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Departments receive approval for requests

Plumas County department heads made a number of requests from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 10. All requests under the consent agenda were approved without discussion.

Behavioral Health

Two positions open

Plumas County Behavioral Health Director Tony Hobson is looking to recruit and fill two therapist positions within the department.

Recent vacancies created the need to find two Therapist I/II senior positions. These are considered critical positions within the department.

“There will be a further reduction of service availability to the community (county),” according to Hobson’s request to supervisors. “Existing clients will not receive ongoing services as good ethical practice would indicate. There will be a decrease in staff resources to provide 24-hour crisis services.”

Hobson said that until the positions are filled new requests for services would be delayed.

If supervisors hadn’t approved refilling the two positions, Hobson indicated that there would be a possible increase in liability exposure to the county as the result of a decrease in services. Additional stress could also be anticipated on the remaining staff in terms of providing adequate emergency services, Hobson explained in his report.

“A further decrease in staffing support will result in additional deterioration of staff morale and will risk additional staff turnover, which will incur additional cost,” Hobson also explained.

The two positions are funded by MediCal, Realignment funding and Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) sources.

Funding for the positions are expected to remain stable.

Anyone interested in the positions can check with Plumas County Human Resources located in the courthouse in Quincy.

Loan assumption program

In a separate request, Hobson requested that supervisors authorize an agreement not to exceed $10,000, between the county and any current employee of the Behavioral Health Department for MHSA workforce education and training. This is the Behavioral Health Employee Loan Assumption Program.

“Plumas County has identified a need for greater local incentives in efforts to ‘grow our own’ licensed behavioral health staff for hard-to-fill and to retain clinical and other staff position,” Hobson told the board.

This program also broadens availability of the current statewide Mental Health Loan Assumption Program, the Behavioral Health Department is offering a local incentive program to current eligible employees of the department who have completed a degree toward licensure in hard-to-fill positions within the department.

These positions could include a master’s in social work that lead to continued employment of licensed professionals. These positions therefore include marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers and psychologists as well as psychiatric nurse practitioners and professional administrators who choose to work in a local public mental health plan.

The program can enroll up to six department employees through a competitive application process. This is for up to $10,000 per year for each employee. To begin to qualify, the employee must have worked for the department for 12 continuous months on a fulltime basis, Hobson explained.

The lifetime loan assumption program is for up to $60,000 per employee. No general fund monies from Plumas County are used in this program.

Three services agreements for out-of-county programs

Supervisors also approved Hobson’s request for three different agreements and costs for special services.

The board agreed to a $100,000 agreement with Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital for fiscal year 2019-20.

This is a Medi-Cal reimbursable psychiatric inpatient facility for individuals a psychiatric crisis and need temporary care, Hobson said.

A second agreement is with Kings View Corporation for a three-year $900,000 contract.

This three-year term continues to provide support and services for the Anaszi electronic health record systems computer program.

Kings View provides the monthly Medi-Cal billing, does health information analytics, provides state reporting outcomes and measurement systems and much more.

A third agreement in the current fiscal year is for a $40,000 amendment to an agreement with Restpadd-Redding.

This is a psychiatric health facility for individuals with acute episodes or crisis that would require rehabilitation services in a non-hospital setting.

“Due to the demand for services, Behavioral Health is requesting the board approve an additional $40,000 increase,” Hobson said.

Expiration extension

The board also approved an expiration extension date of Aug.  31 for the current fiscal year amendment with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care Resources.

This program develops medically assisted treatment policies and procedures that assist the county in implementing medication assisted treatment in the Plumas County Correctional Center.

The program also performs a review of the county’s opiate treatment and related services and helps the county determine how services may be  interrelated, connected and complimentary,  Hobson explained. The ultimate goal is to enable the county to provide continuity of care and reduce recidivism.

To accomplish that final goal, more time is required to satisfy the onsite trainings.

New Polaris UTV

Plumas County’s Department of Public Works Director Bob Perreault received permission to purchase a Polaris RZR 1000 XP (UTV).

Perreault explained to supervisors that two public works employees are certified by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association as trainers to conduct basic driver course for side-by-side vehicle use.

Off-Highway-Vehicle training is necessary for the sheriff’s office employees as required by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements. According to Perreault, the sheriff’s office requested that public works conduct the training.

Last year in July, the training was conducted over two days with 10 sheriff’s office people trained. During that training, the two OHVs owned by public works and the two owned by the sheriff’s office were used.

However, during the training, the auxiliary fuel tank in one of the public works vehicles spilled fuel on the engine and caught fire. No one was injured during the incident, but the insurance adjustor declared the OHV a total loss, according to Perreault.

Insurance approved the replacement of the vehicle and the damaged one will be kept for parts, Perreault added.

The replacement OHV is $25,389.93. Trindel’s reimbursement is $23,884.68, meaning public works’ budget will manage the remaining $1,505.25. The new Polaris is being purchased from DuPont Power Tools in Quincy.

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