for its unique and innovative approach to ensure the most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries have resources and support they need to thrive.”

Over the next three-and-a-half years, Plumas will receive $3.15 million to bring together health and social service programs across the county in a more client and community-centered system of care and develop the infrastructure necessary to deliver seamless, coordinated services to Medi-Cal populations.

  “Plumas County’s new Wellness Centers located in Chester, Greenville, Quincy and Portola will be the portal for outreach and engagement of individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and are high-utilizers of acute care services due to mental health illness, substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders,” said Bob Brunson, Plumas County behavioral health director.

Using a “no wrong door” approach, the initiative includes referral and coordination funds for all three hospitals in Plumas County — Plumas District Hospital in Quincy, Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola, and Seneca Hospital District in Chester.

Plumas Rural Services, a local nonprofit organization based in Quincy, will receive funding to provide housing navigation and support services.

Brunson said, “Now, more than ever, we must maintain our focus and move our health system from a fail-first to a care-first model.”

In August, Plumas County Behavioral Health Services will host a kick-off meeting for collaborative partners to launch the pilot program and, in September, staff will participate in a learning collaborative meeting with Mariposa and San Benito counties on data integration and program evaluation.

For more information, contact Louise Steenkamp at [email protected]untyofplumas.com.