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January 22
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
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SACRAMENTO – California Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) advanced Assembly Bill 769 out of the Health Committee this week, according to her office.

AB 769 would eliminate the hiring disincentive among Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Centers by allowing for reimbursement through Medi-Cal for covered mental health services that Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors provide. As a result, the bill would also expand access to mental health services.

“There is so much we need to do to ensure folks in our community struggling with mental health issues are afforded the resources and services they need,” Smith said in a statement. “This bill would address the gaps in our healthcare workforce and support people throughout California, especially in rural and remote areas.”

Currently, there is inequity among mental health providers. Under existing law, psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists are eligible for reimbursement for services they provide. LPCCs — parallel, fully qualified and trained mental health professionals who already offer important services to FQHCs and RHCs — are left out of the Medi-Cal reimbursement mechanism.

“I am proud to author AB 769, which properly recognizes LPCCs for the incredible work they do for our communities,” Smith said. “I’m hopeful this bill will create avenues for Californians to prioritize mental health.”

AB 769 enjoyed bipartisan, unanimous support from Health Committee. It now heads Appropriations Committee for a vote.

Smith represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Jan 21, 2021
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: Additional Death at Henry Mayo; 22,360 Total SCV Cases
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 262 new deaths, including an additional death at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, and 8,512 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, with 22,360 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Jan 21, 2021
State Says Moderna Vaccine Administration Can Resume Immediately
SACRAMENTO – California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan issued the following statement Thursday advising providers that they can immediately resume the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was temporarily paused on Sunday due to possible allergic reactions.
Thursday, Jan 21, 2021
Firefighters Reach 53% Containment on Towsley Fire
As winds began to die down in the Santa Clarita Valley, firefighters were able to increase containment on the Towsley Fire to 53% Thursday.
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