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Funding makes whole person care available in Plumas County

“This is not the whole person care that you know and love,” said Tony Hobson, director of the Plumas County Behavioral Health Department.

Hobson was joking with supervisors as he began a short presentation on initiating a whole person care pilot program in the county.

One-time funding totaling more than $400,000 is being awarded to Plumas County Behavioral Health to initiate Whole Person Care Capacity through the state Department of Health Care Services.

Funding is to be used from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2025.

Hobson requested and received supervisors’ approval to sign documents accepting the funding. A resolution was also approved at the Tuesday, Jan. 21, meeting.

Hobson said the funds would allow Behavioral Health to hire a care coordinator.

Funding allows a care coordinator to work with individuals to develop and implement essential programs and infrastructure for coordinating health, behavioral health and critical social services, including housing. “Priority will be given to individuals with mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” according to Hobson.

State funding is made available in a $100 million one-time general fund proposal for pilot programs. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, $20 million is from the Mental Health Services Fund for counties that do not operate a Whole Person Care Pilot.

With the funding, Plumas County can now join other counties that previously did not offer these kinds of services.

Hobson explained that the state successfully worked with 25 other pilot programs for target populations with a range of comprehensive services and supports. These are designed to meet the unmet needs and improve the quality and outcomes for high-risk populations.

Hobson said the new pilot program meets both the department’s and the public’s needs for the target population.

The agreement is also in writing, which is a big plus, Hobson told the board.

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