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Health and Human Services Management Team

Health and Human Services Management Team
L to R: Amerjit Bhattal, Dr. Michael Kinnison (Retired), Joan Hoss,
Kent Yeargin (Retired), Tom Sherry (Retired), Steve Marshall, Lori Harrah, Sue Hickey
Not pictured: Nancy O'Hara (Director) Dr. Lou Anne Cummings, Tonya Rhoades

The Sutter County Health and Human Services Department contains three primary operating divisions, and houses the functions of the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority Staff.

Health and 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 Sutter County.

The Behavioral 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.

Amerjit Bhattal - Assistant Director of Health and Human Services - Health Division

Amerjit Bhattal - Assistant Director of Health and Human Services - Health Amerjit Bhattal, RN was recently appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Health and 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 Health and Human Services-Welfare & Social Services Division

Lori Harrah - Assistant Director of Health and Human Services-Welfare & Social Services Division Lori Harrah, Assistant Director of Health and 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 - 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 Behavioral Health - Administrative Services

Steve Marshall - Deputy Director of Mental Health - Administrative Services As Deputy Director of Behavioral Health - Administrative Services for the Health and 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 Steering Committee.

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

Sue Hickey - Personnel Analyst As Personnel Analyst for the Health and 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 Francisco.

Tonya Rhoades - Public Authority Manager

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 Authority program.


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.