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California To Invest $5 Million In The Redwood Coast's Health Care System


State Senator Mike McGuire announced the funding for nursing education and a mental health crisis center.

Two million dollars of that spending is going into a new crisis residential center in Humboldt County. McGuire says, right now, people suffering from a mental health crisis will either go to a psychiatric hospital, the emergency room or be locked up in jail. He says that’s not acceptable.

“This facility will keep folks out of local emergency rooms and provide patients with the care that they desperately need and deserve,” he explains.

According to Connie Beck, the director of health and human services for Humboldt County, once a property is secured, they hope to get the facility up and running within a year. Eventually, it will be self-sufficient through Mental Health Services Act funding and Medicare billing.

The state's investment also includes 3 million dollars into local nursing programs, a step that many hope will help with the nursing shortages on the North Coast. The funding will expand the capacity for students at both the College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University.

“Right now, we have 183 students currently enrolled in one of our nursing courses,” says Keith Flanner, the president of the College of the Redwoods. “ However, the problem that we're seeing is that we have 1,700 students who have declared a major who are on the waiting list that want a degree.”

The investment goes specifically into the infrastructure of the program at the two schools. McGuire says that the funds will go to purchase needed equipment and modernize any facilities associated with the nursing programs at HSU and the CR.

Sophia Prince is a reporter and producer for JPR News. She began as JPR’s 2021 summer intern through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in journalism and international studies.