SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On Jan. 15, the Board of Supervisors approved a collaborative partnership between Sacramento County and UC Davis Health to deliver primary care, behavioral health, and some specialty services to 5,000 Medi-Cal enrollees at the County-run Federally Qualified Health Center at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard.

“Sacramento County is thrilled for this relationship with UC Davis Health,” said Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Together we are committed to ensuring greater access to high-quality health care in our region. UC Davis Health already provides health care services at the Sacramento County Health Center and the expansion will allow for more access to primary care and high-quality health care to Medi-Cal patients.”

Starting Feb. 1, the partnership will bring together a hospital system and Sacramento County health care providers to give coordinated, high-quality care to patients. The unique structure of the agreement is based on that of an Accountable Care Organization, where UC Davis Health provides all care for primary care and behavioral health services for enrollees at the Paul F. Hom Primary Care Facility in the Sacramento County Health Center as well as at UC Davis facilities.

“Patients will be phased in over a period of six months to the​ Paul F. Hom Primary Care Facility in the Sacramento County Health Center,” said Peter Beilenson, Director of the Department of Health Services. “These enrollees will be provided with comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services, but will also have opportunities to connect with on-site social service organizations that provide housing assistance, job placement, legal se​rvices, Medi-Cal system navigation and eligibility, and care coordination.”

This collaborative initiative has great potential for all involved:

  • For patients and community members - primary and preventive care to Medi-Cal recipients who currently have limited access to care in the County will be increased and more coordinated
  • For the Sacramento County Health Center and Sacramento County - the Health Center will be fully utilized and serve the ultimate vision of a person-centered medical and social service home for an underserved community with increased reimbursement for services provided. 

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Sacramento Life Center Baby Basket Drive Raises $10K To Help New Moms

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-03-06

Ana Alvarado receives a baby basket from Sacramento Life Center, thanks to the group’s Baby Basket Drive held each December. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Life Center’s fifth annual Baby Basket Drive for new moms raised more than $10,000 from the community in December, which will buy more than 200 baskets for Sacramento Life Center patients throughout 2019. The drive is held each December to kickstart the 500 baby baskets needed so that every Sacramento Life Center patient who gives birth in the coming year can receive a basket of needed items, including formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more.

Donations will be accepted throughout 2019 and can be made online at www.saclife.org by writing Baby Basket Drive in the message box on the donation page. Gifts can be made in any increment, but a donation of $50 buys one basket.

“One of the most overwhelming feelings is learning that you’re pregnant and fearing you won’t have the resources to care for your vulnerable baby,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Sometimes something as simple as a gift of diapers and newborn clothes can give expecting mothers the confidence that they have a support system to help raise their child. These baskets give expecting mothers proof that they will always have a family here at the Sacramento Life Center and supporters out in the community rooting for their family.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women experiencing reproductive grief. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org

 

Source: Thébaud Communications

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Council Recognizes Winners of Student Art Contest

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-03-05

Members of Citrus Heights City Council stand with the 13 student winners of Republic Services’ annual Poster Contest.

Approves Grant Funding for Tactical Police Gear

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Republic Services, which provides residential garbage and recycling services to Citrus Heights, recently held their annual Poster Contest in partnership with the San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD) and Citrus Heights schools, teachers, and students. This year’s contest prompt was “Put Plastics in Their Place,” and was intended to promote recent changes to recycling guidelines. Students in grades K-8 were eligible to participate in the contest, and members of the Citrus Heights City Council and city staff members helped choose the winning entries.

The contest winners were recognized at the January 24 City Council meeting. Twelve student winners received certificates and $25 gift cards to Barnes & Noble. The grand prize winner, third-grader Bethany Morales, was presented with a certificate and a $50 gift card. Arlington Elementary had the most participation and received $500 to spend on art-related school activities.

Dignity Health representative Dr. Jill Walsh, who will be the site medical director of the new Mercy Medical Group Citrus Heights Medical Office Building, updated the Council on the progress of the state-of-art medical center located at 7115 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. The expansion will include 50 physicians providing a wide range of primary care, family medicine, and specialty care services for patients. Dr. Walsh explained that they have planned a staggered approach to moving in to the new building, with the first wave planned for June 2019, and then second and third waves in July and August 2019.

