ACHD Needs Your Feedback!


ACHD is seeking information about your Healthcare Districts! At your earliest convenience, please complete the short, ten question survey regarding your District demographics. The answers you provide will allow ACHD to better represent your District. The Healthcare District Survey can be found here.

Contact Sheila Johnston with any questions or comments about the survey.


Petaluma Health Care District trains local care providers on trauma response

The Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is playing a critical role in helping those impacted by the fires self-heal by serving as a catalyst for collective community action.

“The fires caused anxiety and stress throughout the region, elevating the need for education and access to trauma-informed care,” said Ramona Faith, CEO. “To respond to this need, PHCD offered special trauma-focused training sessions for health providers and those in other disciplines.”

A renowned bicultural and bilingual mental health professional came to Petaluma to conduct sold-out training on the impact immigration policies have on children and families who are already vulnerable due to their documentation status – and who are even more affected now as a result of the wildfires.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Healthcare district honors its donors

From the delicate tea cups to tiered plates of finger foods, you’d never know you were in a hospital the afternoon of March 19. But a room full of donors sampled the variety of teas while they were honored for their contributions to the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation.

Holly Elmer, president of the foundation, led the ceremony, and district CEO John Friel and board president Rob Robbins also provided comments.

“Big Bear has the most generous people that I’ve ever encountered,” Robbins said. “The people here today exemplify that high-level of giving.”

To read more about this article, click here.

Children’s Advocacy Center moves

Child victims of crime in Calaveras County have a new place to heal. The Calaveras Children’s Counseling and Advocacy Center has moved to 1934 Highway 26, Valley Springs, and is open for business.

Previously in San Andreas, the center offers free counseling, advocacy and support for child victims of crime and their families.

The new location, the result of collaboration between the Mark Twain Health Care District and the Resource Connection, offers more space for children and staff to move around. The 2,275-square-foot newly remodeled ranch home is a step up from the dark, cramped quarters previously occupied by the center. The new location offers outdoor spaces for movement and relaxation, larger counseling rooms and an amazing view.

To view full article, click here.

Dental checks to move into schools thanks to virtual technology

YUCCA VALLEY — Preventing dental disease in children across the Morongo Basin is the goal of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District’s new dental program.

The new Virtual Dental Home Initiative was presented by Ronald A. Stewart, executive director of the district’s two health clinics, March 1.

The new program uses technology to link health center providers working in settings like schools throughout the Morongo Basin with dentists at other locations.

Dental disease is the No. 1 chronic disease of children, more common than obesity and asthma, and it is almost entirely preventable, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control. For children, providing access to preventive services early prevents dental disease.

The health care district was awarded a two-year, $531,720 grant from First 5 Riverside and San Bernardino and recently signed a contract to provide dental screenings for school-age children over the next three years.

The grant has two components. One is to provide virtual dental care, with a goal of serving 467 children annually. The second is assessment of young children’s oral health, with the goal of serving 2,400 children.

To read more, click here.

Castro Valley High School Student Sets His Sights on “AGING”

(March 12, 2018) -- Eden Health District, Castro Valley Eden Area Chamber of Commerce, Eden Area Regional Occupational Program (EdenROP) and Castro Valley High School, have joined forces to provide work-based learning Internships for local high school students. As a result, there is a very sharp high school student working the halls of Baywood Court Retirement Center this semester.

Jonathan Huang, a 16-year-old junior at CV High with a 4. GPA, was leaning toward a medical career in Pediatrics before he started his 3-day a week internship two months ago. “But now I’ve found a purpose…a passion. It’s heart-warming to be working with the residents here,” says Huang. “It makes my day!”  Whether it’s participating with seniors in their therapeutic art classes, a game of Bocci Ball, brain fitness exercises, or “sometimes just listening,” it’s apparent many of the 300 Baywood residents have managed to influence Huang’s career direction. If you ask Huang now what medical field he might pursue, the answer is without hesitation, “Geriatric Nursing.”

