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Human Services

Registration open for 2016 Fatherhood Conference

Jaiya John, author, poet and spoken word artist is the keynote speaker.

Jaiya John, author, poet and spoken word artist is the keynote speaker.

Inland Empire men will be inspired, educated and better equipped to tackle the challenges of fatherhood and to be actively engaged in their children’s lives during the 2016 Inland Empire Fatherhood Conference.

The Aug. 20 conference, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at San Bernardino Valley College, 701. S. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, will feature workshops. There will be Spanish translation available. Jaiya John, a renowned author, poet and spoken word artist, is the keynote speaker at the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC) event. John, the author of “Father to Son: Ode to Black Boys,” will do a meet-and-greet and sign several of his books following his remarks. To register for the conference, visit

“One of the most consequential social trends of our time is father absenteeism,” said Lesford Duncan of the County Children’s Network, who serves as co-chair of the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC). “The absence of a father increases a child’s risk of experiencing a host of poor outcomes in the short and long term, such as poverty, poor school performance, child abuse and neglect, emotional and behavioral problems, and incarceration.”

Now in its second year, the conference is a collaboration by the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC), a group of community-based organizations, county agencies, faith-based organizations, and individuals from various professions working to reduce father absenteeism and the negative images of fatherlessness. The mission of the IEFIC is to encourage healthy child development by promoting the involvement, necessity, and value of the role of fathers in the family and community. Participating San Bernardino County agencies include the Children’s Network, Children and Family Services, Preschool Services Department, First 5 San Bernardino, Child Support Services, Department of Behavioral Health, Department of Public Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Probation.

Children’s Network of San Bernardino County works to improve the quality of life for children at risk who, because of behavior, abuse, neglect, medical needs, educational assessment, and/or detrimental daily living situations are eligible for services from one or more of the member agencies of the Children’s Policy Council.

Children’s Network and the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition are doing their part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at

Board appoints CaSonya Thomas to lead Human Services

CaSonya_Thomas_PhotoA director with 25 years of experience in meeting the social service and mental health needs of San Bernardino County residents was appointed on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors to lead County Human Services.

CaSonya Thomas, director of the Department of Behavioral Health, will succeed Linda Haugan, who is retiring as Assistant Executive Officer of Human Services on Oct. 15 after more than 35 years of service to the County.

Haugan has spent the past 11 years as head of Human Services, a County agency that includes eight departments, more than 6,000 employees, and a $1.9 billion annual budget. Both Haugan and Thomas began their careers in what is now known as the Transitional Assistance Department as eligibility workers, an entry-level position in County Government. Thomas began her career in 1991.

Their careers illustrate the County’s successful efforts – mandated by the Board of Supervisors – to identify and develop talent from within the County organization, and ensure the County maintains a bench of qualified managers and executives to promote when vacancies occur. This practice will allow a nearly three-month transition for Thomas to work closely with Haugan before assuming her new role.

“It is an honor to receive this appointment, which comes with a tremendous responsibility to the people of San Bernardino County,” Thomas said. “Each day, Human Services changes lives through a number of programs and services, and we will remain committed to our Countywide Vision to build healthier communities by strengthening individuals and families, enhancing quality of life and valuing people.”

Thomas has held a number of positions within Human Services over the course of her 25-year County career, including Director of Behavioral Health and executive and management positions within Human Services. Under Thomas’ leadership, Behavioral Health played a key role in the County’s efforts to assist the survivors of the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino and the families of those who died.

“CaSonya Thomas is an outstanding employee and an asset to the county. As the newly appointed Assistant Executive Officer for Human Services, Ms. Thomas will bring professionalism and expertise that will continue to strengthen the County of San Bernardino,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman and Third District Supervisor James Ramos.

“CaSonya has proven herself as a successful and well-qualified leader for this position. Her experience, hard work and professionalism will serve our residents and the County well,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.

“It was a privilege to appoint Ms. Thomas as the Director of the Department of Behavioral Health in 2012, and I am thrilled to now support her appointment as the Assistant Executive Officer for Human Services,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “I am so pleased to see her succeed and I have no doubt she’ll continue to do a remarkable job.”

“CaSonya has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the well-being of all county residents,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “Her intelligence, compassion and creativity are perfectly suited to the challenges we face.”

Haugan assumed the reins of Human Services in July 2005 after an already-notable career that included the implementation of the landmark C-IV Statewide Automated Welfare System. Her first order of business as Human Services chief was to successfully and dramatically reduce the County’s food stamp error rate.

Throughout her tenure, Haugan has fostered collaboration between Human Services departments to improve services to the public, a practice that has made the County a consistent leader in winning national and state awards for innovative and effective programs.

“I have had the good fortune of working with many talented people who carry out their public service mission with passion and intelligence. That’s why I feel I am leaving Human Services in a very good state and in very good hands,” Haugan said.

Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a post-graduate degree in public administration, both from California State University, San Bernardino. She is also certified in healthcare compliance by the national Health Care Compliance Association.

Thomas serves as president-elect to the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA), whose goals include advocating and developing public policy agendas that support access to necessary quality services that promote behavioral health and wellness, and resiliency and recovery in communities. She also is co-chair of the CBHDA Cultural Competence, Equity and Social Justice Committee.

Human Services departments, divisions and offices include Aging and Adult Services, Animal Care and Control, Behavioral Health, Child Support Services, Children and Family Services, Children’s Network, Environmental Health Services, Homeless Services, Preschool Services, Public Health, Transitional Assistance and Veterans Affairs.

Registration open for Inland Empire Fatherhood Conference

IEFICInland Empire men will have the chance to be inspired, educated and better equipped to tackle the challenges of fatherhood and to be actively engaged in their children’s lives during the Inland Empire Fatherhood Conference.

The Aug. 15, 2015 conference, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Inland Regional Center at 1365 South Waterman Ave in San Bernardino, will feature several speakers and workshops that will provide fathers with information and resources. Keynote speakers for the event include Richard Jones, an actor, and Barry E. Knight, an author and leadership coach. Topics addressed during the workshops include: tips for new and young fathers, financial empowerment for dads, how to navigate the systems, fathering children with disabilities, and several others To register, visit

Participating San Bernardino County agencies include the Children’s Network, Children and Family Services and Preschool Services Department, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Child Support Services, Probation, Superintendent of Schools, and others.

View more information:

Community Transformation plan to be launched

communityvitalsignsA plan to transform San Bernardino County into a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play will be formally unveiled during the National Innovative Communities Conference on June 23, 2015, at the Ontario Convention Center.  The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors received and  filed the plan during Tuesday’s meeting. The Community Transformation Plan is currently available on the Community Vital Signs website at and copies will also be available at all local San Bernardino County Public Library branches.

“Releasing a transformation plan alone is not enough to achieve transformation,” said San Bernardino County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “It is a call for community action with an understanding that wellness extends beyond just physical health. On behalf of Community Vital Signs, I invite everyone to join us to create opportunities for health and wellness in all of our communities.”

The Community Transformation Plan, which will be presented during a conference breakout session entitled, Transforming Health in our Communities through Collective Impact, offers a common understanding of key issues facing County residents, and potential cross-cutting strategies and policy recommendations for addressing the priority areas of:  Education; Economy; Access to Health and Wellness; and Community and School Safety.  It is a culmination of over two years of data analysis, community engagement and feedback, and input from subject experts across a broad spectrum of sectors.  In addition to establishing collective goals and measures of success, the plan will be used for prioritizing existing activities, setting new priorities, aligning the use of resources, and mobilizing action among all sectors in a strategic manner.

The Community Vital Signs Initiative addresses the Wellness Element of the Countywide Vision.  Developed through collaborative efforts of residents, community organizations, and government agencies, it sets evidence-based goals and priorities that align and leverage resources to improve the overall health and well-being of the County’s residents.

Since 2013, the Community Vital Signs initiative has engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders from healthcare, education, public safety, business, government, transportation, faith-based and community-based organizations, and residents for developing a collective plan to create a healthy county through prioritized and strategic action.

County employees honored for public service

award for excellenceA commitment to the Countywide Vision and improving the quality of life for San Bernardino County residents was celebrated at the Government Center Thursday during the Public Service Recognition Award for Excellence ceremony. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux recognized 42 County employees during the annual event that recognizes the everyday work of public servants. One employee from each County department was selected for an Award for Excellence, based on outstanding service to the county and its citizens.

“It is our goal to have a vibrant economy and a skilled workforce. Each of these honorees is a reflection of the Countywide Vision in action,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “We thank them for their continued commitment to improving the quality of life for those whom we serve.”

The honoree selection was based on specific criteria including customer service, initiative and leadership, accomplishments, and the commitment to the realization of our Countywide Vision. Following the awards presentation, honorees were recognized with a private reception in the government center rotunda, sponsored by the San Bernardino County Human Resources department.

This year marked the 26th year the County has participated in this national Public Service Recognition event. Public employees in the United States and around the world take part in the annual celebration honoring the men and women serving America as federal, state, and local government employees.