The new medical center will serve the growing medical needs of the community and improve access to quality care for residents. Michael Korpiel, president of Mercy San Juan Medical Center, said, “We are a proud member of this community for over 50 years, and we are excited about the future.”

Councilmember Bret Daniels expressed his appreciation for the care provided by Mercy San Juan, saying that over the years many of his family members have been cared for by the dedicated staff.  He also wanted to bring up a concern about the “unintended consequences” of a new California law that says hospitals can’t discharge patients unless they have somewhere to go. Daniels is worried that the issue of homelessness in the community will impact the level of care. He said that if the beds are taken up by homeless persons, then there won’t be room to admit other citizens in need of medical attention. He asked, “What is Mercy San Juan doing to ensure that there is going to be room for the citizens of Citrus Heights?”

Korpiel replied, “The simple answer is that the law that was passed was the right thing to do. And we’ve been practicing the right thing to do already…We actively work with social workers and community partners to ensure people can be placed somewhere safe when they’re discharged…It’s the right thing to do and we’ve been doing it for a long time.”

During public comment, local resident David Warren stated that he believed “the Dignity Health representative gave an overly rosy view” of the homelessness issue. Warren said, “My experience at Mercy San Juan was very different from what was presented.” Warren claimed he saw many mentally ill or homeless people in the hospital and he believes that caused a delay in his own treatment and that of other citizens. He suggested that the Council ask Mercy San Juan to present a detailed plan for how they will deal with the homeless issue.

Chris Ryan with the Citrus Heights Police Department gave a presentation about the department’s request for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Funding. Under this program, federal funds are allocated to augment public safety expenditures, which must be spent on law enforcement activities. The JAG funding available to Citrus Heights is $27,961 for fiscal year 2017 and $29,157 for fiscal year 2018; the funds must be expended by September 30, 2020 and September 30, 2021, respectively.

The 2017 funds will be used to purchase Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) cameras, the total cost of which will be $48,000. The Department intends to use special monies from the Citizen’s Option for Public Safety (COPS) fund for costs exceeding the grant amount. The closed-circuit SWAT camera systems will give officers access to vital and time-sensitive information in high-risk situations, including the layout of structures, potential barricades, and the location of the suspect and victims.

The 2018 funding will be used to purchase approximately 30 riot gear suits in various sizes, which will cost around $40,000. To cover the costs over the grant amount, COPS funds and/or the department’s budgeted general fund will be expended. The suits will allow officers to safely respond to partner agencies in need of mutual aid, and to engage effectively in crowd control events when necessary.

Officer Ryan stated that the purchase of both the tactical cameras and the riot suits will assist officers in responding to high-risk calls while increasing officer and citizen safety. The Council voted unanimously to approve the grant funding for the requested expenditures. 

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CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - At the Citrus Heights City Council meeting on February 14, City Clerk Amy Van described a proposed amendment to the Citrus Heights Municipal Code that would require Planning Commission candidates live within city limits. The current code does not specify a residency requirement, so staff recommended that the Council formalize the requirement as a necessary condition of eligibility for the Commission.

The Citrus Heights Planning Commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the City Council. Each Council member appoints one Commission member to serve a four-year term. Through majority vote, the Council also appoints two at-large Commission members to serve two-year terms. 

The Citrus Heights City Manager’s office revitalized the recruitment and application process for the Planning Commission in October 2018. Staff increased community outreach using e-newsletters, service group announcements, and social media to inform local residents of the opportunity to apply for consideration for Commission appointment. The new recruitment process resulted in increased applications for the Commission, and the new application process includes convenient candidate video interviews for the Council to review.  The revitalization process revealed that although residency within city limits is an expected condition of candidacy, there was no formal requirement.

Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey said he supports the amendment, stating, “It should be a minimum requirement that board members be residents of the city.”

Councilmember Bret Daniels also supported the amendment, but he did ask whether all the current members of the Planning Commission live within Citrus Heights. Van responded affirmatively, so the proposed amendment will have no effect on the current Commission membership.

Mayor Jeannie Bruins called for a vote and the measure carried unanimously.

An eight-month long project to redesign the City’s website is now complete, and Van presented the new design to the Council. She said, “The website serves as the hub of all things Citrus Heights.” The redesigned website highlights the “Solid Roots, New Growth” slogan in a modern, clean style.  The navigation section has been simplified and new components have been added to the homepage.

