Community Member Builds New Life with Support from…

Community Member Builds New Life with Support from…

CalAIM Stories:

Community Member Builds New Life with Support from Placer County and the California Department of Healthcare Services.

ECM, or Enhanced Care Management, and Community Supports are innovative Medi-Cal services offered by the Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) and administered by the Professional Consulting Group (PCG).

Meet Jason, a 60-year-old California Health & Wellness member who’s been through more than most can imagine. Jason’s life had seen 17 years of incarceration, substance use, chronic homelessness, and a myriad of physical and mental health issues, including prostate cancer. In May 2022, a glimmer of hope emerged when his Placer County Clinic Services Mental Health Case Manager referred him to ECM.

Only a month after his ECM referral, he was linked to the Community Supports Housing Transition and Navigation service. Within just two months, Housing Navigator Tara Miller worked tirelessly to secure permanent supportive housing with Placer County. With the stability of permanent supportive housing and CalAIM services, Jason received follow-up treatment for his cancer diagnosis and achieved remission.

The client’s Case Manager, Karyn Dirkse, played a pivotal role in helping him maintain physical and mental health. Karyn supported Jason in learning essential interpersonal skills, managing finances, and securing part-time work through the Department of Rehabilitation. No longer needing a payee, Jason recently moved into his own apartment, thanks to the continued support of Community Support Housing Tenancy Service and Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing. CalAIM offered Jason in-person case management and connections to life-changing services.

These services helped him overcome homelessness, build healthy relationships, stay connected to healthcare providers, and achieve financial independence. Jason is deeply grateful for the support and connections provided by Placer County ECM and Community Supports. In return, the Placer County team is grateful for Jason’s progress and inspired by his unwavering determination. Today, Jason is stably housed and adept at managing his physical and mental health. He’s even contemplating pursuing his education, alongside his part-time work. Jason’s story is a testament to the power of support and connection to services. He’s a living example of what’s possible when kindness, insight, and motivation are nurtured.

Thank you, Placer County, DHCS, and PCG for making a difference in Jason’s life.

Post By Dora Barilla

President and Co-Founder of HC² Strategies, Dora Barilla is a Doctor of Public Health and a national thought leader in community health transformation. She is a passionate advocate for meaningful system and policy change that leads to better health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations through innovation, partnership, and strategies.

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