The mission of California Health and Human Services (CalHHS) is to collaborate with counties, cities, and communities, as well as with our public, private, religious, and educational partners to make California a healthy, vibrant, and inclusive place to live, work, play, and learn. This mission focuses on streamlining government operations for greater efficiency; expanding access to health and human services; achieving equitable recovery from the pandemic; integrating social, behavioral health, and health services to promote comprehensive care for people; and improving service delivery to older Californians and people with disabilities. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has been a leader in this effort. Under the direction of Melissa Stafford Jones, the Office of Diversion and Reentry was launched to oversee diversion, re-entry, and youth development initiatives across the county.
Assembly Bill 2352 (Woods, Chapter 817, 1999 Statutes) changed the name of the Health and Welfare Agency to the Health and Human Services Agency. Ms. Jones now serves as director of the California Behavioral Health Initiative for Children and Youth at CalHHS. Prior to this role, she was president and executive director of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.
During her tenure there, she worked to promote public policies that support the essential role of the safety net and improve health status and access to care for low-income and uninsured individuals and communities. Recently, CalHHS and CYBHI announced the publication of a new document that outlines their mission statement. This document emphasizes their commitment to providing quality health care services to all Californians regardless of their income or background.