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August 11
2018 - Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon burns down [video]
Big Oaks Lodge


Christina Ghaly, M.D.

Christina R. Ghaly, M.D. is the director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer and taking some time for rest and recreation. It is important to engage in activities that help us improve our overall health and mental health. This is particularly important as we are experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases. As with previous surges, we are learning and adapting. The vaccines appear to be effective at reducing the risk of severe symptoms for most patients, but the pandemic is not yet over. We must continue to be vigilant to keep our staff, patients and community members safe.

The commitment to take consistent safety precautions was here long before COVID-19 and is something we will continue to work towards regardless of how this pandemic evolves. We have made great strides in recent years in important areas like infection control and are committed to continuously evaluating our protocols and procedures to improve patient safety outcomes. Accordingly, this summer we are launching our “Minute for Medicine” series. These are 1-2 minute videos on a variety of patient safety best practices that will be delivered to your inbox via the Workforce Weekly newsletter. Part of ensuring the safety of our patients is making sure that small, simple, and easy-to-implement practices are prioritized, and this video series will serve as a helpful reminder to us all.

The “Minute for Medicine” videos will focus on key patient safety topics, such as the value of checklists and the importance of fostering a Just Culture  (link is only available to staff) that promotes shared accountability. Please look for these beginning next month in our Workforce Weekly and I encourage you to take a few minutes of your work week to revisit these basic yet fundamental building blocks that can help us prevent errors and deliver the best care possible to our patients. I will be talking more about this at the next Town Hall. In the meantime, you can submit questions on delivering patient safety through my Director’s Beat page on SharePoint (link is only available to staff).

This month the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline is being made available to the community to enable people experiencing suicidality or a mental health crisis to connect with a trained mental health professional via phone or text or chat online. Significantly, if a local crisis center is unable to respond in a timely fashion, the call will be routed to a backup call center. This will reduce the likelihood that a call will be put on hold or left unanswered. It is another essential resource to help our most vulnerable community members obtain the support they need.

We are also fast approaching the next phase of our implementation of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism (EDIA) initiative (link is only available to DHS staff). Look out for events at your facility related to this important endeavor.

Thank you for all you do.

Dr. Christina Ghaly

Dr. Christina Ghaly is the director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS).

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