Human Services Management Team
The Sutter County Human Services Department contains three primary operating divisions, and
houses the functions of the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority Staff.
Human Services Divisions
The Welfare Division is composed of Social Services to Children and Elderly Adults, Employment
Services, Food Stamps, eligibility for state and federal aid programs (TANF), and the Sutter
County Conservators Office. The 400 staff of the department are committed to improving the
quality of life for all they serve.
The division of Public Health and Clinical Services provides Outpatient Medical Clinic services,
Public Health Laboratory Functions as well as traditional Public Health Disease Prevention
programs. This division also administers the Women Infant and Children Nutrition programs for
The Mental Health Division serves both Sutter and Yuba Counties and provides Mental Health and
Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention programs.
What is a Public Authority?
The Public Authority is mandated by state law to work in conjunction with Sutter County’s
In Home Supportive Program.
The role of the IHSS Public Authority:
- Develop and maintain a Registry of IHSS Homecare Providers
- Match consumers and providers
- Check the IHSS Homecare Providers background and qualifications
- Provide Training to Providers and Consumers
IHSS Public Authority Providers offer personal care-domestic services to those who are elderly,
disabled or blind, which allow persons to remain safely in their own homes.
An IHSS Homecare Provider is a person who provides personal and domestic services to In Home
Supportive Services eligible Consumers. Duties may include personal assistance with dressing
and bathing, as well as other household tasks.
An IHSS Consumer is a qualified, (usually SSI client) eligible elderly, blind or disabled person
unable to remain safely in his or her homes without the assistance of a Homecare Provider.
Tom Sherry - Director of Human Services
Tom Sherry returned to Sutter County in August 2006 when he was appointed to the position of Deputy
Mental Health Director. In December 2007 he was appointed to the position of Assistant Director of
Human Services for Mental Health. In that position he was responsible for formulating policies and
procedures, directing their implementation, overseeing clinical and fiscal functions of the division
and insuring compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations while insuring
the provision of high quality clinical services.
Prior to returning to Sutter County, Tom held other executive management positions having served in
the position of Assistant County Administrative Officer for the County of Sutter as well as the
County of Tulare. He also served in other administrative management positions in Yuba and Monterey
Tom earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University at Chico
in 1981, a Masters Degree in Counseling from the University of San Francisco in 1991and he is a l
icensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in good standing.
Tom was appointed Director of Human Services in December 2009. He is a member of the Sutter County
Family Intervention Team (FIT) and is a Commissioner for the Sutter County Children & Families
Commission, and currently services as the Co-Chair on the California Mental Health Director’s
Association (CMHDA) Finance Committee.
Amerjit Bhattal - Assistant Director of Human Services - Health
Amerjit Bhattal, RN was recently appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Human Services
for Health. Amerjit is a local person having graduated from Franklin Elementary School, Sutter High
School, Yuba College and Chico State University where she received her Bachelors Degree in Nursing.
She began her career with Sutter County in 1987 as a Field Public Health Nurse and then worked for
several years managing programs and supervising staff in the Immunization Program, Maternal Child
Health program, TB Control, Child Health and Disability Prevention program and Clinic management.
In 2005, she was appointed as the Director of Public Health Nursing where she supervised nursing
staff in Public Health and Clinic. The Health Division is responsible for the administration of
several Federal, State & County Public Health programs. Programs included are: Children’s Medical
programs, Communicable Disease programs, Field Public Health Nursing, Health Education programs,
Clinical services, Public Health Laboratory, Women, Infant, and Children’s program (WIC), Jail
medical services, Vital Statistics program, and Emergency Preparedness programs.
Amerjit is an active member of Marysville-Yuba City Soroptimist International Organization and the
Shots for Tots Executive Committee. She served in the Yuba City Education Foundation, the American
Cancer Society, Yuba-Sutter National Sikh Women’s Group, Business Community and Health Partnership,
and the Yuba-Sutter Child Care Planning Council. She is married to Gurdeep Bhattal and they have two sons.
