Whole Person Care - Los Angeles (WPC-LA)

Frequently Asked Questions: WPC-LA


What is Whole Person Care – Los Angeles?

The vision of Whole Person Care-Los Angeles (WPC-LA) is to ensure that the most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Los Angeles County have the resources and support to thrive.  The 5-year pilot brings together health and social services across the County to develop the initial infrastructure to deliver seamless, coordinated services to Medi-Cal populations. WPC-LA targets Medi-Cal beneficiaries in 6 high-risk populations: Homeless High-Risk, Justice-Involved High-Risk, Mental Health High-Risk, Perinatal High-Risk, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) High-Risk, and Medically High-Risk.


There are 15 WPC-LA programs including:

  • Five housing programs run by Housing for Health for homeless high-risk clients.
  • A pre-release and post-release re-entry program for recently incarcerated high-risk adults and juveniles
  • Three mental health programs run by Department of Mental Health (DMH), one that provides support for high utilizers of the inpatient psychiatric wards, one that facilitates community reintegration for patients in Institute for Mental Disease (IMD) and Enriched Residential Setting (ERS) facilities, and one that provides social support for the highest risk, socially isolated clients
  • A perinatal support program for high-risk pregnant women
  • A substance use disorder navigation program for high-risk patients with Substance User Disorder (SUD)
  • A post-discharge “Transitions of Care” program for medically-complex high risk patients who have frequent hospitalizations and other comorbidities
  • A medical legal partnership program

Frequently Asked Questions: CBOs/Providers

What is the timeline for Whole Person Care’s launch? 

See below for a high-level timeline of the Whole Person Care – Los Angeles pilot over the five years of the waiver. The application was submitted and approved by DHCS in 2016. The programs for Whole Person Care – Los Angeles began enrolling participants at the beginning of 2017 with additional programs launching throughout the year.



What is the WPC-LA hub and where is it located?

The Whole Person Care – Los Angeles hub is not a physical location but is a centrally run Health Agency that drives and supports the implementation of all programs.  A set of core services within the hub supports WPC programs, such as project management support, data integration and analytics, training and performance improvement, community engagement, development of IT platforms and other services (e.g. transportation, referral line).  The hub supports all programs and eight Regional Coordinating Centers (RCCs), which serve as operational centers for WPC-LA programs and organize teams to support all parts of WPC-LA implementation.

Can you explain Round I and Round II of WPC implementation?

The California Department of Health and Human Services (DHCS) allocated $300 million in federal funds per year statewide for WPC pilots. The first round of applications was considered “Round 1.” Not all funds were not awarded in Round 1. DHCS ran a “Round 2” application process for new and existing pilot expansions. DHCS awarded Los Angeles County funding in both Round 1 and Round 2.


Does WPC have funding for our organization?

There are many ways to get involved with the Los Angeles County’s WPC pilot. We partner with community-based organizations to deliver Intensive Case Management services (ICMS) via a Master Services Agreement to re-entry clients transitioning back into communities from jail, prison or probation.  For more information about contracting opportunities related to Whole Person Care, please go to the Department of Health Services Contracts webpage for a listing of contract opportunities:

DHS Contracts and Grants Open Bids

Are non-county Community Based Organizations (CBOs), such as hospitals, and clinics able to refer participants to WPC?

WPC-LA provides resources across all of LA County and enrollment depends on an individual’s eligibility for a given program in WPC-LA. Health delivery entities in LA County with County-operated facilities have the opportunity to access WPC-LA resources for their participants.  All CBOs, such as hospitals, and clinics serving eligible WPC-LA participants are able to refer to WPC.  However, please note that different programs use different points of entry, and some WPC programs do not take direct community referrals.  Many WPC-LA programs identify participants at points of care (e.g. County jails, Mental Health facilities) or through existing county-wide risk-assessment and resource allocation systems (e.g. the Coordinated Entry System). Some programs also provide services to eligible County residents regardless of their region or affiliation (e.g. health plan, provider). For example, a participant returning home from County jail to a region without a county facility will have a similar opportunity to enroll in WPC as a participant returning to a home region with multiple county facilities. Please, see the “WPC Referral Overview” document for specific information on how you can access WPC-LA resources.

