January Newsletter: New Year, New Supervisor, New ISD Director; Q&A with the County Manager & More

Welcome to the January edition of San Mateo County’s e-newsletter. Read on to find:

  • A Q&A with the County Manager
  • Changes in Pension Rules
  • Goals of new Information Services Director
  • Groundbreaking for new Health and Dental Offices
  • A doctor making a difference
  • Service Redesign at Human Services offices

    Warren Slocum presents roses to Rose Jacobs Gibson

    Warren Slocum and Rose Jacobs Gibson

We start the New Year with the Board of Supervisors saying farewell to long-time Board Member Rose Jacobs Gibson and welcoming new Supervisor Warren Slocum as the District 4 representative.

Supervisor Slocum was sworn into office Monday evening at the Fair Oaks Community Center by Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre, who was joined on stage by Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki and East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica. Slocum used the occasion to give a bouquet of roses to Jacobs Gibson, who was termed out of office after serving on the Board since 1999.

Supervisor Slocum spent more than 20 years in elected office before retiring in 2010 as the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer. Now in a different office, what are his goals? He laid them out in his first official remarks as Supervisor:

“Imagine if government was different and could excite, innovate and inspire. To me it’s about imagining what government could be and advocating for innovative changes that can help bring about a more open and transparent government that’s highlighted by increased participation and inclusion.

The important question is – if we want county government to be more nimble and effective – what does that look like and how do we get from here to there?” 

To learn more about his vision for San Mateo County, read the entire speech.

The following evening saw the Board elect Don Horsley as President and Dave Pine Vice President for 2013.

Outgoing President Adrienne J. Tissier opens her gift with Supervisor Don Horsley to her right and Supervisor Warren Slocum to her left

Outgoing President Adrienne J. Tissier opens her gift with Supervisor Don Horsley to her right and Supervisor Warren Slocum to her left

Meeting at the Terra Nova High School Theater in Pacifica, Supervisors Horsley, Pine, Slocum and Carole Groom presented outgoing President Adrienne J. Tissier with a special gift: a San Francisco Giants jersey with her name on the back and the number 5. (She represents District 5, which encompasses the North County.)

Supervisor Horsley then gave a speech outlining his goals for the year ahead. Read the entire speech.

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Dr. Janet Chaikind: Making a Difference

Janet Chaikind entered college with plans to become an architect. Today, thousands of healthy children are thankful she changed her mind.

As the Director of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at San Mateo Medical Center, Chaikind is passionate about providing quality health care. That passion and dedication to excellence were recognized recently when she received an award from Women in County Government: Development of Self or Others.

Dr. Janet Chaikind (center) with Dr. Sylvia Espinoza on her right and Dr. Susan Ehrlich to her left at the Women in County Government Awards Luncheon

Dr. Janet Chaikind (center) with Dr. Sylvia Espinoza to her right and Dr. Susan Ehrlich at the Women in County Government Awards Luncheon

“I truly believe that every child in San Mateo County (and beyond) has the right to quality health care: the same quality of care you and I want for our children and families.  I have dedicated my career to that belief,” she told the audience at the awards luncheon. “Through supporting, mentoring, encouraging and developing other pediatric providers and staff at San Mateo Medical Center, I hope I have contributed to that goal.”

Two additional awards were presented at the annual luncheon. Kristi Chauvin Baker of the  Human Services Agency received Rookie of the Year honors and Shirley LaMarr of Correctional Health Services received the Public Service Award for going “The Extra Mile.”

We asked Chaikind her why she works at San Mateo Medical Center. Her response says a lot about her.

“I work at San Mateo Medical Center because of the wonderful patients we serve, the dedicated colleagues I work with. and the vital role we play in the community.  I feel fortunate to work in an environment I love and to love the work I do.  Not many people I know can say that about their jobs, especially after 20 years.”

