Supervisors Approve $18M In Health And Human Services Contracts To Help Placer's Most Vulnerable Residents

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2016-06-23

The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved nine different contract agreements totaling more than $18 million to provide mental health, substance abuse, transitional housing and child abuse prevention services throughout the county.

The contracts, largely funded with state and federal assistance (nearly $16 million of the $18 million total cost), help Placer County provide a broad spectrum of services to support the county’s most vulnerable residents.

“Caring for our most vulnerable citizens is one of Placer County’s greatest responsibilities, and we are tremendously fortunate to have such a strong network of caring and professional partners to help us fulfill this duty,” said Jeff Brown, Placer County director of Health and Human Services.

Agreements totaling more than $11.5 million with six service providers – Aegis Medical Systems Inc., Community Recovery Resources, Koinonia Foster Homes, New Leaf Counseling Services, Progress House and Recovery Now LLC - were approved through June 2018 to provide substance use treatment services and transitional housing.

The board also approved a one-year contract for $4.5 million with Telecare Corporation to operate the 16-bed Placer County psychiatric health facility, which provides acute psychiatric healthcare services to county residents requiring psychiatric stabilization and treatment. The facility provides treatment for patients who are temporarily unable to ensure their own safety or adequately care for their basic food needs, clothing, and shelter due to a mental disorder.

KidsFirst will provide child abuse prevention services and operate family resource centers in Roseville and Auburn under a one-year, $725,988 contract. In the previous year of its contract, KidsFirst helped Placer County serve more than 3,000 families with counseling and parent education, helping prevent child abuse and neglect.

Whole Person Learning will provide housing assistance and counseling services to emancipated foster youth under a two-year, $1.18 million contract. The program also provides career education, problem solving, budgeting and other support to help foster youth successfully transition to independent living as adults; helping prevent homelessness, substance abuse and deter criminal behavior.

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Effective June 10th, the minimum age of sale for tobacco products in California increases from 18 to 21, and for the first time e-cigarettes are added to the existing definition of tobacco products. California is the second state in the nation, following Hawaii, to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21.

“Today marks a significant moment in California history as new tobacco control laws go into effect statewide. This is the first time the Golden State has raised the age of sale for tobacco since the law first took effect 144 years ago,” said Dr. Karen Smith, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) director and state health officer. “Our focus is on reaching more than 34,000 retailers with tobacco licenses and vape shops to provide them the information and resources needed to comply with the new tobacco 21 law.”

To help retailers comply with these new laws, CDPH developed a series of educational materials, including age-of-sale warning signs, window clings reminding customers of the new law and tips to help clerks check identification.

About 34,000 Californians die each year from tobacco use. In addition, tobacco-related diseases cost Californians $18.1 billion each year in both direct and indirect healthcare costs due to premature death and low productivity due to illness.

As part of the new law defining e-cigarettes as tobacco products, e-cigarettes, e-liquids including vaping devices and accessories can no longer be sold in self-service displays. E-cigarettes are also not allowed in locations where smoking has long been prohibited, including public transit, worksites, restaurants, schools and playgrounds. Approximately 217,000 California youth between the ages of 12 and 17 currently smoke traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

“California is taking a big step forward in preventing a new generation of young people from becoming addicted to nicotine,” said Dr. Smith. “The surge in e-cigarette use among teens and young adults is no accident. The tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing of e-cigarette gadgets and candy flavors is jeopardizing the health of our young people.”

Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive neurotoxin. Research shows that the brain continues to develop until age 25, and nicotine exposure before that age may cause permanent brain damage and fuel a lifelong battle with addiction. According to the California Department of Education’s California Healthy Kids Survey, middle and high school teens are currently using e-cigarettes at much higher rates than traditional cigarettes. Studies also show that teens who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes within a year.

For those struggling with nicotine addiction, resources are available at Californians who want help quitting can call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO BUTTS.

The California Tobacco Control Program was established by the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988. California’s comprehensive approach has changed social norms around tobacco-use and secondhand smoke. California’s tobacco control efforts have reduced both adult and youth smoking rates by 50 percent, saved more than one million lives and have resulted in $134 billion worth of savings in health care costs. Learn more at

The California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch is charged with enforcing the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act, and conducts ongoing illegal sales enforcement operations. California retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors during these enforcement operations are subject to fines up to $6,000.

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Board Approves Mental Health Contracts, Continuing Commitment to Reducing Mental Illness

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2016-06-09

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted June 7 to approve six different contract agreements totaling $9,758,828 to support mental health in the community.

Ranging from housing for the mentally ill to providing psychiatric services, the approved contracts allow Placer County’s Department of Health and Human Services to provide the best possible mental health services to the children, youth, adults and older adults living in the county.

Mental health services are available through HHS’ Adult System of Care and Children’s System of Care. It is the goal of the county to provide mental health treatment to those in need and return them to living healthy lives as quickly as possible.

The board approved a contract with Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing Inc. to continue providing housing for people with mental illness, which includes emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing. This continuum of housing provides different levels of support so that people can receive the assistance they need to stay in the community, a critical part of the county’s adult mental health system.

“Supported housing programs such as those provided by AMI Housing have shown great success in improving the quality of life of each participant,” said Health and Human Services Director Jeff Brown. “Providing stable housing reduces homelessness, hospitalizations and incarcerations and ultimately saves public funds."

The board also approved a two-year agreement with Sierra Mental Wellness Group to provide mental health crisis services, specialty mental health services, child welfare and couples counseling services. The agreement provides mental health crisis response services in eastern Placer County, 24/7, 365 days a year and provides after-hours coverage in western Placer County. The agreement also supports an after-hours crisis response staff member to be on-site at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where approximately 70 percent of all county mental health crisis evaluations are completed.

The board also approved an agreement with Mental Health America of Northern California to provide family and youth partnership and support services through family advocates. These family advocates provide support to families receiving probation, mental health or child welfare services such as mentoring, advocacy, education and outreach. Since 2004, the family advocacy team has helped more than 9,000 Placer County families be successful by shortening court proceedings and reducing re-entry into foster care.

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Enhance Your Summer Look with These Style Tips

NewsUSA  |  2016-05-24

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - As we head into summer, it's important to find accessories that show off your style, while brightening up your wardrobe. Since summer brings an explosion of bold colors and vibrant patterns, this season's trends are no different.

So pack away your dreary duds, your winter boots and clean out that closet to get yourself ready for some fun in the sun.

Unsure of where to start? The following summer accessories are a must:

  • Slip into a dress. A slip dress is a simple, elegant base layer that can be dressed up with accessories and is a trend worth paying attention to. To get a high-fashion look, layer them with frilly undershirts and jumpers.

  • Fancy your footwear. If you're anything like Carrie Bradshaw, the best way to dress up an outfit is with a pair of wedge sandals. The right pair of wedges can glam up your look, make your legs look long, yet still allow you to move comfortably. If, however, you prefer shoes with little to no heel, you'll be happy to know that flat-flats are in (think ballet slippers and gladiator sandals.)

  • Go glam with glasses. Choosing eyewear that's not only stylish but functional can be difficult. Transitions lenses are great because they block 100 percent of the sun's harmful UV rays and are available in nearly all prescriptions. They also come in a variety of colors that complement your personal style and frame choice. With one pair of lenses, your eyes will feel comfortable indoors or out, in bright light, low light and everything in between.

  • Choose a hat. As important as it is to get some natural vitamin D, too much sun is bad for the skin. A floppy hat is a great accessory that lets you flaunt a style that fits your personality, get a little sun, but still protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

  • Grab a bag. A statement bag is the perfect way to enhance your look. When choosing the right purse for your outfit, think luxe fabrics, contrasting textures, and bright patterns. Pair with a great pair of glasses to pull off a celebrity look.

For more information, please visit

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Are You Eating Enough Vegetables a Day?

NewsUSA  |  2016-05-24

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Only nine percent of Americans are meeting their daily recommended consumption of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This May, National Salad Month, make an extra effort to get your greens and meet the 2016 USDA Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that you consume between two and three cups of vegetables per day.

While this may sound like an impossible feat, it’s easy enough to accomplish with one simple dish, a salad. Not only can you make a dent in your daily consumption of vegetables, but you can also work your way towards achieving some of the other USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations.

Here’s how:

  • Add meats such as steak or chicken and nuts such as pecans, walnuts and almonds to get a protein boost. It is recommended that an adult get anywhere from five to six-and-a-half ounces of lean and varied proteins per day.

  • Add fruits such as oranges or strawberries to try and hit the two cups of recommended fruit serving per day.

  • Crackers or quinoa can help you reach your allotment of three to four ounces of grains, half of which should be whole grains per day.

  • A little cheese can go a long way in helping you to meet the three recommended cups of dairy per day.

  • Salad dressings count towards the five to seven teaspoons of oils that you should be consuming each day and the oils in dressings, such as canola and soybean, help your body to absorb nutrients from vegetables.

Salads provide a healthy and easy avenue to gather several of the recommended nutrients. Here’s a simple recipe for Baby Greens with Roasted Pears, Feta and Walnuts to show you how easy it is to make a healthy and delicious salad.

All you need are pears, olive oil, baby greens, feta cheese, toasted walnuts, salt, pepper and your choice of salad dressings.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drizzle four pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths, with one teaspoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven until the edges turn golden brown.

Once the pears have cooled, toss with eight cups of baby greens and your choice of salad dressings (champagne vinaigrette is one recommendation). Sprinkle half-a-cup of feta and half-a-cup of walnuts over the greens, and season with salt and pepper. Now you’re ready to start enjoying National Salad Month like a pro!

For more recipes and ideas, visit The Association for Dressings and Sauces at

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Supervisors Proclaim May 2016 as Mental Health Matters Month in Placer County

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2016-05-19

Did you know that one in four adults will have a mental health challenge in their lifetime? Chances are either you or someone you know is affected by mental illness. Unfortunately, many people with mental illness do not receive treatment largely because they do not recognize mental illness symptoms or because of stigma, the feeling of embarrassment or fear over how others will perceive them.

