About the Health Services Department
Protecting the health and well-being of individuals and the community is the fundamental responsibility of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. Thanks to the hard work of approximately 711 Health Services staff and our community partners, the Department of Health Services continues to provide a broad range of innovative programs and services designed to promote, develop and sustain the health of individuals, families, and communities. Health Services is here for you and the community.
With the downturn in the economy the number of individuals seeking County assistance continues to grow. Often the emotional, social and financial impact of a lost job, home, or health insurance has the greatest impact on families and children. Despite reductions in federal and state funding, Health Services is here continuing to provide support for those in need.
Through the California Children Services program we coordinate health services and provide support for children with major medical conditions. Our Adolescent Treatment programs provide alcohol and other drug assessment, education and counseling services to youth at six community sites. Our Teen Parent Connections program links pregnant teens to medical and social services empowering them to assume the responsibilities of pregnancy, parenthood, and their own education. Our Transitional Age Youth Intensive Team provides intensive mental health case management and housing services to individuals age 18-25 as they transition out of foster care. The Women, Infants, and Children program offers supplemental nutritional services to pregnant and nursing mothers and young children, helping them eat well and stay healthy. Our Family Advocacy Support Service Teams provide intensive mental health services to high risk children age 6-12 helping them remain at home and out of institutional care.
Multiple factors play a role in the health of a community. What we eat; how often we exercise; the air we breathe; climate change; the design and construction of our communities - all can affect our physical and mental health. Health Services is here and has a variety of programs designed to promote healthy lifestyles and communities.
The Healthy by Design program, a collaboration of community stakeholders, is working to design our community in a manner that will promote and increase safety, physical activity, and the availability of healthy foods in all neighborhoods. Our iWALK Sonoma program, a countywide walking initiative, promotes physical activity and a walk-friendly community. Our Drug Free Babies program is building a sustainable system of care to prevent use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs by pregnant mothers, improving the health of newborns and reducing costs to the health care and criminal justice systems. The mental health Prevention and Early Intervention program funds over 20 community organizations focused on upstream activities designed to promote the mental health of underserved communities.
Working proactively to protect the health and safety of Sonoma County is also a responsibility of Health Services. Every day our lives are touched by programs and services operated by Health Services employees and its community partners. Health Services is here, working to protect the health of our homes, food systems, water, and environment.
Our Environmental Health and Safety programs work to ensure our beaches, water supplies, food establishments, dairies, and public pools are safe for public use. Our Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program keeps children safe from lead poisoning by providing information and services to parents, healthcare providers and the general public. Our Public Health Lab provides testing services and support for the control of communicable disease. Our Public Health Preparedness programs work to respond quickly and effectively to threats endangering the health of the public, such as disasters or emerging diseases such as H1N1 or West Nile virus. Our Safe Routes to Schools program works to create safer routes to school by addressing parents' safety concerns, encouraging greater enforcement of traffic laws, promoting walking and biking to school and public education. Our Psychiatric Emergency Services program provides 24/7 crisis intervention, stabilization, and referral services for families and adults experiencing a mental health crisis. Our Animal Services staff work to protect the health and safety of individuals and animals, providing education, sheltering, adoption and enforcement services.