Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan
Carlos Palacios, Administrative Officer for the County of Santa Cruz, presented the Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan, which outlines projects and initiatives up until 2024 [Figure 1]. Carlos explained how properly allocating capital to projects that align with shared community-wide goals is key to creating effective and lasting changes in the community. Thus, to develop this shared vision between county decision makers and county residents, the County Administrative Office (CAO) conducted a community needs assessment. This assessment demonstrated that Santa Cruz County residents consider the development of Attainable Housing to be the number one priority.
To address the housing crisis and provide services to people experiencing homelessness, the CAO composed a multi-dimensional plan. The County will use county-owned land to develop new housing units with the intention that other organizations will follow their example. CAO also launched Homeless Outreach Proactive Engagement & Services (HOPES) which provides coordinated, multidisciplinary services to those experiencing homelessness.
Carlos also highlighted the Comprehensive Health and Safety Focus Area of the plan that envisions an increase of services for people suffering from Substance Use Disorder. The County Administrative Office looks to increase residential treatment beds by 270% in 2019 (compared to 2016 data). In addition, with the Health Services Agency launch of the Whole Person Care - Cruz to Health pilot project, the County aims to provide behavioral health support, disease management, and housing assistance for those with the most complex conditions.
HIPC Organization’s 2019 Improvement Goals
18 HIP partners presented their 2019 organization goals. Common themes recognized throughout the partner presentations included expanding access to health services, enhancing operational efficiency, and promoting alignment between their partners [Figure 2].
A few ways that partners proposed to improve access for health services include expanding clinics, recruiting more providers (especially in specialty fields), supporting uninsured patients, and integrating telehealth services. To improve internal operational efficiency, organizations mentioned focusing on leadership development, effective communication, and strengthening infrastructure. As for partnership enhancement, organizations aim to successfully create a smoother coordination between internal and external stakeholders through, first, aligning the vision internally for selected goals followed by clear communication with community partners. Partners also addressed areas for improvement within their organizations and committed to plans for bridging gaps and strengthening infrastructure. HIPC participants provided slides outlining their 3 organizational goals for 2019 that are available upon request (please email firstname.lastname@example.org).