In an effort to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and reduce stigma the Placer County Board of Supervisors today proclaimed May 2016 as Mental Health Matters Month in Placer County. The board, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, encourages all Placer County residents to pay attention to their mental health, get screened and speak up about what mental health feels like today.

This year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month - Life With a Mental Illness - is a call to action for our community to share what life with a mental illness feels like. The Life With A Mental Illness campaign is designed to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need.

In Placer County, residents report an average of 3.5 poor mental health days in a 30-day period.

Placer County offers free mental health treatment options that are available to the public in-person, over-the-phone and online. These resources include:

Placer County Adult System of Care offers services to adults including mental health, substance abuse treatment and counseling, in-home support, psychiatric medication, suicide prevention and much more. Mental health services for adults are available the following locations:

Roseville Office
101 Cirby Hills Drive
Roseville, CA 95678

Auburn Office
11512 B Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603

Placer County Adult System of Care
The Adult System of Care toll-free phone service provides services for crisis response, psychiatric emergencies or to report elder or dependent adult abuse.

The Placer County Children’s System of Care
The Children's System of Care helps meet the special needs of children and youth who may be at risk, and their families. Services include 24-hour response for minors at risk of abuse or neglect, mental health assessments and treatment, family counseling, behavioral services and a wide variety of other children’s and family social services.

Online - an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Available in Spanish. - a statewide campaign for individuals to know the signs, find the words and reach out to prevent suicide.

In addition to the proclamation, the board unanimously approved three mental health related contracts presented by county staff, furthering the county’s commitment to reducing mental illness and providing services to its residents.

In the first of three contract approvals, the board approved the Department of Health and Human Services’ contract with Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc., to continue providing long-term psychiatric residential care in Placer County. Crestwood offers nine mental health treatment facilities aimed at improving the living skills of clients with chronic mental disorders to assist them in meeting rehabilitation goals and reintegrating them back into the community.

The board also approved annual contracts with group home providers who provide intensive residential mental health services for the Placer County Children’s System of Care. These contracts ensure timely and effective recovery and support services are delivered to youth in order to limit the time and duration of residential care and to help them acquire the skills necessary to return home as quickly as possible.

Lastly, the board approved a contract for community outpatient mental health services to be facilitated by private network providers. These network providers include counselors, therapists, and psychologists to maximize the availability of necessary specialty services while limiting the need for more costly hospitalizations and residential care whenever possible. This mental health private network provides outpatient services to youth and adults and currently includes 64 licensed independent practitioners.

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New Study Tests Stem Cells as a Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Source: Karen Finney, UC Davis Health System News Service  |  2016-04-28

As part of a multicenter clinical trial, UC Davis Health System researchers are testing whether a novel stem cell treatment can reduce the pain and mobility issues caused by degenerative disc disease. UC Davis is one of 25 sites nationwide -- and the only academic health-care system in California -- involved in the study.

Disc degeneration occurs when the cushions between vertebrae wear down, a natural part of aging that for most causes no symptoms. Those with degenerative disc disease, however, can experience serious, chronic and disabling low-back pain.

“Patients with this level of degeneration often try multiple treatments for relief, including pain medication, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture,” said study principal investigator Kee Kim, professor of neurological surgery and co-director of the UC Davis Spine Center. “For some of them, nothing seems to help, and we end up operating to remove the degenerated disc and fuse the spine to eliminate motion that may cause increased pain. We want to know if a single dose of this investigational therapy can offer relief without the need for surgery.”

Kim and co-principal investigator David Copenhaver, assistant professor of pain medicine, are recruiting patients with lower back degenerative disc disease for the study. Participants will receive a single injection to the site of their pain with one of three treatments: mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs), MPCs combined with a carrier material (hyaluronic acid) or a placebo. The goal of the trial is to assess the safety and efficacy of the therapy.

Research has shown that MPCs can target damaged tissue and induce healing by organizing cells to form new tissue. The MPCs used in this study are isolated from the bone marrow of healthy donors, and then expanded and amplified to generate readily available therapeutic doses for use in patients without the need for tissue matching.

Following treatment, participants will receive six evaluations at the UC Davis Spine Center in Sacramento over the course of a year. They also will be given the option to participate in an extension of the study to track their progress for three years after the initial injection.

This phase III study follows a successful phase II trial, also conducted at UC Davis, which involved fewer patients. The phase II results were encouraging and support the current phase III program, according to Kim.

If the current trial has positive outcomes, it will support the study sponsor’s goal of seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which, if successful, would make the therapy more widely available. Even if the trial succeeds, however, MPC injections will not be the answer for all patients.

“Many patients with back pain will not benefit from this stem cell therapy and may still require surgery,” Kim said. “For some patients, it could offer improvement. For these patients, it is worth exploring this alternative.”

For more information on the study, including criteria for enrolling, please contact Janice Wang-Polagruto at 916-734-1727 or

More information about the UC Davis Spine Center is at

More information on the study sponsor, Mesoblast, is at

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