How is WPC-LA aligned with Measure H-funded strategies for people experiencing homelessness?

WPC-LA integrated many Measure H-funded strategies for people experiencing homelessness. Services are delivered through the DHS Housing for Health program.  WPC-LA provides intensive case management support to individuals receiving housing subsidies, increase recuperative care capacity, add additional sobering centers, and expand benefits advocacy programs.  WPC-LA will increase resources and support for the expansion of programs for people experiencing homelessness. Additional information on Measure H strategies can be found here: http://homeless.lacounty.gov/measure-h/.


Does WPC-LA include recuperative care coverage in addition to what is provided through Measure H?

Yes, we will fund 400 new recuperative care beds (650 total) through WPC-LA, with additional beds planned through Measure H.


How will the homeless services be delivered through WPC-LA? How will it align with the Coordinated Entry System (CES)?

All individuals receiving intensive case management support for permanent supportive housing through WPC will be screened and risk stratified through the CES system (http://ceslosangeles.weebly.com). WPC-LA care management teams will navigate individuals experiencing homelessness to CES with the goal of matching them to a housing voucher or subsidy.  Only those individuals who receive a housing subsidy will be eligible for intensive case management support through WPC-LA.  WPC-LA funds cannot be used to cover room and board.


How do WPC-LA Community Health Workers (CHWs) know what services are offered by community-based organizations?

Our CHWs bring substantial knowledge based on working and living in their communities. They leverage their personal experience, visit and develop relationships with numerous organizations. They stride to learn more about community services and WPC participants can access them easily. This work is augmented by One Degree platform which (www.1degree.org) is a free online resource platform that be used to identify and track community resources for their participants. These resources include healthcare, food, employment services, and many other social needs. CHWs use One Degree to identify resources, refer their participants, and track resource engagement(s).


Does WPC-LA cover undocumented individuals?

Whole Person Care – Los Angeles, is a federally funded program. This program is currently restricted to provide services to participants who are eligible for Medicaid funds.  Therefore, the funding does not currently extend to undocumented individuals. However, the County, as a health care safety net provider, will offer support to undocumented individuals in WPC-LA programs.


What technology platforms does WPC-LA use to track care and/or make referrals?

WPC-LA is modifying an existing online platform, called CHAMP. Housing for Health uses CHAMP to manage their housing and benefits advocacy programs. CHAMP tracks each participant served by WPC – LA, from referral to discharge, and includes features such as comprehensive assessment of needs and care planning. Care plans will be made visible to participating providers across the county.


Can we refer patients from our hospital to the WPC-LA Transitions of Care (TOC) Program?

Currently, the TOC program only accepts referrals from hospitals that have a Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) designation and are participating in the LANES Health Information exchange (http://www.lanesla.org).  These hospitals currently include White Memorial Hospital, Glendale Memorial Hospitals, LAC+USC Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  If your hospital meets criteria for participation in WPC-LA’s Transitions of Care program, please contact us at WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov.


Where are CHWs stationed? Can you station a CHW at my organization?

CHWs are stationed at different locations, depending on the program they work for and the communities they serve. Regional Coordinating Center (RCCs) are located in each Service Planning Area (SPA) within Los Angeles County. The RCCs serve as a home base for CHWs and the WPC-LA program. Outside of the RCCs, CHW’s locations will vary based on their program(s). For some programs, CHWs will be stationed directly at hospitals (e.g. Transitions of Care), while others will work across a Service Planning Area. Occasionally, they will co-locate within organizations that serve a high volume of WPC-LA participants. Certain community-based organizations may apply to be considered as an ICMS contracted organization with Whole Person Care. CHWs would be embedded within their contracted organization. To learn more about the ICMS process and how to be considered, please see the section below “How Do I Become a Contracted Provider with WPC.”


How can I find more about working with Whole Person Care?

Sign-up for the WPC-LA Listserv for updates on our programs. We will send out information on ways to get involved in WPC.

If you are interested in working for WPC, working with WPC or learning more about our programs, please send an email to our general mailbox and we will respond as soon as we can.

WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov You may also sign-up through the “Contact Us” section of the website.

Where can I give feedback?

