Padilla Secures Over $10 Million for California Health Care Facilities, Mental Health Services, and Crisis Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that he secured over $10.8 million in federal funding for 10 projects and programs to expand health care facility capacity, deliver mental health services, and improve behavioral health crisis response across California in several Senate appropriations bills. The bills were released by the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday and will now be reconciled with their House counterparts before final passage.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the underlying inequities in our health care and emergency response systems,” Senator Padilla said. “I am proud to support projects and programs that will increase California’s capacity to treat patients, deliver mental health services, and respond to behavioral health crises experienced by our most vulnerable neighbors. These are investments in a healthier, safer California.”

Projects to expand healthcare facilities and capacity for treatment in California:

  • $1.85 Million to White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles 

This funding would help White Memorial Medical Center renovate the catheterization lab with state-of-the art equipment, increasing treatment capacity. Funding would also help two new operatories to provide surgeons with the necessary space and logistical configurations to serve an increasing number of critically ill or injured patients whose surgeries cannot be postponed due to COVID-19 exposure.

  • $1.5 Million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for a High Performance Heart MRI

This funding would be used to purchase a revolutionary, high-performance, low field 0.55T heart MRI, which is part of an equipment upgrade for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Cardiac Institute. Low field magnets are quieter and deposit less radiofrequency energy into the body than stronger magnets, making them safer for children, fetuses, and any person with a metal implant. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles would be the first hospital in the United States to acquire this instrument, significantly advancing diagnostic and treatment capabilities for children with heart conditions throughout California.

Projects to deliver mental health services:

  • $1.5 Million for Construction of Mental Health Hub on the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Campus in Sylmar

This funding would support construction of a Mental Health Hub to provide comprehensive and coordinated delivery of mental health services to children and youth in or at-risk of entering the foster care system. Staff would provide triage, mental health assessments, crisis interventions, and linkage to mental health care providers.

  • $1 Million for Contra Costa County to Develop a Crisis Hub to provide Mental Health Services

This funding would help develop a Crisis Hub to serve as an integrated response center with crisis call triage capacity, remote crisis intervention services, a dispatch system to deploy community crisis teams, and a crisis treatment center responsive to a variety of mental health, substance use, or complex, co-occurring conditions. Staff would be specialists in addressing mental health and substance use-related crises and would assist clients in accessing an appropriate array of supportive services following the crisis phase.

  • $301,000 to Expand Mental Health Services for Spanish-Speaking Californians in Stanislaus and Merced Counties

This funding would allow First Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center (FBHUCC) to begin a pilot program to increase the capacity of the Mental Health Access Program by at least 33 percent—adding availability for 900 new appointments with Spanish-speaking therapists. Services would be provided at FBHUCC’s office, as well as virtually through a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform.

Projects and programs to better respond to behavioral health crises:

  • $1.5 Million for an Alternative Emergency Dispatch Pilot Program in Los Angeles

This funding would support a pilot program in the City of Los Angeles to test an alternative, unarmed dispatch model for 911 calls involving people experiencing homelessness or a mental health crisis. The program would offer a services-led approach to non-violent crises, so police officers don’t have to respond. The program would help ensure that behavioral health care and homelessness services are integrated from the onset of intervention and treatment.

  • $1.062 Million to Expand Contra Costa County’s Mobile Crisis Response Team

This funding would help Contra Costa County to expand its Mobile Crisis Response Team to ensure residents receive a timely response to behavioral health crises, anytime, anywhere in the county. The team provides residents with immediate crisis stabilization and support, and subsequently connects them to appropriate community services. Additional staffing would help address gaps in the county’s existing crisis response system and ensure the community’s most vulnerable residents have access to timely crisis response services.

  • $1.052 Million for the Santa Rosa Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

This funding would help establish the Santa Rosa Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, a mobile crisis response program focused on vulnerable communities, specifically those with individuals experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health challenges. The program would address mental health related calls, including conflict resolution, welfare checks, substance abuse, suicide threats, and also handle non-emergency medical issues, avoiding costly ambulance transport and emergency room treatment.

  • $734,000 for a Community Responders Program in Oakland

This funding would support implementation and training of Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO), a program that sends civilians with medical and mental health training to respond to non-violent emergency calls in East Oakland. Development of MACRO is led by community organizations and experts with experience in mental health response, de-escalation, and working with Oakland’s most vulnerable community members.

  • $350,000 Enhanced Crisis Intervention Training for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

This funding would support development of the Enhanced Crisis Intervention Training program to educate first responders on responding to psychiatric emergency situations.

These projects and programs were included in the Senate’s Labor, Health, and Human Services and Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bills. Complete summaries and texts of these bills are available here.


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