Tag Archives: Shirlee Zane

Public Form: Parity and Mental Health with Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Congressman Mike Thompson

Public Form with Shirlee Zane about Parity and Mental Health

When: Wednesday, September 24, 6-8 pm
Where: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Room 102A, Santa Rosa, CA

Shirlee ZaneSonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, an outspoken advocate for mental health parity, will be speaking at a forum this coming Wednesday, September 24th. Other panelists will include California State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada; Bonnie Preston, Policy and Outreach Specialist, US Department of Health and Human Services Region IX; Sherrie Lowenstein, Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs, California Department of Managed Health Care; Brenda Grealish, Chief of Mental Health Services Division, California Department of Health Care Services.

Description of the event: “The Affordable Care Act provides one of the largest expansions of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in a generation, requiring that health insurance plans on the Health Insurance Marketplaces cover mental health and substance use disorder services.

“This forum and listening session will provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and report to their elected officials and agency representatives on individual experiences with mental health care and whether health plans are achieving mental health and substance use parity, meaning coverage for mental health and substance abuse services generally are on par with those for medical and surgical services.”

Click here for the flyer: Mental Health Parity Forum, Sonoma County

Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane Given Mental Health Award

“Marine Veteran Matthew Jensen and Shirlee Zane receiving California State NAMI awards…”‘We both share the same vision…to end suicide and remove stigma from mental illness…both Kaiser and the VA need to stop rationing care, provide parity or equal mental health treatment….saving 1,000’s of lives and preventing needless suffering.'” ~ Suervisor Zane (Sonoma County Gazette, August 1, 2014).

The National Association on Mental Health has announced that it is giving Sonoma County Supervisors Shirlee Zane its 2014 Recovery Practitioner of the Year award. Zane has recently spoken out about the poor quality of Kaiser’s mental health services. To read the full story, click here: “Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane Receives Mental Health Award.”



KQED Series on Kaiser’s Mental Health Services

KP ImageOn July 1, 2014 KQED published the first in a series of reports about Kaiser’s mental services. In “Sonoma Co. Supervisor Presses Kaiser on Mental Health Services,” Jon Brooks reports on Zane’s intention to draw on her husband’s suicide in 2011 to push for improvements to Kaiser’s mental health services, in the hope that extensive problems with Kaiser’s provision of mental health care do not result in additional suicides and suffering. Zane expressed her frustrations: “I can tell you I have heard a lot of stories within the last few days about these types of incidents over and over again–of people who were so wronged by their treatment, by either being referred out of the system or by saying, ‘We don’t have the appointments.'”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat Covers Problems with Kaiser’s Mental Healthcare

WeiskoffThe Press Democrat recently published a number of stories covering the problems with Kaiser’s mental health services. Martin Espinoza, in “Kaiser’s mental health care at heart of dispute,” published on June 14, 2014, tells Andy Weisskoff’s story. Weisskoff, a psychotherapist, recently announced his intention to resign from his job at Kaiser because of his first-hand experiences with the declining quality of care being provided to Kaiser’s mental health patients. Most prominently, Weiskoff cited understaffing of Kaiser’s mental health services, resulting in excessive wait times for appointments and patients being improperly assigned to group therapy when individual therapy would be most appropriate. Once he’d announced his resignation, Weiskoff wrote over 60 blog posts detailing the problems at Kaiser. Visit his blog by clicking here: 90 Days to Change. (You can read the full Press Democrat article here: Kaiser’s mental health care at heart of dispute).

ZaneIn June, The Press Democrat also reported on the criticisms of Kaiser expressed by Santa Rosa County Supervisor Shirlee Zane. Zane accused Kaiser of failing her husband, Peter Kingston, which led to his suicide in January, 2011. Zane revealed that Kaiser did not ask her husband if he had previously ever attempted suicide, made him wait for more than 40 days for his first one-on-one appointment, and did not effectively monitor doses of his medication. Given these serious failures by Kaiser, Zane, who is also a trained family counselor and grief specialist, questioned whether or not Sonoma County’s should contract with Kaiser Permanente. (Read the news stories about Shirlee Zane: Supervisor Shirlee Zane critical of Kaiser, therapist and Shirlee Zane questions county’s Kaiser contract after mental health dispute).