Health Services, Mental Health and Public Health
Access to Health Coverage
As U.S. Secretary of Labor, Supervisor Solis played a key role in crafting and implementing aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As such, she strongly supports our State’s efforts to win federal approval for a renewal of our Medicaid 1115 Waiver to continue expanding access to health coverage.
The Supervisor has continued discussions with Sacramento legislators to express the need for the same level of funding for public health care systems contained in the current waiver; even upon full implementation of the ACA, California will still have approximately three million uninsured residents.
In addition, Supervisor Solis is a strong supporter of the County’s My Health LA program. My Health LA provides health coverage to uninsured and uninsurable County residents at no cost. The program offers members access to preventive, primary and specialty care services, as well as prescription drug benefits. She has been an advocate for the expansion of program enrollment sites, as well as the expansion of the pharmacy network to include community clinic dispensaries.
East San Gabriel Valley Trauma Center
Since 1987, when two trauma care hospitals withdrew from the trauma system in the East San Gabriel Valley area, victims of catastrophic automobile accidents, gunshot wounds and other major injuries have had to be transported by ground or helicopter to LAC+USC Medical Center or Huntington Hospital in Pasadena – a distance of more than 30 miles from the most eastern part of the County.
On January 20, 2015 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion co-authored by Supervisor Solis and Mayor Antonovich to evaluate pending trauma hospital applications for eastern San Gabriel Valley. On July 7, 2015, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the motion to move forward with the Pre-Trauma Center Designation Agreement. The approval is a step forward in the work of opening a regional trauma center at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. Supervisor Solis considers it a top priority to bring needed trauma care to Pomona and surrounding communities.
Access to Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse Treatment for Vulnerable Populations
Supervisor Solis strongly believes in the importance of ensuring access to mental health services and substance abuse treatments for foster youth, the incarcerated and the homeless. An integrated treatment approach is essential in the path to recovery. She supports the efforts that the Departments of Mental Health and Public Health are implementing to address these issues.
Environmental Health Education and Awareness
Supervisor Solis has been a leading voice in ensuring that First District residents are aware of environmental hazards and how those hazards impact the health of our communities. She continues to work in conjunction with the Department of Public Health and local university researchers to address how these issues affect our communities.
Eliminating Cultural, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Supervisor Solis has led the fight to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities by introducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act while she served in the U.S. Congress. She continues to advocate for more access to health care for those who face disparities due to language and cultural barriers. Supervisor Solis works closely with the Departments of Health Services, Mental Health and Public Health, to ensure that constituents are aware of their rights and responsibilities. Of particular importance to the Supervisor is the right to have access to free health care interpreters while accessing care, as well as ensuring that ongoing training is provided to County employees with respect to cultural, racial and ethnic competence.
Healthcare Apprenticeship Programs and Workforce Development
Throughout her career, Supervisor Solis has been and continues to be a firm believer in apprenticeship programs. She has seen the great things they can do and the lives they can change. In Los Angeles County, implementation of the ACA has caused a historic expansion of health care coverage. This requires a workforce that can address the needs of those who are newly insured, since the County often acts as their safety net of last resort.
Among the various needs of the newly insured include culturally competent mental and health care workers who will assist them and will guide them as they navigate the health care network. An apprenticeship is an effective way to train and credential these health care workers, who play a vital role in helping the newly insured. An apprenticeship approach also provides employers with a cost-effective and flexible way to hire employees who possess highly desired skill sets.
Supervisor Solis collaborates with community and educational organizations and with workforce agencies to prepare today’s workforce so that it is ready to meet the needs of 21st century health care employers.
Health Facilities Inspection
Since the 1960’s, the State has contracted with Los Angeles County to provide all Federal- and State-required licensing, certification and inspection of health facilities located within the County. Nurses from the County’s Department of Public Health (DPH) perform these inspections.
While there is a proposed $9.5 million increase to the FY 2015-2016 budget for licensing and certification, it falls short of the need, based on the State’s required staffing model. To conduct the minimum mandated services outlined in the Governor’s Budget proposal, and based on the State’s Staffing Model, the County would need an additional $4.8 million.
Supervisor Solis advocated for these additional funds in Sacramento and met with both the Governor and State legislators, who subsequently revised the State’s budget to include the $4.8 million increase in funding. These funds will be support the Department of Public Health, which will now be able to train more inspectors who review and license various health care facilities throughout Los Angeles County.
Download PDF version here.