The following County employees were recognized as part of Public Service Recognition Week:

Robert Saldana, Administrative Office – Finance and Administration

Willo Couey, Aging and Adult Services

Paul Sharpe, Agriculture/Weights and Measures

Rikki Vahovick, Airports

Louis Tickemyer, Architecture & Engineering

Staci McClane, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Ed Liou, Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk

Joanna De La Cruz, Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector

Dr. Gurmit Sekhon, M.D., Department of Behavioral Health

Tina Sides, Department of Child Support Services

Sheila Muir, Children and Family Services

Anne Michelle Ellis, Children’s Network

Michelle Moreno, Clerk of the Board

Kathryn Brann, Community Development and Housing

Angela Rodriguez, County Counsel

Flerida Alarcon, District Attorney

Monique Carter, Economic Development

Dyana Peterson, Facilities Management

Shane Glaze, Fire

Scott McGrath, First 5

Gary Schiele, Fleet Management

Elena Zamuner, Human Resources

Mary Chase, Human Services Administration

Anju Kapoor, Information Services

Larita Manalili, Land Use Services

Michael Jimenez, Library

Craig Putnam, Museum

Joe Prologo, Preschool Services Department

Mark Bradley, Probation

Raymond Bell, Public Defender

Jason Phillippe, Department of Public Health

Richard Cho, Public Works

Debra Kirkpatrick, Purchasing

Michele Cohn, Real Estate Services

Wayne Hartel, Regional Parks

Kamelyta Plimley, Registrar of Voters

Brent Williams, Risk Management

Jassmyn Sanchez, Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator

Tim Millington, Special Districts

Richard Calles, Transitional Assistance Department

Malinda Hernandez, Veterans Affairs

Madeline Tsang, Workforce Development Department

County wins five Public Relations Society of America awards

C.L. Lopez, Summer Adams, Gloria Affatati and Cynthia Malvin accept awards for Human Services

C.L. Lopez, Summer Adams, Gloria Affatati and Cynthia Malvin accept awards for Human Services

San Bernardino County’s Human Services communications team, the Economic Development Agency and the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA) were recognized at the 2014 Polaris Awards by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)-Inland Empire Chapter on Nov. 19 at Center Stage Theater in Fontana.

PRSA’s Polaris Awards program recognizes the outstanding and creative public relations strategies used by professionals dedicated to the advancement of communications. Human Services’ communications team; Cindie Perry, deputy director of the Economic Development Agency; and SBCERA were recognized among communications professionals from the private and public sectors.

Human Services Communications Officer C.L. Lopez and Media Specialist Cindi Malvin accepted three Capella Awards for the HS Connection newsletter, the 2013 Human Services Annual Report and their photo gallery of the Dogs of Rainbow’s End. The photo gallery of dogs rescued during a 2013 hoarding case was featured in an Associated Press photo gallery and garnered international media coverage.

“We are very proud of the work of our Human Services Communications team,” said Chief Learning Officer Summer Adams. “These awards honor the work of the team’s first full-year working together and great things have already been accomplished in their telling of the stories of Human Services.”

The Economic Development Agency was given a Capella Award for the 2014 State of the County event held at Ontario Business Bank Arena in February.

SBCERA was recognized for their 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, “Mission Retirement.”



Community Vital Signs featured for efforts to engage community in wellness

community vital signsWorking to achieve health and well being for San Bernardino County residents is a priority for Community Vital Signs, a health improvement effort developed through the collaboration of county residents, community organizations and government agencies.

The Community Vital Signs initiative addresses the Wellness Element of the Countywide Vision.  It sets evidence-based goals and priorities that align and use our resources to improve the overall health and well-being of the county’s residents.

In April, Community Vital Signs was featured in the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Community Spotlight. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The website feature highlights Community Vital Signs’ efforts to engage the community in working toward wellness.

The Community Spotlight can be viewed at

A must-read: The 2013 Human Services Annual Report

human servicesSan Bernardino County Human Services is made up of eight departments that serve the very old, the very young, the sick and needy, our families, and our deserving veterans. See how those departments helped you and your neighbors during the past year, and how they are moving us toward the realization of our Countywide Vision. The report includes testimonials from those served by County Human Services. Read the report online or via your mobile device at: For an iPhone/iPad friendly version, go here:

Human Services newsletter recognized by PRSA Inland Empire chapter

humanservicesAn electronic newsletter which reaches 5,545 Human Services employees throughout the County was recognized with a Capella Award from the Public Relations Society of America’s Inland Empire chapter.

The HS Connection newsletter is distributed via email every month with success stories shared by staff, training recognition of exemplary customer service, opportunities for employees, and legislative changes and improvements to Human Services programs.

“We are very excited about the progress the Human Services Communications team has made in the past year,” said Chief Learning Officer Summer Adams. “This award tells us we are headed in the right direction and we look forward to continuing to help tell the success stories of our Human Services Departments and to help them reach our residents.”

HS Connection Editor Cynthia Malvin accepted the Capella Award during the PRSA’s 2013 Polaris Awards banquet on October 24.

Human Services is dedicated to the health and wellness of all of the County’s 2 million residents. Human Services includes the administrative divisions and departments of Aging and Adult Services, Behavioral Health, Child Support Services, Children and Family Services, Children’s Network, Preschool Services, Public Health, Transitional Assistance and Veterans Affairs.

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