Santa Rosa, CA – May 7, 2019 – Today the County of Sonoma was recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) with two Achievement Awards for the Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS) initiative and the Recovery and Resiliency Framework. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
We are honored to be recognized for two Achievement Awards which highlight our work as a county and community in response to emergency and disaster,” said David Rabbitt, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair. “As we recover, the value of these programs continue to be a beneficial tool for our residents.
NACo recognized the County’s Recovery and Resiliency Framework in the category of Risk and Emergency Management. The Framework will also receive the honor of Best in Category due to its exceptional results and unique innovations.
We are grateful for this recognition and want to thank our community partners, who helped us craft a vision of our community recovering together and becoming more resilient in the future,” said Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency Michael Gossman. “The creation of the Framework reflects a true community effort in the face of disaster.
The Recovery and Resiliency Framework was developed in response to the 2017 October Wildfires to identify goals, actions, timelines, and essential partnerships necessary to make progress towards five critical strategic areas – Community Preparedness and Infrastructure, Housing, Economy, Safety Net Services, and Natural Resources. The framework also incorporates post-fire response activities, challenges and opportunities, public input received, completed actions, and a community led vision for each strategy area.
Sonoma County was also recognized by NACo for the ACCESS Sonoma County Initiative in the Health Award category for its collaborative work among the County’s safety net departments—Health Services, Human Services, Community Development Commission, Child Support Services, Probation Department, and criminal justice partners.
Receiving this award from NACo recognizes our collaborative efforts among various agencies and that’s what makes the County special,” said Karen Fies, Director of the Sonoma County Human Services Department.
ACCESS has the goal of identifying the most vulnerable residents in the community—those experiencing ongoing unemployment, homelessness and housing insecurity, behavioral health and substance use issues, and who also may receive services that intersect with agencies in the criminal justice system—and helps them receive the support they need.
The innovative work done by our various safety departments is imperative for vulnerable residents who, through ACCESS, can take steps to becoming self-sufficient leading to positive outcomes,” said David Koch, Chief Probation Officer of the Sonoma County Probation Department.
NACo President Greg Cox said, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.