DIRECTOR’S DESK CHRISTINA R. GHALY, MD
As COVID-19 continues to evolve over time, the data demonstrate that we are slowly moving in the right direction. Although infections are rising again in response to the latest BA.2 subvariant of the virus, the numbers of hospitalizations remain low. This progress can be attributed to our collective vigilance and adherence to public health protocols that help keep our communities safe, such as regular handwashing, wearing high-quality masks in high-risk settings and taking advantage of the availability of vaccines and boosters. As of now, 91% of DHS employees who are eligible to receive a booster shot have already received it. This makes our health care facilities safer for staff and patients.
As a reminder, getting and reporting your booster dose is a California State requirement for all healthcare workers and workers in high-risk settings. Healthcare workers are required to comply with the California Department of Public Health Officer order on boosters, that can be found here. If your booster is still pending – it is time to plan for it. Healthcare workers who were not yet eligible for a booster dose in March due to a recent COVID-19 infection or the timing of their primary vaccine series will be eligible soon. Workers with a deferral due to a confirmed COVID-19 infection must comply no later than 15 days after the expiration of their deferral. Workers who were not yet eligible for boosters must be in compliance no later than 15 days after the recommended timeframe to receive the booster dose.
The most efficient way to get and report your booster is by making an appointment at one of the Employee Health locations (link is for staff only). Employee Health sites will automatically update your vaccine status within Health Services (DHS) and help meet the state’s deadline. Health care workers who are eligible for the booster but decline to receive it without seeking an exception are subject to discipline, so don’t delay.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors suspended all travel to the states of Texas and Florida to conduct County business unless the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) determines that the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County’s interest. A previously instituted travel ban to Arizona is also still in effect. Although travel to Arizona, Texas and Florida is not allowed at this time, travel to other destinations is permitted. DHS has lifted the restriction on non-essential business travel to attend in-person meetings and conferences outside of Los Angeles County. This restriction was put in place in 2020 due to the pandemic and is being lifted based on vaccine availability, the reduction of COVID-19 cases and the increasing number of training opportunities and conferences converting from virtual to in-person sessions. Requests for travel and training should be reviewed by your DHS facility CEO or Division Director, or their travel designee for approval.
In this month’s issue of The Pulse, the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism (EDIA) initiative provides an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas to shape the EDIA strategic plan. This is a great opportunity to participate in this important initiative, I encourage you to participate if you can. The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health celebrates Minority Health month, and Rancho Los Amigos honors Armenian History Month.
Thank you for all you do.
Dr. Christina Ghaly
Workforce EDIA Listening SessionsWorkforce EDIA Listening Sessions https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/EDIA-Workforce-Listening-Sessions_Thumbnail-1024x576.png 1024 576 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
Workforce EDIA Listening Sessions are Coming Soon! Over the last 16 months, hundreds of DHS employees have worked to address equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism at Health Services. This is your last chance to join them by participating in the creation of the EDIA Strategic Plan.learn more
National Minority Health MonthNational Minority Health Month https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Minority-Health-Awareness-Month-1024x791.png 1024 791 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health proclaims that April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), “a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications”.learn more
Honoring Armenian History Month at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterHonoring Armenian History Month at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Dr.-Aries-Limbaga-joining-the-Armenian-History-Month-celebration-01-1024x626.jpg 1024 626 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
For the Armenian History Month commemoration, Rancho Los Amigos’ Cultural Diversity Operations Council prominently placed multiple poster exhibits throughout the campus in April.learn more