“This is our opportunity to mentor bright young people who are already focused on their roles in society,” says Bruce Uldelf, Baywood’s Executive Director. “I believe we have a responsibility to develop future generations to learn about this field. Retirement communities are the wave of the future…with the aging of “boomers,” we’re probably looking at more retirement communities than Starbuck coffee shops.”

Students are thoroughly vetted before “Host Companies,” like Baywood Court, provide them with a safe, educational work place. “They are interviewed, attend mandatory Internship orientation classes, and are well prepared for what their real-world experience has to offer,” says Kim Hudson, Work Based Learning Program Director, Castro Valley Eden Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the Internship program contact: Kim Hudson, Work Based Learning Program Director, Castro Valley Eden Area Chamber of Commerce, (510) 537-5300 or  Jonnie Banks (510) 861-7613.

20400 Lake Chabot Road, Suite 303, Castro Valley, CA  94546 - (510) 538-2031 -

ACHD Appoints New Director

(February 20, 2018) The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) is pleased to announce the election of Linda Wagner, CEO of Seneca Healthcare District, as Trustee on the ACHD Board of Directors. “It is such an honor to be instated to the Board of ACHD. I’m excited to work alongside a great group of influential individuals,” said Ms. Wagner.

Ms. Wagner is a registered nurse and public health nurse, and University of Phoenix graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Health Care Administration. She has 26 years of experience is healthcare leadership, and has served as CEO of Seneca Healthcare District since 2012. Seneca Healthcare District is a 10-bed Critical Access Hospital and 16-bed Skilling Nursing Facility in Chester, CA.

“I am very pleased that Ms. Wagner has agreed to be on our Board,” said ACHD Board Chair Howard Salmon. “She has the right credentials, experience and dedication to help guide the Association meet the opportunities and challenges of our Members.”

ACHD is a member-driven organization managed by a highly active and engaged Board of Directors. The Board has five additional standing committees, which make recommendations to the Board on policy, education, and financial matters. These Committees are comprised of Healthcare District Trustees, Executives and senior staff who oversee the work of the Association and provide direction on initiatives that benefit all Healthcare Districts. Ms. Wagner joins representatives from all types of Healthcare Districts, ranging from rural, urban, hospital, and community-based.

For a full list of ACHD’s Board of Directors, click here.

California Healthcare Districts respond to the specialized health needs of California communities. Voters created 79 Healthcare Districts to fulfill health local care needs.  Of these, 54 serve the state’s rural areas. Healthcare Districts provide access to essential health services and are directly accountable at the community level.  As a result, tens of millions of Californians have been able to access care that would otherwise be out of reach.


Association of California Healthcare Districts

The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) represents Healthcare Districts throughout the state. The Association serves the diverse needs of California’s Healthcare Districts by enhancing public awareness, training and educating its members and advocating for legislation and regulatory policies that allow Healthcare Districts to deliver the best possible health services to Californians. Learn more at

‘It’s going to take a whole community:’ Petaluma’s Elece Hempel leads fire healing effort

When Elece Hempel sought to transition from the high-powered tech world into the nonprofit realm, she had to convince Petaluma People Services Center’s leadership she was right for the job.

After two months of working for free, she was hired by the nonprofit, and she hasn’t looked back since. With creative thinking and tenacity, she’s grown the organization, which serves as a key Petaluma resource with programs in high demand after October’s ferocious fires.

“When I think about how we reacted to the fires, everyone at this agency accepted responsibility,” said Hempel, the current executive director who has worked in various capacities at PPSC since 2004. “We were one of the few large nonprofits that wasn’t impacted by the fires and we needed to step up.”

PPSC provides services for seniors, housing programs, adult and youth employment and training programs as well as counseling and food assistance. As disaster struck, PPSC’s Petaluma Bounty Farm helped distribute produce and other goods local agrarians weren’t able to sell at farmer’s markets, Hempel said.

