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Health and Human Services (HHS) Day: Class 35 – Attitude of Gratitude

November 29, 2022 10:22 AM | Anonymous

Program Day: November 4, 2022

We were there to learn and we did!
I expected to learn about Services and Programs, to hear and see the heartache of the frontline providers and the heartbreak of those in need of HHS services, and to witness the passion and compassion of those we would be meeting during the day.
I was not surprised by the comprehensive nature of the 75+ public facing programs and services of the Alcohol and Drug, Child Welfare Older Adults, Mental Health, Public Health, and Self-sufficiency Services.

I was surprised to see so many of our Community Benefit Organization (CBO) Leaders ‘in the room’. I’ve seen the County and CBO Collaboration in the Board Rooms; I did not expect to see it the LNV ‘classroom’.  I was humbled by the generosity of time given by the CBOs to LNV.

I was surprised to learn how intentional HHS is in ‘best-practice’ managing of the Agency through its Collaborative Management Principals - a flexible and dynamic methodology HHS has been engaging; and for how long - since 2007.

We were told to prepare for the heart-breaking stories and moments we would be witnessing when we would break off into pairs to see the frontlines.

I was not told to prepare to have two of us walk into a conference room to sit with 10 HHS staff and comprehensively discuss HHS responsibilities they are not public facing but critical to County Health - like monitoring and managing all Emergency Medical Systems, Public Immunizations and Vaccines (that aren’t COVID) but need to be managed regardless, and Communicable Diseases (STDs MRSA, TB, ESBL, etc.).

What surprised me the most was the local sophistication and capability we have at HHS to monitor, manage and address OUTBREAK!

In this case of Legionnaires Disease in Napa in July 2022. Napa County averages 1 case of Legionnaires per year. In July there were 2 in a week, 7 cases within 2 weeks of first onset, 11 within 3 weeks; 17 cases total with 7 cases with onset in one 5-day window.

Jennifer Henn, Public Health Manager, and some of her team walked us through the outbreak, the investigation into cause, remediation, and future steps.

The heroes of this story called on their investigative training to ask the right questions, use GIS imagery and satellite mapping, ‘shoe leather’ epidemiology, detailed interviews, property database scouring, prevailing wind mapping, environmental testing, and genome sequencing. I can’t do the investigation and management of the outbreak justice but I can say that Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman would be proud - I certainly am!

I would be remiss if I didn’t say I was humbled by how generous all at HHS was with their time and energy for our day and my experience.
Class 35 Health and Human Services (HHS) Day Gratitude Team members:
Alison Christianson - Realtor, Keller Williams Napa Valley
Harold Collins - Nursing Coordinator, Napa State Hospital
Stephen Corley - SA Corley & Co, Principal / Monticello Vineyards, Principal & Director

About this post: 

The purpose of the Attitude of Gratitude program is (1) to thank our extraordinary Day Coordinators who provide the information and experiences that make each of the program days exceptional, and (2) to reflect on what has changed for the class members as a result of their participation in Leadership Napa Valley. For each of the class program days, a gratitude team is assigned to make sure all the individuals responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and presenting the day are thanked.


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