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East County News Service

Photo:  from left to right: GHD board members Randy Lenac, Gloria Chadwick; Kaye Kelley, Mark Klaus, Edward Hershey, Home of Guiding Hands; GHD board members Michael Emerson, Virginia Hall, Robert “Bob” Ayres.

January 10, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is continuing its support of Home of Guiding Hands (HGH), an El Cajon-based non-profit organization that provides services, training and advocacy to infants, adolescents and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The GHD board recently approved a $69,000 grant that will help provide nursing care to HGH clients who live independently in their own homes, as well as about 150 residents of 31 HGH-operated community-based homes in El Cajon, Lakeside, San Carlos and Santee.

“We are proud to support Home of Guiding Hands in their efforts to serve District residents with optimal nursing care throughout their lives,” said Michael Emerson, GHD board president.  “We applaud HGH’s expanded scope and breath of support services and their dedication to maximize the independence, productivity and qualify of life for the developmentally disabled population.”

Founded in 1961, HGH provides services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and autism. In addition to residential services, HGH operates a Respite Program that gives family members a break when needed, a Life Planning Program that assists families with the process of developing a care plan for the future and an early childhood program, along with transportation services and counseling with family support services. The nonprofit has expanded its services in recent years and is currently assisting more than 2,500 people in both San Diego and Imperial counties.

“Many of our clients have compounded health issues, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease relating to aging and complications from their developmental disabilities,” said Mark Kraus, CEO of HGH. “Some of our clients are nonverbal and communicate their needs with a modified form of sign languages or sounds, which presents unique challenges to healthcare professionals. This grant from the Grossmont Healthcare District will help our nursing staff provide individualized and direct patient care and avoid unnecessary hospital visits.”

The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare via a public-private partnership, and continues to own the hospital on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. For more information about GHD, visit

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