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Client Needs Focus of Service Redesign

The Human Services Agency was proud to hold a recent open house at its Redwood City office at 2500 Middlefield Road to demonstrate its large-scale redesign to better serve 90,000 Medi-Cal, CalFresh, General Assistance and CalWORKs clients as well as the future clients who will come to HSA through Health Care Reform.Services

Components of this redesign include the implementation of phone and web technologies to help busy clients access their case information by phone and web (www.BenefitsCalWIN.org) and a streamlined in-person experience. The remodeled HSA office in Redwood City features:

  • A self-service kiosk placed at the lobby entrance
  • Designated greeters to assist with check-in
  • Family-friendly lobby and interview rooms
  • Digital monitors in the waiting area that display the next client to be served and the approximate wait time
  • Phone areas and work spaces to fill out paperwork

All of these components together will reduce processing times and provide a more positive, welcoming customer experience.

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John Maltbie: A Q&A with the County Manager

What is it about long meetings, performance data and funding formulas that drew John Maltbie out of retirement to serve as County Manager for four more years?Maltbie_John_01_1

None of that, of course. Yet as the County’s chief executive he nonetheless spends much of his waking hours at meetings and poring over reams of charts and spreadsheets. So, after 20 years as County Manager followed by three years of retirement and a return stint as Acting County Manager, why did Maltbie agree to return for the long haul?

Maltbie’s world view was shaped in a large way by the 1960s. He was inspired by the words of John F. Kennedy and experienced the failed policies that led to the war in Vietnam where he served as an Army officer.

Today his actions are motivated in no small part by his four granddaughters.

Read a Q&A with John Maltbie — what keeps him motivated, what inspires him, what is something that few people may know about him, plus a few more questions like what are the biggest challenges facing the organization. He also tells us about a person that truly made him believe that what we do here is important.

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Groundbreaking for New Medical and Dental Offices

San Mateo County and the Sequoia Healthcare District demonstrated a joint commitment to providing access to quality medical and dental services as they broke ground in December on a new South County Health Center.

In the works for nearly a decade, the South County Health Center at 2710 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, will replace three existing smaller clinics while adding exam rooms. It will include an eight-chair dental clinic as well as ob/gyn and optometry clinics.

Adrienne J. Tissier (left) and Kim Griffin

Adrienne J. Tissier (left) and Kim Griffin with ceremonial shovels at the ready

On hand for the groundbreaking were Board of Supervisors President Adrienne J. Tissier, Board Members Don Horsley and Rose Jacobs Gibson and Supervisor-elect Warren Slocum. The Sequoia Healthcare District was represented by Board President Kim Griffin and Board Members Katie Kane and Gerry Shefren.

Once completed in late 2013, the new South County Health Center will accommodate at least 1,000 more patients annually, bringing the total to approximately 20,000. In addition, the clinic is expected to become a focal point for the South County as it will provide space for community meetings.

Dr. Susan Ehrlich, CEO of San Mateo Medical Center, which will operate the clinic, thanked the Board for its commitment to serving residents and the Sequoia Healthcare District, which has pledged $4.3 million toward the project.

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Meet Jon Walton, new Director of Information Services

Jon Walton will be joining San Mateo County on January 14 as the new Director of Information Services. He comes to our County from San Francisco, where he served as the Chief Information Officer and has been committed to improving communication through technology.

Jon Walton

Jon Walton

We all know this is an exciting time to be involved in technology, whether as the ones creating it or the ones using it. We asked him to share with us a bit about his background and his vision for ISD:

“We want to actively engage with departments and the public on what we can do to transform how we use technology to provide services more effectively but also to create a sense of a connected community to our government.”

He has a great deal more to share. Read on to learn more.

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PEPRA: New Year, New Pension Rules

PEPRA is the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, a state law that took effect January 1, 2013. The law runs to several thousand words. 

To help make sense of it, the San Mateo County Employees’ Retirement Association has provided a summary and list of frequently asked questions — and answers.

Does PEPRA apply to all San Mateo County employees? Does PEPRA change the minimum retirement requirements?

Does PEPRA affect contribution rates for current employees? Does PEPRA place additional restrictions on current employees who return to work
after retirement?

Learn more and get the answers by opening  Pension Frequently Asked Questions.

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This newsletter was produced by the San Mateo County Manager’s Office with the goal of keeping employees — and the public — informed. Please contact Marshall Wilson, the communications director, at 650-363-4153 or at mwilson@smcgov.org with questions,  comments and ideas.

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