CaSonya Thomas Joins First 5 San Bernardino Commission
Above: CaSonya Thomas joins commissioners Stacy Iverson, President & CEO of Children’s Fund; Maxwell Ohikhuare, M.D., Public Health Officer of County of San Bernardino Public Health and Chair of First 5 San Bernardino Commission; and Elliot Wienstein, M.D., Pediatrician and Vice Chair of First 5 San Bernardino Commission
San Bernardino, CA – CaSonya Thomas, Assistant Executive Officer of the County of San Bernardino, was sworn in as a Commissioner for First 5 San Bernardino on January 3, 2017 at First 5 San Bernardino’s monthly commission meeting held in San Bernardino. CaSonya Thomas replaces retired commissioner and Assistant Executive Officer of the County of San Bernardino, Linda Haugan, who worked with the Commission for more than 10 years. At the same commission meeting, Maxwell Ohikhuare, M.D., San Bernardino County Public Health Officer was elected as Chair of the Commission, with pediatrician Elliot Weinsten, M.D. of Rancho Cucamonga elected as the Vice-Chair of the Commission.
[ecko_quote source=”Karen E. Scott, Executive Director of First 5 San Bernardino”]With our change of focus towards enhancing systems of service to children and families, Commissioner CaSonya Thomas’ knowledge and input can lend greatly to how we broaden our impact on children’s development in the county.[/ecko_quote]
First 5 San Bernardino Commission was established 1998 by voter-approved Proposition 10, an act to tax 50-cents per pack on cigarettes and tobacco products to fund county childhood development programs that impact the most critical years of a child’s life. Eighty percent of the revenues from the tobacco tax are distributed to County Commissions statewide based on upon county birth rate data. County Commissions develop strategic plans for investing the funding using relevant data and consideration of input on local needs.
As an Assistant Executive Officer for the County of San Bernardino, Thomas oversees Human Services departments, divisions and offices including Aging and Adult Services, Animal Care and Control, Behavioral Health, Child Support Services, Children and Family Services, Children’s Network, Environmental Health Services, Homeless Services, Preschool Services, Public Health, Transitional Assistance and Veterans Affairs. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a post-graduate degree in Public Administration from California State University, San Bernardino. Thomas started her career with the Transitional Assistance Department as an eligibility worker in 1991, and advanced over 25 years through leadership and executive management roles throughout the county, previously serving as the director of the Behavioral Health Department since 2012 before becoming Assistant Executive Officer in 2016.
Thomas’ remarks about serving on the Commission acknowledged the familiarity of working with First 5 San Bernardino in her former role as the director of County of San Bernardino’s Department of Behavioral Health. “I have seen great work coming from First 5 San Bernardino through our previous partnerships to serve children and families at the Department of Behavioral Health,” said Thomas at the Commission meeting. Thomas went on to comment that she sees opportunity to continue the collaborative work First 5 San Bernardino has taken on to increase effective use of dwindling funding for the organization.
“With our change of focus towards enhancing systems of service to children and families, Commissioner CaSonya Thomas’ knowledge and input can lend greatly to how we broaden our impact on children’s development in the county,” said Karen E. Scott, Executive Director of First 5 San Bernardino. Additional commissioners to the organization include Dr. Margaret Hill, School Board Member of the San Bernardino Unified School District; Stacy Iverson, President and CEO of Children’s Fund; Supervisor Josie Gonzales for the Fifth District of San Bernardino County; and J. Paul Vargas, School Board and Founding Member of Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter Schools.
For more information about First 5 San Bernardino, visit first5sanbernardino.org or call (909) 386-7706.
About First 5 San Bernardino
The Children and Families Commission for San Bernardino County (First 5 San Bernardino) was created in December 1998 in order to realize the benefits of Proposition 10 (California Children and Families Act) for the County’s youngest residents and their families. The act created a system of programs for the purpose of promoting, supporting, and improving the early development of children from the prenatal stage to five years of age.