The website features numerous vibrant photographs taken at different locations within the city, and links within the photos take visitors to a description of where the image was taken. Van said, “All the photos are representative of Citrus Heights and help tell our story.”

Mayor Bruins thanked everyone for their hard work on the new website, stating, “It looks like it’s much easier to navigate and will help showcase the brand of the City.”

During public comment, Sheryl McCormick voiced concerns about the traffic outside of Carriage Elementary School on Carriage Dr. McCormick has been working traffic safety at Carriage Elementary for two years and has witnessed many near accidents as students cross the street to get to their parents’ cars. McCormick has seen numerous drivers take left turns out of the school from a right-turn-only lane. Additionally, the cars lined up to get into nearby Mesa Verde High School block traffic for the elementary students and their parents.

Major Bruins thanked McCormick for bringing this issue to the attention of the Council and said that members of the Police Department in attendance at the meeting would follow up on the matter.

Arthur Ketterling brought forward another traffic-related concern, stating that when the signal at San Juan Ave. and Greenback Ln. changes, the crosswalk sign doesn’t always change to allow pedestrians to cross. When it does change, the sign doesn’t give much time for pedestrians to get across the street. Ketterling stated that he has seen kids riding bikes through the crosswalk to make it before the signal changes, and he is concerned that that could cause the kids to get hit by a car.

Mayor Bruins said the Council will look into the timing for the signals and ensure pedestrian safety.

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Steve Miller Honored for Leadership as Mayor

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-03-05

Current Mayor Jeannie Bruins presented a bouquet of flowers to Steve Miller’s wife, Nanette, as a token of gratitude for her support.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights City Council recently honored Steve Miller for his dedicated service as mayor. Miller was re-elected to the City Council in 2018 for another four-year term, and he nominated Jeannie Bruins to take over the gavel.

Current Mayor Jeannie Bruins said that she and Miller have served together for many years; she thanked him for leading the Council and presented him with a book highlighting significant events during his term as mayor.

Porsche Middleton, the newest councilmember, expressed her admiration for Miller’s leadership and the way he handled difficult issues during his tenure.

Miller said, “It was a privilege to be mayor,” and he thanked his wife, Nanette, for all of her support.   

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Farley Does the Trick

By Elise Spleiss  |  2019-03-05

Detective Moranz and Farley are ready for duty. Photo courtesy Citrus Heights Police Department.

Citrus Heights Police K9 to Serve Sacramento Region

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA  (MPG) – Police K9 Farley, newest addition to the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHPD), may be performing an invaluable service, keeping illegal drugs from reaching the streets of Sacramento and beyond, but it’s all just a game of fetch to him. 

Farley is a single-purpose narcotics detection canine. The two-year old Labrador Retriever was sworn into the CHPD by Police Chief Ron Lawrence at the December 13, 2018 city council meeting.  He was assigned to work with his handler / partner Detective Dave Moranz, a 28-year veteran of police work who has been with the CHPD since its inception in 2006.

Officers Farley and Moranz are a team, assigned to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Narcotics Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Task Force. During their intensive five-week training, Farley was trained to sniff out and alert Detective Moranz to the ingredients in four illegal narcotics; marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin. Farley received his official Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) certification on November 23, 2018.

After being on the job for only three months, Farley has been involved in the seizure of 40 pounds of marijuana, 9 grams of cocaine, 16 grams heroin, and 9 grams methamphetamine.

Farley begins searching for drugs only upon hearing the words, “peanut butter” spoken by his handler. As far as Farley is concerned, he is not looking for drugs, only his tennis ball. Working as a team, Farley detects the scent of the narcotic and alerts Detective Moranz by a behavioral change such as sitting close to the source of the odor of the controlled substances he is trained to alert to.  Moranz watches him while he is working an area and checks to validate what he has found. Farley is rewarded with a “good boy” and a few tosses of his tennis ball each time his mission is accomplished.

In an email, Police Chief Ron Lawrence expressed his pride in Farley’s accomplishments.  “Having Farley on our team has been a tremendous asset. He is not only an expert at sniffing out illegal drugs and helping to solve crimes, but he is also a huge hit within our community. Everyone seems to love Farley! In a very short period of time, Farley has already proven himself as a valuable member of our policing team.”

