County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - January 2019

Public Health Newsletter - January 2019
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 7 - Issue 1 - January 2019
In this Issue: Flu | Training | Resistance | Whole-Child Model | Message from the Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Flu Update 

Influenza rates continue to rise in Marin County and the virus is actively circulating in our community.  Preliminary results of local surveillance suggest this year's rates are lower than those of the prior two years.  This may be attributable to higher vaccination rates, the match between vaccine and circulating strains, or other factors.  Those who remain unvaccinated are at elevated risk for disease and for more severe and longer duration of symptoms.  Marin's flu season typically lasts through March and clinicians should continue promoting and providing vaccination. 

Training our "First" First Responders

Survival rates after large scale emergencies depend largely on how laypeople --- family members, bystanders, and neighbors --- tend to the injured prior to the arrival of professional first responders.  The Marin Medical Reserve Corps' (MMRC) First Aid for Disaster Response (FADR) program provides hands-on training for non-clinicians to treat life-threatening injuries.  The program was recently honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for training 600 Marin County residents.  To reach more residents, more clinicians are needed in the FADR training force.  For more information about joining the MMRC, visit

Limiting Local Antimicrobial Resistance 

Rates of antibiotic-resistant C. difficile and other bacteria are rising in Marin and regionally, making judicious antibiotic prescribing an increasingly high priority.  The Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine found healthcare professionals in outpatient settings often unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics for the common cold and bronchitis, with urgent care prescribers doing so in nearly half of cases of upper respiratory illness.  California was the first state to adopt antimicrobial stewardship legislation, and the statewide stewardship program has valuable resources for clinicians.

Public Health Program Spotlight:  Whole Child Model

As of January 1, 2019, changes came to California Children's Services (CCS) and the 700 medically complex children it serves in Marin.  Marin CCS and 21 other counties adopted the Whole Child Model program, which means the Medi-Cal managed care plan, Partnership Health Plan (PHC), in Marin, is taking over care coordination as well as authorizing and paying for services.  PHC is coordinating care for the whole child, including specialty care, well child care, and behavioral health needs; in addition, PHC will support overcoming barriers to access to care, such as transportation needs.   Marin CCS continues to accept new referrals.  CCS services for occupational and physical therapies at the Marindale MTU also continue.   CCS children in Marin continue with the same CCS benefits and get more comprehensive care through the CCS Whole Child Model program.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotIn order to strengthen communication between your office and mine, and to keep you aware of public health initiatives that may impact your patients, we're adding a feature to this newsletter for 2019.  Each month, a Marin HHS Public Health Program that touches our clinical partners will be briefly highlighted.  This issue features a program serving our children with complex medical needs.  Thank you for all you do to make Marin County healthy, and please suggest topics for future editions.

Warm Regards,
Matt Willis, MD, MPH
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Copyright (c) 2019
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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