Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Introduces Motion to Ensure County Clinic Funds are Fairly Distributed

 

In an effort to ensure that health care funds are equitably distributed throughout

Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to carefully study

how the County is spending new monies going to the private low cost clinics that

treat hundreds of thousands of County patients.

 

In approving a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the board directed

Chief Executive Officer Bill T. Fujioka and the director of the Department of

Health Services Mitchell Katz to conduct a study on which geographic areas are

not getting their fair share of new federal dollars that are intended to help the

County can get ready for health reform.

 

In a letter to each Supervisor before Tuesday’s vote Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

made the case for the study, noting that in several areas of the County —

particularly South Los Angeles – County health dollars clearly are not being

equitably distributed and as a consequence there is a concomitant incidence of

preventable hospitalizations. With national healthcare reform imminent and

uncertainty as to how its implementation will affect County clinics, a study of

existing practices is timely. The Supervisor wrote:

 

“The Community Partner Clinics provide cost-effective, life-saving primary care

services countywide to our sick and low-income residents – many of whom

experience chronic diseases that could become life-threatening and expensive to

address if not treated and controlled.  Recent OSHPD data shows that many Los

Angeles County residents experience avoidable hospitalization because they

cannot get adequate access to primary care services – especially in South Los

Angeles.

 

We know scarce County funds are not equitably distributed according to the

allocation formula that this Board adopted and has been using, with only modest

changes, since 2000. A few years ago, the board recognized this problem by

funding the Community Clinic Expansion Program, but those funds only partially

addressed the imbalance. Furthermore, the CCEP dollars expire at the end of

next year.

 

Two options exist to address this problem. Either this Board, on the eve of health

reform implementation, must somehow identify new county funds to address the

problem, or this Board must thoughtfully consider options to distribute existing

resources in a way that would not disrupt patient care or diminish the funds

historically going to the community clinic partners.

 

Time is of the essence. The County is about to enter into new contracts with

community clinics to implement the new, federally-funded Healthy Way LA

(HWLA) waiver. These contracts are unprecedented in their scope, approach and

potential impact and must be carefully monitored. The contracts represent the

County’s last chance to bridge its comm8nity partner clinic system to health

reform in January 2014.”

 

A 2008 study indicated that while underserved areas can be found throughout

the county, certain geographic areas of the county are more underserved than

others.  To counter this geographic disparity the Board approved $44.8 million for

 

a Community Clinic Expansion Program (CCEP), one time funds to meet the

health care needs of these underfunded areas.  These CCEP funds will be

expiring at the end of the next fiscal year.

 

“This motion will help us ease the disparity between well-to-do and poorer areas

of the region, said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.”We want to be sure that each

district has adequate resources for its residents to receive optimal health care.”

Operation Graduation – A Celebration of Success

In an inspiring ceremony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, more than 280 students and 2000 well-wishers participated in a commencement ceremony for students graduating from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) alternative education programs, juvenile court schools, and special education programs.

The annual event, sponsored by the LA County Office of Education and the County Probation Department, celebrated the academic achievements of truly remarkable high school teens, who have persevered through delinquency, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and pregnancy.

The words of this year’s valedictorian, Roman Guerra, who struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) moved those in attendance.

“I have a purpose. I have a vision. I have faith. Tomorrow I am going to make a difference in this world,” said Guerra who reminded graduates, “If you fall, get up learn from your mistakes and approach problems differently.”

Overall, 633 students will graduate this year from the LACOE-led alternative education programs, juvenile court & community schools, and special education programs.

Congratulations Graduates!

Watts Summer Games 2011

The mission of the L.A. Watts Summer Games is to build bridges of understanding among high school youth. The Games strive to promote positive interaction, respect and achievement through spirited competition in athletics.

 

 

 

 

In the spring of 1968, the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce established the Watts Junior Olympics. Conceived by a belief in the promise of youth and respect for the dignity of human life, the L.A. Watts Summer Games “promotes positive interaction through competition in athletics, art and scholastics.” The name is a reminder that all Americans must seek new forms of communication with one another if we are to avoid the problems and tensions that ultimately resulted in the Watts riots of 1965.

The Games were modeled after the Olympic Games by William Sims and fellow members of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. An original goal of the Games was to provide awareness of Olympic sports and to develop athletic talent from Southern California for future Olympic competition. This goal has come to fruition by encouraging young athletes such as Jamaal Wilkes, Florence Griffith Joyner, John Elway, Valerie Brisco Hooks, Vince Ferragamo, and Byron Scott, to name a few.
The success of the first Games – which involved 150 athletes competing in three events at Locke High School – persuaded all who were involved that the concept was sound. Through the years, the number of participants grew to 12,000 and new sports were added to the competition, totaling 17 events.

 

Additionally, competitions were added in cheerleading, music, art and poetry. As the number of participants and sports continued to grow, so did the geographic boundaries from which the participants came: Southern California, Central California, Oregon, Louisiana, and even New Zealand.

 

Almost 200,000 youth have competed during the past 30 years. To promote the achievements of high school students in areas other than athletics, “scholastics” was added to the mission of the Games to recognize the accomplishments of both athletes and scholars. The Games established a scholarship program for youth dedicated to serving the community through volunteerism, and has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships since its inception in 1992.

 

The Games are not just designed for a gathering of cultures. They are a gathering of ideas, philosophies and the realization that today’s youth can achieve common goals, and reach greater heights through sports. All of the young men and women who compete are winners in their own right, because they do their best, and participate in the spirit of fair play.
As each year ushers in new volunteers, sponsors, spectators, and community support, thousands of youth push themselves to greater achievements, learn to rise above hardship and prejudice and pursue their dreams and goals.

