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Auburn, Calif. – Placer County Health and Human Services has been recognized with two merit awards from the California State Association of Counties for two of their community health programs: the Campaign for Community Wellness and implementation of telephonic signature capabilities.

The annual CSAC Challenge Awards program honors innovation in county government and received more than 250 entries this year – the highest number of entries since 2008 – for its four categories. An independent panel of judges with expertise in county programs selected the award recipients.

The Campaign for Community Wellness was recognized for its role in transforming mental health and wellness in Placer County. Campaign priorities are networking, sharing, and providing a forum for creative problem solving to promote mental wellness, reduce stigma and provide workforce education and training.

“The key to lasting change in mental health care in Placer County is to place residents and community based agencies in a true position of partnership,” said Jeff Brown, Placer County Health and Human Services Department Director. “The committee seeks to strengthen the voice of the often unrepresented populations in decision making around mental health policy and resource allocation.”

Placer County HHS was also recognized as the first among California counties to develop a completely automated telephonic signature process to meet the provisions mandated in the Affordable Care Act. Allowing a spoken signature for the application process, considered legally enforceable under certain conditions, eliminated the need to mail documents with inked signatures.

“Implementation of this technology was one more innovative approach that we put into motion that provided a benefit to the county and the community,” said Brown. “We saved staff time and resources while providing an efficient, effective and streamlined process to successfully enroll more than 13,000 Placer County residents into healthcare coverage.”

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