Lori Harrah - Assistant Director of Human Services-Welfare & Social Services Division
Lori Harrah, Assistant Director of Human Services-Welfare & Social Services Division, began
her career with Sutter County in 1979 at the Sutter County Hospital. Upon the closure of the
County Hospital in 1983 she transferred to the Welfare & Social Services Division. She began
by managing a caseload in Cash Assistance and Food Stamp public assistance programs and then
worked for several years in the Welfare Fraud branch determining overpayments. Later she
supervised eligibility case managers in all assistance programs, planned and assisted with the
implementation of the automated welfare system in Sutter County known as ISAWS and was a Program
Manager for five years in the Income Maintenance and Social Services branch.
The Welfare & Social Services Division is responsible for the administration of several
Federal, State & County Welfare & Social Services programs. Programs included are:
Children's Services such as Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoptions; General
Assistance; CalWORKs cash assistance and Employment Services Programs designed for low-income
parents to assist in moving from dependency to work; Medi-Cal and County Medical Services Program
(CMSP) for medical assistance; Food Stamps for low income adults and families; Public
Guardian / Conservator services; Adult Services such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for
the elderly and disabled and Adult Protective Services.
Dr. Lou Anne Cummings - Health Officer
Dr. Lou Anne Cummings is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine and received an
MPH in Health Education from the Loma Linda University School of Health. After residency at
Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. Cummings did general practice in a small mill town in British
Columbia for 16 years. After returning to the United States, she worked in primary care in
Washington State, and completed a residency in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at Oregon
Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Cummings was the Health Officer of Walla Walla County, Washington State from 2002-2004,
then Deputy Health Officer of Shasta County in 2004-2010 and became the Health Officer of Sutter
County in July 2010.
“I have had an interest in public health since my teens. During the years I worked in primary
care, I saw how the context in which people live affects their health and the opportunities for
them to make healthier choices. Many traditional Public Health concerns like tuberculosis,
vaccine preventable diseases, and environmental health continue to be very relevant now. Public
Health provides an opportunity to work with our community to protect and promote health and
well-being and to prevent death and disability.”
Steve Marshall - Deputy Director of Mental Health - Administrative Services
As Deputy Director of Mental Health - Administrative Services for the Human Services Department, Steve is responsible for
preparation, administration, and maintenance of the department’s budget and programs. He assists
the department head with administration and management of interdepartmental, countywide, and
bi-county programs and / or projects. He plans and conducts studies and provides analytical
support as required.
Steve is also responsible for coordination of efforts to comply with the provisions of the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) on a countywide basis. This
includes development of policies and procedures to ensure the privacy and security of health
information. He serves as the county’s Privacy Officer, co-chairs a statewide workgroup
concerning the implementation of HIPAA in California counties, and serves on the statewide HIPAA
Steve is married and glad to be living closer to family in California after completing a career
in the Air Force. He has Bachelor of Applied Science in Resources Management and Master of Public
Administration degrees from Troy State University, Alabama.
Sue Hickey - Personnel Analyst
As Personnel Analyst for the Human Services Department, Sue provides Sutter County Rule / Policy
interpretation and guidance on personnel matters; consults with managers and supervisors regarding
Employee Relations issues, investigations and disciplinary actions; and provides support on Personnel
related issues the department takes to the Board of Supervisors or its Health Committee for action.
She manages all phases of the personnel recruitment process and conducts classification and salary surveys,
reviews personnel payroll transactions, consults regarding establishment of alternative work schedules, and
participates in negotiations.
Prior to coming to Sutter County, Sue completed a very successful career in the United States Air Force.
She has a Master of Administration degree in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University, San
Tonya Rhoades - Public Authority Manager
Being a long time resident of Sutter County, Tonya is very familiar with the issues facing many of
our seniors and persons with disabilities living in Sutter County. She has brought personal
experience in dealing with issues affecting the disability community as her daughter has severe
disabilities and has utilized community programs to ensure that her daughter remains living at
home with her family.
Tonya started her career with Sutter County Schools as a Vocational Counselor in the Supported
Employment program assisting developmental disabled and mentally ill adults find employment.
From there, she was hired by FREED Center for Independent Living as the Director. She served as
the Director of FREED for eight years; and from there she was hired by the State of California
working for the Department of Developmental Services as a federal auditor for the Home and
Community Based Waiver programs serving the Regional Center system. In July 2003, Sutter
County IHSS Public Authority hired Tonya as the Public Authority Manager to implement the Public
The opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the individuals and should not be
construed in any way to represent the opinions of the County of Sutter.