 

  • The Games grew to be the largest high school athletic competition in the nation with more than 7,000 participants.
  • The Games are covered by more than 30 media outlets, including two weeks of pre-Games coverage by NBC. Additional coverage draws from CBS, ABC, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, Power 106 FM, The Beat, Xtra Sports 690 AM as well as many other print, radio and television sources.
  • More than 300 volunteers from the LAJCC, community organizations, youth groups, CIF officials and other corporations support the implementation of the Games.
  • The reach of the Games extends to students and schools in the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco.
  • Recognized accomplishment, with more than 40 years of equity and good standing in the Southern California and high school athletic communities.
  • The L.A. Watts Summer Games is a nonprofit event.
  • The California Interscholastic Federation continues in its support and endorsement of the Games.
L.A. Watts Summer Games Highlights
  • 1969 – Games moved to LA High School. Gymnastics, swimming and diving added. Number of athletes increased to 600.
  • 1970 – Women’s events added for the first time. Games moved to Cal State LA. Soccer and wrestling added.
  • 1971 – Football and Tennis added to Games.
  • 1974 – Games attracted more than 5,000 youth.
  • 1975 – Men’s water polo, art and music competitions added.
  • 1977 – Woman named Most Outstanding Participant
  • 1978 – First woman chair named. Softball competition added.
  • 1979 – Games move to East L.A. College. Judo competition added, totaling 23 events. Leadership and volunteer awards established.
  • 1980 – Participation reaches all time high. Steering Committee organization and structure improved.
  • 1981 – First Pro-Stars Celebrity Basketball Game, featuring 17 Games alumni.
  • 1983 – Summer Games Foundation created for year-round fundraising management.
  • 1984 – Games committee implemented a plan to invlove the Southern Pacific Association Amateur Athletic Union.
  • 1985 – A record 128 men’s basketball teams competed. Games participation surpassed Olympic Games with more than 9,000 participants.
  • 1986 – Games moved to El Camino College. Cheerleading competition held at Knotts Berry Farm and hosted more than 1,000 cheerleaders.
  • 1987 – Games celebrates 20th anniversary.
  • 1988 – A Rap for Peace Symposium in Association with the Community Youth Gang Services was established.
  • 1992 – Scholarship Program established.
  • 1991 – The number of athletes grew to 12,000.
  • 1999 – Florence Griffith Joyner Alumni Award established by committee member Jan Hardy.
  • 2000 – Most sports move to two-game guarantee.
  • 2004 – The Home Depot Center becomes the host venue for the Games.
  • 2006 – Community 5K Run/Walk added.
  • 2007 – Games celebrates 40th anniversary.
  • 2008 – SpiritFest Event was created to encompass the Cheer, Dance, Hip Hop and Pom Categories. The LAWSG Logo was changed.
  • 2009 – LA Southwest College once again becomes the Host Venue for the Games. Boys and Girls Lacrosse was added to the Games Tournament.
  • 2010 – Advisory Council established. Games logo changed to be more in line with the overall LAJCC Brand.
  • 2011 – Opportunities through Education Day added to the overall LAWSG Program.  Annual Games Fundraiser established, The Champions Ball.

Los Angeles County Office of Education hires veteran educator as superintendent

Arturo Delgado will take over the 27,000-student district that educates young offenders in juvenile halls as well as students in specialized schools. He is now superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times

June 13, 2011 — When veteran educator Arturo Delgado takes over as the superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education next month, he will face a formidable challenge: charting a new course for an unheralded but powerful agency that has been hammered by budget cuts and faulted for failing to adequately educate the troubled and incarcerated youth it serves.

Delgado was chosen for the post by the county Board of Supervisors last week after a closed-door meeting. He was one of five finalists for the position that was vacated last August when Darline P. Robles retired amid controversies over the safety and academic progress of students in detention facilities.

In November, the county settled a federal class-action lawsuit that calls for sweeping reforms at one of the largest facilities, Camp Challenger in Lancaster.

The agency controls a $700-million state-funded budget, offers support services — and must approve budgets — for 80 kindergarten-through-12th-grade school districts and provides classroom instruction annually for 27,000 students, including young offenders in juvenile halls and probation camps and students in the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and other specialized schools.

“I think I bring to the county the ability to build relationships and I hope to extend my hand to organizations and talk to them and hear what they have to say,” Delgado, 59, said in an interview. “It’s going to be challenging. Decisions have to be made, and I hope to make the kind of budget cuts that stay away from kids. Our priorities have to respect our mission statement of providing the best education we can.”

Supervisors said they were impressed by Delgado’s energetic management style during his 12 years as superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, his embrace of innovative ideas and his willingness to engage teachers and other stakeholders while holding all accountable.

“The main priority is to get education programs in juvenile halls and probation camps at the level they deserve to be,” said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. “We’re counting on Dr. Delgado to bring that hands-on commitment he expressed in his interview, his written materials and his experiences to bear, because these kids are not getting a quality education.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said Delgado plans to examine successful detention programs in Houston, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere to find solutions to Los Angeles County’s failings.

“He showed an aptitude about probation and a willingness to take a risk,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We need to have someone go in there and take the bull by the horns.”

Full LA Times Article from June 13, 2011, here.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Invites You to a Community Meeting: The Future of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Where: Victoria Community Regional Park 419 E 192nd St, Carson, CA 90746
Date: June 22, 2011
Time: 5:30pm–7:30pm
Join Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for a community meeting to learn about the County’s master planning efforts on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Provide your thoughts on topics including what uses might be added to the site to promote health and wellness, ease of access and parking, and how these various uses can further promote job creation, neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Your feedback is critical to developing a plan that meets the needs of our community. The meeting will also include an update on current campus projects.
Phone: 626.300.2363
Email: cnash@dpw.lacounty.gov
Price: FREE