At the August 6, 2020 CalOptima Board of Directors meeting, Michelle Steel, Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, made the motion to change CalOptima’s PACE program to better serve Orange County’s elderly population amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PACE is Orange County’s alternative healthcare delivery model for individuals who qualify for nursing home level of care but are able to continue living safely at home.
“One of the most important objectives of this Board is to ensure access to health care, which can be very difficult during a pandemic and a quarantine,” said Chairwoman Steel. “But these changes are crucial for our seniors to receive the care they would otherwise receive at the PACE center, or at least as close to the kind of care they would receive at the PACE center.”
Because regular services are severely limited at PACE centers as a result of the pandemic, these changes allow for qualified CalOptima PACE employees to provide skilled health services to clients in their homes.
"At a time when the health of our seniors is at great risk, and PACE clients are one of the most vulnerable populations, reinventing the PACE model as best we can to an at-home model is good policy,” added Chairwoman Steel.
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First elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2014, Michelle Steel represents the residents of the Second District, which includes, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Stanton, the unincorporated area of Rossmoor, and portions of Buena Park and Fountain Valley. Steel, a successful businesswoman and renowned taxpayer advocate, previously served as Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization where she represented more than eight million people in Southern California, including all of Orange County, as one of the state’s 12 constitutional officers.