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Leadership Santa Maria Valley Topic Day Showcases the Heart behind Local Healthcare

Healthcare is an industry with a lot of heart. That was the takeaway form the recent Leadership Santa Maria Valley’s Health & Human Services Topic Day, where the class learned about the wide range of healthcare & mental health services available in the Santa Maria Valley.

The class first visited Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC). Timothy Mossholder from Santa Maria Foursquare Church started the day with a leadership presentation centered around advancing in leadership through capacity and capabilities. Mossholder went over the 3 C’s of leadership: Character, Capacity and Confidence. That theme was on display for the rest of the day, as the class got to meet various leaders demonstrating all of these capabilities in different ways.

CHC employees Dr. David Ketelaar and Amelia Grover, then lead an informative discussion on how to access mental health services in the Santa Maria Valley community. CHC Marketing Director Steve Mahr Director gave class an overview of CHC and a tour of the local Santa Maria Call Center. CHC began as a mom-and-pop back in 1978, and to this day they pride themselves on being an organization that specializes in the “all about the patient” mentality. Today, CHC provides healthcare services to over 110k patients.

Next, the class visited The Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria, where they toured the facility and learned about the array of services provided to those in need. Manuel and Christina, who work at the Detox Center at the shelter, talked about the critical care they help provide and the passion they have for the work they do. The shelter has a doctor on site, detox center, bunk beds, dining area, smoking area, childcare area, women’s only area, and family center. The Shelter also partners with Cornerstone Church to provide a warming center and showers for those who are homeless and might not want to stay overnight. The Good Samaritan Shelter stressed they are always in need of volunteers to provide dinners, and encourages anyone interested to reach out to learn more.

Next, the class received a tour of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria location by their own LSMV Class Member Kelly Padilla. The class got to see firsthand the highly organized process the Foodbank has to intake food items, storage, and getting items sorted and out to those most in need in our community.

The class continued learning about services available in our community at Transitions Mental Health Association. Sandy Rives spoke about advocating for mental health services in the local community. Her team at Transitions spoke about the impressive number of programs the organization provides including their Adult Transitional Program, Community Residential Program, Housing Now Program, and others. The class then received a tour of Growing Grounds Farm, run by Transitions Mental Health Association. Launched in 2000, Growing Grounds Farm combines horticultural therapy and vocational training to provide individuals with mental illness employment and a supportive environment where personal growth can be realized.

The class ended their day hearing from Laurie Haro with Child Welfare, who provided a brief history of the program and the local support needed for foster youth.

From full-service agencies like CHC, to organizations providing for the underserved in our community like the Foodbank and Good Samaritan Shelter, a common theme throughout the Health & Human Services Topic Day was the passion the people have for the important work they do. It was also clear that there is a need to continue to support & grow the existing services available the support the physical and mental wellbeing of our community.

The Health and Human Services Topic Day was organized by LSMV class members Amelia Gonzalez-Paz (Coast Hills Credit Union), Jose Blanco (Aflac), Sarah Johnson (KSBY)  and Shana with Fighting Back as the LSMV Topic Day Advisor. A special thank you to CoastHills Credit Union for providing breakfast, KSBY for providing lunch, and all the speakers and participants who made this day possible.

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