SoHum Health Makes Opioid Honor Roll
By Chelsea Brown,
SoHum Health makes Cal Hospital Compare’s 2021 Opioid Honor Roll for Work Combatting Opioid Addiction in Southern Humboldt
California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, along with Cal Hospital Compare, recognized hospitals across California for their high performance in maternity care, opioid stewardship, and patient safety.
These annual measurements through Cal Hospital Compare help us to applaud those hospitals doing excellent work.
“Improving the quality of patient care in hospitals is an ongoing process,” said CalHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “These annual measurements through Cal Hospital Compare help us to applaud those hospitals doing excellent work and show where improvement is needed. Many patients, providers, and staff are still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, from access to services, supplies, and staffing, so it is even more important to celebrate exemplary hospital performance.”
Since 2019, California has recognized hospitals for their progress and performance in promoting safe and effective opioid use, providing treatment for patients with opioid use disorder, providing access to naloxone to prevent opioid overdose-related deaths, and reducing barriers to care by addressing stigma. In recognition of their work in 2021, 105 hospitals voluntarily reported their progress in addressing the opioid crisis. Of these hospitals, we congratulate 76 hospitals for making this year’s honor roll.
Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District’s Registered Service Mark is “caring for the community we’re privileged to serve.” True to this sentiment, SoHum Health has listened carefully and considered its community’s needs to provide pain management and behavioral health services. Last year, they hired the organization’s first Substance Use Disorder (SUD) counselor, a certified drug and alcohol counselor who has created behavioral health outreach, medication-assisted treatment, and naloxone distribution programs.
SoHum Health continues to meet the community’s needs so they can help prevent opioid misuse.
Given SoHum Health’s services and the experiences of both SoHum Health’s SUD counselor and leadership team, much of these resources are directed to those marginally housed and the community’s youth population. The SUD counselor spends most of their time in the field visiting many places in the community, including homeless encampments and the District’s Family Resource Center. At the encampments, the SUD counselor and other District team members provide food, clothing, guidance on accessing SoHum’s medication-assisted treatment program and other resources, COVID vaccines, naloxone kits, and wound care. They have engaged high school students, often negatively impacted by SUD, on hikes where they can have open and honest conversations about their lives, including substance misuse prevention.
Since these programs have successfully met community needs, SoHum Health has recently hired a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to expand their program’s reach. In addition, they are actively determining how they can provide voluntary inpatient detox services for patients. Currently, these individuals are transferred or referred to a higher level of care. SoHum Health continues to meet the community’s needs so they can help prevent opioid misuse, provide access to treatment, and prevent opioid-related deaths. “The opportunity to serve such a unique and impacted community has been wonderful; I am thrilled to continue building the resources to allow better access for everyone in Southern Humboldt,” said Katy McDonough, LCSW at SoHum Health.
For more information about Behavioral Health services at SoHum Health, call (707) 923-3921. SoHum Health is a California Special Healthcare District that operates Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Southern Humboldt Community Clinic, Southern Humboldt Family Resource Center, and Garberville Pharmacy.
Chelsea Brown, submitted on behalf of the SoHum Health’s Outreach department.