News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.
Photo: The Board expressed its gratitude to Dr. Ian Hunter, who is retiring from the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. Dr. Hunter, a clinical psychologist, has overseen all aspects of the Center since he joined as Executive Director in 1981.
Encouraging Bike and Transit Commuting
The County of Los Angeles is committed to reducing our carbon footprint. This week, the Board passed a motion making it easier for all County employees to lessen their use of single occupant vehicles in favor of greener methods of travel like biking or public transportation.
As the largest public employer in the Los Angeles County region, the County of Los Angeles employs over 108,000 full-time employees. The motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis outlines several ways the county can encourage the use of biking and transit as an alternative to traveling by car. For example, the motion allows for changes to our Mileage Authorization & Reimbursement System (MARS), allowing employees to submit reimbursement requests for transit, bicycle, rideshare, and other trips just as easily as such employees today enter their automobile mileage and parking reimbursement requests. It also proposes allowing employees to check out a Metro transit pass (TAP card) that is usable on over 20 transit systems in Los Angeles, including soon for the Metro Bike Share program
This motion not only seeks to reduce the County’s motor vehicle emissions, it also encourages employees to choose active, healthy transportation options during work hours. Going green is truly a win-win!
On Tuesday, the Board unanimously voted to execute an agreement with Children’s Law Center of California for $295,000 to cover the costs of running a special courtroom specifically for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC). The courtroom named the Dedication to Restoration through Empowerment, Advocacy, and Mentoring (DREAM) court, is located at Edelman’s Children’s Court in Monterey Park.
The DREAM court is a product of the 2014 passage of Senate Bill (SB) 855, which clarified that CSEC, or trafficked youth, fall under the jurisdiction of the child welfare system as victims of child abuse and neglect, rather than the criminal justice system. All staff within the court are trained on CSEC so they have an understanding of the needs of the youth. Dedicated attorneys work closely with the children they represent, and due to their training in this field are better equipped to handle the cases with a sense of compassion that these children may not receive in a typical courtroom. To date, 200 children have been served in the courtroom.
The DREAM Court is part of LA County and the Department of Children and Family Services’ larger goal of supporting the recovery of commercially sexually exploited children and promoting changes to view and treat CSEC as victims who are in need of protective services rather than as criminals.
Public Health Tech
Digital technology can help transform disjointed and outdated healthcare systems into streamlined and sustainable ones. This is why I am pleased that the Department of Public Health is staying on the cutting edge of technology by working with Atlas Medical to provide an innovative and integrated software system!
Included in the eight-year contract with Atlas Database Software Corporation (Atlas Medical) approved this Tuesday is the development of the Integrated Reporting, Investigation, and Surveillance System, or IRIS system. The IRIS system will integrate the Department of Public Health’s disease surveillance and case management activities into one platform. The IRIS System supports incoming communicable disease reports, outbreak investigations, foodborne illness reports, and electronic lab reports, all of which makes it easier for healthcare providers to report these issues to the Department of Public Health promptly. This software will help DPH meet requirements put forth by the Acute Communicable Disease Control program, which aims to reduce the incidence of communicable disease in Los Angeles County through prevention, surveillance, and outbreak control. Altas Medical will also develop data exchange capabilities with State disease surveillance systems, add enhancements such as mobile access, and improve system security.
By using smart software systems and working with industry leaders like Atlas Medical, the County’s Department of Public Health can develop faster and more effective solutions for disease control, leading to healthier individuals and happier communities.
Fuel Inspections for Consumer Protection
The Weights & Measures Bureau, a division of Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures, is dedicated to ensuring that consumers receive the full weight, volume, count, or another measurement of commodities for which they pay. At Tuesday’s Board meeting, we renewed an annual agreement with the State Department of Food and Agriculture, which reimburses the County for providing fueling pump inspection services.
Commercial fuel pumps at your local gasoline station must function correctly to deliver the amount of fuel for which you are charged, and the prices at the pump must match those displayed on the station’s signs. The Weights & Measures Bureau conducts inspections to make sure that LA County gas stations are displaying accurate pricing and dispensing good quality and the correct quantity of gasoline. Essentially, the Weights & Measures Bureau makes sure that LA County residents are getting what they pay for! The inspection of gas stations is just one of the Weights & Measures Bureau’s responsibilities undertaken on behalf of consumers. Inspectors conduct undercover purchases and provide inspections of grocery scales, odometers, taximeters, postal scales, shipping scales, to name just a few. Learn more about the Weights & Measures Bureau here!
If you suspect there is a problem with a service station or fuel pump, such as the meter creeping ahead while you’re not pumping or otherwise overcharging you, use this form from the Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures website!
Goodrich Rescue Hoist System
This week the Board voted to approve an important equipment donation to the Consolidated Fire Protection District from Goodrich Corporation.
Goodrich Corporation donated a Rescue Hoist System to the Fire District. Rescue Hoist operations are a critical function of the Fire District, and these systems, along with the bravery of our firefighters, truly save lives. These types of hoists, when mounted on the District’s helicopters, are going to be used to rescue people in hard to reach areas, from mountain ranges to the ocean. This particular Rescue Hoist System will be used in training so that trainees will be able to learn using the actual equipment that is used on the helicopters.
During emergencies, lives depend on the fact that our firefighters are properly trained and fully equipped to handle the perilous situations they face.
A big thank you to the Goodrich Corporation for this generous and useful donation!