Friday, February 3, 2012

The remarks I never gave

I am here to bookend two decades of Rama Khalsa's support for people who experience moods swings, fear, voices and visions.  20 years ago she hired the county's first consumer specialist and made sure two dozen of us were able to attend a national alternatives conference in Berkeley. That led to the founding of the Mental Health Client Action Network. And last year Rama made sure Santa Cruz applied for a federal transformation grant which has created Second Story, our voluntary short-stay house run by and for people with lived experience of psychiatric disability.

Rama Khalsa met the challenge of holding to a vision of health while walking the political middle way. She was an early adopter of health technology - The Santa Cruz Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) is the longest running successful Health Information Exchange (HIE) in the United States. In addition to electronic networks, she was in charge during the construction of Building K, El Dorado Center, and now a Psychiatric Facility. Rama leaves us a legacy of both bytes and buildings It's a privilege to share a few of her many gifts to our county. 
Thank you, Rama

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