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Dignity Health Dominican Hospital Provides Santa Cruz County $750,000 to Help Youth in Critical Need of Behavioral Health Services

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Partnership will help address top community health need in Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (December 14, 2023) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital is proud to announce it has provided a $750,000 grant to support the County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency (HSA) Youth Crisis Diversion Project. These funds will support HSA to establish a temporary diversion of youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis to a preferred Emergency Department with trained behavioral health staff. It is anticipated that 150 youth under the age of 18 and their families will be served as part of the grant, regardless of ability to pay.

“Currently, Santa Cruz County has limited options for crisis support services for our youth. We recognize that our community is in need of these services and we are proud to step up and make this contribution,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “In partnership with HSA, we believe there is a significant opportunity to impact outcomes and lives.”   

The County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency (HSA) is working on a long-term solution to establish a permanent youth Crisis Stabilization Program and Crisis Residential Program, at 5300 Soquel Ave, which is expected to open in 2025. In the interim, this grant from Dominican Hospital will help bridge the gap and ensure that youth have access to quality behavioral health crisis support services, while minimizing the impact to Emergency services. The program will start January 1, 2024 and run through June 30, 2024. 

Health Services Agency Director Mónica Morales shared: “We are grateful to Dignity Health Dominican Hospital for their generous grant to support the youth Crisis Diversion Project and for their commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community. This grant will help provide vital services to our youth and families who are in crisis and struggling with behavioral health issues until we can launch our permanent youth Crisis Stabilization Program and Crisis Residential Program in 2025.” 

Dominican Hospital is committed to meeting the needs of Santa Cruz.  Dominican Hospital conducts a triannual Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) from which the top community health needs are identified. The most recent CHNA, May 2022, identified Behavioral Health, tied with housing and homelessness as the top community health need. During the fiscal year 2023, Dominican Hospital provided more than $40 million in patient financial assistance and community benefit programs.  


About Dignity Health

Dignity Health is a multi-state nonprofit network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care-centers, including community hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. Dignity Health is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit health system committed to advancing health for all people and dedicated to serving the common good. For more information, please visit our website at

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Publish date: 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

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