At the annual Community Collaborative Breakfast of the Fallbrook Healthcare District (FHD) on Jan. 25, over 125 attendees helped honor Billy Lockett and Manny Ortega as the Healthcare Heroes of 2014 and heard an interesting presentation on the Affordable Care Act in addition to the annual update from the district.
Ortega and Lockett were honored for demonstrating extraordinary service to foster the health and well-being of the people of the Fallbrook community.
FHD president Stephen Abbott awarded Billy Lockett with the Healthcare Hero honor. Lockett was recognized as a “valued volunteer at Fallbrook Hospital.” In his 10 years of volunteerism at the healthcare facility, it was noted he has “a generous heart and spirit; and helped staff and volunteers with supplies, errands, events, and reminders with a sense of humor, kindness, and humility.” Lockett was nominated for the honor by hospital staff, physicians, and volunteers – some 400 people.
FHD director Gordon Tinker explained to the audience that Ortega has served for over 15 years as the lead volunteer (commander) of the Sheriff’s Dept.’s Senior Volunteer Program in Fallbrook and also currently serves as the president of the Fallbrook Senior Center. During the presentation of the Healthcare Hero award to Ortega, it was noted that Ortega “selflessly serves with dignity, kindness, and respect.”
Fallbrook Hospital CEO Kapua Conley gave the audience an update on Fallbrook Hospital. Conley said there have been several new specialty physicians added to the community as well as the establishment of Fallbrook Healthcare Partners, a primary care focused medical group with rotating specialists.
Conley said physician specialties added to the community have been in the areas of cardiology, gastroenterology, and nephrology as well as obstetrics/gynecology.
Dr. Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, who is considered an expert on the Affordable Care Act, presented enlightening information on the new healthcare system.
Kominski, using a Power Point presentation, explained the types of insurance Covered California sells, the essential health benefits that must be offered by every medical insurance plan (private, state, or federal), standard benefits for every tier plan, deductibles, co-pays, and much more. He explained how Medicare
works as well. In addition, he fielded many questions from the audience. The district is making Kominski’s presentation available to residents. To receive a copy, call the district office at (760) 731-9187 or email the request to fallbrookhealthcare@
FHD director Gordon Tinker gave attendees an overview of the district’s efforts currently. He said the district is “attentive” to legislative action in an on-going manner through representative attendance at healthcare-related events such as Legislative Day in Sacramento where interaction with legislative representatives is facilitated. FHD also participates in conferences and educational opportunities presented through membership in organizations such as the Association of California Health Districts (ACHD) and California Special District Association (CSDA).
Tinker also spoke of the Joint Powers Agreement that was executed in June 2013 between FHD and the Tri-City Healthcare District and stated that each district remains a separate entity, but the JPA defines and enables collaborative efforts to enrich healthcare services at Fallbrook Hospital and affiliation for services with Tri-City Medical Center.
FHD director Barbara Mroz shared information relative to additional Community Healthcare Programs such as the PSA Screening, Take Back Day, Health & Fitness Fair, the Community Collaborative Committee and the Community Resource Directory. The financial position of the district was reported on by treasurer/director Richard Levering. He explained that funds of the district are budgeted and monitored in keeping with responsible stewardship to meet current needs with attention to safeguarding funds for future needs through prudent and monitored investment. Fiscal year 2012-13 imparted an increase in property taxes, reflecting a slight turnaround in the real-estate market and the state of the economy in the district’s service area. Non-operating income decreased due to decrease in interest earnings available from investments. Net assets at year-end were reported to be $523,521. Investments include Lease Contingency Fund with CalTrust $9.8 million and LAIF (Local Agency Investment Fund) held with the State $1.4 million. A full audit can be viewed at www.fallbrookhealthcaredistrict.net.