Lake County Wellville: 2017 Year in Review

As we dig into our plans for 2018, it’s worth taking a look back to what each Wellville community achieved in 2017. Here’s the 2017 Year in Review for Lake County, CA.

Hope Rising, the community health collaborative in the Wellville community of Lake County, CA, began 2017 with a focus on launching a new project by the end of January.

In trying to choose that project, the Hope Rising team realized that, to make their work successful, they first had to put in place a more functional organization that included governance. This would provide them with the leadership, funding and strategy to focus on a few key projects. They saw three operational areas in need of development:

  • Leadership capacity. The local agency leaders and county residents needed training and experience to lead a formal, ongoing change process.
  • Well-governed collaborative. Both to be effective and to attract support from local and national funders, the collaborative needed shared, aligned goals and a track record of managing funds and other assets effectively. While the members of Hope Rising have collaborated for years, they understood the need to formalize their partnerships to address countywide needs.
  • Data and measurement. Both to assess its own progress as well as to attract investment, the collaborative would need to start collecting data and measuring progress.

In short, the operational work sort of chose itself as the 2017 project for the Lake County team.

Over the course of the rest of 2017, the team worked to define specific roles & responsibilities, with a clear leadership structure and decision making process. The result is a strikingly more collaborative dynamic. “We figured out how to build a collaborative. We figured out how we can expand and grow investment. It’s really exciting,” says Shelly Mascari, the Director of Community Wellness for Adventist Health and the local Wellville coordinator.

To cement their operational work, the Hope Rising team arranged for the Aspen Institute to provide them with leadership training in early 2018. We’ll write about the results of that training, which took place in mid-March, in a later post.

This year the team will focus their efforts on developing the Hope Rising Center for Transformation, which grew out of its work on Project Restoration, a pilot project funded by Adventist Health. Project Restoration is an initiative that provides intensive case management services for countywide “super-utilizers” – residents who are frequent users of two or more county services. The program not only successfully reduced countywide costs while achieving positive outcomes for clients, but it also drove significant process improvements among Hope Rising partner agencies as they serve clients with complex needs.

The Hope Rising Center will build on the success of the 8-bed Restoration House, the county’s first transitional housing facility, for Project Restoration clients who are homeless. So far, Restoration House clients have averaged a 54% reduction in emergency department utilization, 44% reduction in hospital inpatient days, 92% decrease in emergency transport/emergency responses and an 89% decrease in police encounters. The early estimate of more than $1 million in combined savings provided a strong case to expand the program by applying for funding from the Partnership Health Plan Housing Innovation grant.

The grant of up to $1.3 million will fund the acquisition, renovation and operations of the Hope Rising Center for Transformation, which will both increase the number of available transitional beds for homeless clients and create a hub through which every social and health service agency in Lake County can centrally locate its services to serve the community.

Also in 2018, the Hope Rising team will run its third-annual Innovation Summit at the Lake County Fairgrounds, where it will lead a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify community priorities. Every year, the Summit provides vision, inspiration and collaborative opportunities for leaders, service providers and community members to continue to align and build momentum.

Finally, the coalition continues work on its SafeRX coalition, formed three years ago to reduce deaths due to prescription opioids and to improve access to pain management alternatives for Lake County residents. The Lake County program has reduced overall opioid prescriptions for MediCal patients by 73%, with a 47% decline in new opioid prescription rates, 83% decline in patients on high doses of opioids, and a 43% decline in patients on escalating doses of opioids.