The County of San Bernardino has once again distinguished itself among the nation’s counties, winning more 2011 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties than any other county in the country besides substantially larger Los Angeles and San Diego counties. 

Ninety-four counties from 30 states won 468 of the prestigious awards, which recognize counties for improving public services and management practices provided by county government. The County of San Bernardino claimed 27 honors. The county won 19 awards last year, including a “Best in Category”, and 16 in 2009. Los Angeles County, which has more than five times as many employees as San Bernardino County, won 35 awards, while San Diego County claimed 28. 

The Board of Supervisors recognized and honored the people and departments responsible for the 2011 programs and services during Tuesday’s Board meeting. 

The awards also included a second prestigious “Best in Category” award for the San Bernardino County Probation Department. Nationwide, only 21 programs received this honor, and only four from California. Probation also won a Best in Category in 2010 for their GRACE program for adolescent female probationers. 

“It is very obvious that our county staff remain completely devoted to providing the best services possible for our residents,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Josie Gonzales. “We couldn’t be more proud of the fine work they accomplish every day without fanfare, and we are thrilled to be able to publically recognize their efforts.” 

The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes counties for improving the services they deliver to the public. The awards focus on innovation and the use of technology. The following are San Bernardino County’s winning programs: 

Aging & Adult Services: Long Term Care Ombudsman/Red Cross Partnership.  The Long-Term Care Ombudsman provides training on a bi-monthly basis on Resident Rights and elder abuse awareness to the participants in the San Bernardino County American Red Cross Certified Nurses’ Aides Program.   

Aging & Adult Services: Prevention & Early Intervention Transportation Escort Program (PE/TREP).  This program is a collaborative, interagency volunteer-driver program that serves the senior and disabled adult community in the High Desert.  This program is a model of a public/private partnership that allows us to provide seniors who would otherwise not be mobile to remain active participants in the community.   

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center: Cancer Screening Program. This program was developed for residents of the county who are unable to be screened for various types of cancers because they don’t have health insurance. Screenings are provided for five types of cancers – all free of charge to men and women age 18 and older who qualify based on American Cancer Society guidelines. 

Behavioral Health: Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (INN-CASE). INN-CASE is a collaborative partnership among the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, Probation, Children’s Network, Children and Family Services, the Public Defender’s Office and the Department of Behavioral Health to address the sexual exploitation of children in our communities.  

Behavioral Health: Customer, Assistance And Resource Experience (CARE) Desk.  The CARE Desk provides “Real Answers and Real Help” to assist with the basic, social, mental and physical health needs of consumers. The Department of Behavioral Health collaborates with contract partners, county departments and community and faith organizations to identify and pool resources to help meet the pressing needs of consumers. These partnerships promote a positive and supportive mechanism to do “more with less.” 

Behavioral Health: Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Program (FACT). The Telecare San Bernardino Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Program (FACT) is a contracted program of the Department of Behavioral Health.  Case management, mental health rehabilitation and medication support services are provided primarily in the community where the clients live, using a “whatever-it takes” individualized approach based on each client’s aspirations.     

Behavioral Health: Performance Indicators Dashboard Project. The Dashboard is a website developed with six areas of performance displayed and includes charts and graphics with breakdowns by major clinics and programs. Each area has a speedometer that shows how well the department’s performance is compared to an established goal for that given area and has printable report formats for ease of use.  

Behavioral Health: Project First Steps. Project First Steps is a collaborative program between five agencies that work to address the need for safe and affordable housing for individuals who are severely mentally ill. The project works to provide permanent supportive housing to adults with mental illness and transitional age youth who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. 

Behavioral Health: Project Journey House- Housing Program. This an emergency shelter supportive housing program funded by Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) one-time only funds. The program is a collaborative partnership between the Department of Behavioral Health and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino.