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December 2019

ACEs Aware: On Jan. 1, 2020, Medi-Cal Providers Can Receive Payment for ACEs Screenings

ACEs and toxic stress represent a public health crisis that has been, until recently, largely unrecognized by our state’s health care system and society, but there’s hope. Together, we can screen for ACEs, respond with trauma-informed care, and significantly improve physical and mental health across the state. All Medi-Cal providers are encouraged to get trained today . Beginning on January 1, 2020, eligible Medi-Cal providers can receive a $29 payment for conducting qualifying ACEs...

Healing Youth With Nature and Connection: an Interview with Peter Mayfield (madinamerica.com)

Gateway Mountain Center in Truckee, California provides nature-based therapeutic mentoring for youth. Gateway's program, ‘ Whole Hearts, Minds and Bodies ’ is the first nature-based therapeutic program in California to achieve full-service partner contracts with County behavioral health departments and certification as a MediCal provider. Peter Mayfield, founder and Executive Director, spoke with James Moore of Mad In America. To read the interview or listen to the podcast, go to ...

Why California Needs More Male Teachers of Color [calmatters.org]

By Vanessa Rancano, Cal Matters, December 26, 2019 Darryl McKellar makes teaching look easy. Over 20 years in the classroom, the English teacher has mastered some of the job’s trickiest tasks. He has a writing assignment for the 10th graders in his second period class today, based on a short story they read, “The Lottery.” “When I say lottery, what do you think? Breanna, what do you think?” “Drama,” she says. [ Please click here to read more .]

California, Climate Change and the Trauma of the Last Decade [latimes.com]

By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2019 The wildfires were more destructive. The drought was the longest on record. And the storms, when they finally came, unleashed more water than our dams could contain. To live in California over the last decade has meant enduring a steady procession of weather-related disasters, each one seemingly worse than the last. Five of the 10 largest fires in state record books have occurred since 2010. So has California’s third driest year since...

Making Mental Health Needs a Priority [smdailyjournal.com]

By Anna Schussler, The Daily Journal, December 26, 2019 When San Carlos resident Suzanne Hughes formed a nonprofit offering mental health services four years ago, she started out with just three interns and a mission to make them affordable and accessible to anyone who might need them. Trained as a marriage and family therapist, Hughes drew from more than 20 years of mental health experience to identify what she saw as the most pressing mental health needs and build programs to address them.

Hollister Resident Builds Beds for Children Without [benitolink.com]

By Carmel de Bertaut, Benito Link, December 26, 2019 After retiring as a detective with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Hollister resident Steve Austin wanted to do something in service to others. He found that something while watching a segment of the “Today” show earlier this year. On the show, he saw Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs speak about the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace based in Twin Falls, Idaho. Rowe explained how the organization makes beds for underprivileged children who...

California Jails use Kinder Approach to Solitary Confinement [sfchronicle.com]

By Don Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle, December 27, 2019 An inmate in solitary confinement at a California jail was refusing to leave his cell. The jailers' usual response: Send an “extraction team” of corrections officers to burst into the cell and drag him out. But not in Contra Costa County, one of three in the state using a kinder, gentler approach in response to inmate lawsuits, a policy change that experts say could be a national model for reducing the use of isolation cells. So the...

Agencies Combine to Provide some Health Services for Pescaderans [hmbreview.com]

By Ashlyn Rollins-Koons, Half Moon Bay Review, December 26, 2019 There are no dentists, primary care doctors, psychologists or pediatricians in Pescadero. The nearest emergency room is at least 30 minutes away. For some who don’t have the resources or time, that could mean doctor appointments are few and far between. Puente de la Costa Sur has been working to fill this gap by partnering with San Mateo County and health providers to provide critical services to the South Coast that residents...

Is There a way to Predict Who Will Become Homeless? These UCLA Researchers Say Yes [latimes.com]

By Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2019 With the ranks of homeless people growing faster than housing is being built, one of the most popular strategies for reducing homelessness has become to simply keep people in their homes. In theory, a small infusion of cash, counseling or legal aid could be the difference that prevents someone from ending up on the street. But reality isn’t so simple. Of the tens of thousands of people who are on the brink of losing their homes every year...

From One Survivor to Another, Helping Survivors of Human Trafficking Escape and Stay Safe [sandiegotribune.com]

By Lisa Deaderick, The San Diego Tribune, December 22, 2019 Marjorie Saylor remembers a woman who was looking for help leaving her trafficker. The woman was pregnant and waiting for a bed at a shelter to open up, but she had to wait on the street, alone and in the cold. Her trafficker found her and took her with him. “I never heard from her again. She only had a week left to go before her bed opened up, but the two weeks she toughed it out waiting on the street kept her in harm’s reach,”...

Funding will Boost Support for Human Trafficking Survivors [recordnet.com]

By Cassie Dickman, Recordnet.com, December 21, 2019 Community Medical Centers is set to receive more than $500,000 in federal funds starting next year to provide services tailored to human trafficking survivors in San Joaquin County. The three-year grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and will enable CMC locations throughout the county to establish safe havens, according to a CMC news release. CMC began development on the Safe Haven Project in 2017...

New Screenings for Childhood Trauma Raise Hopes, Questions [calhealthreport.org]

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett, California Health Report, December 20, 2019 California health officials are gearing up for the launch of a statewide screening effort that aims to help doctors measure children’s exposure to trauma and their risk of related health problems. Starting Jan. 1, California will become the first state in the nation to reimburse health care providers who screen patients enrolled in the Medi-Cal program for “adverse childhood experiences” or ACEs. The $40 million effort has...

Kids Under 12 Can No Longer be Sent to Juvenile Hall for Most Crimes Starting in 2020 [capradio.org]

By Steve Milne, Capital Public Radio, December 20, 2019 One of the last pieces of legislation from former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s final year in office would end the prosecution of pre-teens who commit crimes, other than murder and forcible sexual assault. Right now, California has no minimum age for sending children to juvenile hall. Beginning in the new year, counties will no longer be allowed to process kids under 12 years old through the juvenile justice system. Instead, they will...

ACEs Aware: Request for Proposal Issued – Applications Due on February 10, 2020 [acesawareorg]

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued today for the ACEs Aware initiative , California’s effort to screen, treat, and heal the harmful effects of childhood trauma. The RFP supports the work of the Department of Health Care Services and the Office of the California Surgeon General to implement ACEs Aware. Please visit the ACEs Aware Learning & Engagement Opportunities page for further updates. RFP applications are due on Monday, February 10, 2020, and should be sent in Microsoft Word...

A New Program Helps Foster Kids in Orange County Avoid Homelessness when They Age Out of Public Care [ocregister.com]

By Theresa Walker, The Orange County Register, December 20, 2019 For three years after he aged out of foster care, at age 18, Christian was homeless. During that time, he was hit by a car and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for six months and his speech and memory were affected. Over most of the last year he’s lived at The Link, a homeless shelter in Santa Ana. This week, Christian, now 22, moved into his own one-bedroom apartment, in Tustin. That change is the result of...

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