To share any feedback with Whole Person Care – Los Angeles, please select “Contact Us” on our website ( https://wpc.dhs.lacounty.gov). You may also submit your feedback to WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov, or use the contact information provided on the website to share your input.

Where can I find communication materials about WPC-LA?

Whole Person Care – Los Angeles shares communicational materials through our website. As new materials are created, they will be added to that location for public use.

How can I get a job with WPC?

Opportunities for jobs at Whole Person Care are similar to those in other county programs. You can monitor our jobs website at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lacounty or sign up for our Jobs Listserv to receive notifications when positions become open. In addition, you can stay updated about the latest Whole Person Care news and announcements on our general listserv WPC News Listserv

How do I become a Contracted Provider with WPC?

There are many opportunities to work as a contractor with WPC. We contract with community partners to train our WPC-LA workforce, serve WPC-LA participants in Medical Legal Partnerships or by providing Intensive Case Management Services (ICMS). For details on how to become a Re-entry Community-Based ICMS provider for Whole Person Care – Los Angeles, go to: Re-entry Community-Based ICMS.

If you would like information on other contracting opportunities within WPC-LA or ways to get involved, please send an email to WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov and describe your company and the activity or service you can provide.

  • What is Whole Person Care-LA?
    • Whole Person Care-Los Angeles (WPC-LA) is a set of programs to help some Medi-Cal members in Los Angeles County get the support they need to live healthy lives.


  • What are the goals of WPC-LA?
    • The goal of the WPC-LA program is to improve your health.


  • What can WPC-LA do for me?
    • WPC-LA can match you with a Community Health Worker who can:
      • Work with you to understand your needs
      • Help you get services to improve your health
      • Connect you to resources that can help you
      • Advocate for you
      • Go to appointments with you


  • How can I apply to participate in WPC-LA?
    • Each program has its own requirements. Becoming a participant in WPC-LA depends on your program eligibility. To learn if you might qualify for WPC-LA, please ask a Community Health Worker or visit the Whole Person Care website at https://wpc.dhs.lacounty.gov.  Our staff also accept telephone referrals through the WPC-LA referral line 1-844-804-5200
    • To learn more about referral processes, please call 1-844-804-5200, go to our website or email WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov for more information.


  • What services or resources can WPC-LA offer?
    • WPC-LA can help connect you to services for which you may be eligible, including:
      • Mental and physical health services
      • Social support services, like job placement, benefits (Social Security, CalFresh, GR.), transportation, food stamps, ID cards, or help starting the housing application process
      • Note: WPC-LA does not pay for room and board. WPC-LA only pays for housing-related services, such as Intensive Case Management. This means we cannot guarantee housing for any participant.


  • How is a WPC-LA Community Health Worker different from my existing case manager? What additional services can they provide?


    • work with eligible individuals during times of great need
    • work closely with a participant’s other case managers during their period of service to coordinate care
    • try to connect each participant with a provider that can keep working with the participant after their enrollment in WPC-LA comes to an end
    • may have greater ability to perform outreach, such as home visits, than other case managers


  • How do I qualify for WPC-LA?
    • WPC-LA serves eligible participants who fit all of these 3 categories:
      • They live or stay in LA County
      • They either have Medi-Cal or are eligible for certain types of Medi-Cal
      • And one or more of the following applies
        • Homeless
        • Recently released from jail or prison
        • Serious mental illness with related hospital visits
        • Drug or alcohol addiction with related hospital or treatment center or court visits
        • Complex medical issues with related hospital visits
        • Pregnant
      • Specific eligibility for WPC-LA programs can be found on the program-specific links on the WPC-LA website, or call the WPC-LA referral line 1-844-804-5200.


  • Can I get housing through WPC-LA?
    • Housing is not guaranteed and WPC-LA does not have its own housing. WPC-LA will help connect participants to a Coordinated Entry System (CES) Entry Point in order to apply for housing. WPC-LA participants who need housing in Los Angeles County can fill out an assessment at a homeless service agency to be entered into the CES.


  • How long does the program last?
    • WPC-LA program intends to run until 2020. Each of the 15 programs varies in the length of service to a given participant.  Most programs last from 1-12 months.


