County Wins 10 NACo Achievement Awards
(Santa Ana, CA) – Ten County of Orange programs earned the 2016 Achievement Award by the National Association of Counties (NACo). Founded in 1935, NACo represents the nation’s 3,069 County governments in support of the pursuit of excellence in public service.
“We are proud of our employees who strive to think with foresight, innovation and vision when creating solution-oriented County programs for delivering excellent quality services to Orange County residents,” said Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett. “Thank you to NACo for recognizing our achievements and congratulations to the winning agencies and departments.”
The County of Orange award-winning agency programs for 2016 are:
AGENCY/DEPT. AWARD-WINNING PROGRAM NACo CATEGORY
Orange County Community Resources – OC Libraries/Grow with STEM/Children and Youth
Grow with STEM offers a series of free science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based programs for elementary school-aged children in two economically challenged communities in Orange County. Since its inception, more than 70 children have explored electricity, circuitry, computer coding and engineering basics through hands on activities.
Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) OC GRIP – Orange County Gang Prevention and Intervention Partnership/Children and Youth
Orange County Gang Prevention and Intervention Partnership (“OC GRIP”) is a collaborative effort between the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Probation Department, California State Parole, Cal State Fullerton Police, Santa Ana School Police, California Highway Patrol, Buena Park Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, Orange Police Department, San Clemente Police Department, San Juan Capistrano Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department, Garden Grove Police Department, several schools districts, faith based organizations and private businesses who work together to prevent minors from joining criminal street gangs. Currently, OC GRIP operates in 51 schools countywide.
Orange County Waste & Recycling (OCWR) Bowerman Power Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project/Environmental Protection and Energy
The Bowerman Power Project is delivering 160,000 megawatt hours annually into the power grid. The project’s public-private partnership uses the landfill gas produced at the Bowerman Landfill to fuel seven Caterpillar engines that generate 160,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually. The electricity is purchased by Anaheim Public Utilities and delivered to the grid to power about 26,000 Orange County homes.
Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) and Orange County Probation/AB109 Program/Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The AB 109 program includes a continuum of treatment services provided by County staff as well as by contracted community-based providers designed to reach the consumer’s behavioral health needs throughout their period of AB 109 probation. Through the placement of Health Care Agency staff at Probation sites throughout Orange County, consumers have access to treatment and resources when they first report to probation. Staff facilitates consumer linkage and engagement, and provides treatment to promote independence, reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Services are available to all individuals under Orange County AB 109, which includes Post-release Community Supervision (PCS) and Mandatory Supervision (MS). This partnership is a forward thinking program and continues to make advancements in identifying available resources and implementing cutting edge treatment options for those suffering from mental illness and substance dependence.
Orange County Community Resources and Orange County Sheriff’s Department/Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Initiative/Human Services
Assembly Bill 109 was passed in 2011 and transferred inmates from state prisons to county jails throughout California. As a result, there has been an increased need for job placement reentry projects within county jails for high-risk offenders who are near to their release dates to reduce the risk of recidivism. The program also established a jail-based job center within the largest correctional facility in Orange County, the Theo Lacy Jail. This helps with transitioning offenders link to a wide range of community-based workforce services before their release and to receive continues services at Orange County One-Stop Centers administered by the Community Investment Division in Buena Park, Garden Grove and Irvine.
County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA)/No Wrong Door Service Delivery Model/Human Services
“No Wrong Door” is an all-inclusive service delivery model which takes internal and external customer service from good to great by ensuring prompt, courteous engagement and responsiveness to any inquiry or request, and by connecting customers with appropriate referrals, accurate resources and relevant contact information, regardless of their point of entry.
Chief Executive Office (CEO) – Human Resource Services/OC Healthy Steps Wellness Program/Human Services
“OC Healthy Steps Wellness Program” promotes employee wellness and help employees make positive health changes one step at a time.. The program educates and empowers employees through three important steps: Know Your Numbers (biometric screenings), Know Your Health Risks (Health Risk Assessments), and Know the Benefits of Healthy Behavior Change (Non-Smoking Attestation). Employees who chose to participate received a 5% savings on health plan premiums. The County achieved an unprecedented 86% participation rate in the first year which resulted in a reduction in health care premiums and budget savings of approximately $6 million. Additionally, it fully funded the implementation of a County Wellness Office and on-site Wellness Coach. The program demonstrates the successful collaboration between the County, employees, labor organizations and health plan providers to address the rising costs of healthcare and support employees in taking steps toward a healthier future and the impact of strong executive leadership and support on the success of the program.
Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA)/OC Links/Human Services
Implemented in October 2013, OCLinks (855-OC-LINKS) is an information and referral phone and online chat service to help callers navigate the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) System of Care within the County of Orange Health Care Agency (HCA). The main objective of OCLinks is to determine which BHS program is the best fit for anyone seeking services, and then to connect them to the identified program. OCLinks allows callers to have one point of contact instead of calling multiple numbers and facing wrong doors where they can become discouraged and give up before receiving the help they need. OCLinks connects callers to Clinical Navigators who are knowledgeable in all programs within HCA BHS. Navigators are Master’s level clinicians who have been trained in all programs to find the best possible fit for someone’s needs and situation. Once a program is identified, the Navigator will make every effort to link the caller directly to that program while still on the call, and follow up in a few days to ensure the linkage occurred.
Chief Executive Office (CEO) – Information Technology/OC Expediter Application/Information Technology
OC Expediter is an enterprise procurement application that has helped County Departments and Agencies to transform complex, manual purchase requisitions and contract management processes into electronic workflows that increase efficiency, reduces staff processing time, and eliminates errors. Developed collaboratively by Orange County’s Information Technology Agency (OCIT) and the County Procurement Office (CPO), OC Expediter uses the latest technology to replace previously paper-based requisition processes, and provides users with the ability to route, approve, and process requisitions online. Users can now track contract balances and purchases at every step of the requisition lifecycle, and the application has built in business rules that perform system validations against available contract balances, and can trigger alerts to end-users. OCIT teams worked together to apply business rules that would ensure audit compliance. Overall requisition processing time has been reduced by at least 75%.
Orange County Community Resources – OC Libraries Health & Flavor in Your Kitchen/Salud y Sabor en su Cocina/Libraries
Health & Flavor is a program to encourage the La Habra community about affordable healthy eating which can be flavorful, and does not require hours of preparation. This program connects low-income households with nutrition materials in English and in Spanish. Also, the program includes hands-on activities, such as cooking demonstrations at no cost to participants. Since its launch, the program has served over 500 individuals and families.