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Three-fifths of the county Board of Supervisors, Ryan Kelley (from left), Jesus Escobar, and Luis Plancarte, sit on the dais with County Counsel Adam Crook and Clerk of the Board Blanca Acosta during the Tuesday, Jan. 5, meeting. Supervisors Michael Kelley and Raymond Castillo attended the meeting virtually due to the pandemic. | COURTESY PHOTO

Health Equity Funding Approved as Imperial County Board Reorganizes

Changes are coming to make the health system more equitable.

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday, Jan. 5, to accept $200,000 in grant funding for health initiatives. It is the second stage of funding from Community Partners, a group geared toward growing creative solutions to community challenges.

The initial funds went toward building an Accountable Community for Health model in Imperial County, Public Health Director Janette Angulo said. The county Public Health Department has worked with clinical providers, social services agencies, nonprofit organizations, and others to bring about changes including equity, inclusiveness, accountability to the community, and flexibility.

The additional grant funding will help the county to continue working with key stakeholders and the community to redefine the health system to improve health, control costs, and reduce health inequities, Angulo said. The Accountable Community for Health team anticipates implementing a sustainable plan and new and improved capacity to collect and share data among partner organizations in addition to continuing to build a culture of system changes.

Imperial County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael Kelley is shown during the county board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5, where he attended virtually while three-fifths of the board met in chambers. Kelley was chosen as chairman after the board reorganized at the start of the meeting. | COURTESY PHOTO

Board Reorganizes, Michael Kelley is New Chair

The board reorganized Jan. 5 with District 3 Supervisor Michael Kelley taking the helm as chairman and District 1 Supervisor Jesus Escobar taking the role as vice chairman.

“I look forward to working with the board and all county departments to make sure services continue to be provided to our community,” Kelley said. “The services we provide are unending. The people who provide these services are beyond reproach. They are outstanding, hardworking, dedicated, professional individuals that go forward with a professional purpose of trying to do the right thing.”

The county employees, he continued, work every day to do what they can to make the county a safer and better place to live. And, he added, he’s proud to have worked for the county and to continue to work for the county as a supervisor and chairman of the board.

More Funding for Homeless Help

More than $95,000 in additional funding will help those experiencing homelessness.

The county board approved amending its agreement with the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program to include $95,400 more funds on top of the original budgeted amount of $894,000. That brings the total to $989,400 to provide re-housing services to address the needs of Imperial County’s population experiencing homelessness.

The money goes toward rental and security deposit support, as well as landlord referrals and mediation, assistance in securing and maintaining housing, budgeting, and additional related resources, said Veronica Rodriguez, social services director.

The money comes from the California Housing Support Program Planning allocation funds and has no impact to the general fund, she said.

The amendment passed with a unanimous vote.

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