Social services manager has a busy first year

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County> Council expresses concern about scope of new division responsibilties

By Arin McKenna

Kim Gabaldon has had her hands full during her first year as social services manager. Gabaldon updated the Los Alamos County Council on the new Social Services Division’s activities during Tuesday’s work session.
The division was created a year ago in response to a community needs assessment conducted by the Community Services Department in 2010.
The report found that social services were fragmented across multiple departments within the county and recommended creating a new department to be responsible for all oversight and funding of community services in order to provide a more integrated, cohesive system of care.
Gabaldon was hired to head the division in March 2013. Healthcare Program Specialist Nicholle Cordova was hired shortly afterward to provide administrative support for the division.
The county’s Health Care Assistance Program (HCAP), also known as indigent healthcare, has consumed most of Gabaldon’s attention this first year.
Shortly after the Office of Management and Budget transferred supervision of the program to social services, council voted to reduce the scope of services, number of providers and qualifying income limits in order keep the fund solvent. Social Services had to communicate the changes to 370 previous and existing clients.

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