At least 25,500 uninsured Sonoma County residents are expected to get health insurance by the end of the first year of full implementation of President Obama’s health care law, county health officials say.
In a bland industrial office building off Airport Boulevard, dozens of newly hired county employees have been logging what must seem like endless hours of training in preparation for the launch of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
At one end of the room, overlooking rows and rows of computer stations, an instructor walks trainees through each line of an application for health care coverage and subsidies.
Computer screen after computer screen, the instructor navigates the bureaucratic minutiae that will determine what kind of health insurance thousands of North Coast residents will be eligible for on Oct. 1, when the state’s health insurance marketplace opens for business.
The Healdsburg City Council on Monday approved a temporary contract with Sonoma County to take over responsibility for animal control, prompted by the imminent closure of the independently-run Healdsburg Animal Shelter.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday could take the next step in a long-proposed plan to add fluoride to most of the county’s drinking water.
Sonoma County’s Health Services Department has received a $3.5 million federal grant to support a wide range of health and wellness programs and initiatives, county officials announced Friday. More than half of the money in the two-year grant will go to nonprofit organizations and other non-government entities that will carry out much of the work. The initiatives are focused on youth suicide prevention, diabetes and high blood pressure detection, local food production, worksite wellness for farmworkers, safe routes to school and a media campaign combating tobacco use and consumption of sugary drinks.
The plan sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature calls for sweeping changes to the criminal justice system, curtails local redevelopment projects, closes state parks and reduces welfare programs that serve hundreds of needy families and individuals in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County supervisors have authorized more than $3.7 million in spending on early childhood development programs in recent weeks, a fast-track maneuver to keep the money from the state.
UPDATE 8:20 PM: Amy Cooper returned to her old job overseeing Sonoma County’s animal shelter on Tuesday, nine months after she was fired and told to leave the facility immediately. Cooper said she still has not been told why she was fired. “I don’t suspect I’ll ever know, and I’m at peace with that,” she said.
UPDATE 7:15 PM: Sonoma County has re-hired Amy Cooper to lead the Animal Care and Control Division. Her return comes nine months after Cooper’s controversial firing sparked numerous investigations, a department re-organization and the departure of the county’s agricultural commissioner.