Case managers reached out to Petaluma seniors to prepare them in case the flames reached the city limits, and offer support during some of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history.

Shared Housing and Resource Exchange, or SHARE Sonoma County, a partner program with PPSC, was expanded to help house displaced fire victims as flames were still devouring more than 5,000 homes in the county. About 85 people are now living in long-term home shares, an effort powered by volunteers who stepped up to help, Hempel said.

Her organization is currently drafting a blueprint to serve residents whose lives were turned upside down by the fires, while also reaching its regular clients in Petaluma and beyond.

“We’ve already seen an increase and a growing need for trauma-informed counseling … for many clients, this is just one more thing to add to this sometimes awful life and we continue to try to find the silver lining,” the 57-year-old said. “We’re seeing a need for that and we’re in conversations to build programming for first responders.”

Click here to read the full article.

Camarillo Health Care District Receives National Honor from Rosalynn Carter Institute

Camarillo, CA, November 8, 2017--The Camarillo Health Care District’s Wellness & Caregiver Center of Ventura County (Caregiver Center) is the national winner of the prestigious 2017 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award.  The Caregiver Center was selected as this year’s winner for its outstanding community work in public awareness, evidence-based programming, and advocacy on behalf of caregivers. Former First Lady Mrs. Carter presented the award, which has become known as the nation’s highest award given in the caregiving field, at the 30th Anniversary of the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) Summit and Gala Awards in Georgia; the Institute is embedded on the campus of Georgia Southwestern University in Americus, Georgia.  As a reflection of the award’s prestige, the statuette given to recipients is executed by the renowned sculptor Frank Eliscu, designer of the Heisman Trophy.

Several years ago, the RCI received funding from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to train and certify 20 sites around the country, in the evidence-based RCI REACH intervention. To become a trained site and provider of the REACH intervention, agencies needed to succeed through an application process involving an assessment of the agency’s readiness, including data management ability, budgeting plans, ability to reach and recruitment caregivers, and history of providing evidence-based programs, among other criteria. The Camarillo Health Care District was selected and is the only provider in the State of California; there were more than 200 applicants nationwide.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of the long term care system in the United States”, says Kara Ralston, chief executive officer of the Camarillo Health Care District, “and are the sustaining force for frail, older, and disabled older adults.”

“It is essential for family caregivers to recognize that what they are doing is caregiving, and to identify as a caregiver”, says Ralston.  “The benefit from resources, education, training and services is life-changing.”

The Caregiver Center is intentionally designed as a comprehensive resource for caregivers, providing access to education, training, and support, and engaging the caregiver in a dignified and respectful setting. In addition to the award-winning RCI REACH program, the Center offers a broad variety of evidence-based educational programs such as, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Chronic Disease, Diabetes, and Pain Self-Management, Boston University’s Matter of Balance, Arthritis Foundation’s Walk with Ease, among others.  The Center also offers consultation with licensed social workers, a resource library tailored to material on caregiving and chronic disease, support groups, one-on-one coaching programs, and evidence-based classes for building caregiving skills and enhancing resource awareness.

The RCI REACH (Resources Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health) program is an evidence-based program providing education, a focus on safety for the patient, support for the caregiver, and skills building to help caregivers manage difficult patient behaviors and decrease their own stress.  RCI REACH is an in-home, tailored, caregiver support intervention consisting of 12 individual sessions in the home and by telephone, with the objectives to improve overall caregiver health and depression, reduce feelings of burden from caregiving, improve caregiver management of troubling behaviors of the care recipient, and to delay institutionalization.

“To receive national recognition for this work to which we are deeply committed is both humbling and invigorating”, says Ralston.  “The magnitude of Mrs. Carter’s vision 30 years ago and what it means for Ventura County’s health care district, and the magnitude of the hope it brings to families and generations of families is breathtaking”, says Ralston.

For more information about the Wellness & Caregiver Center of Ventura County, please call (800) 900-8582.


© 2018 ACHD. All rights reserved. Website by AndiSites Inc..