The team continues their training weekly at different locations with different trainers to keep their skills sharp. Moranz described to this reporter one search where a substance was hidden high on the wall inside a covered a key case. Farley heard his command, took off and ended up twirling in a circle towards the source of the odor of the controlled substance. He then clamped his paws onto the wall beneath the box and stared at it until rewarded for his work.

Of the five K9’s with the CHPD Farley is the only one certified for narcotics detection. K9’s Dax, Blitz, Luke and Jake are trained in officer protection, tracking and criminal apprehension.

Farley spends his off time with his handler, Dave Moranz.  Both are on-call to assist CHPD and USPIS wherever and whenever there is a need for a narcotics detection canine.  Farley has also been called out by CHPD to assist in searching for illegal narcotics and on other cases.

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Sayonara Youth Center is Thriving

By Elise Spleiss  |  2019-03-05

Transformations Continue and Lives Are Changed on Sayonara Drive. Photo courtesy City of Citrus Heights

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - If there is a residential street or neighborhood that can be showcased as a template for totally revitalizing itself, it is Sayonara Drive in the city of Citrus Heights.

For the first ten years of cityhood, Citrus Heights endured the stigma of the crime and blight on Sayonara Drive. This three-block swath of land was known for gangs, drugs, shootings, assaults, and a myriad of other calls to 911.  Located off Sunrise Boulevard, between Greenback Lane and Auburn Road, Sayonara was the street to avoid. Calls to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department were, on average 32% higher than anywhere else in the city.

That was then. Now, almost 13 years since the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHPD) was formed in 2006 and began a methodical transformation of the street, crime is down more than 70%, 15 offending apartment building were demolished and a long, ongoing collaboration was created and is continuing to this day to keep Sayonara Drive safe for its families and the surrounding communities.

This collaboration is between Campus Life Connection, which oversees the work of the Sayonara Children and Youth Center, CHPD, local churches and other service organizations, and members of the community at large. All continue to work alongside the families of Sayonara Drive.

The mission of the Center according to the Campus Life Connection / City Life website is to “develop character, confidence, responsibility and faith in the lives of young people and their families through educational, social, physical and spiritual programs.”

Integral to the project’s success was the work of a new Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit created by then Police Chief Christopher Boyd to address the problems on Sayonara. Officers formed relationships with students at the first Sayonara Children and Youth Center housed in two small apartment units.  

Eventually, as trust grew between police and residents, these officers, working with the City, volunteers from the community and local churches, along with the students and their parents became a successful team, eventually taking back their street.

In 2012 a new 2,700 square foot Children and Youth Center and a new park and playground was built for the residents of Sayonara Drive with a federal grant.

Julie Habeeb has been site director since 2015 when Gladys Standard, the first site director retired. Habeeb, 28, works with over 100 students from elementary through high school who call this building and playground their home away from home.

Habeeb volunteered at the “old” center in 2008 while in high school. She kept in touch with the Center and some of the students during her three years in Los Angeles working for a non-profit. Upon her return in July of 2012 she was hired on staff with Campus Life Connection to be the Program Assistant at the Sayonara Center. In 2015 she was hired as site director at Sayonara.

At risk children and teens work and play hard and thrive at the Center. There is never a dull moment when students begin to arrive for the after-school program. Tutors and other volunteers help with homework, make healthy snacks, help on the computer or baking or artwork. When homework is completed many students and volunteers head next door to play on the half-sized basketball court.

Students are constantly learning during their time at the Center. One of the goals of the City Life program is “to raise leaders in their communities who will affect long term change.” Not only do they learn at the Center but working with Sunrise Park and Recreation, playing football, basketball, martial arts, and attending CHPD  Police Activities League (PAL) events.     

During the summer there are middle and high school trips day camps and trips including Break Away at Bayside, swim lessons and Extreme Camp with the CHPD.

 Two students tell why they like going to their after-school program and other outing. Sergio, 12 says, "The reason I attend the Center is because it’s a fun place to be at and it's also a cool hang out spot. I look forward to fieldtrips with the Center. My favorites so far have been going to Santa Cruz and to Mojo Dojo."

Richard, 15 says, "If it wasn't for the Center I am sure I would have dropped out of school already."

If you would like to be a volunteer at the Center call 916- 390-1117.

 

Sources: Campus Life Connection

California Police Chiefs Association

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