  • Will you share my information with other providers?
    • No, not unless we have written permission from you. We would like to share your information with certain providers in order to provide the best service for you. You can refuse to share certain types of information at any time.


  • What is a care plan?
    • A care plan is an outline showing all of the goals that you and your Community Health Worker choose to work on together. A care plan will help you meet your health goals while in the program.
    • We will work with you to develop a care plan with action steps that you and your providers will do in order to meet your goals by the end of the program.


  • What happens when my participation in the WPC-LA program ends?
    • One of the goals of the WPC-LA program is to connect participants to a long-term care provider, like a case manager or a Primary Care Provider, who can support you in managing your health and social needs long-term.


  • Can you help me with benefits?
    • Yes, our Community Health Workers can connect and help you apply for benefits, such as Social Security benefits such as SSI, SSDI, CAPI, CalFresh, and General Relief (GR).


  • If I don’t want to/am not sure if I want to quit my addiction, can I still participate in the program?
    • Yes. If you are eligible, WPC-LA will work with you to have your needs met.


  • If I am on parole/probation, can I still participate in the program?
    • Yes, if you are eligible, WPC-LA will work with you. Parole or probation does not exclude someone from participating in the program.


  • Can I participate in more than one WPC-LA program at one time?
    • Yes, for certain programs.  For example, you can be a part of Benefits Advocacy or Medical Legal Partnerships and still be a part of another program.

Is the CHW position a certified position? What kind of training is provided?

No certificate is required to apply for a WPC-LA CHW position.  We provide required training to work with WPC-LA. Upon completion of CHW training, they receive a certificate. This certificate acknowledges their participation in WPC-LAs CHW training program. Those who are hired onto WPC-LA teams receive ongoing training as a part of their employment.  Training is broad.  For example, it includes an overview of existing resources and benefits programs that participants can access, interpersonal and social skills development, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, cultural humility, care planning, and specifics on WPC-LA programs and Care Management Platform, among other topics.


Is a CHW different from a Social Worker?

A CHW is a member of a given community who participates in capacitation (empowering training) so that they can promote health in their own community. CHWs do not need to have Social Work or other degrees, since their life experience informs their ability to serve as a liaison and peer mentor to WPC-LA clients who may need assistance connecting to health and social services. CHWs have their own scope of practice and skill set. In our program, CHWs are supervised by social workers, with whom they work collaboratively to the benefit of the communities they serve.


I have past experience with substance use, homelessness, mental illness, and/or incarceration.  Am I still eligible to apply to be a CHW?

An applicant’s past experience with any of these issues does not exclude them from the CHW role. In fact, having experienced and overcoming these issues is exactly what can prepare CHWs for their role. We welcome CHW applicants with a wide range of life experiences.


Would my government benefits, including CalFresh, GR, SSI, and Medi-Cal, be impacted by my employment as a CHW?

Government benefits programs operate independently from WPC-LA.  Please, see eligibility requirements for different benefit programs.  As with any job, if your income reaches a certain threshold, it is possible that one or more of your government benefits could be reduced or removed.


How can I apply to be a Community Health Worker?

Please, email WPC-LA@dhs.lacounty.gov with your resume and a brief cover letter describing your interest and the position(s) you seek. There will be additional postings from our Jobs Listserv when we are accepting applications.


What are the necessary qualities of a CHW (before training)?

Historically, CHWs (who are referred to as promotores/as in Spanish) have been chosen by their communities because they have cultivated strong, trusting relationships. They have demonstrated or have potential leadership qualities that enable them to be effective advocates for their clients. Effective CHWs possess a deep internal desire to promote health and justice in their communities, and are motivated by a sense of servicio de corazón (heartfelt service.)[1] Effective CHWs possess certain personal qualities that can be enhanced but not taught, including: patience, empathy, personal strength and courage, a desire to grow and learn, friendliness/sociability, open-mindedness, and capacity for self-directed work.[2]

[1] Visión y Compromiso, (2017). Key Workforce Priorities for the Community Transformation Model. Los Angeles, CA.

[2] Wiggins, N. & Borbón, A. (1998). Core roles and competencies of Community Health Advisors. In Rosenthal, Wiggins, Brownstein, and Johnson, S., The Final Report of the National Community Health Advisor Study. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation.